Pioneer and Onkyo Corporation have unveiled details of the new Elite VSX-LX503 9.2-channel network AV receiver, which includes Dolby Atmos and DTS:X surround sound support for layouts up to 7.2.4-channels.
It boasts a 120W (8 ohms, 20 Hz-20 kHz, THD 0.08%, 2-ch driven, FTC), features Pioneer's Direct Energy and is the first announced Elite receiver to earn the "Works With Sonos" certification.
The Elite VSX-LX503 features Direct Energy amplification, which aims to deliver flawless high-output power to all speakers simultaneously, says Pioneer. Details such as shortened signal paths and clean grounds enable accurate performance, while powerful and dynamic bass response is another highlight. Signals for the surround, centre, and height speakers are treated the same as the Front L+R channels, with high driving power creating an immersive and perfectly balanced sound-field to unlock the full 3D spatial effect of DTS:X and Dolby Atmos.
Once the receiver is connected to a Sonos Connect, you can send any music or source on their Sonos app to the receiver. The receiver can be grouped to other Sonos devices on the network or it can be used independently. Firmware enabling this function is currently available.
With nine channels of onboard amplification and processing for 5.2.4-channel and 7.2.2-channel object-based audio via quad-core 32-bit chip and Aureus floating-point DSP chip, you can enjoy 3D surround-sound with seamless top-to-bottom, side-to-side, and front-to-back coverage. Further, enjoy 7.2.4-channel surround-sound using an external stereo amplifier connected via 11.2-channel pre-outs.
Four Surround Back/Zone speaker outputs can drive stereo speakers in Zone 2 and Zone 3 with a 5.2-channel setup in the main room, or a 5.2.2-channel layout with Powered Zone 2 distribution. As well as analog audio, multiple DACs support digital source playback in up to three zones simultaneously, with content selection and control via the Pioneer Remote App.
HDMI terminals pass 4K/60p/4:4:4/24-bit, BT.2020, and 4K HDR video (HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision) through to compatible displays and projectors. All terminals are compatible with HDCP 2.2 content protection, while onboard Super Resolution 4K upscaling technology can upscale Full HD video to the quality of a 4K signal.
Dolby Atmos and DTS:X soundtracks use object-based metadata to create a 3D soundscape in the room. The codecs contain height-channel audio information in addition to floor-channel audio, freeing sound to move around the audience. Dolby Surround and DTS Neural:X upmixing solutions are included to remap legacy movie and game soundtracks, enhancing immersion with any speaker layout. Both technologies are cross-compatible with a variety of common movie and game audio formats.
MCACC (Multi-Channel Acoustic Calibration System) creates an ideal listening environment in media rooms and entertainment spaces. The system automatically compensates for differences in speaker size, level, and distance, and equalizes response. Further, it incorporates subwoofer equalization for taut, deep bass.
A solution to resolve phase-lag between the subwoofer and front L+R speakers, Phase Control compensates for bass delay at the viewing position to improve sound synchronization. Consequently, it makes low-frequency effects more dynamic and facilitates clearer reproduction of sound in the mid- and high-frequency bands.
When using Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers, high directivity sound from the unit reflects off the ceiling, while low directivity sound directly reaches the ears. The different pathways cause a phase shift, making the sound feel uncomfortable. Reflex Optimizer, which uses the Phase Control technology, adjusts this shift and improves sound-image localization to create the ideal audio reproduction environment, says Pioneer.
DTS Play-Fi technology facilitates wireless streaming of virtually any audio content from any compatible mobile devices to the Elite VSX-LX503 and other supported audio systems, creating a flexible multi-room system in the home. Different sources can be streamed to different speakers at the same time from the free Pioneer Music Control App.
The Elite VSX-LX503 comes with Chromecast built-in. Stream and control music from Chromecast-enabled apps on your iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets, Chromebook, and the Chrome web browser, right to your speakers. Owners of devices with the Google Assistant built-in can control music on the Elite VSX-LX503 by voice as well.
FlareConnect shares audio from network and external audio input sources between compatible components. Enjoy multi-room playback of LP records, CDs, network music services, and more with supported components and speaker systems. Music selection, speaker grouping, and playback management across the home are built into the Pioneer Remote App.
The Elite VSX-LX503 incorporates a high-grade 384 kHz/32-bit DAC (AK4458) produced by AKM. The device offers clear and precise audio reproduction with a unique digital filter that achieves extremely low distortion and excellent S/N performance.
The receiver can reproduce audio formats including SACD via HDMI (5.6 MHz/2-ch, 2.8 MHz/5.1-ch) and digital files via network and USB input. Supported formats comprise 192 kHz/24-bit FLAC, WAV (RIFF), AIFF, and ALAC; Direct DSD 11.2 MHz (native playback) and 5.6 MHz/2.8 MHz; and Dolby TrueHD to 192 kHz/24-bit.
Supported Internet radio and online music services include Amazon Music, Pandora, TIDAL, TuneIn, Spotify, and Deezer, accessed via Pioneer Remote App or Pioneer Music Control App.
High-fidelity audio sources can be played wirelessly over a built-in Wi-Fi connection offering 5 GHz (11a/n) and 2.4 GHz (11b/g/n) bands. In busy households with many devices contributing to congestion on the 2.4 GHz band, the 5 GHz channel provides stable transmission of audio files.
Bluetooth wireless technology can be used to stream a variety of content playing on mobiles, tablets, and laptops, including audiobooks, podcasts, and music.
Pioneer's GUI offers a clean graphical layout that details receiver functions, with Setup Guidance that makes initial network setup fast and easy.
The AV receiver is Apple AirPlay-certified, with two 12V trigger outputs, IR input, and IR output; RS-232C-compliant with IP control for PC setup and home automation; assignable component and composite video inputs; and Zone 2 and Zone 3 pre-/line outputs.
The Pioneer Elite VSX-LX503 9.2-channel network AV receiver is available in Canada for an MSRP of $1,450.