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Sony STR-DH540

5.2-channel home theater receiver

27 Reviews | 6 questions - 14 answers

Item # 158STDH540

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Sony STR-DH550




Our take on the Sony STR-DH540

If you own a large HDTV, you know how fantastic movies and shows can look. Don't you want them to sound just as good? The Sony STR-DH540 receiver is an easy and cost-effective entry into home theater that will open your eyes and ears. With connections for sources like Blu-ray and CD players, network streaming devices, cable boxes, and gaming consoles, this receiver will help bring all your components together for better sound and picture quality. Best of all, it routes all of those sources to your TV through a single HDMI cable, simplifying setup and operation. Connections for 5 speakers and 2 subwoofers allow you to enjoy enveloping surround sound that will bring TV, movies, and games to life.

Give home theater a chance to wow you

If you own a large HDTV, you know how fantastic movies and shows can look. Don't you want them to sound just as good? The Sony STR-DH540 receiver is an easy and cost-effective entry into home theater that will open your eyes and ears. With connections for sources like Blu-ray and CD players, network streaming devices, cable boxes, and gaming consoles, this receiver will help bring all your components together for better sound and picture quality. Best of all, it routes all of those sources to your TV through a single HDMI cable, simplifying setup and operation. Connections for 5 speakers and 2 subwoofers allow you to enjoy enveloping surround sound that will bring TV, movies, and games to life.

Easy customized setup

Worried about setting up surround speakers to get evenly balanced sound? Sony does the heavy lifting for you. The STR-DH540 features Digital Cinema Auto Calibration. That means the receiver can configure your speakers for optimum sound once you have them placed where you want them. Just plug in the included setup mic and follow the on-screen instructions for sound tailored to your room and speakers.

Don't forget your iPod®

It's easy to get your iPod or iPhone® into the picture with the STR-DH540. Just plug it into the front-panel USB port and this receiver can play your music files through your system. Thanks to advanced digital processing, you can even enjoy your stereo music in multichannel surround sound, for a musical experience those earbuds could never touch.


    Power and Processing:
    • 5-channel amplifier
    • 90 watts per channel into 6 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.09% THD, with 2 channels driven
    • Dolby® and DTS® surround sound decoding
    • Digital Cinema Auto Calibration for easy, accurate speaker setup
    • HDMI audio/video switching: 4 in, 1 out
    • front-panel USB port for audio playback from an iPod, iPhone, or USB flash drive
    • composite video switching: 2 in, 1 out
    • digital audio inputs: 2 optical and 1 coaxial
    • 4 analog stereo audio inputs
    • no phono input — to connect a turntable you'll need to add a phono preamp
    • preamp outputs for 2 powered subwoofers
    • outputs for five speakers (Front L/R, Center, Surround L/R)
    • full-sized headphone jack
    General Features:
    • 3D and 4K HDMI pass-through
    • HDMI standby pass-through allows access to all HDMI connected devices without having to power on the receiver
    • BRAVIA™ Sync for one-remote operation with compatible Sony components
    • convenient on-screen display (via HDMI only)
    • 60 AM/FM presets
    • remote control
    • 17"W x 6-1/8"H x 13-1/8"D
    • weight: 17 lbs.
    • warranty: 2 years
    • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

    Love this thing!!! Package arrived perfectly and on time!! Was able to connect to my existing components with ease.

    J. Boutin, Deer Park, NY

    What's in the Box:

    • 5.2ch AV receiver
    • Wireless remote control (RM-AAU168)
    • 2 "AA" batteries
    • Automatic calibration microphone (ECM-AC2)
    • AM loop antenna
    • FM wire antenna (w/ attached slip-on "F" connector)
    • Operating Instructions
    • Quick Setup Guide (En/Fr/Sp)
    • US Warranty sheet
    • Canada Warranty sheet
    • On-line registration sheet

    Sony STR-DH540 Reviews

    Average Customer Review(s):

    (27 Reviews)

    Great AVR

    Ray F from Crown Point, IN on 3/5/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Very good AVR!. Setup was quick and painless. I have this paired with a Samsung 6300 TV, Samsung BD, and Take Energy 5.1 surround sound system. I love the USB port on the front, so I can play mu music from my Iphone. ONLY DRAWBACK!: If you have a Samsung TV, the "Anynet" feature will mess with your AVR!! What happens is when the tv turns on, the TV and AVR turn on togther and the sound comes out. BUT; within 10-15 seconds, the AVR switches from Sat/CATV mode to TV and I lose the sound. Then I have to use the Sony remote to change back to the correct input. Turning off "Anynet" does not help. If you're gonna pair ANY Samsung TV to this AVR or any other brand for that matter, do yourself a favor and research this. There are many many threads on Samsungs "Anynet" not playing nicely with AVR's. But overall I am happy with this unit. If I had to do it over, I'd have bought a Sony TV to go with the AVR.

