At first glance, comparing the Denon AVR-S540BT vs Denon AVR-S650H can seem pointless. Both are 5.2 channel receivers, with a small 5-watt difference in power. Bluetooth and HEOS support is built-in, giving you plenty of streaming options. A 4K passthrough lets you enjoy cinematic-quality content.
The differences come down to advanced technology. The S650H is phono compatible, has a little more power, and produces a slightly better sound (>>> Find on Amazon). But don’t automatically discount the S540BT. It has many of the same features as the S650H and comes at a lower price, although both of these models are among the best AV Receivers under $500.
Need more information before you decide, keep reading to find out what you get with each AV receiver.
Denon AVR-S540BT vs Denon AVR-S650H Side by Side:
|5.2 Channel (140W per channel)
|5.2 Channel (150W per channel)
|DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby Vision
| Find on Amazon
| Find on Amazon
Don’t expect to wake your neighbors, but both receivers have enough power to fill most rooms with crisp, immersive sound. You will need external speakers for surround sound.
Impedance is lower with the S650H. It also comes with more power. It’s only five watts, but it can make a difference in quieter scenes. The S650H also comes with advanced automatic calibration, compared to the S540BT. You get a slightly better sound with the S650H.
Best Audio Quality: Denon AVR-S650H
Dolby Vision is standard with both AV receivers. You get immersive onscreen images. The passthrough ensures image quality stays the same from your 4K devices. HDR10 and HLG technologies, along with Color sub-sampling
You get the same great image quality with either receiver.
Looking at the in and outputs, it’s hard to tell a difference. You get the same number of HDMI and digital inputs. Two subwoofer ports are also standard, along with a front located USB port. You also get HEOS connectivity. You aren’t going to have a problem connecting your devices with these Denon receivers.
The S650H offers a little more than the S540BT. It has more audio-only inputs and comes with a phono port. You can listen to your vinyl with the S650H.
Best Connectivity: Denon AVR-650H
Ease of Installation and Use
You aren’t going to struggle setting up the receivers. The S650H weighs around two pounds lighter at a little over 13lbs. An onboard setup assistant takes you through the installation steps, and automatic calibration optimizes the audio. The S540BT comes with ARC, while the S650H takes it to the next level with an eARC audio return channel.
Both receivers come with easy-to-use remotes and four-quick-select buttons. But the S650H is also Alexa compatible. You can control the receiver with your voice.
Easiest to Installation and Use: Denon AVR-S650H
The Denon AVR-S540BT is a great AV receiver for beginners building their audio systems and families wanting to upgrade their entertainment areas. The 70-watt, 5.2 channel receiver is a breeze to set up. A built-in assistant guides you through the installation steps. It even shows you how to connect your 4K TV to the compatible passthrough.
Along with 4K compatibly, you also get Dolby Vision. Images are bold and bright, with accurate colors. HDR10 and HLG technologies give you dynamic contrast and realistic colors. You get cinematic images at home.
The S540BT stands out when it comes to connectivity. You get plenty of ports for your devices. Use the HEOS app to control audio in up to eight rooms. The two subwoofer ports make it easy to up your bass. Bluetooth connectivity makes it easy to stream music using the USB port on the front. Stream music from your devices or link to HEOS for wireless streaming.
- 5.2 channels
- 70 watts of power
- HEOS support via the Denon app
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Dolby Vision
- HEOS is only available through the Denon app. You must have a compatible device for multi-room streaming
The Denon AVR-S650H is an impressive receiver. It is priced higher than some other Denon models, but it also comes with a few extras.
Along with 5.2 channels and 75 watts of power, you get eARC technology. It optimizes audio for crisp, expressive sound. Image quality is also impressive, thanks to the combination of Dolby Vision, HLG, and HDR10 technologies. Color sub-sampling and a wide color gamut ensure images are vivid, bright, with accurate colors.
Four quick-select buttons save your audio preferences, and the onscreen assistant ensures you don’t have a problem setting up the receiver. Color-coded and horizontally arranged rear inputs make it easy to know where to connect your devices. You have added connectivity with Bluetooth and HEOS built-in. The S650H is also wireless for even more streaming options.
- Wireless connectivity
- Airplay, HEOS, Bluetooth support
- 5.2 channels
- 75 watts of power
- Voice control
- The AV receiver does not support HDR10+ technology, which can interfere with the image quality from connected devices
When you are putting the Denon AVR-S540BT vs Denon AVR-S650H side by side, the differences don’t immediately stand out. They have a similar build and some of the same features.
The S540BT has a lower price, and it’s also evenly matched with the S650H when it comes to image quality (>>> Check on Bhphotovideo). You will get a better sound with the S650H, and it’s ahead when it comes to connectivity. You don’t need to download an app to use HEOS with the S650H.