Pioneer Elite VSX-LX305 9.1 Channel AV Receiver with 8K video - Full Review!

Manufacturer & Model
Pioneer Home USA, VSX-LX305 Elite
MSRP
$1199.00
Link
https://www.pioneerhomeusa.com/product/vsx-lx305-av-receiver/
Highlights
BOTH Dirac Live Full Bandwidth 20Hz to 20kHz Room Correction and Pioneer Advanced MCACC Room Correction
HDMI 2.1
4K to 8K upscaling
8K Compatible
Ultimate 4K/120P and 8K Gaming Experience
Imax Enhanced
Discrete HDMI Zone 2 Switching
100 Watts per channel (8 ohms, 20 Hz-20 kHz, THD 0.08 %, 2-channels driven)
Subwoofer 2 Pre-Out
Bi-directional Bluetooth with aptX HD
Built-in music streaming capability Spotify, Amazon Music, Pandora, Deezer, and Tidal
"Works with Sonos" Certified
ROON Tested
DTS Play-Fi, Apple AirPlay
Internet Radio enabled
AM/FM terrestrial receiver built-in
Summary
The Pioneer VSX-LX305 is a thoroughly modern AV receiver complete with HDMI 2.1 and 8K video capabilities. Surround modes include the full suite of Dolby decoding schemes featuring Dolby ATMOS (5.1.4 or 7.1.2) and the rest of the current Dolby team. Team DTS is fully represented with the current DTS decoding algorithms, including DTS:X and downward. The Pioneer includes a bevy of DSP-constructed soundstages as well that can be used alone or layered on top of the Dolby/DTS surround schemes. On the video side, the receiver is packed to the brim with HDMI 2.1 4K/8K support, HDR10+, HDR10, HLG (8K HDR video), Dolby Vision, and IMAX® Enhanced. It’s also a deluxe streamer working with the Pioneer Remote App to directly stream Amazon Music HD, Pandora, Spotify, TIDAL, and Deezer. The VSX-LS305 is ROON Tested and Internet Radio ready with TuneIn, while retaining the essence of a true receiver with AM/FM terrestrial receivers built-in. And, of course, the Pioneer VSX-LX305 works with Alexa, Hey Google, and Apple AirPlay. And in partnership with SONOS it’s a certified "Works with SONOS" device. Whew!
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The Review
When I was first asked if I would like to review the new-ish (released in 2021) Pioneer VSX-LX305 Elite AV receiver, I did somewhat of a double-take. Hmmm… I mused; Pioneer was not a brand I had heard much about lately. But, having owned Pioneer products in the past (i.e., the Pioneer CLD-M301 Laser Disk Player and Pioneer Elite DV-09 DVD player) and having worked with and sold, Pioneer products in the distant past (the 70s), I was both intrigued and more than willing to give this new receiver a whirl!

In the mid-70s, I went to work for retailer Twentieth Century Electronics while living in the frozen Northlands. Twentieth Century was an electronics retailer that sold everything from capacitors and resistors to CB Radios and Police Scanners to a complete range of Hi-Fi gear. We carried some of the most popular receiver brands of the day, including Sansui, Marantz, Fisher, Marantz-Superscope, Rotel, and Pioneer.

I remember one particular beast of a receiver that sparked my interest at the time. It was the 73 lbs, 160 watts per channel, SX-1250 (circa 1976). Oh my, how we (read: I) lusted after that receiver. It was stunningly beautiful, and with that incredible (for the time) 160 watts per channel of power, it was a certified monster to be reckoned with! But at $900 MSRP (roughly $4,488.00 in today's money!), it was out of reach for many, including me.

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But the power wars "they were a' raging." Refusing to be outdone and risk the loss of the "Watts Wars" of the 70s, Pioneer continually "upped the ante," progressively releasing more powerful and feature-rich receivers throughout the decade. Pioneer capped off that decade (Late 1978) with the over-the-top madness of the $1,295.00, 78 lbs, 270, very conservatively rated, watts per channel SX 1980! That was a lot of watts, and a lot of moula, for the 1978/1979-timeframe, coming in at a whopping $5,635.00 in today's hyper-inflated dinero! Even though Pioneer eventually lost the seventies "Watts War" (on paper) to the Technics SA-1000 (1978-1979, 330 watts per channel) and the Marantz 2600 (1978-1980, 300 watts per channel), the Pioneer SX1980 stands as a testament to the solid Japanese engineering of the day.