    Pros: Simple setup Ease of installation USB port on front for MP3 music

    Cons: Doesn't mesh with Samsung TV Not the AVR's fault, but more an issue with Samsung

    Feature Packed Budget Receiver!

    hazmatt81 from Calimesa, CA on 2/12/2014

    This is an entry level receiver with a mid level receiver feel. I bought this for our vacation house for having awesome movie nights while out of town. It was the perfect price and offered way more than the competition. I have ran Sony, Denon & Pioneer AV Receivers (in that chronological order). I found that the older Sony receivers were lacking in menu, navigation type attributes in comparison to my Denon & Pioneer receivers. But, with this new line of receivers that Sony has now, they have really turned a new leaf & a very impressive one at that. The features that drove me to purchase this unit were as follows...I like the fact this unit (although entry level) has banana plug terminals for the speaker wires. That usually isn't found on such units. 2nd, the auto calibration mic is pretty cool, although I found it to be rather quick and not as precise as my Pioneer VSX-1021. But, a plus non-the-less. The front USB port for charging and operating my iPhone. While plugged into that port, you can skip songs with the Sony remote control. Lastly, the 5.2...a second sub!?!? Sign me up! I haven't ran 2 subs before, but was thrilled knowing that I can if I decided to expand. The room it's being used in is rather small (15'x18') so, the 2nd sub would probably be a bit much. All in all, I'm 100% satisfied with this receiver and will recommend it to anyone over a Pioneer or Denon entry level receiver. Look at the specs and you'll see it's a No-Brainer! Hope this helped!

    Pros: Light weight, small footprint, USB port in the front, banana plug speaker terminals, 2nd subwoofer capability, Auto-Calibration Mic

    Cons: None so far with my use...

    Sony STR-DH540

    Eric K from West Chester, OH on 2/10/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I bought this unit to replace a Sony receiver that was on it's last leg ... it's great to hear dialogue coming from the center speaker again! The unit was easy to set-up and the sound check using the included microphone was very easy. I've been happy with the receiver so far. I'm not much of a techie ... just need something to listen to the radio occasionally and to watch TV and movies on a regular basis. This unit should do the trick.

    Pros: Plenty of HDMI inputs, easy set-up, good sound

    Cons: None for my simple home setup (satellite + Blue Ray player + TV)

    Sony Doesn't Disappoint

    JohnG from Annapolis, MD on 2/7/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I bought this receiver for my parents, to replace their very old unit. After disassembling the mess of wires and starting from scratch, installing the Sony was straightforward and hassle free. The number of HDMI inputs and audio connections will meet the needs of most setups, and the speaker terminals seemed solid and were easy to wire. Preparing the surround sound was a snap with the included calibration microphone, and the on-screen (TV) menus were easy to decipher. The front panel has a simple yet functional design, and the sound is clean. What else would you expect from a Sony?

    Pros: Ample connections, easy setup, clean sound

    Cons: None for a basic home theater receiver


    July from PR on 1/21/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Before I got this receiver I was in a store where I could see some receivers next to each other. I could not listen to them but i could see them in person, try their weight and see details before I made a purchase. The Sony looked better than the Denon and Yamaha, bigger and heavier, like a more expensive receiver. It also had 5 way binding posts so I could use 14 gauge wires or thicker. It was a more impressive design and product. So I ordered it, installed it and that was it. Very good sound from all sources. Good home theater performance, like center channel performance and separation between the channels, better than my defunct Pioneer. You won't be dissapointed for the price.

    Pros: Looks, speaker wire connections, home theater performance.

    Cons: On screen display is not comparable to other receivers.

    Awesome product

    J. Boutin from Deer Park, NY on 1/19/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Love this thing!!! Package arrived perfectly and on time!! Was able to connect to my existing components with ease.




    RodS from Denver, CO on 1/16/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Replacing a two year old Denon in my kids gameroom that was having issues staying on.

    Pros: Easy setup, lots of HDMI inputs...


    happy purchase

    Richie B from Long Island, NY on 1/14/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Purchased this unit to replace a 15 year old Sony receiver. Easy to hookup, speaker adjustments were easy to apply.Connected my blueray and Bravia TV set using sync feature. Connecting ipod using usb port was a great bonus for me. Very happy with sound output.

    Pros: Great sound, easy features, easy to hookup. Able to run tv sound through receiver or not.

    Cons: had to buy a powered sub-woofer. not a big deal.

