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125 of 133 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive Features at a Bargain Price
I'll admit it. I was skeptical. Yes, it carried the Denon name, but $249 for a feature-laden receiver? They had to cut corners SOMEWHERE, right? Nope, not really.

First, a bit of a disclosure here. I am what most would consider an audiophile. My stereo system has consisted of Klipsch K-Horn speakers as my mains, A Belle Klipsch center channel speaker, and...
Published 6 months ago by GWH

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Might be acceptable with very efficient loudspeakers
While this is a good little receiver at an attractive price point for certain applications, I found it underwhelming when paired with my JBL ES80 speakers and ES150P subwoofer setup which is used primarily for music listening on CDs as well as supporting occasional DVD and streaming video. Just not enough power to drive these speakers; I had the volume up at around 70...
Published 1 month ago by A reader from


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125 of 133 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive Features at a Bargain Price, August 28, 2014
By 
GWH "Power Reader" (Sunny Florida, USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Denon AVR-S500BT 5.2 Channel AV Receiver With 4K Capability and Bluetooth (Electronics)
I'll admit it. I was skeptical. Yes, it carried the Denon name, but $249 for a feature-laden receiver? They had to cut corners SOMEWHERE, right? Nope, not really.

First, a bit of a disclosure here. I am what most would consider an audiophile. My stereo system has consisted of Klipsch K-Horn speakers as my mains, A Belle Klipsch center channel speaker, and a pair of Klipsch Heresys as my rear (surround) speakers. For electronics, I have used the flagship receiver models of Yamaha, Denon, and Onkyo. I still own (and use) Apt Holman and Conrad Johnson separates with my pure audio setup.
As for home theater, that's a separate listening space. For that, I use a Sharp 60" LCD/LED display, original (unmodified) Klipsch La Scala main speakers, A Klipsch Cornwall center channel, and Klipsch Heresy ll rear speakers. I am running an NXG Nx-Bas-50 powered subwoofer for extra extra bass kick.(If you are unfamiliar with these Klipsch Legacy speakers, look them up here on Amazon. They are VERY efficient, providing live concert level (115db) at one meter with one watt of power. Be prepared for a bit of sticker shock.)

What am I using as my home theater receiver? This Denon AVR-S500BT. A $249 receiver.

My system will show the weaknesses of any component with glaring clarity. If a receiver is a bit harsh, it is magnified by the speakers. Same thing for a CD or Blu ray components. I plugged in an inexpensive JVC cd player and popped in a reference digitally recorded performance of the 1812 Overture, and the output hurt my ears. Distortion from the JVC.

OK, back to the Denon. First off, this receiver has a Bluetooth feature that allows you to play the music collection you have stored on your iPhone or Android device, or in the cloud. This is a very good thing. If you want the same feature in a low priced Yamaha receiver, you need to purchase a Bluetooth adapter.
Now, a word of caution is in order here. You are going to have to crank the gain way up on the receiver to get acceptable volume levels when using a Bluetooth connection. For me, that means about 80%. With less efficient speakers, you may or may not get the volume level high enough to please you. The first music l played through this receiver came from my phone. I have to say, I was disappointed with the volume level achieved. Then I thought, "I'll bet a device wired directly into the receiver will give me better volume output." After all, with 56 watts in, I should not have been able to stay in the room with those speakers.
Now, here is the caution: do NOT switch from Bluetooth mode to CD or DVD mode without first lowering the volume! I made that "One D ten T" error (1D1OT). In the split second between the time I hit "Play" and when the sound started, I had an "Oh crap" moment. Before I could react, the explosion of sound from my speakers caused a window to shatter and two fluorescent light tubes to explode. I know my wife was yelling at me, but I couldn't hear a thing. I DO know I was grinning from ear to ear.
The lesson here is that streaming music via Bluetooth will not give you nearly the volume levels that you get from a wired connection. Not even close. This was my first experience using my phone as wireless music source. I won't forget it any time soon!

The receiver provides 140 Watts/channel peak output. That should be sufficient to power almost any home theater setups. And please note that there are 5 discreet amps, with 70W continuous output per channel in this unit, to power your main speakers, center channel, surrounds (rear speakers), and subwoofer. This doesn't mean you cannot use a powered subwoofer with this system, because you can (and I do).

