Denon AVR-X540BT vs Pioneer SC-LX501 Detailed Comparison
SCORE:
26
SCORE:
59

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Overview

Here we are comparing Denon AVR-X540BT to Pioneer Elite SC-LX501 to reveal their common strengths and weaknesses as well as the differences between them which will help you in making a correct decision before the purchase. The Denon AVR-X540BT has 5 channel and the Pioneer Elite SC-LX501 has 7 channel amplifiers with Denon AVR-X540BT's being less powerful.

Let us have a look at some highlights of the models.

Denon AVR-X540BT Highlights

Pioneer Elite SC-LX501 Highlights

  • 5.2 channels
  • 70 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven)
  • HDR10, 4K Passthrough
  • Bluetooth
  • USB input
  • 7.2 channels
  • 120 W (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 channel driven)
  • Dolby Atmos, DTS:X capable
  • HDR10, Dolby Vision, 4K Upscaling, 4K Passthrough
  • AirPlay, Chromecast
  • Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  • USB and Phono inputs

We have evaluated both receivers. Pioneer Elite SC-LX501 gets higher overall score in our ranking system which is based on the amplifier specifications, audio and video features, connectivity, multizone capabilities, radio and many other details.

Denon AVR-X540BT

Pioneer Elite SC-LX501

AMPLIFIER
34
VIDEO FEATURES
35
AUDIO FEATURES
15
CONNECTIVITY
19
MULTIZONE
20
MISCELLANEOUS
19
RADIO
28
OVERALL
26
AMPLIFIER
71
VIDEO FEATURES
66
AUDIO FEATURES
53
CONNECTIVITY
48
MULTIZONE
56
MISCELLANEOUS
32
RADIO
69
OVERALL
59

Amplifier score is based on power ratings, minimum impedance load, power supply, transformer type, total harmonic distortion, damping factor, signal to noise ratio and other small details. Audio score depends on the number of channels, front wide channel support, maximum channel processing, support of audio formats, DAC specifications, room calibration algorithm... Video score is based on HDR, Dolby Vision and 4K passthrough, upscaling, analog to HDMI upconversion. Connectivity score is defined from all wired and wireless inputs and outputs, internet and bluetooth connections, HEOS, SONOS and others. Multizone score depends on the number of zones with their outputs. Radio score is evaluated form digital radio support and analog tuner with its frequency range, signal to noise ratio, harmonic distortion...

Advantage of Denon AVR-X540BT over Pioneer Elite SC-LX501

This section shows those features and specifications which are the reason to choose Denon AVR-X540BT over Pioneer Elite SC-LX501.

Denon AVR-X540BT has bigger power supply.

Denon AVR-X540BT Pioneer Elite SC-LX501
Dolby Pro Logic PLII
More Composite Video Outputs 1
Color-Coded Speaker Terminals
Bigger Power Supply 310 W 250 W

Advantage of Pioneer Elite SC-LX501 over Denon AVR-X540BT

This section shows those features and specifications which are the reason to choose Pioneer Elite SC-LX501 over Denon AVR-X540BT.

Pioneer Elite SC-LX501 has more channels, more power per channel, more channel processing, more zones, higher signal to noise ratio and higher bluetooth standard. It supports Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, DSD streaming via HDMI and USB, gapless playback, internet radio, Spotify, Tidal and Deezer. It has bi-amp capability and phono input. In video department only Pioneer Elite SC-LX501 supports Dolby Vision.