    Happy so far

    dgsmd from Clive, IA on 1/7/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I bought this receiver to replace a 10 year old Onkyo when I upgraded my DVD player. So far, I am happy with how easy the set up was. It is a clear sonic improvement over the Onkyo, and I hear the difference easily when watching movies. I don't think I have tapped the potential of what the receiver is capable of.

    Pros: Ease of set up, theater like sound

    Cons: None so far

    Great value

    Anonymous from Rochester, NY on 1/3/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This is a great value for what it does. I have this located in my basement and the HDMI switch feature means I only have to run a single cable to my TV over the fireplace upstairs. I do with the auto-tune sensor would have come with a longer cable so I could have used it. Overall sound and ease of use is good.

    Pros: Set up easy


    Meets my needs

    Escapemax from Trenton, NJ on 1/2/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Hi all. My needs are basic. Just a HT receiver that I can use when I watch BD movies on my HT PC.

    Pros: 90 X 5 power. Post speaker terminals. Dual subwoofer output. HDMI input/Output

    Cons: None found at this point.

    Sony STR-DH540 Receiver

    DonM from St Helens, OR on 1/1/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Excellent quality for the money and easy to use with many operations accessible from the front panel buttons. This is great if you do not want to use the remote for every operation as some other designs require. Could not be more pleased with the purchase. Not only was the price right but it included shipping and they got it to our door quickly before Christmas.

    Pros: Price and quality

    Cons: No bluetooth if you want to connect to smartphone or iphone without cords.

    Sony STR-DH540

    John from Lawton ok on 1/1/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great sound for low price

    Pros: Easy set up, Auto speaker calibration, HDMI inputs, Great sound, Low price

    Cons: Absolutely None


    G-Man AZ from Valley of the Sun, AZ on 12/26/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This was purchased to replace a Sony that gave up the ghost after 13 years, so I wanted as direct a replacement as possible. The STR-DH540 has met my expectations, and setting it up was easy. I found the user manual a bit tedious, but that's par for the course. This may be old-fashioned, but I miss the switched AC outlet I used for my powered subwoofer; that would be the only negative which keeps it from 5 stars--more like 4.5. And yes, you can get that if you want to spend six or seven times the money. So, this is an excellent value for the price!

    Pros: Simple set-up, HDMI connections cleaned up the wiring.

    Cons: No AC outlet.

    Great receiver

    Mark from Maine on 12/26/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Crutchfield's service on the phone and over the web and the fast shipping were amazing as always. This an excellent receiver for the money. It has great sound, plenty of HDMI inputs for my needs, and a wide selection of preset audio "fields" to suit your taste. With the remote you can easily fast forward or pause songs on your iphone/ipod that you connect via the USB port on the receiver.

    Pros: Great sound The remote will allow you to control a Sony blu-ray player Iphone/Ipod control through the receiver's remote control works well Receiver's remote also controls my Sony blu-ray player

    Cons: The included remote will not turn your TV on or off, unless you have a Sony TV. (This is a little disappointing since my Sony blu-ray player's remote will turn my Samsung TV on and off, so I was anticipating that this Sony remote would as well.)

    Very Pleased

    Becky' J from Chebanse, Il on 12/24/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This receiver is everything I wanted. Sound is great and the four hdmi inputs were just what I needed. Easy setup with sat box and roku. Very happy

    Pros: 4 hdmi outputs. Easy setup


    Does everything I wanted in a home theater setting

    TomH from Lynchburg on 12/23/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Before I address the product I need to say I have been very impressed and pleased with the Crutchfield Team. My receiver arrived the day after I ordered it in perfect condition. A few days later I called the Crutchfield tech support for a problem I couldn't solve that was more an issue with my TV than with the receiver. The tech gave me the info I needed in less than 2 minutes, and BTW, there was no waiting to talk to a real person. The Crutchfield price was a low as I could find anywhere online. Now WRT the Sony STR-DH540. I bought it to replace a Panasonic receiver that I've had for years. The reasons for replacing were the lack of HDMI capability and on screen display. The HDMI input switching is very convenient but the OSD is great. The receiver feeds two BA 27 floor speakers(fr) a Polk sub and a set of Bose Accoustamass rear surround giving me a really great home theater sound experience. I find the remote to be easy to use and well laid out without a ridiculous number of buttons. I also found it easy to add the receivers remote functions to my universal remote so I have finally been able to reduce the number of remotes by my chair from 4 to 1. Easy set up worked great and makes recalibration a snap. This product is proof you don't need to spend a grand to get an excellent sounding home theater amp with plenty of power.

    Pros: Easy setup and calibration Not too large or heavy Plenty of power for my 400 sq ft room and speakers OSD well laid out, easy to walk through menus.