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Many of those 70s Pioneer receivers are still in demand by modern collectors! But shockingly, if you search for Pioneer SX-1980 receivers for sale TODAY, they can still be found and selling for as much as $9,000.00!! Yes, Martha, I said $9000.00, Nine Grand, nine big ones, $9K. Well, you get the drift. Bouku dollars even today!

Ah! But having said all that, this is a story of a thoroughly modern descendant of those early receivers, the Pioneer VSX-LX305 Elite AV receiver.

The Pioneer AV division was sold to Onkyo/Integra in 2015, with Onkyo intending to modernize and revive the struggling Pioneer brand. After lying dormant in the US market for a brief while, there has recently been a significant resurgence of the Pioneer brand.

Premium Audio Company (PAC), through their 11 Trading Company (11TC) subsidiary, became the distributor of the Onkyo, Integra, Pioneer, and Pioneer Elite brands in July 2020, adding these brands to an already impressive portfolio that includes some of the most legendary and revered brands — Klipsch, Jamo, Magnat, and Heco.

Then, in September 2021, PAC acquired 75% of a joint venture with Sharp and now manages all product development, engineering, and distribution of the Onkyo and Integra brands and established a multi-year licensing and distribution agreement with Pioneer Corporation's home entertainment category with manufacturing done by Sharp.

PAC's Onkyo Technologies product development and engineering teams work closely with Pioneer to ensure synergy with their overarching global footprint. The company is investing in new product development, which will result in a broader range of home entertainment solutions than is available in the market today under the Pioneer and Elite brands.

This partnership brings tremendous resources to the table for the Pioneer/Onkyo/Integra brands, providing them with a solid foundation to grow on.


Delivery Day
Delivered to my doorstep through the tender mercies of UPS, the Pioneer arrived intact and in good shape. Packaging appeared robust and up to the task of protecting the receiver. My unit was an evaluation unit, so packing wasn't quite as pristine as I'm sure a new unit would be.

The box included a startup sheet, warranty information, IEC style 14Ga 2-wire power cable, a setup microphone, AM and FM antennas, and the remote control (with batteries).

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First Impressions
Unpacking revealed an attractive all-metal unit with a glossy plastic faceplate in the rack standard chassis width of 17.125".

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The front panel is straightforward and relatively uncluttered, with only two large knobs for volume and source selection, a few push buttons under the display window, headphone calibration microphone input, USB Drive input, and AUX Audio input jack. The rear panel is sleek and logically laid out. Connections are clearly marked and easy to access.

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Exterior fit, finish, and aesthetics are excellent and give a distinct impression of quality and robustness more than appropriate to the price point.

Overall, the Pioneer VSX-LX305 is an attractive and elegant piece of kit.

The one notable exception, in my opinion, is the remote control. The remote is an insubstantial, lightweight plastic shell with those sticky rubberized buttons that afford good tactile traction but seem to attract every piece of dirt and scuz hiding in the fissures of your seating. This type of button is, mostly, to me, touch adverse. In addition, the remote has no backlighting or glow-in-the-dark-anything, and once it slips out of sight, it is gone until the room lights are back up.

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Construction, Design, and Function
With modern electronics, I prefer to concentrate my review on the construction and operational aspects of the equipment, taking the manufacturers at their word for any measurements. Measurements are, of course, vital. But perhaps even more important is how a piece of modern electronic equipment works and functions in its assigned role. With that in mind, I will concentrate on the Construction/Design/Features/Function side of things and then offer some subjective opinions on the audio and video quality in the closing remarks.

The
Pioneer VSX-LX305 is an all-metal chassis with a painted sheet metal clam-shell top. Size-wise it is 17.125" wide x 6.81" high (with the feet) x 14.56" deep and weighs in at 22.9 lbs. The chassis width and height mean that the receiver can occupy a rack shelf in a 4U space (7 inches). However, since it is vented on top, at least one additional 1U of free air space above the unit is advisable.

