Max: Fury Road features the VSX-1131 in its two-hour running time. In the desert wasteland, rumbles and charges a muffled receiver.
Watch the gears grinding against one another as the engines roar along in this chase scene.
With an emphasis on low-frequency wallops, it delivers a powerful performance. There is a little bit more precision and a little bit more depth to the Pioneer drive. Although there are times when the bass becomes overly rich, it is never plodding or flabby.
Richness is not necessarily undesirable but may lose some subtlety and overall sharpness. Despite the punchy kicks, the notes stop and start are unpredictably timed.
We can improve the sound quality and organization by turning on Pure Direct.
We are surrounded by sound in an astonishing way. The amp delivers incredible height even without Atmos channels connected. This allows for plenty of room for the high-end without being too bright or aggressive.
Soundfields such as these convey the sense of openness in The Book Thief. Clarity and refinement, however, would have been helpful.
In scenes with plenty of dialogue, voices can be swallowed up during action sequences, and characters might be able to more clearly portray their emotions with more nuance.
A more detailed Pioneer sound will result in a seamless surround effect across all speakers.
Introducing the new Pioneer AVR-X2300W. A $500 sound system that delivers immersive sound.
Our expectations were a little high because we thought that Pioneer’s high-performance receivers (such as the SC-LX59) would have better-handled power and output with a softer, more agile audio approach.
Despite its shortcomings, Stop Making Sense by The Talking Heads is entertaining on its own, and we enjoy watching it. In spite of its smaller size and power, the new Denon sound system is more engaging and musical.
When music is streamed over Bluetooth and Spotify Connect, the subtleties and clarity of songs are lost, but they still maintain a certain undercurrent. You might also want to experiment with stereo and surround modes.
It makes everything sound like it’s bigger and grander in stereo than in surround.
The Pioneer receiver looks largely the same from the outside.
We’ve come to expect Pioneer’s high standards of build quality, including a sturdy rectangular chassis (available in silver or black finishes), an easily readable display, and large control dials.
Pioneer has however made some tweaks to the formula. The remote control and the interface have been redesigned to enhance the user experience.
Various superfluous buttons (including the number keys) have been removed from the new remote to simplify the program and make it easier to use. The volume and navigation are controlled using large, distinctive buttons that are easily identifiable within seconds – we have no problem finding them in the dark.
iControlAV5 from Pioneer is a great control app if you like vibrant, interactive apps. Besides the intuitive interface, Sound Explorer’s slick design (we love the bubbles, which make it even more fun to use) also makes it very enjoyable.
If you need the remote for any basic functions, you should download this free app Tuning the receiver’s audio settings.
With a large home screen and improved graphics, you’ll notice the difference as soon as you turn your receiver on. It’s a nice way of working.
The Pioneer MCACC auto-calibration system recently underwent a major overhaul, including a shortened implementation of the interface. Shorter by a considerable margin. Pioneer’s precise calibration setup means that you can finish eating and drinking (and even getting a cup of tea) during the process. You might remember the joke that we would tell about it taking nearly 10 minutes.
MCACC is performing a new calibration before your tea has steamed. The harsh, monotonous test tones almost escape us when we are engrossed in a 10-step process. Calibration is almost the same (almost).
The PMC Twenty23 7.1 speaker package can be perfectly matched if we lower the subwoofer volume a few dB.
With so many advanced features, the Pioneer AVR-530 is also very affordable at $550.
As well as supporting Dolby Atmos and Google Cast, VSX-1131 lets you stream music in high definition.
This receiver provides 7 channels of audio, each rated at 160 watts (at 6 ohms). Additionally, Dolby Atmos and height speaker terminals can be used.
In terms of Atmos configurations, the maximum is 7.2.2 (with seven speakers, two subwoofers, and two Atmos channels) – so you should be good to go if you’re planning on building an Atmos-enabled home theater.
DTS:X surround sound will also be available following a firmware update later this year.
All four HDMI inputs are supported, and the first three HDMI inputs are HDCP2.2 certified, meaning that they can play newly released 4K Blu-ray discs.
In addition, the Panasonic DMP-UB900 player supports the HDR (high dynamic range) and BT.2020 color gamut standards, which are required by 4K HDR sources and discs.
Denon’s model does not include coaxial inputs (something that Pioneer does), and the Pioneer AVR-X2300W has seven HDMI inputs (one of which is on the front).
In addition to two HDMI outputs, legacy analog connections, a 6.3mm headphone jack, a 3.5mm jack, and a USB port for charging smartphones, the list of connections is quite comprehensive.
Wirelessly stream FLAC, AIFF, and WAV files in 24-bit/192kHz resolution over your home network using a dual network (5 GHz and 2.4 GHz), replacing Bluetooth and AirPlay, both of which are no longer supported by USB.
DSD files can be played wirelessly as well as by plugging them into a USB port. The wi-fi connection worked without interruption, but an ethernet connection will provide a more reliable connection.
The Pioneer amplifiers now feature Google Cast, so compatible apps (including BBC iPlayer, Netflix, and YouTube) will be cast to your screen directly from the amplifier via this function.
Following software updates later this year, Tidal and Deezer subscribers will also be able to experience Spotify Connect on their new headsets.
Pioneer has not always enjoyed the same level of popularity with its VSX products as it has with its higher-end SC-LX products. Sony and Denon have been battling for a couple of years now for this highly competitive $500 price point. Although the VSX-930 received a 5-star rating for its exceptional performance last year, the VSX-1131 isn’t quite as balanced in its power and subtleties as Pioneer’s SC-LX receivers.
VSX-1131 should not be ignored. With so many features crammed into the VSX-1131, Pioneer is sure to be a big seller at this price. When building a home cinema system, one with that much power, openness, and scale would appeal to many people – and it is one to consider.
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