    Cons: The manual is a joke, print is so small my old eyes just gave up. But even if you can read the tiny print there's not a lot if info there. Guess I shouldn't pick on Sony for this as not many mfrs do better but many do post decent manuals on line or provide a CD.

    Great Unit for the Price

    Don from Placitas, NM on 12/22/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I spent my life in the electronics business but am getting older. I am running a 5.1 system with B&W speakers. This unit is very easy to set up and operates automatically if that is what you want. It can also be run manually. Has all of the necessary features and plenty of power at a great price.

    Pros: Ease of set up and operation. Good value,

    Cons: None.

    Very Pleased

    SRC from KY on 12/21/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Very impressed. My last receivers have all been in the price range of 1,000 to 1,200 dollars. I have owned Denon, Sony ES, and a couple of Onkyos. This 200 dollar receiver sounds just as good as the best of them (sounds even better than a couple). The newer Sonys seem very improved over the older Sonys. Excellent receiver for the money. It would be an excellent receiver for double or even triple the amount paid. Very pleased with it.



    Great Product

    CraigG from Texas on 12/16/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This product had good reviews so I purchased it. I've been using it for about 2 weeks now and I can't say a bad thing about it. Everything functions as expected, it sounds fantastic and the HDMI inputs did not require me to run separate audio cables as some "passthrough" systems do which was one of my concerns

    Pros: priced right .User freindly

    Cons: None

    Sony STR-DH540 review

    KFitz from Columbus, OH on 11/19/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    The Sony STR-DH540 was very easy to connect to my home theater system. I was replacing a 10 year old Yamaha that served well until I needed HDMI to connect my new 50" Samsung TV. The great thing about the set-up was the Sony receiver works with the Samsung TV without any complicated configuring - it recognized it and turns on with the cable box and tv remotes. Nice for a non-technical person like me. This basic home theater receiver works perfectly for my simple 5.1 NHT speaker home theater.

    Pros: Simple set-up, recognized by the Samsung 6300 series TV, plenty of power for a small home theater, priced right.

    Cons: None for me.

    No Complaints

    ChristianP from Kimberton, PA on 11/6/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Crutchfield was offering a special on this product, it had good reviews so I purchased it. I've been using it for about 2 weeks now and I can't say a bad thing about it. Everything functions as expected, it sounds fantastic and the HDMI inputs did not require me to run separate audio cables as some "passthrough" systems do which was one of my concerns. I have not been able to successfully operate the usb iPod link it keeps saying its "processing" or something similar so if that is one of your major pluses to this item keep that in mind. I simply connected via my AirPort instead. If your in the market for a well performing receiver you owe it to yourself to consider this one.

    Pros: HDMI inputs without need for separate audio. Sounds fantastic. Sleek and visually appealing.

    Cons: iPod USB connection is slow.

    Must Read

    craig from north carolina on 9/20/2013

    Gentlemen, in the past 14 months, I have went through 5 receivers, a Yamaha, (2) Pioneers, and a Denon. all had defects or were unuser friendly. Just swaped the Denon for this Sony. Never been a fan of Sony until now. Very easy to install. I have high dollar infinity speakers and this receiver pushes them great. You can not beat the price for what you get. The bonus feature on this receiver that you will not find on other receiver's is that it has two subwoofer outputs. Very user friendly unlike Denon. several equalizer features easy to understand.......a must buy for the money

    Pros: User freindly

    Cons: NONE

    Great Receiver

    Rob from CA on 9/15/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Great product, the HDMI connections make set up easy and the on screen guide makes it simple to adjust settings.

    Pros: HDMI, Sleek, easy to operate, auto speaker adjustment with plug in tuner


    Sony STR-DH540

    DonL from Colorado on 9/10/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Works great and has excellent sound. Has some interesting interfaces with attached equipment. Have not got it all figure out quite yet.

    Pros: Great sound

    Cons: A bit of a learning curve to take advantage of all it offeres.

    Sony STR-DH540

    Anonymous from Navarre, FL on 9/4/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Very easy to setup for the most part. Some of the features need the manual to setup, but overall very easy.



    Sony STR-DH540..Multi Channel AV Receiver

    DRAYHAZEL from Bow, NH on 8/12/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Let me first say Crutchfield customer service and Tech Support is second to none..I have bought many things from Crutchfield and Tech support has help me a couple times and I can't say enough good things about them......The new receiver is everything I expect from Sony...Plenty of power, easy set-up, calibration of my speakers was so simple and the new HD Digital cinema is awesome.

