Pioneer VSX-LX303 Review (Best 9.2 AV Receiver 4k Ultra HD)

Pioneer VSX-LX303

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9.5

DESIGN

9.3/10

FEATURES

9.5/10

SOUND

9.5/10

VALUE

9.5/10

CONNECTIVITY

9.5/10

Pros

  • Nine amplifier channels
  • Versatile network functionality
  • Excellent value for money

Cons

  • High impedance headphone output

We’re experiencing difficulty accommodating two distinct realities about the Pioneer VSX-LX303 AV receiver. Truth one: it is a nine-channel unit, appraised at 100 watts for every channel. Reality two: it sells for under AU$1,500 ($799, £799). We don’t think we’ve seen that sort of significant worth before from a trustworthy brand.




Equipment- Pioneer VSX-LX303

Nine channels give choices. One such is driving overhead speakers for best activity with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X soundtracks. This receiver can convey that in two principle setups: 5.1.4 or 7.1.2. Lesser arrangements are accessible, as well, for example, 5.1.2. That discharges two of the enhancers to, say, help bi-intensify the front speakers or drive speakers in a subsequent zone.

The amplifiers are each evaluated at 100W into eight ohms across the full sound data transmission at 0.08% absolute consonant bending. Pioneer likewise prefers to indicate higher bending, lower impedance figures, for example, 170W per channel into six ohms at 1% THD. The significant point is that the speakers support four-ohm loads without issues. Pioneer VSX-LX303 calls its amplifier innovation ‘Direct Energy’.

This is clearly Pioneer VSX-LX303 further developed adaptation of IcePower Class-D speakers. These are profoundly effective, dissimilar to the more normal Class-A/B enhancers. That implies less warmth dispersal and less requirement for hefty warmth sinks and enormous force transformers.




There aren’t any pre-amplifier outputs, except for the 2 (duplicate) subwoofer outputs. For inputs, you’ll largely be victimization HDMI, of that there square measure seven. It is 2018, so that they support UltraHD video at up to 60p, at the side of the HDCP a pair of.2 copy protection system, necessary to confirm compatibility with UltraHD Blu-ray players. 2 HDMI outputs square measure provided. one in all them supports the Audio come Channel.

But there also are homocentric and optical digital audio inputs, at the side of 5 Analogue stereo line inputs. one in all these is on the front panel within the variety of a three.5mm stereo socket, terribly helpful. And there’s a phono input appropriate to be used with moving magnet cartridges.

Pioneer-VSX-LX303-review

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Also on each front and rear panel square measure USB sockets for plugging in USB sticks and drives. you’ll be able to replay audio in that manner if you’re not found out about the advanced network options incorporated during this receiver. It will connect with the network via LAN and Wi-Fi. There square measure 2 antennas on the rear to help with the latter, and additionally with Bluetooth. The Bluetooth feature supports the quality SBC codec, and additionally AAC. AAC permits slightly higher quality with Apple devices.




There square measure composite and element video inputs. The receiver digitizes these signals and sends them onto the HDMI outputs. there’s additionally a decent vary of system integration connections, together with the Associate in Nursing RS-232C port. we have a tendency to suspect that one could be with the U.S. forever, only if RS-232 is turning out for its fiftieth birthday next year.

Setup- Pioneer VSX-LX303

The receiver starts initial time with a wizard that takes you thru automatic area standardization (Pioneer’s Full machine MCACC), followed by network set-up. The standardization will take into consideration 3 electro-acoustic transducer positions. The wizard may be a bit friendlier. It didn’t simply permit backing up to repeat steps while not interrupting its flow.



The machine MCACC had one alternative weakness: it pronounced all of our speakers to be ‘Large’. together with the ceiling speakers. we tend to visit the manual speaker settings later and adjust the speakers to our preference. At that time we tend to were reminded of 1 alternative long-standing facet during which Pioneer VSX-LX303 receivers fall behind most others: you Pioneer VSX-LX303 can’t set individual bass crossover Pioneer VSX-LX303 frequencies for the various ‘Small’ speakers. we tend to prefer to be ready to set our front speakers to forty hertz, the center and surround to sixty or eighty hertz, and also the ceiling speakers to one hundred hertz. With this receiver, we tend to settle on ‘Large’ for the front speakers and eighty hertz ‘Small’ as a compromise for the others.