There is an AV pass-through, so you can just watch your television without turning on the receiver. And there are 5 HDMI inputs, allowing you to hook up more HDMI devices than you likely own (including game consoles). There are also dual subwoofer inputs, allowing the use of two subs, and supporting LFE. There is a single HDMI output for connecting one display.

Do you have a 3D display? This receiver fully supports 3D. I am beginning to think that the list of what it cannot do is shorter than the list of things it can. Worrying about obsolescence? Don't. Ultra HD 4K 60 Hz video pass-through, along with 4:4:4 Pure Color highest resolution sub-sampling, by way of the HDMI and gaming inputs.

Initial setup is a breeze, but again, a caution. To do the initial receiver evaluation, I hooked up my mains and center channel speaker only. There is an onscreen setup assistant that makes setup a breeze. Except when that 1D10T error recurs. After telling the Denon I had 2 front speakers and a center channel speaker, and no rear channel and no subwoofer, I began listening to the output of this receiver in earnest. I was pretty certain I was going to turn the receiver on, listen to a few audio tracks and part of a DVD, and then box the unit up and return it. I mean, seriously, how good could a $249 receiver actually be?
Well, VERY good. I liked what I was listening to, and spent the remainder of the afternoon viewing the Blu Ray version of "Top Gun" and "Black Hawk Down." Then I shut the system down.

Two days later, I came back to the system, plugged in an NXG NX-BAS-500 subwoofer, and and the Klipsch Heresy ll rear speakers, completing the setup. I fired up the system, and was totally underwhelmed. I couldn't get any power to the subwoofer. I spent an hour checking connections, reading the sub's manual, and talking to the vendor. No joy. I swapped out the subwoofer cable, eliminating that as a cause. I was about to go out and buy a 3.5mm to RCA cord so I could plug my smartphone directly into the subwoofer to see if the sub was dead, when I decided just to sit back and think about the problem. I put a CD in the player, sat on the sofa, and realized that there was no sound coming from my rear speakers either. Hmmm. Was the receiver faulty?

It was not. When I did the initial setup, I told the Denon I had 2 front speakers and a center channel. No subwoofer. No rear speakers.

I went back into setup (there is a setup button on the remote), told he Denon I had a subwoofer and rear speakers, and everything worked just fine. The receiver had shut off the amps that were not being used. So be aware, if you set up the system as, say, a 2.1, you will need to go back into setup if you decide to add additional speakers or a subwoofer. If you don't, the additional speakers won't work.

You can also use an included microphone (it has a long cable) to set the sound levels of each speaker. The best way to do this is to turn off all florescent lighting, air conditioners, and anything else that might be picked up by the mic. Put the mic on a tripod at your normal listening position, and let the receiver do its thing while you wait quietly in another room. Your speakers will be emitting sounds which the mic picks up and delivers to the receiver, which in turn sets appropriate volume levels for each speaker. This is going to get you pretty close, but you will still need to tweak the levels to suit your tastes.

Here's another great feature: if you use different settings for different sources, the receiver will remember those settings, so you don't have to make adjustments every time you change input sources. This is a big time saver and convenience feature.

Sonically, the receiver is very pleasant sounding, and easy to operate. The tuner section is more sensitive than a Yahama RX-V475 I borrowed from a friend for comparison purposes. This receiver will tune LOTS of stations (about 3 times as many as the Yamaha against which I measured it).
As previously mentioned, the Klipsch speakers will quickly showcase any weak link in your system (including cable quality). I can detect no IM distortion, no harshness, and indeed, no "color." You hear what was recorded. Visually, the images on the display are true, with no added "noise." I have not tried the AVR-S500BT with an Ultra Hi-Def monitor, but I have every reason to believe the results will be stunning.

If you have speakers that are highly inefficient, this might not be the best receiver choice. But barring that, you can spend double the money and not get much more power, or nearly as many features. Denon has a real winner here. I am not certain how long they will hold this price point. Normally the name "Denon" is not used in the same sentence with the term "low cost." In this case, you get all the quality, features 95% of buyers will never use, and an affordable package. That, in my book, is not just a home run, it's a grand slam.