    Pros: I like how I can adjust my surround speakers, easy set up, directions you can understand

    Cons: Wish this receiver had the same equalizer that my Sony car stereo has


    Hands-on research

    Features and Specs

    Number Of Channels 5
    Stereo RMS Power (watts) 90
    THD in Stereo 0.09 %
    Frequency Bandwidth (stereo) 20-20,000 Hz
    Minimum Impedance L/R 6 ohms
    Minimum Impedance Center 6 ohms
    Minimum Impedance Surround 6 ohms
    General Features
    Internet-ready No
    Bluetooth No
    Apple AirPlay No
    App Remote Control No
    USB port for iPod/iPhone Yes
    FM Sensitivity Not Given
    HD Radio Tuner No
    On-Screen Display Thru HDMI
    Auto Speaker Calibration DCAC
    HDCP 2.2 for 4K Video No
    HDR-compatible No
    HDMI Standby Pass-through Yes
    Composite Video Conversion No
    Component Video Conversion No
    HDMI to HDMI Upconversion No
    DLNA Certified
    MHL-compatible No
    Multibrand Remote Control No
    Learning Remote No
    LCD Remote
    Width (inches) 17
    Height (inches) 6-1/8
    Depth (inches) 13-1/8
    Weight (pounds) 17
    Parts Warranty 2 Years
    Labor Warranty 2 Years
    Multi-room Audio--Video
    Powered Multi-room Audio Output No
    Preamp Multi-room Audio Output No
    Multi-room Video No
    Multi-room HDMI Output No
    Surround Processing
    Dolby Digital DD, TrueHD, DD+
    Dolby Atmos N/A
    DTS DTS, HD, HDMA, Neo6, 96/24
    DTS:X No
    Inputs & Outputs
    Phono Input No
    Audio-Video Inputs 5
    Audio-only Inputs 2
    Component Video Inputs None
    Component Video Monitor Outputs None
    Optical Digital Inputs 2
    Coaxial Digital Inputs 1
    Optical Digital Outputs None
    Coaxial Digital Outputs None
    HDMI Inputs 4
    HDMI Monitor Outputs 1
    Subwoofer Outputs 2
    Multi-Channel Analog Input No
    Multi-channel Preamp Output No
    Main Speaker Output Pairs 1
    Main Speaker Terminals Posts
    Ethernet Port None
    USB Connections 1
    Removable Power Cord No

    Product Research

    Audio Features
    Video Features
    USB/iPod Functions
    Convenience Features
    Remote Control

    Audio Features

    5.2ch AV Receiver: The Sony STR-DH540 AV Receiver is equipped with a 5-channel amplifier rated at 90 watts (into 6-ohms, at 20-20kHz, with 0.09% THD, driving 2 channels) which provides high dynamic power with low-impedance drive capability. The STR-DH540 also includes dual LFE (mono-subwoofer) outputs for connecting two powered subs.

    Digital Cinema Auto Calibration (DCAC): The Sony STR-DH540 is equipped with Digital Cinema Auto Calibration Technology which uses the included microphone to automatically check the speaker connections, adjust the speaker output levels, calculate the distance from each speaker to the listening position, and distinguish frequency characteristics of each speaker. The microphone has an 15' cord attached that plugs into the microphone input on front of the receiver. You can also choose to manually adjust the AV receiver's speaker settings.

    Auto Format Direct (A.F.D.) Mode: The Auto Format Direct (A.F.D.) mode allows you to listen to high fidelity sound and select the decoding mode for listening to a 2-channel stereo sound as multi-channel. You can set the A.F.D. mode to Auto or Multi Stereo.

    • A.F.D. Auto: Presets the sound as it was recorded/encoded without adding any surround effects.
    • Multi Stereo: Outputs 2-channel left/right signals from all speakers.

    Dolby Digital/DTS/Dolby Pro Logic: The Sony STR-DH540 AV receiver features Dolby Digital and DTS-HD decoding, as well as offers Dolby Pro Logic audio processing.

    Note: Dolby Digital and DTS listening modes can only be selected if your audio source is connected to the AV receiver via a digital audio connection (HDMI, optical, or coaxial). Even though the AV receiver will decode 7.1ch surround sound (via HDMI), it will only output 5.1ch surround, because it lacks Surround Back channel speaker outputs.

    HD Digital Cinema Sound (HD D.C.S): HD Digital Cinema Sound (HD-D.C.S.) is Sony's new innovative home theater technology using the latest acoustic and digital signal processing technologies. It is based on precise response measurement data of a mastering studio. With this mode, you are able to enjoy Blu-ray and DVD movies at home with not only the high quality of sound, but also the best sound ambience, just as the movie's sound engineer intended in the mastering process. You can choose from the following HD-D.C.S modes - Dynamic, Theater, Studio, Hall, Jazz Club, Live Concert, Stadium, Sports, or Portable Audio.

