Pioneer Elite’s New VSX-LX303 Delivers Powerful 9.2-Channel Performance
(Onkyo & Pioneer Corporation) (April 30, 2018) ‘Tis the new model rollout season and Pioneer clearly isn’t done yet. Last month, the company unveiled its new VSX-LX103 AVR, an Elite badged model designed for budget-minded buyers. Today, it unveiled a mid-range Elite model priced under $900. The new VSX-LX303 9.2-Channel Network AV Receiver delivers up to four channels of Atmos performance while carrying impressive power output specifications.
The VSX-LX303 presents nine channels of amplification for widely varied speaker arrangements. Users can run either 5.2.4 or 7.2.2 immersive sound layouts, or opt for smaller surround sound configurations while reassigning power to speakers in (up to) two other Zones. The receiver supports both DTS:X and Dolby Atmos immersive sound decoding, in addition to offering immersive upmixing of popular legacy codecs utilizing Dolby Surround and DTS Neural:X technologies.
The receiver’s Direct Energy amp section is rated to deliver 100 Watts per channel (8 ohms, 20 Hz – 20 kHz, THD 0.08%, 2ch driven), with processing handled by multiple high-end AKM AK4458 384 kHz/32-bit digital to analog converters. In addition, object audio playback is handled by digital quad core Cirrus Logic 32-bit and Texas Instruments Aureus floating-point DSP chips.
Pioneer touts the LX303’s power stability and output precision, even when power is required by all nine channels simultaneously.
Much like other Pioneer receivers, the VSX-LX303 utilizes the company’s Multi-Channel Acoustic Calibration System – otherwise known as MCACC – and an included microphone to measure speaker distances, set channel levels, fine tune synchronization between a system’s Left, Right, and subwoofer channels, and set room specific output equalization. The additional processing of the included Reflex Optimizer helps to minimize phase shift issues introduced by Atmos-enabled speaker modules.
The VSX-LX303 provides music fans with incredible versatility. Those users interested in ease of use will appreciate the inclusion of built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Apple AirPlay, along with onboard support of streaming services such as Pandora, Spotify, TIDAL, and Deezer. While users looking for pure playback will appreciate the receiver’s support of Hi-Res audio courtesy of networked and USB sources. Along with support for (up to) 192 kHz/24-bit ALAC, AIFF, FLAC, WAV, and 5.6 MHz DSD files, the LX303 also supports Dolby TrueHD audio tracks.
Pioneer has packed the LX303 with three different options for whole-home audio: FlareConnect, DTS Play-Fi, and Chromecast built-in. All three are unique solutions that essentially allow the receiver to stream music to compatible equipment and speakers placed around a home – including audio sourced from CD players and turntables.
The LX303 also has 4K video passthrough fully covered, with seven HDMI inputs offering compatibility with HDCP 2.2, 4K/60Hz video, BT. 2020 wide color, and various High Dynamic Range formats (HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision). In addition, onboard Super Resolution 4K upscaling technology can convert High Definition video to near-4K quality, making the VSX-LX303 an excellent 4K system component.
The VSX-LX303 carries an MSRP of $899 ($1149 CAD) and is available for purchase now.