Denon AVR-X540BT vs Sony STR-DH790 Detailed Comparison
SCORE:
26
SCORE:
35

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Overview

Here we are comparing Denon AVR-X540BT to Sony STR-DH790 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 Sony STR-DH790 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

Sony STR-DH790 Highlights

  • 5.2 channels
  • 70 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven)
  • HDR10, 4K Passthrough
  • Bluetooth
  • USB input
  • 7.2 channels
  • 90 W (6 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven)
  • Dolby Atmos, DTS:X capable
  • HDR10, Dolby Vision, 4K Passthrough
  • Bluetooth
  • USB input

We have evaluated both receivers. Sony STR-DH790 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

Sony STR-DH790

AMPLIFIER
34
VIDEO FEATURES
35
AUDIO FEATURES
15
CONNECTIVITY
19
MULTIZONE
20
MISCELLANEOUS
19
RADIO
28
OVERALL
26
AMPLIFIER
29
VIDEO FEATURES
59
AUDIO FEATURES
50
CONNECTIVITY
18
MULTIZONE
20
MISCELLANEOUS
17
RADIO
8
OVERALL
35

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 Sony STR-DH790

This section shows those features and specifications which are the reason to choose Denon AVR-X540BT over Sony STR-DH790.

Denon AVR-X540BT has bigger power supply.

Denon AVR-X540BT Sony STR-DH790
Dolby Pro Logic PLII
DTS Neo Neo:6
More HDMI Inputs 5 4
USB Input 1 (Front) for USB memory 1 Rear for Firmware Update and power Supply
More Optical Inputs 2 1
More Composite Video Inputs 2
More Composite Video Outputs 1
Front A/V Inputs USB
Detachable Power Cord
Analog Tuner FM/AM with RDS FM only
Color-Coded Speaker Terminals
Bigger Power Supply 310 W 240 W
Longer Warranty 3 Years 2 Years

Advantage of Sony STR-DH790 over Denon AVR-X540BT

This section shows those features and specifications which are the reason to choose Sony STR-DH790 over Denon AVR-X540BT.

Sony STR-DH790 has more channels, more power per channel, more channel processing, higher signal to noise ratio and higher bluetooth standard. It supports Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and DSD streaming via HDMI. It has bi-amp capability. In video department only Sony STR-DH790 supports Dolby Vision and Hybrid Log Gamma.

Denon AVR-X540BT Sony STR-DH790
More Channels 5.2 7.2
Bi-amp capability
More Channel Processing 5.1 7.1
Dolby Atmos up to 5.1.2 or 7.1
Dolby Surround Upmixer
DTS:X up to 5.1.2 or 7.1
DTS Neural:X
DTS-ES Discrete 6.1, Matrix 6.1
DSD via HDMI 2-ch/Multi-ch Input
Pure Direct Mode
Dolby Vision
HLG
Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC)
USB DC Out Port
More Analog Audio Line Inputs 2 4
Speaker A/B
More Speaker Terminals 5 7
More Large Speaker Terminals 2
Higher Power Output (6 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 channel driven, FTC) 90 W (0.7% THD) 105 W (0.9% THD)
Higher S/N Ratio (Line, IHF-A) 98 dB 105 dB (500 mV)
Newer Bluetooth Version 2.1 + EDR 4.2

Common Strengths of Denon AVR-X540BT and Sony STR-DH790

Denon AVR-X540BT and Sony STR-DH790 share common strengths such as HDR10 and bluetooth.

STRENGTHS Denon AVR-X540BT Sony STR-DH790
HDR10
4K or 8K Video Passthrough up to 4K 50/60Hz 4:4:4 up to 4K/60p (YCbCr4:4:4)
Bluetooth SBC, AAC SBC, AAC
New HDCP Version 2.2 2.2 (4 in / 1 out)
Zones 1 1
Analog Tuner FM/AM with RDS FM only

Common Weaknesses of Denon AVR-X540BT and Sony STR-DH790

Denon AVR-X540BT and Sony STR-DH790 share common weaknesses such as no Auro3D support, 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 analog pre-outs, no Pandora, no Spotify, no Tidal, no Deezer, no Napster and no SiriusXM.

WEAKNESSES Denon AVR-X540BT Sony STR-DH790
No Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization
No DTS Virtual:X
No IMAX Enhanced
No Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer
No DTS Dialog Control
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 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
No Phono Input
No Component Video Inputs
No Multi-Channel Input
No Analog Pre-Outs 0.2 0.2
No Pandora
No Spotify
No Tidal
No Deezer
No Napster
No SiriusXM Internet Radio

Selected Features

Amplifier

Denon AVR-X540BT has 5 channel and Sony STR-DH790 has 7 channel amplifiers. Denon AVR-X540BT delivers 70 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven) and Sony STR-DH790 delivers 90 W (6 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven) Since 2016 all receiver manufacturers have dropped front wide channel support. Sony STR-DH790 is no exception.


Video Features

Both receivers support 4K passthrough up to 60p. Denon AVR-X540BT supports HDR10 and Sony STR-DH790 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

Sony STR-DH790 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

Sony STR-DH790 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.