    Pure Direct: The receiver's Pure Direct mode outputs audio from only the front left and right speakers without any tone or DSP processing; only the volume and front speaker balance adjustments are active.

    Headphone Modes: The receiver offers two distinct headphone sound modes.

    • HP 2CH: Sets the receiver to power only the front left and right speakers, no surround and no subwoofer. Two channel sources bypass the sound field processing and multi channel sources are down-mixed to 2 channels.
    • HP Direct: Amplifies the source without any processing, only the volume and front speaker balance adjustments are active.

    Advanced Audio Settings: These advanced audio settings allow you to tailor the sound to your source content, listening conditions, and your personal preferences.

    • Equalizer: You can adjust the tonal quality (bass & treble level) of the front speakers from -6dB to +6dB, in 1dB steps.
    • Auto Volume: Auto Volume adjust the volume automatically depending on the input signal or content from the connected equipment. This function is useful, for example, when the sound of a commercial is louder than the TV programs.
    • Dynamic Range Compressor: This feature allows you to compress the dynamic range of the sound track. You can select standard or maximum compression, or off (only works with Dolby Digital sources).
    • Night Mode: This function allows you to retain a theater like environment at low volume levels. When watching a movie late at night, you will still be able to hear the dialog clear even at a low volume level.

    Audio Inputs/Outputs: The Sony STR-DH540 offers a variety of analog and digital audio inputs/outputs.

    • Digital Inputs: The receiver has two optical digital inputs and one coaxial digital inputs (all assignable). You can choose auto decoding or PCM for the digital audio inputs. Auto will decode the signal in its original form (Dolby Digital, DTS, PCM, etc), PCM decodes the signal to 2-channel.
    • Speaker Outputs: The receiver is equipped with binding post terminals for all speaker channels. The binding post terminals will accept bare wire, pin connectors, and banana plugs (single only). Use speakers with a 6- to 16-ohm impedance.
    • Dual Sub Outputs: The AV receiver is fitted with two subwoofer preamp outputs to connect dual powered subs.
    • Headphones: When headphones are plugged into the full-size 1/4" jack on the front panel, all the speakers are automatically muted. No sound is output from the headphones when iPod or iPhone is connected to the receiver.

    AM/FM Tuner: The STR-DH540 has 30 presets each for AM and FM for a total of 60. In addition to preset and auto tuning, stations can be tuned directly by frequency. Each preset station can be given an 8 character name.

    Video Features

    4 HDMI (v.1.4) Inputs: The receiver is equipped with four HDMI (v.1.4) inputs for connecting HDMI-equipped audio/video component; such as your satellite/cable receiver, Blu-ray/DVD player, and game system. It also allows you to connect all of your devices to your TV with a single HDMI cable (via its ARC-compatible HDMI monitor output), reducing cable clutter. The receiver's HDMI v.1.4 jacks are compatible with 1080p/24Hz and 4K video, 3D video signals, Deep Color & x.v.Color technology; as well as LipSync, ARC, and HDMI control.

    • 4K Pass-Through: 4K Pass Through allows the Sony STR-DH540 to receive super high-definition resolution video and pass the video signal to a 4K compatible TV or display monitor. This ensures compatibility with the latest super high resolution video formats.
    • 3D-Ready: The Sony STR-DH540 is compatible with 3D-ready Blu-ray disc movies, video games, and other 3D content through its HDMI (v.1.4) connections. 3D viewing requires 3D-ready source with 3D content, 3D-ready HDTV, 3D glasses, and high-speed HDMI cable. Other 3D accessories may also be needed.
    • Deep/x.v.Color Support: The Sony AV receiver also supports Deep Color and x.v.Color content, which can display a larger color range than standard-definition schemes. The result is a more lifelike, vibrant picture.
    • A/V Sync: The audio output can be delayed so that the time gap between the audio output and the visual display is minimized. This is especially helpful when you are using a large LCD or plasma TV or a projection TV. When activated, the delay is fixed at 60 ms.
    • ARC (Audio Return Channel): This feature allows audio to be sent from your compatible HDTV to your receiver through the same HDMI cable already being used to send audio and video to your HDTV. This eliminates the need for extra cables connected to your television.

    24p True Cinema Mode: The 24p True Cinema Mode allows you to watch movies at their native frame rate 24p format (24 frames per second) when paired with a 24p playback device like a Blu-ray Disc Player.

    HDMI Standby Pass-Through: The HDMI Standby Pass-Through feature conveniently allows you to access all your HDMI connected devices without having to power on the receiver .

