– Ben Martens

Denon AVR-S540BT Review

Believe it or not, it’s been quite a while since we’ve had good surround sound in the theater room upstairs. It’s mainly used for watching a sitcom episode or two with Tyla in the evenings, but still, it would be nice to have when we watch a movie. I never paid much attention until recently when I figured out that all the streaming services are using Dolby Digital Plus and my old receiver can’t decode that. So unless I’m running it through the Xbox One (which has been moved downstairs), there’s nothing to transcode it down to something simple enough for my receiver to handle. On top of that, I have dreams of moving all these electronics to 4k over the next couple years and this receiver can only do 1080p. It was time for an upgrade.

After some research, I landed on the Denon AVR-S540BT. It’s a fairly low end receiver from a good company. It’s not going to set any records for specs, but it fits the bill and doesn’t make too big of a dent in my wallet. It has 5 HDMI ports which makes it much easier to handle the various devices, will support 4k video and handles most of the latest codecs except some of the very latest extra-speaker codecs that I’m highly unlikely to use. And the nice thing about it being on the cheaper end is that I won’t feel bad if I need to replace it in 5 years.

One bonus feature that I wasn’t expecting to use much is the Bluetooth support. The receiver turns on automatically when a Bluetooth connection is made and then shuts off after 15 minutes of no use. I have my office in this room so I can just connect from my phone and play music on the nice sound system. It’s a good setup.

This has always been a budget theater room so I think this new receiver fits right in, and honestly, I’m not enough of an audiophile to know the difference. This one is a winner in my book.