Denon AVR-X540BT vs Pioneer VSX-522-K Detailed Comparison

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Here we are comparing Denon AVR-X540BT to Pioneer VSX-522-K 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 VSX-522-K has 5 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 VSX-522-K Highlights

  • 5.2 channels
  • 70 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven)
  • HDR10, 4K Passthrough
  • Bluetooth
  • USB input
  • 5.1 channels
  • 80 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven)
  • 1080p Passthrough
  • USB input

We have evaluated both receivers. Denon AVR-X540BT 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 VSX-522-K


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 VSX-522-K

This section shows those features and specifications which are the reason to choose Denon AVR-X540BT over Pioneer VSX-522-K.

Denon AVR-X540BT has more channels. In video department only Denon AVR-X540BT supports HDR10.

Denon AVR-X540BT Pioneer VSX-522-K
More Channels 5.2 5.1
DTS-HD High Resolution Audio
Music Playback via USB MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV, FLAC MP3, WMA, AAC
Higher Resolution Music Playback via USB up to 96 kHz 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192 kHz/24 bit
High Resolution Audio Formats via USB FLAC
BT.2020 color space
Video Signal Passthrough up to 4K 50/60Hz 4:4:4 up to 1080p
Remote Controll App Denon 500 Series Bluetooth Remote App for iOS and Android devices and Amazon Kindle
Bluetooth SBC, AAC
More HDMI Inputs 5 4
More Optical Inputs 2 1
Detachable Power Cord
Analog Tuner FM/AM with RDS FM/AM
Color-Coded Speaker Terminals
Longer Warranty 3 Years 1 Year

Advantage of Pioneer VSX-522-K over Denon AVR-X540BT

This section shows those features and specifications which are the reason to choose Pioneer VSX-522-K over Denon AVR-X540BT.

Pioneer VSX-522-K has more power per channel, more channel processing and bigger power supply. It supports DSD streaming via HDMI. It has DTS Dialog Control and analog pre-outs.

Denon AVR-X540BT Pioneer VSX-522-K
More Channel Processing 5.1 7.1
DSD via HDMI 2-ch Input
DTS Dialog Control N/A
Pure Direct Mode
More Analog Audio Line Inputs 2 3
More Analog Pre-Outs 0.2 2.1 (Surr Back/Front Height)
More Large Speaker Terminals 2
Bigger Power Supply 310 W 415 W
Higher Power Output (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven, FTC) 70 W (0.08% THD) 80 W (0.08% THD)

Common Strengths of Denon AVR-X540BT and Pioneer VSX-522-K

Denon AVR-X540BT and Pioneer VSX-522-K share common strengths such as.

STRENGTHS Denon AVR-X540BT Pioneer VSX-522-K
New HDCP Version 2.2 2.2
USB Input 1 (Front) for USB memory 1 Front
Composite Video Inputs 2 2
Zones 1 1
Analog Tuner FM/AM with RDS FM/AM

Common Weaknesses of Denon AVR-X540BT and Pioneer VSX-522-K

Denon AVR-X540BT and Pioneer VSX-522-K share common weaknesses such as no Dolby Atmos support, no DTS:X support, no Auro3D support, no Dolby Vision, no MHL input, no ChromeCast, no DTS Play-Fi, no Amazon Alexa, no SONOS, no ethernet connection, no wi-fi, no phono input, no analog multi-channel input, no internet radio, no Pandora, no Spotify, no Tidal, no Deezer, no Napster and no SiriusXM.

WEAKNESSES Denon AVR-X540BT Pioneer VSX-522-K
No Dolby Atmos
No Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization
No DTS Neural:X
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 Dolby Vision
No Auto Low Latency Mode Pass-through
No 4K or 8K Video Upscaling
No MHL Input
No FireConnect
No FlareConnect
No Chromecast Built-In
No DTS Play-Fi
Does not Work with Amazon Alexa
Does Not Work with SONOS
No Ethernet
No Wi-Fi
Few HDMI Outputs 1 1
Few Analog Audio Line Inputs 2 3
No Phono Input
No Component Video Inputs
No Multi-Channel Input
No Internet Radio
No Pandora
No Spotify
No Tidal
No Deezer
No Napster
No SiriusXM Internet Radio

Selected Features


Denon AVR-X540BT has 5 channel and Pioneer VSX-522-K has 5 channel amplifiers. Denon AVR-X540BT delivers 70 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven) and Pioneer VSX-522-K delivers 80 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven)

Video Features

Denon AVR-X540BT supports 4K passthrough up to 60p and Pioneer VSX-522-K supports 1080p passthrough. Denon AVR-X540BT supports 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.

