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Martin Dew

HTF News Editor
HW Reviewer
Nov 1, 2017
United Kingdom
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Martin Dew
Martin Dew

Pioneer Announces New Elite 9.2-Channel AV Receiver

Pioneer and Onkyo Corporation has today announced specs of its Elite VSX-LX503 9.2-Channel Network AV Receiver, available June 17th with an MSRP of $1,099 USD and $1,449 CAD. The multi-talented black box will offer Dolby Atmos and DTS:X immersive audio codecs with speaker layouts maxing out at 7.2.4 channels, and with a claimed 120W (8 ohms, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, THD 0.08% 2-ch driven FTC) amp section. It will also feature Pioneer's 'Direct Energy' feature and is the first Elite receiver to achieve 'Works with Sonos' certification.

Direct Energy amplification aims to deliver high-output power to all speakers simultaneously. Accordingly, signals for the center, surround and height speakers should be 'treated the same' as the front left and right channels, according to Pioneer, with the high driving power creating an immersive and balanced soundfield for object-based audio sources in order to unlock their inherent 3D spatial effects.


A first for the pioneer brand includes 'Works with Sonos' where consumers who use Sonos Connect will be able to send any music or source to the receiver, and the unit itself will be able to group with other Sonos devices on a home network, for which firmware is already available. As is also common inside receivers in this price/performance bracket, the nine onboard amplifiers can facilitate multiple speaker layouts and options, including 5.2.4 and 7.2.2, courtesy of a quad-core 32-bit chip and Aureus floating-point DSP chip. Meanwhile, 11.2 pre-outs mean a full 7.2.4 immersive experience can be achieved using one external two-channel amplifier.

A Pioneer Remote App will control multiple DACs to allow digital source playback in up to three zones simultaneously, while a 5.2-channel speaker layout frees up Zones 2 and 3 with stereo pairs. Not surprisingly, we also get 4K/60p video support with HDR and HDCP 2.2 on HDMI terminals, and upscaling of 1080p signals to 2160p for 4K playback.

Onboard MCACC calibration software measures and compensates for speaker sizes, levels and distances from the listener to achieve maximized frequency response in a multi-channel environment, and a Reflex Optimizer mitigates unwanted and 'uncomfortable' effects of phase shifts as the reflected sound of Dolby Atmos-enabled height speakers often finds multiple pathways of travel before reaching the ears.

The unit also includes DTS Play-Fi tech, Chromecast built-in streaming capabilities, FlareConnect and internet radio functionality. Full specs can of course be accessed on the Pioneer Electronics website. Seems like Pioneer has set quite a competitive price point for this multi-featured AV hub. Are any of our readers here planning to take the plunge on this? Please add your comments below.

Dave Upton

May 16, 2012
Houston, TX
Real Name
Dave Upton
Once they finally drop MCACC in favor of Dirac, I think they'll have a much more compelling offering. It's too bad really, because MCACC holds back an otherwise excellent receiver.

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