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22 of 22 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
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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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11 of 11 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
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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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9 of 9 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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9 of 11 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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5 of 6 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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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great features and easy setup, July 21, 2014
By 
Gregory M. Bruening (Gaithersburg, MD USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Denon AVR-S500BT 5.2 Channel AV Receiver With 4K Capability and Bluetooth (Electronics)
I'm not super well-educated in the ways of A/V or home theaters so I won't try going into the nitty-gritty but as a first-timer, the setup was incredibly simple and using this is way easier than the hobbled together HDMI splitter system I had previously. The fine control over the volume (half-steps) is also pretty incredible.

The Bluetooth function might be up there as my favorite, or at the least second favorite, feature about this receiver. Being able to connect my phone to it to play Spotify through is great. Highly recommend this receiver to newcomers and experts alike!
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2 of 2 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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4.0 out of 5 stars Very nice!! Love the Bluetooth sync with both computer ..., September 13, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Denon AVR-S500BT 5.2 Channel AV Receiver With 4K Capability and Bluetooth (Electronics)
Very nice!! Love the Bluetooth sync with both computer and phone for music. About the only bad thing is the "pass thru" works, but often times after using something at night, then just want to use the tv in morning I have to turn on the receiver as it doesn't always allow what I want to pass thru go. You can set one item or "last" but sometime neither is what I want. Wish there was an "Active line" setting as only one is in the morning.

I got to say I like it better than the Yamaha I had which was "better" but had way to many settings and crap I never used and was rather confusing. This sounds just as good and actually better as I can easily set it to my ears. The Yamaha I ended up playing for too long and just settling as I got tired of trying to get it set.
Oh and the,auto setup is cool, but it doesn't like just stereo too much. I may use the surround some day but for now I just want a stereo that plays well with the tv, game systems and music devices, as my ears don't like the little tv speakers much. This does that better than anything I had before now and I got rid of a switch box and a mess of wires
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Denon AVR S500BT 5.2 Receiver., August 1, 2014
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This review is from: Denon AVR-S500BT 5.2 Channel AV Receiver With 4K Capability and Bluetooth (Electronics)
Nice receiver with Bluetooth,no adapters needed. Nice clean sound with easy to use remote.Very satisfied with this Demon receiver.
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5.0 out of 5 stars 500BT performs great. picture quality is better, September 14, 2014
By 
B. Sherman (Providence, RI USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Denon AVR-S500BT 5.2 Channel AV Receiver With 4K Capability and Bluetooth (Electronics)
I replaced my old Denon, which was a lot more expensive at "that" time. 500BT performs great. picture quality is better, 5 HDMI inputs, Bluetooth works great. Easy setup. I have "high-end" speakers and sub creating together great sound. And that all for only $250!
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