Denon AVR-S540BT Review (2022) – Worth Buying?


A receiver can make or break your home theater experience. It should be easy to set up, have good support, and most importantly – excellent build and sound quality.

Denon is an excellent brand known especially for its high-quality receivers, and the Denon AVR S540BT certainly doesn’t disappoint in this price range.

In this Denon AVR S540BT review, we will be going into great detail about all these important features to help you make a decision on whether or not you should spend your hard-earned money on it.

What’s in the box?

  • AVR-S540BT
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Safety Instructions
  • Notes on radio
  • Warranty (for North America model only)
  • Receiver
  • FM indoor antenna
  • AM loop antenna
  • Sound calibration microphone
  • A remote control unit(RC-1216)
  • R03/AAA batteries

Sound quality

Denon AVR-S540BT Receiver, 5.2 channel, 4K Ultra HD Audio and Video, Home Theater System, built-in Bluetooth and USB port, Compatible with HEOS Link for Wireless Music Streaming

The Denon AVR-S540BT works, and it works gracefully. The highs and lows were much stronger and more distinct than on other devices, and the clarity and precision of movie speech were astounding.

When it comes to heavy conversation material the Denon AVR-S540BT excels at it.

However, in terms of music, it lags below more costly gadgets. It sounds decent but not exceptional. Nonetheless, it performs admirably for the price.

The Denon AVR-S540BT is fantastic for listening to music. Because you can connect to many sources on the device, you have a lot of alternatives. 

You may use the USB connector on the front to connect flash drives; music formats supported include MP3, WMA, FLAC, and MPEG-4/AAC.

Here is a sample of its sound quality:

Build quality

The Denon AVR-S540BT features a basic rectangular design with four separate feet and a black metallic pattern on the body. It is well-made and has a quality feel to it, and the UI is clean and simple to use, with easy-to-read buttons and capabilities.

It would look great on a modern TV console, and the complementary colors will go well with your home theater’s surround sound system.

The Denon AVR-front S540BT’s panel includes two huge knobs on the left and right sides. These knobs control the master volume and the chosen source options, respectively.

The on-screen display is likewise on the front, with subtitles that are big enough to read from a distance of at least 2-3 feet.

I’d also recommend checking out my Denon vs Yamaha comparison.

Key Features

The Denon AVR-front S540BT panel includes two huge knobs on the left and right sides, which control the master volume and the chosen source options.

The on-screen display is likewise on the front, with subtitles that are big enough to read from a distance of at least 2-3 feet.

You may control the following functions with the front buttons beneath the display:

  • Sound mode
  • Tuner Presets
  • Tune
  • Mode
  • Sleep feature
  • Dimmer option for the display
  • Status display
  • Quick source selection (Bluetooth, DVD, etc.)
  • Tone control (Bass and Treble adjustment)

Aside from these features, there’s an additional audio connection and setup mic on the front and a USB connector with a 5V output for streaming video and charging your gadgets.

This gadget has many customization options in functionality, with multiple buttons dedicated to each function. The back features several ports for all of the possible inputs. 

For the DVD, a separate media player, cable, or a console, there are five distinct HDMI input connections. A bonus is that the Denon AVR-S540BT also supports 4K/HDCP 2.2 formats.

Denon AVR-S540BT Receiver, 5.2 channel, 4K Ultra HD Audio and Video, Home Theater System, built-in Bluetooth and USB port, Compatible with HEOS Link for Wireless Music Streaming

Aside from that, there are colored ports for television output and an HDMI port, and several cable input connectors for your surround sound system.

An additional connector for AM antennas and an FM port should be highlighted if you want to stream via radio stations.

Overall, this is a media powerhouse that can connect to various devices and input sources. You can quickly navigate using the device’s interface or the remote control.

Setting Up

The device’s setup is straightforward. If you run into any problems, the on-screen setup tutorial will quickly assist you, and the color-coded speaker connection will help you solve any speaker connecting issues.

The onboard calibration process improves sound and output, which we don’t see in other entry-level AV receivers.