Well done, Denon. Well done indeed.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great receiver at an affordable price - Bluetooth too!, July 15, 2014
By 
Paul Q (Phoenix, AZ USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Denon AVR-S500BT 5.2 Channel AV Receiver With 4K Capability and Bluetooth (Electronics)
Excellent entry level receiver. Nice remote with all of the critical functions. Bluetooth connectivity works great. Connections are clearly labelled. Has enough power to handle my two front bookshelf speakers and a large powered subwoofer (but, to be clear, the subwoofer is powered on its own).

I am only using this as part of 2.1 system (front speakers and a subwoofer). I am a home theatre novice+ (not a totally inept - I hooked it all up myself). The automatic speaker settings wizard with the included microphone takes the guess work out of all of the complicated settings. You place the microphone where you would sit and run the setup. It plays various sounds for about 3 minutes and voila, your system is optimized. If you don't like any of the settings, you can go in and manually tweak what you want.

For perspective, my setup: 65" Vizio Smart TV, DirecTV, BluRay DVD player, ChromeCast, wired ethernet network connection, two Bose bookshelf speakers (on shelves) and a Klipsch SW-350 subwoofer (on the floor). I had a Roku but my TV itself includes Netflix and Amazon Prime among a slew of other smart TV apps. I have watched streaming movies through Netflix, Amazon, Mgo and Vudu. All sounded great. (reminder: through a wired connection in HD). I've watched a couple BluRay movies... also sounded great. Music is crisp and the subwoofer is auto tuned just right from the auto setup.

KEY FEATURE that I overlooked or didn't understand at first... it does have HDMI pass through. In other words, you can watch TV without using the receiver. I didn't want to use my stereo all the time. In fact, most of the time, I just want to use my TV normally. I flip the receiver on for movies or music.

Another pro of this receiver is that it's 4K ready. However, if you are buying this basic receiver, you probably don't have the cash for a 4K TV right now. Still nice to know it's somewhat future proofed.

Love the bluetooth. Remembers your device and connects quickly!

One con... you will end up with a remote salad. I find myself jumping between the DirecTV, receiver and TV remotes to do certain things. Add the DVD remote into that mix if I want to watch a DVD. But, keep in mind (see above), you can leave the receiver off and do your regular TV routine with just the DirecTV remote (or cable remote, whichever you have). My overall point being, the receiver's remote is not a universal remote.

Careful to notice that this unit does NOT have WiFi or a wired network internet connection. It only has Bluetooth. When I referred to connections above, I was referring to the ones in my TV. I also only tested with a 2.1 system but, given the sound I get, I assume you'd get good sound from a surround set up too.

For the price, this receiver lives up to its feature set. Good buy. If you need a 7.1 system with a few more features, jump to the next level but you're going to pay almost double.

(there's your review from an average Joe) :-)
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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Receiver for a 5 Channel Speaker Setups. Low Power, Low Heat, Just Enough Power, August 7, 2014
By 
Woodrow (Southeast USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Denon AVR-S500BT 5.2 Channel AV Receiver With 4K Capability and Bluetooth (Electronics)
There was a time when every home had a Plasma TV that drew 6-8 Amps, and a home receive that drew another 5-7 Amps. Using those devices was the equivalent of having a high powered Hair Dryer on High Heat running constantly in your room. Not only would it heat up your space, but your A/C system would have to run constantly to cool it back down. If you kept your receiver in a cabinet, you would also have to install fans to pull the heat out, adding noise and even more heat to your room. More importantly, people could easily, sometimes without knowing, overload their power circuits in the home (typically 15 Amps), which could lead to a fire. With todays low powered LED TV's and amplifiers with ultra discrete amplifiers, the tide is starting to turn.

It is fairly common nowadays for people to purchase a high powered amplifier that supports 7 or even more channels. However most people have only 5 surround sound speakers and a single subwoofer, so a 5 channel system is really all that they need. Furthermore, an overpowered amplifier used in a typical size family room will serve no purpose other than to pump heat into the room that your A/C system has to cool. We have been through a couple dozen amplifiers that are used in a variety of applications, and we can say that this Denon S500BT is just about the perfect size/featured unit that we have seen for a 5 channel speaker setup. The unit is extremely light, runs very cool, and has every critical feature that we want. We can customize each input with the video and audio source we want, dim the display so it is not overly bright in a home theatre setup and adjust the sound settings with a built in equalizer and preset sound fields. The unit operates quickly (turning on and off and switching inputs is real time), and has buttons on the front that permit you to operate the unit if the remote is misplaced. If your room is under 800 square feet in size, and you do not have a hearing challenge then the unit has plenty of power to give you a movie theatre like experience without distortion from over amplification. More importantly, its power requirements are low, and that translates into less waste heat to warm up your room and less work your A/C system has to do to cool your room. The fact that it supports two subwoofers is icing on the cake.

