Denon vs Onkyo Receivers: How Do You Choose?

With a multitude of choices in receivers these days, many consumers are asking themselves the question, which is better, Onkyo or Denon? Both manufacturers produce very popular receivers and the choice can be overwhelming. Even though both companies offer quality receivers in similar price ranges, there are some differences that you might want to consider before making a purchase. This article looks at Denon vs Onkyo & will present the features of two specific receivers and offer an opinion about the best product for purchase. After reading, you will be a better informed consumer and can confidently purchase your next receiver.

Comparing two models

While both manufacturers offer a range of products at various price points, in this article we will compare two similarly priced models offering similar features. The Denon AVR-S710W and Onkyo TX-NR545 offer a very similar set of features. They are both currently priced right at $500+  instores. Both products offer the ability to stream audio via wi-fi or Bluetooth from a variety of devices over beautiful, clear surround sound.  Internet reviews for both brands show complaints about the quality of remote control. It seems like there is a huge opportunity for improvement in the A/V receiver remote sector!

The chart below compares Denon vs Onkyo, looking at some of the features of both receivers.

Onkyo Denon
Built-In Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Built-In Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
115 Watts per channel 165 Watts per channel
HDMI 6 in/1 out HDMI 6 in/1 out
4K Ultra HD 4K Ultra HD
Dolby Atmos Support Dolby Atmos and DTS x support (with firmware update)
HDCP 2 Support HDCP 2 Support – 6 inputs
AccuEQ Calibration Audyssey MultEQ


Denon AVR-S710W

Denon has equipped this product to have excellent sound quality with support for all the latest standards including HDMI 2.0, HDCP 2.2 and Dolby Atmos. The 7.2 setup can be split into two zones. Setup and firmware update is very quick, with most users reporting around 20 minutes of set-up time. It supports WEP as well as WPA2. Furthermore, features such as internet radio, Bluetooth connectivity and airplay are all fast and seamless in performance. While the receiver does have some Bluetooth abilities, it does not have any ability to connect Bluetooth headphones, but then again neither does the Onkyo.  The Denon does offer a larger number of HDMI Inputs with 6 HDMI inputs with HDMI 2.0z and HDCP 2.2 for 4K Ultra HD. Features such as this are likely to become more and more important with advances in Hollywood audio in the years to come. Another thing to keep in mind is that, while it has zone two audio, this receiver does not offer video in the second zone. With the two zone audio however, you can broadcast a surround sound movie in one room, and listen to stereo audio from your iPad in another room, all at the same time!

Onkyo TX-NR545

The Onkyo TX-NR545 comes equipped with most of the same features as the Denon receiver discussed above. However, the setup is not as easy or quick. The Denon offers more HDMI 2.0 inputs as well so this receiver will not handle quite as many UltraHD sources which will be more important with future technological advances.  The Denon receiver also offers more power per channel at 165 watts versus 115 with the Onkyo. However both of these power levels should be more than capable for the typical home theater set up. The lower-powered Onkyo should be more than loud enough for most users.  Onkyo seems to have built a quality receiver, in the wake of past issues with HDMI boards. These haven’t been reported on more recent models but understandably so, some customers are still a bit hesitant to purchase.


Denon vs Onkyo The Bottom Line

Onkyo and Denon have both produced high quality receivers with an amazing set of features. Either brand would suffice for the average user and both will revolutionize your home audio/video experience. The average user would be happy with either option. The Denon AVR would be my top choice due in part to the ease of set-up. The setup is a breeze and the firmware install is very quick. This is a huge selling point for anyone who values their time and wants to get their receiver set up quickly. It would also be key for someone attempting to set up a receiver for the first time or someone not very familiar with this technology.




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Denon vs Onkyo Receivers: How Do You Choose?

time to read: 4 min