Denon AVR-X540BT Pioneer Elite SC-LX501
More Channels 5.2 7.2
Certified 4 Ω Performance
Bi-amp capability
More Channel Processing 5.1 7.1
Dolby Atmos
Dolby Surround Upmixer
DTS:X
DTS Neural:X
DTS-ES Discrete 6.1, Matrix 6.1
Music Playback via USB MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV, FLAC MP3, WMA, AAC, Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, DSD, Dolby TrueHD
Higher Resolution Music Playback via USB up to 96 kHz 64, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192 kHz/24 bit
High Resolution Audio Formats via USB FLAC Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, AAC, DSD, Dolby TrueHD
Multi-Channel Music File Playback via USB up to 192 kHz/24 bit
Gapless Playback
DSD via HDMI 2-ch/Multi-ch Input
DSD via USB 2-ch Input
Pure Direct Mode
Dolby Vision
Video Signal Upscaling up to 4K/60p (YCbCr 4:4:4)
FireConnect
FlareConnect
Chromecast Built-In
AirPlay AirPlay
Ethernet
Wi-Fi
More HDMI Inputs 5 7 (1 front)
More HDMI Outputs 1 2 (1 MAIN, 1 SUB/ZONE 2)
More Analog Audio Line Inputs 2 4
Phono Input
More Component Video Inputs 1
Front A/V Inputs USB HDMI, USB
Speaker A/B
More Zones 1 2
RS-232 Interface
+12V Trigger Output 2 (A: 100 mA, B: 25 mA)
Remote (IR) Input/Output 0 / 0 1 / 1
More GUI Languages 3 9
Internet Radio TuneIn
Spotify
Tidal
Deezer
More Speaker Terminals 5 9
More Large Speaker Terminals 9
Higher Power Output (6 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 channel driven, FTC) 90 W (0.7% THD) 150 W (1.0% THD)
Higher S/N Ratio (Line, IHF-A) 98 dB 105 dB
Newer Bluetooth Version 2.1 + EDR 4.1 + LE
Wider AM Frequency Range 522 kHz - 1611 kHz 522/530 kHz - 1611/1710 kHz

Common Strengths of Denon AVR-X540BT and Pioneer Elite SC-LX501

Denon AVR-X540BT and Pioneer Elite SC-LX501 share common strengths such as HDR10 and bluetooth.

STRENGTHS Denon AVR-X540BT Pioneer Elite SC-LX501
HDR10
4K or 8K Video Passthrough up to 4K 50/60Hz 4:4:4 up to 4K/60p (YCbCr 4:4:4)
Bluetooth SBC, AAC SBC, AAC
New HDCP Version 2.2 2.2
USB Input 1 (Front) for USB memory 1 Front
Composite Video Inputs 2 2
Zones 1 2
Analog Tuner FM/AM with RDS FM/AM with RDS

Common Weaknesses of Denon AVR-X540BT and Pioneer Elite SC-LX501

Denon AVR-X540BT and Pioneer Elite SC-LX501 share common weaknesses such as no Auro3D support, no MHL input, no DTS Play-Fi, no Amazon Alexa, no SONOS, no analog multi-channel input, no analog pre-outs, no Pandora, no Napster and no SiriusXM.

WEAKNESSES Denon AVR-X540BT Pioneer Elite SC-LX501
No Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization
No DTS Virtual:X
No IMAX Enhanced
No Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer
No Audyssey Dynamic EQ
No Audyssey Dynamic Volume
No Audyssey LFC
No Audyssey Sub EQ HT
No HDR10+
No Dynamic HDR
No Auto Low Latency Mode Pass-through
No VRR
No QFT
No MHL Input
No DTS Play-Fi
Does not Work with Amazon Alexa
Does Not Work with SONOS
No eARC
No Multi-Channel Input
No Analog Pre-Outs 0.2 0.2
No Pandora
No Napster
No SiriusXM Internet Radio

Selected Features

Amplifier

Denon AVR-X540BT has 5 channel and Pioneer Elite SC-LX501 has 7 channel amplifiers. Denon AVR-X540BT delivers 70 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven) and Pioneer Elite SC-LX501 delivers 120 W (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 channel driven) but only Pioneer Elite SC-LX501 has stable performance at 4 Ω load. Since 2016 all receiver manufacturers have dropped front wide channel support. Pioneer Elite SC-LX501 is no exception.


Video Features

Both receivers support 4K passthrough up to 60p. Pioneer Elite SC-LX501 can do 4K upscaling up to 60p. Denon AVR-X540BT supports HDR10 and Pioneer Elite SC-LX501 supports HDR10, Dolby Vision.


HDR10

High-dynamic-range (HDR) video has greater dynamic range than standard-dynamic-range (SDR) video with brigter whites and deeper blacks. HDR10 was announced on August 27, 2015, by the Consumer Technology Association and uses the wide-gamut Rec. 2020 color space. It sends static metadata via video stream to the TV which calibrates its screen brightness and color according to that. HDR10 supports up to 1000 nits of brightness and 10-bit color which corresponds to 1024 shades of the primary RGB colors.