    HDMI Preview: This feature provides a live picture-in-picture preview on your HDMI-connected TV of HDMI inputs connected to the receiver. HDMI Preview is not compatible with 4K and 3D video signals.

    Composite Video Inputs: The Sony STR-DH540 is also fitted with two analog composite video inputs and one composite video monitor output. The composite video jacks support 480i video signals only.

    USB/iPod Functions

    Sony Compatible USB Port: You can enjoy music from select Sony USB devices (Walkman/MicroVault/NWZ-series) by connecting the device to the receiver's front-panel USB (type-A) port. The Sony USB device must be formatted with FAT16 or FAT32. You can playback the following music files; MP3 (32-320kbps), WMA (48-192kbps), AAC (48-320kbps), and WAV(16-bit) The receiver can recognize up to 256 folders and 256 audio files in each folder, per device. You are able to control Play/Pause/Stop, Fast Forward/Rewind, Skip Previous/Next), and Folder (up/down) functions of your connected Sony USB device.

    Note: See page 36 of the AV receiver's Operating Instructions for compatible Sony USB devices (Walkman/MicroVault/NWZ-series). Other USB devices cannot be used on this receiver.

    iPod/iPhone Direct: The Sony STR-DH540 supports digital music playback from an iPod, iPhone, or iPad using its front-panel USB (type-A) port. Simply plug your compatible Apple device into the receiver's front-panel USB port, using the cable that came with your iPod/iPhone/iPad. Stored music and music apps from your connected Apple device can be played through the AV receiver, bypassing the iPod/iPhone D/A converter for better sound quality. The iPod/iPhone/iPad can be controlled by the receiver's remote, or you can continue to use the Apple device's clickwheel or touchscreen. You can search for stored music on your compatible Apple device by Playlist, Artist, Album, Song, Podcast, Genre, Composer, or Audiobook. You also have access to Repeat (One/All/Off) and Shuffle (Songs/Albums/Off) functions. Song/artist information from stored music on your iPod/iPhone will display on your connected TV via HDMI. The receiver offers limited control (Play/Pause, Previous/Next Track) of music apps on your iPod/iPhone and no song/artist information. Your Apple iPod/iPhone's battery will be charged while connected to the receiver (max. 1A). This unit will not charge the iPad. The Sony STR-DH540 is "made for iPod/iPhone" and supports the following iPod/iPhone model functions (as of 9/24/2013).

    Apple Device Generation Tested Version Media Type Control Type Display Type Charge
    Audio Video Remote iPod/iPhone Album Art Artist/Song Text Track Info
    iPad 1 5.1.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y N
    2 7.0 Y N Y Y N Y Y N
    3 7.0 Y N Y Y N Y Y N
    4 7.0 Y N Y Y N Y Y N
    mini 7.0 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    iPhone 2G 3.1.3 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    3G 4.2.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    3GS 5.1.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    4 7.0 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    4S 7.0 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    5 7.0 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    5C 7.0 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    5S 7.0 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    touch 1st 2.2.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    2nd 4.2.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    3rd 5.1.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    4th 6.1.3 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    5th 7.0 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    2nd 1.1.3 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    3rd 1.1.3 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    4th 1.0.4 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    5th 1.0.2 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    6th 1.2 PC Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    7th 1.02 PC Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    classic 80GB 1.1.2 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    120GB 2.0.1 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    160GB 2.0.4 Y N Y Y N Y Y Y
    Note: Apple iPod/iPhone software updates may change functionality results. If you download a newer software version, you may need to reset the unit and your iPod/iPhone to regain functionality. If this doesn't work, you may need to wait until a newer software update is available.

    Convenience Features

    On-Screen Menu (via HDMI): You can display the menu of the receiver on your HDMI connected TV screen and select the function you want to use from the on-screen menu using the included IR remote control. If your TV is connected to the composite video monitor output, you will need to use the AV receiver's front-panel display when changing settings.

    Input Naming: You can enter a name of up to 8 characters for each of the receiver's inputs (except Tuner) and display the name on its display. This is convenient for labeling the jacks with the names of your connected components.

    Input Mode: When you connect components to both digital and analog audio input jacks on the receiver, you can fix the audio input mode to either of them, or switch from one to the other, depending on the type of material you intend to watch.

    Sleep Timer: The unit may be set to automatically turn off after 30, 60, 90, or 120 minutes.

    Dimmer: You can adjust the brightness of the display in 3 steps - Dim Max, Dim Mid, and Dim Off.

    Auto Standby: Auto Standby lets you set the receiver switch to standby mode automatically after 30 minutes when you do not operate the receiver or when there is no signal input to the receiver.