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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Sony STR-DH790

Sony STR-DH790 can also connect to bluetooth devices via built-in bluetooth adapter. It has 4 HDMI inputs with HDCP 2.2 (4 in / 1 out) copy protection.

Front panel has no 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 - Sony STR-DH790.

BASICS Denon AVR-X540BT Sony STR-DH790
BrandDenonSony
ModelAVR-X540BTSTR-DH790
TypeA/V ReceiverA/V Receiver
CountryUKUSA, Canada and Taiwan
Release Year20182018
AMPLIFIER Denon AVR-X540BT Sony STR-DH790
Channels5.27.2
THX™ Certification
Continuous 6 Ω Rated
Certified 4 Ω Performance
Bi-amp Capability
AUDIO Denon AVR-X540BT Sony STR-DH790
Maximum Channel Processing5.17.1
Air Studios Monitor Certification
Dolby Atmos up to 5.1.2 or 7.1
Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization
Dolby TrueHD
Dolby Digital Plus
Dolby Surround Upmixer
Dolby Pro Logic PLII
Dolby Digital EX
Surround EX
DTS:X up to 5.1.2 or 7.1
DTS Neural:X
DTS Virtual:X
DTS Neo 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
DSD via HDMI 2-ch/Multi-ch Input
DSD to PCM Converter
USB DAC
DTS Dialogue Control
Dialogue Lift
High-resolution Music Enhancer
Audyssey Dynamic EQ
Audyssey Dynamic Volume
Audyssey LFC
Audyssey Sub EQ HT
Audyssey DSX
Direct Mode
Pure Direct Mode
CALIBRATION Denon AVR-X540BT Sony STR-DH790
Auto Speaker Calibration System with Mic. Advanced D.C.A.C.
VIDEO Denon AVR-X540BT Sony STR-DH790
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 (YCbCr4:4:4)
Video Signal Upscaling
Analog To HDMI Upconversion
isf Certified Calibration Control
CONNECTIVITY Denon AVR-X540BT Sony STR-DH790
MHL Input
FireConnect
FlareConnect
Chromecast Built-In
DTS Play-Fi
Works with Amazon Alexa
Works with SONOS
AirPlay
Apple Product Connection iPod, iPhone and iPad
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 (4 in / 1 out)
HDMI Inputs54
HDMI Outputs11
USB Input1 (Front) for USB memory1 Rear for Firmware Update and power Supply
USB DC Out Port
Analog Audio Line Inputs24
Analog Audio Line Outputs
Phono Input
Optical Inputs21
Optical Outputs
Coaxial Inputs/Outputs1 / No1 / No
Composite Video Inputs2
Composite Video Outputs1
S-Video Inputs
S-Video Outputs
Component Video Inputs
Component Video Outputs
PC In
Multi-Channel Input
Analog Pre-Outs0.20.2
XLR Inputs
XLR Pre-outs
Front A/V InputsUSB
Speaker A/B
Headphone Out 6.3 mm 6.3 mm
ZONES Denon AVR-X540BT Sony STR-DH790
Zones11
RS-232 Interface
+12V Trigger Output0
Remote (IR) Input/Output0 / 00 / 0
MISC Denon AVR-X540BT Sony STR-DH790
On-Screen Display Graphical User Interface (Only through HDMI)
Detachable Power Cord
RADIO Denon AVR-X540BT Sony STR-DH790
Analog Tuner FM/AM with RDS FM only
Digital Radio
Pandora
Spotify
Tidal
Deezer
Napster
SiriusXM Internet Radio
CONSTRUCTION Denon AVR-X540BT Sony STR-DH790
Speaker Terminals57
Large Speaker Terminals2
Color-Coded Speaker Terminals
Gold plated RCA terminals
POWER Denon AVR-X540BT Sony STR-DH790
Power SupplyAC 230 V, 50/60 HzAC 120 V, 60 Hz
Power Consumption310 W240 W
Standby Power0.1 W0.3 W
GENERAL Denon AVR-X540BT Sony STR-DH790
Dimensions (W x H x D)434 mm x 151 mm x 319mm
17 1/8" x 6" x 12 5/8"
430 mm x 133 mm x 297 mm
17" x 5-1/4" x 11-3/4"
Weight7.5 kg7.4 kg (16 lbs. 6 oz.)
Warranty3 Years2 Years
SPECS Denon AVR-X540BT Sony STR-DH790
Power Output (6 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 channel driven, FTC)90 W (0.7% THD)105 W (0.9% THD)
Input Sensitivity and Impedance (Line)200 mV/47 kΩ500 mV/50 kΩ
S/N Ratio (Line, IHF-A)98 dB105 dB (500 mV)
Frequency Response (Analog In)+1/-3 dB (10 Hz to 100 kHz, Direct mode)10 Hz - 100 kHz/+0.5 dB, -2 dB
Bluetooth Version2.1 + EDR4.2
Bluetooth Frequency2.4 GHz2.4 GHz
USB TerminalUSB2.0 5V, 1 AType A, Ver. 2.0, 5 V, 1 A
FM Frequency87.5 MHz - 108.0 MHz87.5 MHz - 108.0 MHz

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

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