Along with an Ultra HD television, a good 4K A/V receiver is the most important part of your home theater. The receiver is the heart of your theater setup, operating as a central hub that connects everything together (TV, speakers, media players, etc.) and providing power channels for all of your gear. In other words, without an A/V receiver, you can’t really set up a proper surround sound speaker system.
Denon is one of the premier A/V receiver brands, and has been making a number of our own favorites for some time now. A handful of Denon’s latest models are on sale on Amazon, too, making now a great time to grab one if you’ve been thinking about building a home theater and are looking for a 4K receiver that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.
A 5.2-channel A/V receiver like the Denon AVR-S540BT won’t deliver “true” surround sound (you need seven channels for that), but for an affordable, no-frills Ultra HD theater setup that will still put out great sound with enough added juice to support two subwoofers, this one is a solid and affordable choice.
The Denon AVR-S540BT packs a number of nice modern features for its price: Along with 4K HDR compatibility for Ultra HD video content, this 5.2-channel receiver has built-in Bluetooth connectivity which allows you to wirelessly play content from your favorite streaming services like Pandora and Spotify. An 18-percent discount lets you grab the Denon AVR-S540BT 5.2-channel 4K A/V receiver for just $229 ($50 off) on Amazon, making this the best option for budget-minded buyers who don’t need a 7-channel unit.
This Denon 4K A/V receiver is similar to the AVR-S540BT above, but with some upgrades added just for the smart home crowd. It’s got the same basic specs as the AVR-S540BT: 4K HDR compatibility, 5.2 channels to power up to five speakers and two subwoofers, Bluetooth for wireless streaming, and five HDMI hookups for various input devices (like Blu-Ray players and gaming consoles).
What sets the Denon AVR-S640H apart from its cheaper sibling, though, is its compatibility with Amazon Alexa and Apple Airplay, plus additional Wi-Fi connectivity for easy integration with your smart home ecosystem. It’s a little more expensive than the AVR-S540BT at $299 ($80 off), but if you’ve got an Alexa-enabled smart home setup and want your home theater to be a part of it, this is a great 5.2-channel 4K receiver for the money.
Upgrading to a 7-channel A/V receiver lets you achieve true surround sound, giving you power for seven speakers: one front center speaker along with stereo speakers in the front, two to your sides, and two behind you. The 7.2-channel Denon AVR-S940 4K receiver delivers enough juice for seven speakers and two subwoofers, along with HDR compatibility for playing the latest UHD video content.
Like the Denon AVR-S640H, the AVR-S940 boasts both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity for remote streaming and for home network integration, while Alexa compatibility allows for easy voice control when synced with a device like an Echo speaker. If you don’t really need “true” surround sound, then the Denon AVR-S940 can also be used to set up multi-zone audio with a 5.2 system in your TV room and a dual-speaker stereo system in another.
The Denon AVR-S940 7.2-channel 4K receiver is on sale for $449 after a nice $130 discount on Amazon.
Digital Trends may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers.
- The best A/V receivers for 2019
- Denon’s new premium soundbars target both film buffs and music lovers
- What is HDMI 2.0b? Here’s everything you need to know
- Dolby Atmos: Why it’s awesome, and how to get it
- The best 4K Blu-ray players of 2019