If you absolutely are looking for some Cons.... the only two features we would have preferred were a backlit remote, which this does not have, and the ability to turn the on-screen display off. Denon provides these features on their larger units... and since a backlit remote is probably no more than a dollar increase in cost, and the software feature to shut off the on screen display would be essentially free for them to include, the fact that these features are missing is either a very amateur oversight, or an incredibly poor marketing decision (ie cheap).
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Unit - But Avoid the Refurbished., November 27, 2014
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Denon AVR-S500BT 5.2 Channel AV Receiver With 4K Capability and Bluetooth (Electronics)
I've rewritten this review after returning a refurbished unit to Amazon and purchasing the same one new. The refurb delivered exceptional sound, but several bugs arose over the approximately 10 days I had it. I suspect these were innocuous enough that technicians checking out the refurb simply missed them. The bugs encountered are detailed at the end of the review. After several weeks of operation, the new unit has operated flawlessly. It is indeed a beautiful piece of audio equipment at this mid-range price point. Like others, my tastes do not favor rear speakers. So I looked first at only 2-channel receivers. That was a mistake. Multi-channel receivers like this can easily be configured for two-speaker stereo. No need to limit your selection. Some two-channel receivers were actually found to be seriously deficient in available input options.

Features: The HDMI "pass-through" is wonderful. The satellite/cable feed goes into the receiver. Than the receiver goes into the TV. All your devices now flow to the TV through the receiver. The nice thing is your TV continues to operate delivering both video and audio even when this receiver is powered down and on standby. My impression is that DirecTV's HD picture actually looks a bit sharper after going through this unit. There are some on-screen displays for things like volume, tone or receiver mode. There's an impressive array of device inputs on the back, including older "RCA" analog, optical, coaxial digital and 5 HDMI inputs. The built-in Bluetooth works well with my IPad and sounds as good as any Bluetooth connection I've heard. While there's a USB port, this receiver will not connect to IPads through it. (It's doubtful any Apple device would work). Denon cautions in their instructions that not all devices will work through USB.

Sound: In a word, awesome. While impressed by the quality of the Bluetooth connection, I quickly recognized that this device is capable of some serious audio and added an Onkyo C-7030 CD player. Using the Onkyo, connected by digital optical cable, I feel as though I'm right there in the recording studio with the artist. It's that good. I like Denon's "Direct" mode which knocks-out out filters and enhancers and overrides the tone controls for a more natural "as recorded" sound. Others will disagree on this and will prefer to use one of several stereo modes, including Pro Logic II. Note: In Direct mode you retain the subwoofer function, but center speaker cuts-out. I'm currently running two Polk TSI-200 front speakers, Polk's PSW-10 powered subwoofer, and a Polk CS-10 center speaker. The center speaker greatly enhances sound quality of movies. For music, the benefit is less noticeable. The on-screen guide takes you through speaker setup. Possible choices are: 2 front speakers only; 2 fronts and subwoofer; 2 fronts, subwoofer and center; all of the above plus 2 rears. Five is the maximum number of speakers that can be configured, except that there's an extra subwoofer pre-amp outlet on the back which allows for running dual subwoofers if desired.

Controls & Adjustments: The remote is unusually versitile, loaded with capabilities. From what I can see, virtually all of the functions can also be accessed directly on the front of the receiver. A balance control is not needed because the set-up microphone and on-screen menu make these adjustments automatically. However, there is an override feature that allows you to adjust individual speaker volumes if you wish. They have this hidden away pretty well ... but you should uncover it while experimenting with the remote. (Hint: check out the "settings" button on the right side of remote). You can also adjust tone settings as well as the brightness of the front panel via remote and on-screen menu. FM tuner works well too.