Advanced Sound Retriever

Compressed music enhancement in Pioneer VSX-522-K 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.


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 VSX-522-K

Pioneer VSX-522-K has 4 HDMI inputs with HDCP 2.2 copy protection. There are 2.1 (Surr Back/Front Height) channel analog pre-outs for external amplification.

Front panel has USB input.

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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 VSX-522-K.

BASICS Denon AVR-X540BT Pioneer VSX-522-K
TypeA/V ReceiverA/V Receiver
Release Year20182012
AMPLIFIER Denon AVR-X540BT Pioneer VSX-522-K
THX™ Certification
Continuous 6 Ω Rated
Certified 4 Ω Performance
Bi-amp Capability
AUDIO Denon AVR-X540BT Pioneer VSX-522-K
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 PLII
Dolby Digital EX
Surround EX
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
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
High Resolution Music Playback via USB and/or Network up to 96 kHz 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192 kHz/24 bit
High Resolution Audio Formats via USBFLAC
Multi-Channel Music File Playback via USB
Gapless Playback
DSD via HDMI 2-ch Input
DSD to PCM Converter
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 VSX-522-K
Auto Speaker Calibration System with Mic. MCACC Auto
VIDEO Denon AVR-X540BT Pioneer VSX-522-K
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 1080p
Video Signal Upscaling
Analog To HDMI Upconversion
Component Video Upscaling
Analog to Analog Video conversion
isf Certified Calibration Control
MHL Input
Chromecast Built-In
DTS Play-Fi
Works with Amazon Alexa
Works with SONOS
Apple Product Connection iPod, iPhone and iPad iPod, iPhone via front USB
Remote App Denon 500 Series Bluetooth Remote App for iOS and Android devices and Amazon Kindle
InstaPrevue Input Source Prevue
Ethernet Switch
Bluetooth SBC, AAC
HDBaseT Compatible
Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC)
HDCP Version2.22.2
HDMI Inputs54
HDMI Outputs11
USB Input1 (Front) for USB memory1 Front
USB DC Out Port
Analog Audio Line Inputs23
Analog Audio Line Outputs
Phono Input
Optical Inputs21
Optical Outputs
Coaxial Inputs/Outputs1 / No1 / No
Composite Video Inputs22
Composite Video Outputs11
S-Video Inputs
S-Video Outputs
Component Video Inputs
Component Video Outputs
Multi-Channel Input
Analog Pre-Outs0.22.1 (Surr Back/Front Height)
XLR Inputs
XLR Pre-outs
Front A/V InputsUSBUSB
Speaker A/B
Headphone Out 6.3 mm 6.3 mm
ZONES Denon AVR-X540BT Pioneer VSX-522-K
RS-232 Interface
+12V Trigger Output
Remote (IR) Input/Output0 / 00 / 0
MISC Denon AVR-X540BT Pioneer VSX-522-K
On-Screen DisplayComposite Video Only
Remote ControllerRC-1216System Remote Control
Detachable Power Cord
RADIO Denon AVR-X540BT Pioneer VSX-522-K
Analog Tuner FM/AM with RDS FM/AM
Digital Radio
Internet Radio
SiriusXM Internet Radio
Front PanelNot MetalBrushed
Speaker Terminals55
Large Speaker Terminals2
Color-Coded Speaker Terminals
Gold plated RCA terminals
POWER Denon AVR-X540BT Pioneer VSX-522-K
Power SupplyAC 230 V, 50/60 HzAC 120 V, 60 Hz
Power Consumption310 W415 W
Standby Power0.1 W0.4 W
GENERAL Denon AVR-X540BT Pioneer VSX-522-K
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 168 mm x 342.5 mm
17-3/16" x 6-5/8" x 13-1/2"
Weight7.5 kg8.7 kg (19 lb 3 oz)
Warranty3 Years1 Year
SPECS Denon AVR-X540BT Pioneer VSX-522-K
Power Output (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven, FTC)70 W (0.08% THD)80 W (0.08% THD)
Input Sensitivity and Impedance (Line)200 mV/47 kΩ200 mV/47 kΩ (Line)
S/N Ratio (Line, IHF-A)98 dB98 dB
USB TerminalUSB2.0 5V, 1 AUSB2.0 (Type A) 5 V, 1 A
FM Frequency87.5 MHz - 108.0 MHz87.5 MHz - 108 MHz
AM Frequency522 kHz - 1611 kHz530 kHz - 1700 kHz

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

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