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You can use an associate degree iOS device to line up Wi-Fi or the normal technique of scanning the network. we tend to do the latter. It detected each of our two.4GHz and 5GHz access points, thus we are able to make sure the receiver runs dual-band Wi-Fi. Of course, if you have got an associate degree to coax cable handy, it’s sometimes best to use a wired association to scale back Wi-Fi congestion.




Home theatre and music- Pioneer VSX-LX303

‘Easy and faultless’ was our conclusion once outlay it slows with this receiver. It did everything it had been purported to while not fuss, whether or not we have a tendency to were spinning vinyl or running Ultra-HD Blu-ray signals through it.

The receiver did a sterling job with the creepy Dolby Atmos audio on the horror flick ‘It’, and even as well capable the Dolby Vision video from an equivalent picture. It is conjointly capable of the 2160p/60 HDR content of ‘Billy Lynn’s Long suspension Walk’. after you amend things — modify the amount and then on — it overlays the associate degree indicator. usually, this was amid some text, typically exploitation associate degree old-timey bitmapped graphic.



Importantly, there was lots of power to get high levels with the loudspeakers, and superior management over them. The surrounding fields were well delivered, and completely encompassing. The equivalent applied by Pioneer’s MCACC appears to place bass a touch quite another brand, in a very pleasing method.

Analogue music, as well as that delivered from vinyl, was handled with correct subtlety. Stereo imaging was pleasing, with depth and also the reasonable solidity to the instruments that maintain the air of vinyl. The receiver had the not uncommon silly default of ‘Ext. Stereo’, that is essentially associate degree all-channel stereo. If we’re not mistaken, this used even our ceiling speakers.

we are saying silly as a result of Pioneer VSX-LX303 deep down we’re purists, however, we have a tendency to should admit to housing in a very very little streaming Devo therein mode, as a result of it gave the impression to bounce the synth parts round the space in a very quiet attractive method. But, hey, Devo. If you’re about to abandon purism, that’s the cluster to try to do it for you. With a lot of ancient music, we have a tendency to stick to stereo or Pure Direct as our listening modes.

Also Read: Onkyo TX-NR797 Review (Best 9.2 channel av receiver)

Network use- Pioneer VSX-LX303

Wow. Most network-capable house receivers incorporate support for, say, DLNA and AirPlay, and a multiroom protocol of some type. The Pioneer VSX-LX303 definitely incorporates DLNA and AirPlay. Indeed, as we’re typewriting this paragraph we’re taking note of a touch of Blood, Sweat, and Tears being sent via AirPlay from our iPad mini.

But the receiver conjointly supports Flare Connect, another multiroom system, and DTs Play-Fi, yet one more. And it’s Google Chromecast inbuilt, which will function another multiroom system, maybe the bottom price of all of them.




Chromecast is ok, however, restricted. It supports up to twenty-four bit, 96kHz music. If you’re into weirder stuff, though, you will like DLNA. Our favorite DLNA app is additionally Chromecast compatible. It blithely sent Direct Stream Digital music to the receiver via DLNA up to DSD128.

Chromecast isn’t DSD compatible. Also, apparently, whenever we tend to switch to Chromecast, or switched away, there was the distinct click of a relay among the receiver, suggesting there is also separate hardware for this performance.

It worked well with Spotify Connect. It conjointly supports recurrent events and Deezer, therefore it offers you access to the foremost vital subscription streaming.

Just returning concisely thereto Class-D potency stuff, we tend to do notice that once some of the hours of network listening, the highest of the unit was quite heat. however, the warmth was a lot higher than the circuit boards at the rear of the unit, not over the electronic equipment heat-sinks at the front. It appears that they are extremely square measure economical.




Headphone listening- Pioneer VSX-LX303

Again we’d counsel that this receiver may not be the best device for earpiece listening, despite that attractive half dozen.35mm earpiece socket on the front panel. As looks to be just about customary for theatre receivers from most brands (see different reviews), there’s an outsized protecting electrical device in line with the output. we have a tendency to calculated it out at around 325 ohms.

That’s more Pioneer VSX-LX303 than the electrical resistance of any headphones probably to be used with the receiver, maybe the maximum amount as twenty times higher. Any electrical resistance variations across completely different frequencies inherent within the headphones can end in frequency output variations.

Again, we have a tendency to stress that this looks to be a problem nearly across the board in theatre receivers. We’re drawing attention to that so the business would possibly modification this norm!



Verdict

The Pioneer VSX-LX303 Av receiver is unquestionably a high worth and high-performance unit. If you’re serious concerning your theatre and have a receiver budget at this level, do check it out.

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