Problems with Refurbished: I returned a "Factory Refurbished" edition of this same receiver to Amazon after a number of problems surfaced. Once, it froze-up completely and ceased working during the speaker setup process. (Reset unit following instructions in manual.) Occasionally upon powering-up there would be no volume. Shutting down and than restarting the receiver would solve this problem. There were recurring instances of the volume dropping completely out on the TV while the receiver was turned off and in stand-by. Powering-on receiver and cycling through a few different media options was necessary to get things working again. Finally, there were a few instances of loud "bone-jarring" electrical interference errupting during operation. This could be stopped only by shutting down the receiver. At first I suspected improper cable routing on my part, but re-routing didn't remedy the problem.

Operational Tips:

1. Download a manual from Denon's website. (There's none in the box.) It's thorough and well-written. You'll probably need longer than a single-sitting to digest.

2. Protect speakers from accidental damage by setting the "Power-On Volume". Without doing this, you risk potentially damaging speakers (and eardrums) each time you power-on and select a new device. I learned the hard way when, after watching a Bluray DVD requiring higher than normal volume the night before, I powered-on and switched to CD input. I was immediately greeted by a loud blast from the speakers. To set this, hit the "settings" button on remote. Than navigate to: Audio/Volume/Power-On Level." (I set mine to 40.)
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best bang for the buck!, August 29, 2014
By 
Sicboy041 (Stamford, CT USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Denon AVR-S500BT 5.2 Channel AV Receiver With 4K Capability and Bluetooth (Electronics)
Since my Playstation 4 finally allowed for the playback of 3D blu-ray and my Vizio smart TV has passive 3D, I discovered that my Sony 7.1 AV Receiver, although not that old, didn't allow for 4K/3D pass through. So, it was time for an upgrade. I always thought Denon was a bit out of my price range, but lo and behold I discovered their new S series. Budget priced, but with plenty of features including Bluetooth and the aforementioned 3D/4K passthrough, this receiver is excellent. Auto setup and calibration was accurate and a breeze. Often times you can't rely on auto calibration, especially with my old Sony. So I figured I'd give it a shot, and it's perfect! If you're on a tight budget but want a well featured receiver, this is the way to go. Bravo Denon!
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Product., August 2, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Denon AVR-S500BT 5.2 Channel AV Receiver With 4K Capability and Bluetooth (Electronics)
Having been an appreciative lover of quality music since before FM Stereo was invented, I used an Amplifier (with good speakers) that cost 2,500 dollars 20 years ago.
It finally decided to go to amplifier heaven.
---- add to that, the fact that my wife decided we had enough of carpeting, time to tile the house... ECHO CITY!
Well, I wasn't going to invest a big number on this acoustic mess, so I found this amp with what I needed. Basically enough watts to drive my speakers and the ability to decode DTS and 5.1 audio.
This is the truth! Unbelievable, but true! It comes with a gadget I never saw before.
It's a set up system that includes a microphone which you mount on a tripod (or a coffee table will do) and let it do its thing!
It reads volume and balance and time delays, and then, it went and did the cross over points in all my speakers.
Echo was cured !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. It sounds marvelous... and I couldn't be happier.
Of course, it has loads of HDMI inputs and regular ones too, and optical audio inputs.

I have one small complaint... Instruction book is not very good, but you can figure it out!

Good purchase.
Fred
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this receiver!, November 25, 2014
This review is from: Denon AVR-S500BT 5.2 Channel AV Receiver With 4K Capability and Bluetooth (Electronics)
I will do my best to give the most helpful review possible on this Denon AVR-S500BT receiver. To start, this is my first surround sound setup that I've ever owned and therefore encountered a few hurdles that some (or most of you) can hopefully avoid.

I began my search for a 5.1 surround sound receiver using the usual method of searching Amazon for the best reviewed products. Due to the lack of availability on both Amazon and large brick and mortar electronic retailers, this was a highly sought after product.

