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Denon AVR-S740H review: Best-in-class sound and features in a sub-$500 package

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The Good The Denon AVR-S740H offers excellent sound quality, especially for music listeners. The receiver includes Dolby Atmos/DTS:X plus plenty of HDMI ports with 4K HDR compatibility. Multiroom music is provided via both HEOS and Apple AirPlay 2.

The Bad The lack of Chromecast built-in capability may put off Google users. The system may need a bit of tweaking to get right -- for instance loudness and dynamic compression controls were set on by default.

The Bottom Line The Denon AVR-S740H receiver offers excellent sound, a generous feature set and a great price, making it one of our favorite affordable models.

8.5 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 9
  • Sound 9
  • Value 8

A longtime favorite here at CNET, the Sony STR-DN1080 is a top-notch receiver with excellent sound and a (still) cutting-edge feature set. The receiver has been top of the AV heap for 18 months, and yet it's time for it to stand aside and let some new blood take control. Denon has built itself a reputation for high-quality audio at affordable prices, and that legacy grows with the giant-killing AVR-740H receiver. 

This is a Dolby Atmos receiver with amazing sound quality and a healthy dose of features: multiroom music streaming, 4K HDR compatible video switching. With better sonics than the Sony STR-DN1080 and a slightly better price, the Denon AVR-740H is now one of the best deals in midpriced receivers.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

The AVR-740H is a distillation of many years of technologies including 4K, wireless multiroom (Apple's AirPlay 2 and HEOS) and Dolby Atmos. It offers:

  • Six 4K/HDR-compatible HDMI inputs, one output
  • Bluetooth
  • Ethernet/Wi-Fi
  • USB (charging/mobile playback)
  • Three digital inputs -- two optical, one coaxial
  • Audyssey Room Correction
  • 24-bit/192kHz playback plus DSD
  • Denon 2016 AVR Remote app compatibility (iOS, Android and Kindle)
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    Sarah Tew/CNET

If you're an audiophile, it can also stream over the network using the proprietary HEOS app or via USB. HEOS is one of several competing multiroom systems, and it is currently used by Denon and stablemate Marantz. The best thing about HEOS? The hardware. For example, the HEOS 1 ($149 at Amazon) speaker is one of our favorite multiroom/portable speakers. While there is Amazon Alexa control, there's no Google Assistant or Chromecast audio support.

The receiver offers some neat usability touches including dedicated shortcut buttons on the front of the unit as well as a colorful clicker reminiscent of Marantz's models.

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