    Remote Control

    Wireless Remote: The supplied IR remote is pre-coded to control this Sony receiver, Sony TVs, Sony CD players, Sony DVD players and recorders, and Sony Blu-ray disc players and recorders.

    Bravia Theater Sync: Sony's Bravia Theater Sync feature allows you to easily manage select BRAVIA televisions and Sony HDMI audio and video components with a single remote. By connecting Sony components that are compatible with the HDMI Control function with a HDMI cable, operation is simplified in the following ways.

    • One-Touch-Play: When you playback a component such as a DVD/Blu-ray Disc Player, the receiver and the TV are turned on automatically and switch to the appropriate HDMI input.
    • System Audio Control: While watching TV, you can select to output the sound from the TV speaker or the speakers connected to the receiver.
    • System Power Off: When you turn off the TV, the receiver and connected components are also turned off simultaneously.

    Our Product Research Team

    At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

    Q & A

    Customer Q&A

    6 questions already asked

    EQ is very basic on this unit. Bass and treble...+/- 10db on each. Simple but effective for most non-audiophile users. Not going to make you happy if you do, indeed, consider yourself an audiophile. And no fancy GUI. As I indicated... very basic. Bass up, bass down. Treble up, treble down...... [ ROBERT  Feb 17, 2014 ]
    Its not really a true Equalizer with several bands. It just has a bass and treble adjustment. [ DENNIS  Feb 17, 2014 ]
    Not that I know of. Or I haven't found that yet. Sorry, wish I could be more help! [ DENNIS S  Dec 20, 2013 ]
    Michael; I recently purchased the Sony STR-DH540 because I wanted to listen to surround sound while watching movies on my TV and play my ipod through the system. Unfortunately, none of the Sony's support my ipod so I returned the unit. Sorry I couldn't help you. [ BRAD  Dec 17, 2013 ]
    Difficult to compare with other systems, and we are still getting to know the system, but the Dynamic Range Compression seems okay. Other audio modes work to reduce the loud parts that boom through the house, although at some compromise to the full surround sound effect. [ MARK  Dec 17, 2013 ]
    I am not aware that this feature is available...just installed it and have used it very little in our media room....However, I do hope such feature is included in this Sony. [ ESTEVAN  Dec 17, 2013 ]
    I have had this unit for a couple of weeks now. I use the full surround package connected to it along with a subwoofer. All the speakers are about 15 years old. This unit blows the roof off if need be. No doubts about this purchase. Would do it again. Just crossing my fingers it performs well for several years. I use it for DVDs as well as a 55 inch LG smart TV. Needed an optical digital cable to get Netflix to play through this receiver. Only issue I am trying to work out is an echo when selecting stadium or sports audio. [ EUGENE  Dec 09, 2013 ]
    Hi Rod I have 2 of these sony str-dh540 and they are great. Perfect for your system! Good luck and Happy Holidays! [ FRED M  Dec 09, 2013 ]
    I like the STR-DH540 a lot -- it's a great basic 5.2 HT receiver and I imagine it would fit your needs. But if you're driving two speakers only (not HT), why not get a stereo receiver rather than HT? I have the Sony STR-DH130 driving living-room stereo setup (along with a separate set of outdoor speakers), which works really well. The Yamaha RS-201 is a good option as well. Both are entry-level units but pack plenty of power. The Yamaha has slightly higher RMS, while the Sony can drive two sets of speakers simultaneously (A, B or A+B). [ ALEX R  Dec 09, 2013 ]
    Ok.. so I'll tell you this.. I used to be an audiophile and now I just want to hear what I'm listening to properly. I use mine with a 60" LG Smart TV, an XBOX 360 and Blu-ray player. I have a center channel and two side speakers with a Polk 10" powered sub.. This Sony came with a auto tuner and I have to say.. I really like the sound... I don't know how perfect the sounds is.. but it suits me just fine. I like the receiver my GF thinks I am hard of hearing... and let me tell you.. I don't struggle with this unit. I like it. [ RUVEN  Dec 09, 2013 ]
    Will it still be able to handle 8-ohm speakers? [ Mike  Dec 03, 2013 ]
    Thanks for the catch Jenny. The correct stat is for 6-ohms and we are in the process of correcting the details page. [ Jeff  Nov 29, 2013 ]  Staff
    This receiver does have an equalizer. It will allow you to adjust the tonal quality (bass & treble level) of the front speakers from -6dB to +6dB, in 1dB steps. [ Jeff  Nov 27, 2013 ]  Staff
    A subwoofer will add a nice low end to the system, and provide the extra power needed during action sequences in movies. Feel free to reach out to an Advisor by phone or chat to help figure out what will work best in your system. [ Jeff  Nov 24, 2013 ]  Staff