The Bluetooth connectivity was a key factor in my decision to purchase this receiver. As I had read from another reviewer, even if your receiver is turned off, if you've already paired your Bluetooth device to this receiver, you can turn on the receiver and begin streaming music from your wireless device without touching the receiver or remote control. As with most Bluetooth components you can control the volume playing through the receiver from your wireless device but the max volume is the volume that your receiver is currently set to. So, if you frequently listen to music you'll want to leave your receiver volume at a pretty high level and control the actual volume from your wireless device while listening to music. Otherwise, max volume on your wireless device could be quiet and require you to turn up the master volume on the receiver unnecessarily.

I recently purchased a Vizio 70" 4K tv and wanted a receiver fully capable of handling the 4k video stream. The receiver has multiple HDMI inputs and 1 HDMI output. All of the HDMI inputs and outputs are 4K compatible and offer the max 4k video connection (60 fps @ true 4:4:4 color). My current model of TV has (4) 30 fps 4K HDMI inputs and (1) 60 fps 4K HDMI input. I also discovered during the setup process that not all HDMI cables are the same. We've all experienced the salesmen telling us that the "gold-plated" cable is far superior to the $2.99 version of the same cable on auction sites. In general, for shorter cables (less than 10 ft) your cheaper cables work just as well as their "gold-plated" counterparts. There is, however, a new version of HDMI cables that are specifically made for high throughput. They are generally marked as 4K compatible and use a wire pairing similar to network CAT5 cabling. If you attempt to hook up your 4K TV using a standard HDMI cable and have gone into the 60 fps HDMI slot on your TV, you will not see a display. Simply plug your standard HDMI cable into a 30fps 4K HDMI slot to see the video picture on your TV. If you don't have a 4K TV, you won't have any issues using the standard HDMI cable into any of your HDMI inputs on your TV. I had to mention the HDMI cable because the receiver has a setup assistant that walks you through the entire setup process of your new receiver. It's very intuitive and easy to follow. However, if you cannot see the setup screen on your TV, then you might have the HDMI cable issue that I mentioned above.

Once it has walked you through the speaker setup, automatic speaker balancing and device input setup you are on your way to awesomeness. The Bluetooth setup is very easy. Your remote has a Bluetooth button on it. In order to pair your wireless device, click the Bluetooth button on the remote. It will display a Bluetooth settings menu on the TV. Select "options" and you will see the option to pair your device. Once selected, go to the Bluetooth settings on your wireless device and you will see the Denon receiver pop us as a pairable device. Click on the device and the pairing is done quickly and automatically. Once paired, you don't have to re-pair your wireless device even if you turn off Bluetooth on your wireless device for any reason. When you enable it again it will see the previously paired Denon receiver. If the receiver is turned off, simply click the Denon device name from your wireless Bluetooth device and it will automatically wake the receiver and allow music streaming to begin.

Now, on to some surround sound info. The automatic configuration will help you setup your speakers. It comes with a wired microphone that listens and automatically configures the best possible sound given your room acoustics and speaker placement. Once completed, you are ready for surround sound. The Denon receiver has multiple surround sound modes that can be selected from the remote. They include Dolby, DTS, Matrix, stereo, multi-channel stereo and several others. When I had everything hooked up, I was not able to get Dolby to show up as a surround mode. The receiver cycled through all the other options and I didn't know why. For those that don't know, the receiver will automatically select Dolby as the surround mode IF you've enabled Dolby from your video source. Most video components such as DirecTV, cable boxes, DVD players, etc. have the stereo mode of PCM enabled by default. PCM is a 2-channel stereo setup. Your receiver will play this audio without any issues, but it is NOT Dolby Digital. In order to enable Dolby you need to go into the audio setup of your video component and change the PCM setting to Bitstream. Once this has been done, your receiver will see the digital audio feed (assuming you are using an HDMI cable or digital Optical cable) and automatically display Dolby while playing the audio feed. DirecTV (which I have) actually says "Enable Dolby" from the audio setup. Other devices simply provide you with 2 choices "PCM" or "Bitstream". If you want Dolby (which you do) select "Bitstream".

Finally, another nice feature of this receiver is video pass-through. If you are watching TV and don't want to turn on the receiver to listen in stereo, your TV will function normally with standard audio playing through the TV speakers. One thing to mention, the receiver has a menu for pass-though and will only allow (1) pass through component. So, if you have your satellite/cable box and a blu-ray player hooked up, only (1) of them can be configured for pass-through mode. Default is the Satellite/Cable input.

