It makes sense comparing Yamaha RX-V685BL vs Denon AVR-S950H because they both are able to give some premium features.
Considered AV receivers have the same number of channels 7.2. Regarding power, then RX-V685BL has such a W/Ohm ratio - 90/8, 150/4 when AVR-S950H has a power of 90/8, 125/6. The THD is 0.06% for the RX-V685BL but 0.08% for the AVR-S950H.
Characteristics of digital to analog converter (DAC) are different, Burr-Brown 384 KHz/32-bit for RX-V685BL and AKM 192 KHz/32-bit for the AVR-S950H. Only the RX-V685BL supports Bi-amping feature. Each of the AV receivers can transmit an audio signal directly to the amplifier and bypasses any DSP processing. Rivals from our review have Bluetooth support. The Yamaha RX-V685BL has support for AirPlay, and its competitor in our comparison - AirPlay, AirPlay 2. Only the AVR-S950H supports Spotify.
Both AV receivers support HDR10 technology (High dynamic range). Compared AV receivers retain the quality of 4K/60Hz signal when transmitting from a source to a TV or projector. HDMI signal transmission in standby mode is implemented in each of the devices. Both rivals can scale the resolution of the incoming HDMI signal. The HDR standard - Dolby Vision is supported by these receivers.
The Yamaha RX-V685BL has 5/2 HDMI inputs/outputs versus 8/2 HDMI connectors of the Denon AVR-S950H. The HDMI Audio Return Channel (ARC) feature supports both devices. HDMI eARC is available in each model. The Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) feature is present in most modern AV receivers and the models in our comparison are no exception. The RX-V685BL supports the protection of digital content of the standard HDCP 2.2, versus HDCP 2.3 in the AVR-S950H. These compared receivers have a built-in phono stage for connecting a vinyl player.
Each of the AV receivers from our review supports 2 Multi-room zones. It is also worth noting that the ECO mode is presented in each of the receivers. Both RX-V685BL and AVR-S950H can be configured using the Setup assistant.
Both devices have support for Dolby Atmos multichannel audio format. The surround sound technology DTS:X is supported by devices under review.