Dolby Vision

Dolby Vision is an update to HDR10 by adding dynamic metadata that can be used to more accurately adjust brightness levels up to 10,000 nits maximum brightness on a scene-by-scene or frame-by-frame basis and supports up to 12-bit color depth (4096 shades of RGB) and 8K resolution.


Dolby Atmos and Dolby Surround upmixer

Pioneer Elite SC-LX501 supports Dolby Atmos with its Dolby Surround upmixer. It can be configured upto 5.1.2 channels using internal amplifiers.

Dolby Atmos is the first cinematic audio format in which sounds exist as individual entities, called audio objects. In Dolby Atmos, any sound - the helicopter, a car screeching around a corner, a melodic bird call - can exist as an independent audio object, free of channel restrictions. They can be precisely placed and moved anywhere in your room, including overhead, to flow above and around you in three-dimensional space. Through the use of audio objects, overhead sound, and all the richness, clarity, and power of Dolby sound, Dolby Atmos turns your room into an amazing place for entertainment. You'll feel like you're inside the action, in ways you've never experienced before.

Dolby Atmos for the home represents every sound in the original cinema mix as an audio object. Extensions to the Dolby Audio™ codecs, along with an advanced scalable algorithm, allow Dolby Atmos to be delivered via Blu-ray Disc and streaming media. A spatially-coded substream is added to Dolby TrueHD or Dolby Digital Plus. A Dolby Atmos audio/video receiver (AVR) adapts the cinema experience to your home theater from seven speakers to as many as 34 in 24.1.10 configuration, recreating the original artistic concept. The format supports up to 128 simultaneous independent audio objects in a mix for rich, realistic, and breathtaking sound. It recreates the director's original concept through descriptive metadata to provide customized playback for home theater and delivers sounds above you through overhead speakers, special upward-firing Dolby Atmos speakers, or a Dolby Atmos enabled sound bar.

If the content is not mixed in Dolby Atmos then the Dolby surround upmixer will expand the audio to all channels including ceiling speakers. The upmixer has replaced the Dolby Pro Logic II family with improved upmixing algorithms.


DTS:X and Neural:X upmixer

Pioneer Elite SC-LX501 supports DTS:X with its Neural:X upmixer. It can be configured upto 5.1.2 channels using internal amplifiers.

A technique used in DTS:X is similar to the one used in Dolby Atmos. Instead of a fixed number of channels, DTS:X defines object locations from the listener in polar coordinates. An a/v receiver then dynamically renders sound according to the current speaker configuration. The speaker layout employed by DTS:X is the sum of Dolby Atmos and Auro-3D. It has standard 7.1 channel base layer, a 5 channel height layer above the base layer on the front and side walls, and 3 rows of speakers on the ceiling.

DTS Neural:X is an upmixer that can take non DTS:X content and upmix it to the DTS:X speaker layout. It has replaced the DTS Neo family with improved flexibility.


Class D3 Amplifier

Pioneer Elite SC-LX501 amplifier has Class D3 design. Such amplifiers contain advanced integrated circuitry technology creating unmatched power without sacrificing sound quality or performance. Class D3 amplifiers use a Direct Signal Path Design to provide the shortest audio signal path possible. By eliminating EMI filters, feedback loops, and current limiters of previous designs, Class D3 reduces ringing distortion and noise, especially in the high frequency audio band.

The power consumption of the Digital Class D3 Amplifier is significantly lower than traditional A/B amplifiers - letting you save energy and generate less heat without compromising performance. The Digital Class D3 Amplifier uses a simple structure employing a straight signal path, resulting in improved sound quality requiring less energy than competitive models yet producing more simultaneous power output. This direct signal path means no EMI filters, feedback loops or current limiting - a true engineering art. Unlike traditional designs, these amps deliver the strength to handle multiple low-impedance speakers without dramatic power loss. The efficiency of Class D3 means cooler operation while drawing just a fraction of the power consumed by conventional amplifiers, enhancing and extending component life and reliability.