I'm very happy with the features, the price was reasonable and it was extremely easy to setup. I hope this review helps make your decision a little easier.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great AVR with some quirks..., September 29, 2014
By 
J. Wallace (CA,United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Denon AVR-S500BT 5.2 Channel AV Receiver With 4K Capability and Bluetooth (Electronics)
This is a great value. This unit is as powerful and sounds as good as much more expensive AVRs I have heard. It has good power and sounds great playing Netflix via Roku, DVDs, and music via Bluetooth. The remote is easy to use and has all options that I need. I have a bass speaker, mid-channel, and two side speakers. There is plenty of power to bring the volume way beyond anything I will ever use and the sound is clear. That said there are some quirks that I decided to overlook and keep the unit.

- I could not get my Toshiba SDK 1000 DVD player to work on the DVD/Blu-ray HDMI port. It would only work on the Blu-ray 4K port. I worked with Denon tech support which was pretty much a waste of time. At first they said go buy a new player and I thought; "this is a pretty new player that is very popular so I'm not doing that." Then the Denon tech had me go through the setup again and then when that didn't work suggested I upgrade the firmware. Problem is-there's no firmware update available. After that I sent them an email with everything I discovered and have never heard from them. Since I have plenty of spare ports I decided this wasn't a problem for me.

- Left at default playing Pandora or iTunes via Bluetooth from my iPhone 5 or iPad 3 required me to really turn up the volume until I discovered the CH Level control on the remote. I cranked the channel up +12.0 dB and problem solved.

I will admit that I thought about returning this unit because of of the DVD player problem but kept it anyway. It really is a great value for the money. My strategy is one of hope. My hope is that Denon will upgrade the firmware to address the HDMI handshake or port configuration problem. I would also look elsewhere if you run into problems and you need good tech support...because Denon tech support is quite disappointing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars but so far so good! Everything has been easy to hook up via ..., September 29, 2014
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This review is from: Denon AVR-S500BT 5.2 Channel AV Receiver With 4K Capability and Bluetooth (Electronics)
I've only owned this a couple weeks, but so far so good!

Everything has been easy to hook up via HDMI. The one device that's been giving me issues is my cable box; I suspect the problem is with the box and not the receiver....I have so many issues with cable that I just assume it is their gear that doesn't work (directTV is in my future I think, and hopefully this receiver will work fine with that gear.)

Bluetooth has been flawless from my iphone. I can move across the house, easily 35 feet, and play itunes or amazon prime (or whatever).

Sound-wise, I don't really have a good reference since this is the first receiver I've owned in a long time. For speakers I have an old set of KRK studio monitors and a powered Polk sub (10", the #1 selling model for around $90 here on Amazon). Sounds great IMO but again I'm not the most critical of listeners. It's not often I have time to just sit in front of speakers! When testing out the bluetooth I did dial up a few soundtracks--Inception, Gravity and Oblivion--from very quiet to maxell-hair-guy thunderingly-loud I was impressed.

Another review mentioned the cool temps and that was important to me since I have a tv stand with glass doors (open when in use, but still). My last old receiver could cook eggs on it, this one seems much cooler. Granted it may not be as loud, but anything above 60 on the default volume scale is too loud for our room.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good product worth to buy it., July 15, 2014
This review is from: Denon AVR-S500BT 5.2 Channel AV Receiver With 4K Capability and Bluetooth (Electronics)
my home theater system broke down so i decided to buy a denon receiver and plug in my old speakers. bought from best buy

the denon s500bt looks good and works well. easy set up and configuration. with the mic it configures everything for you. there are enough hdmi inputs for must of your needs. if u have speakers all you need to do is just plug the copper wires in. however the bass is not a copper wire connection, it is connected with a sub woofer audio connect cord. streams everything through it with great quality and sound.

there is not much i dont like about this product but their are a few. 1 - i dont know what people are talking about there is no aux connection for a phone or music player. 2 - the Bluetooth wont connect to my google samsung phone. 3 - only once but my screen did go really dark for a couple of min but that has only happened once.

the phone situation was fixed using a 3.5 mm to audio cord. audio section plugged into media player audio.

it is worth a buy i have a 5.1 set up. eventually i will add a second bass making it a 5.2
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