The Denon AVR-S540BT also has a microphone that will automatically calibrate and assign the appropriate settings once it is placed.

Auto Setup

Step 1

Install the Sound calibration microphone on a tripod in the primary listening location.

Point the microphone’s tip toward the ceiling and adjust the height to match the height of a listener’s ears in a sitting posture while installing the Sound calibration microphone.

Step 2

Set up the subwoofer as stated below if it is capable of the following modifications. When employing a direct mode subwoofer, disable the volume adjustment and crossover frequency setting and turn on direct mode.

When a subwoofer is used without a direct mode, set the following parameters:

  • Volume : 12 o’clock position
  • Crossover frequency: Maximum/Highest Frequency
  • Low pass filter: Off
  • Standby mode: Off

Step 3

Connect this unit’s SETUP MIC jack to the sound calibration microphone. When the sound calibration microphone is attached, the following should appear on the screen:

“Your AVR can automatically measure the acoustics of your room and optimize your speakers.”

Step 4

Select “Start” with the arrows on your remote, then press ENTER.

Step 5

Select “Next” with the arrows on your remote, then press ENTER.

Step 6

Select “Begin Test” with the arrows on your remote, then press ENTER.

Step 7

Remove the setup and measurement microphones from the SETUP MIC jack on the device. After “Auto Setup,” do not adjust the speaker connection or subwoofer volume. If these are altered, restart “Auto Setup” to determine the best equalization settings.

Manual Setup

Speaker Config.

You may choose whether or not speakers are present and the playback capability for low bass frequencies and speaker size from the speaker configuration menu.

And under this menu, you can tweak the following:

  • Front speaker
  • Center speaker
  • Subwoofer
  • Surround speakers

Distances

This setting is where you may adjust the distance between your listening location and the speakers. It’s critical to estimate the distance between the listening location and each speaker ahead of time.

Here, you can modify the following:

  • Unit of distance (Default: 1 ft)
  • Set the distance (0.0 ft – 60.0 ft)
  • Set Defaults (Reset tweaks to default)

Levels

In the Levels menu, you can set the loudness at the listening location to be the same when each speaker’s test tone is broadcast.

And under this menu, you can tweak these settings:

  • Test-Tone Start (output adjustment)
  • Set Defaults (Reset tweaks to default)

Crossovers

The lower frequency of the bass frequencies, which you can change, can be played back through each speaker under the Crossovers menu. Here, you can set the crossover frequency, which ranges from 40Hz to 250 Hz (Default: 80 Hz). 

Bass

Under the Bass setting, you can adjust the subwoofer and LFE signal range playback.

Under this menu, you can tweak the following:

  • Subwoofer Mode
  • LPF for LFE

The overall setup of the Denon AVR S540BT is actually made really easy with the Auto Setup option. For those who want to play with the settings a bit more or are a bit more experienced than the average user, you can enjoy the manual option. Either way will set you up nicely for an excellent listening experience.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Excellent functionality is available.
  • Customization options abound.
  • The build is sleek and attractive.
  • 4K output.
  • Great clarity in dialogue-heavy content.
  • Good Sound Quality for this Price Range
  • Wireless connectivity (Bluetooth)

Cons

  • Speaker Connection Spring Clips
  • In large rooms, they may struggle.

Conclusion

Finally, the gadget is a wonderful addition to your home entertainment system for the price. However, it fails to fill sound in big areas, although it is appropriate for mid-sized to smaller rooms.

This receiver doesn’t have much to say about it. The Denon AVR-S540BT offers a lot of features for the price. It’s amazing for movies and incredibly good for music in terms of audio. 

My one caution is that if you put this receiver in a large area, it will struggle to fill it with sound; nevertheless, it will shine in a small or mid-sized room.

Shawn Shepherd

Hi, I'm the owner of the Hifi Guide and have been an audio lover enthusiast for over 16 years. I have a Bachelor's degree in Sound Engineering and I work on producing content for the Hifi Guide in my spare time. My love for audio stemmed from my Dad who was an audio technician, and now I share my knowledge here on this website!

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