Advanced Sound Retriever

Compressed music enhancement in Pioneer Elite SC-LX501 is done by Pioneer’s Advanced Sound Retriever. Hear the detail, warmth and clarity, the way the artist intended it, from all of your highly compressed MP3 and WMA files stored on USB, Smartphone and portable media players. By restoring data that tend to get lost in the digital compression process, Pioneers Advanced Sound Retriever Technology enhances audio reproduction all the way upto 20 Khz frequencies.


Connectivity


Denon AVR-X540BT

Denon AVR-X540BT can also connect to bluetooth devices via built-in bluetooth adapter. It has 5 HDMI inputs with HDCP 2.2 copy protection.

Front panel has USB input.

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Pioneer Elite SC-LX501

Pioneer Elite SC-LX501 can be connected to internet using ethernet cable or built-in wi-fi adapter. It can also connect to bluetooth devices via built-in bluetooth adapter. The Receiver supports AirPlay. It has 7 HDMI inputs with HDCP 2.2 copy protection. There is a phono input with built-in phono stage for connecting the cartridge output of the turntable directly to the Receiver.

Front panel has HDMI and USB inputs.

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Detailed Specifications

And in the end let us list the detailed specifications of the receivers side-by-side.

Note: The following table shows only those details which are applicable for both models and excludes the ones that are applicable for only one model. If you want to see a full list of specs for each model please visit their individual pages here - Denon AVR-X540BT and here - Pioneer Elite SC-LX501.

BASICS Denon AVR-X540BT Pioneer Elite SC-LX501
BrandDenonPioneer
ModelAVR-X540BTSC-LX501
TypeA/V ReceiverA/V Receiver
CountryUKAsia
Release Year20182017
AMPLIFIER Denon AVR-X540BT Pioneer Elite SC-LX501
Channels5.27.2
THX™ Certification
Continuous 6 Ω Rated
Certified 4 Ω Performance
Bi-amp Capability
AUDIO Denon AVR-X540BT Pioneer Elite SC-LX501
Maximum Channel Processing5.17.1
Air Studios Monitor Certification
Dolby Atmos
Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization
Dolby TrueHD
Dolby Digital Plus
Dolby Surround Upmixer
Dolby Pro Logic PLII
Dolby Digital EX
Surround EX
DTS:X
DTS Neural:X
DTS Virtual:X
DTS Neo Neo:6 Neo:6
DTS-HD Master Audio
DTS-HD High Resolution Audio
DTS 96/24
DTS Express
DTS-ES Discrete 6.1, Matrix 6.1
IMAX Enhanced
Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer
PCM 2-ch/Multi-ch Input 2-ch/Multi-ch Input
Music Playback via USBMP3, WMA, AAC, WAV, FLACMP3, WMA, AAC, Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, DSD, Dolby TrueHD
High Resolution Music Playback via USB and/or Network up to 96 kHz 64, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192 kHz/24 bit
High Resolution Audio Formats via USBFLACApple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, AAC, DSD, Dolby TrueHD
Multi-Channel Music File Playback via USB up to 192 kHz/24 bit
Gapless Playback
DSD via HDMI 2-ch/Multi-ch Input
DSD via USB 2-ch Input
DSD to PCM Converter
USB DAC
Jitter Reduction
Dialog Enhancement
Dialogue Lift
Compressed Music Enhancer Advanced Sound Retriever
High-resolution Music Enhancer
Audyssey Dynamic EQ
Audyssey Dynamic Volume
Audyssey LFC
Audyssey Sub EQ HT
Audyssey DSX
Direct Mode
Pure Direct Mode
Independent Dual Subwoofer Output
CALIBRATION Denon AVR-X540BT Pioneer Elite SC-LX501
Auto Speaker Calibration System with Mic. MCACC
VIDEO Denon AVR-X540BT Pioneer Elite SC-LX501
HDR10
HDR10+
Dynamic HDR
BT.2020 color space
Dolby Vision
Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG)
Quick Media Switching (QMS)
Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)
Variable Refresh Rate (VRR)
Quick Frame Transport (QFT)
3-D Ready
Video Signal Passthroughup to 4K 50/60Hz 4:4:4up to 4K/60p (YCbCr 4:4:4)
Video Signal Upscaling up to 4K/60p (YCbCr 4:4:4)
Analog To HDMI Upconversion Component**, Composite
Component Video Upscaling
Analog to Analog Video conversion
isf Certified Calibration Control
CONNECTIVITY Denon AVR-X540BT Pioneer Elite SC-LX501
MHL Input
FireConnect
FlareConnect
Chromecast Built-In
DTS Play-Fi
Works with Amazon Alexa
Works with SONOS
AirPlay AirPlay
Apple Product Connection iPod, iPhone and iPad Made for iPhone, iPod and iPad (Airplay only)
Remote App Denon 500 Series Bluetooth Remote App for iOS and Android devices and Amazon Kindle iControlAV5 (for iOS and Android)
InstaPrevue Input Source Prevue
Ethernet
Ethernet Switch
Wi-Fi
Bluetooth SBC, AAC SBC, AAC
HDBaseT Compatible
Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC)
HDCP Version2.22.2
HDMI Inputs57 (1 front)
HDMI Outputs12 (1 MAIN, 1 SUB/ZONE 2)
USB Input1 (Front) for USB memory1 Front
USB DC Out Port
Analog Audio Line Inputs24
Analog Audio Line Outputs
Phono Input
Optical Inputs22
Optical Outputs
Coaxial Inputs/Outputs1 / No1 / No
Composite Video Inputs22
Composite Video Outputs1
S-Video Inputs
S-Video Outputs
Component Video Inputs1
Component Video Outputs
PC In
Multi-Channel Input
Analog Pre-Outs0.20.2
XLR Inputs
XLR Pre-outs
Front A/V InputsUSBHDMI, USB
Speaker A/B
Headphone Out 6.3 mm 6.3 mm
ZONES Denon AVR-X540BT Pioneer Elite SC-LX501
Zones12
RS-232 Interface
+12V Trigger Output2 (A: 100 mA, B: 25 mA)
Remote (IR) Input/Output0 / 01 / 1
MISC Denon AVR-X540BT Pioneer Elite SC-LX501
On-Screen DisplayIcon-based Graphical User Interface (GUI)
GUI Languages39
Detachable Power Cord
RADIO Denon AVR-X540BT Pioneer Elite SC-LX501
Analog Tuner FM/AM with RDS FM/AM with RDS
Digital Radio
Internet Radio TuneIn
Pandora
Spotify
Tidal
Deezer
Napster
SiriusXM Internet Radio
CONSTRUCTION Denon AVR-X540BT Pioneer Elite SC-LX501
Front PanelNot MetalBrushed
Speaker Terminals59
Large Speaker Terminals9
Color-Coded Speaker Terminals
Transparent High-Grade Speaker Terminals
Gold plated RCA terminals
POWER Denon AVR-X540BT Pioneer Elite SC-LX501
Power SupplyAC 230 V, 50/60 HzAC 220-230/240 V, 50/60 Hz
Power Consumption310 W250 W
No Sound PowerECO On/Off: 26 W/35 W60 W
Standby Power0.1 W0.2 W
GENERAL Denon AVR-X540BT Pioneer Elite SC-LX501
Auto Power off
Dimensions (W x H x D)434 mm x 151 mm x 319mm
17 1/8" x 6" x 12 5/8"
435 mm x 185 mm x 395 mm
17-1/8" x 7-5/16" x 15-9/16"
Weight7.5 kg12.0 kg (26.5 lbs)
Warranty3 Years3 Years Parts & Labor
SPECS Denon AVR-X540BT Pioneer Elite SC-LX501
Power Output (6 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 channel driven, FTC)90 W (0.7% THD)150 W (1.0% THD)
Input Sensitivity and Impedance (Line)200 mV/47 kΩ200 mV/82 kΩ
S/N Ratio (Line, IHF-A)98 dB105 dB
Bluetooth Version2.1 + EDR4.1 + LE
Bluetooth Frequency2.4 GHz2.4 GHz
USB TerminalUSB2.0 5V, 1 AUSB2.0 (Type A) 5 V, 1 A
FM Frequency87.5 MHz - 108.0 MHz87.5 MHz - 108.0 MHz
AM Frequency522 kHz - 1611 kHz522/530 kHz - 1611/1710 kHz

* - 480i/576i and 480p/576p only
** - 480i/576i only
*** - no 1080p/24 upconversion
**** - 1080p signal is not converted

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