As mentioned, the Pioneer's exterior fit and finish are excellent. So curious, I took a peek inside to find the unit equally well laid out and attractive (to a tech nerd like me) with no overt indications of hardware "fixes/corrections/patches" visible internally.

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The presence of the large fan over the heatsinks surprised me somewhat. However, if the fan engaged during operation, I certainly did not hear it. So, I consider it an audible non-issue and more an engineering-dictated safety measure to control heat buildup inside the cabinet if needed.

Any wiring inside the unit was neatly dressed and was either ribbon cable to captive connectors, point-to-point via Molex style connectors, or appropriately sized socket-to-socket solid pin connectors. In addition, an actual HDMI cable connected the video board to a small PCB containing the front panel HDMI connector.

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Design - All PCBs, surface-mount or through-hole, were neat and well-laid.

The DAC used is the well-regarded 8-channel, 192kHz, 24-bit TI PCM1690IDCARQ1. Dolby/DTS decoding is accomplished using a Cirrus Logic chipset, with additional DSP processing done using a TI chipset. On the video side, HDMI 2.1 processing and 8K scaling are via a new Panasonic chipset.

The power output stage is a uniquely designed Class AB amp design using discrete, high-current transistor devices operating in complementary PNP/NPN pairs.

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The power amplifiers are built around Pioneer's recent "Direct Energy" design. The amp is a Class AB amplifier with "current steering" technology that "steers" power supply capacity toward the amplifier with the highest demands. Power is rated as 225 watts, one channel driven into 6 ohms at 1kHz with a total THD of 10%. More telling of actual performance is the two-channel FTC performance rating of 100 watts per channel into 8 ohms, 20Hz to 20kHz, THD 0.08%, two channels driven. Unfortunately, no information is given for all nine channels driven. The power from those nine amplifiers exits the VSX-LX305 via standard binding post pairs on the rear panel. The binding posts accept bare wire up to 12 gauge, appropriately sized pin connectors, and banana plugs. Spade lugs need not apply.

The power supply appears robust with a stout transformer, cleanly laid out rectifier PCB, and two 10,000 µƒ filter caps labeled "Tuned for Audio."

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Function – Flexibility is the mantra for the Pioneer VSX-LX305 receiver.

The nine onboard amplifiers can be configured as needed, including bi-amping the front channels if desired. However, considering all amplifiers are internal, and there are no Pre-Amp Outs (other than the subwoofers and Zone 2), you would severely limit your surround configuration choices by using the bi-amping feature. Below is a chart of the possible speaker combinations using the onboard nine channels of amplification.

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In addition to the included wired speaker connection possibilities, the wireless speaker connectivity options of the VSX-LX305 are exceptional. Featured connections possibilities abound via DTS Play-Fi, Apple AirPlay 2, Alexia, Hey Google/Chromecast, and the bi-directional Bluetooth capabilities allow connection with any Bluetooth speaker. And, in partnership with SONOS, the "Works with SONOS" connectivity provides a connection solution to the popular SONOS wireless devices!

While I settled on 5.1.4 for most of my testing and listening, the available permutations are mind-blowing when laid out in chart form below.

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In addition to the many Dolby and DTS surround options, the Pioneer is equipped with the blossoming IMAX Enhanced surround/video CODEC. There are also several Pioneer sculpted surround/DSP environments that the user can use, either independently or in conjunction with the Dolby/DTS environs.

The Pioneer VSX-LX305 Elite Receiver is unabashedly built for the Digital Streaming and wireless age. It features a bewildering array (to this analog guy in a digital world) of connection possibilities via Ethernet, Wi-Fi, and Bi-Directional Blue-Tooth. It even has a now somewhat mundane, terrestrial AM/FM receiver with multiple presets built-in.

Direct support is built-in for Amazon Music HD, Pandora, Spotify, Tidal, Deezer, and internet radio via TuneIn using the Pioneer Remote App! Oh wait, the Pioneer VSX-LX305 is ROON Tested!
The Pioneer receiver supports a multitude of audio formats and schemes via USB, direct connection, and streaming up to 192kHz/24-bit, including support of most standard and popular HD audio CODECS (Sorry, no direct support of MQA is offered) and various DSD/DSDIFF formats and PCM for HD audio.

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Just as the Pioneer covers almost every permutation of the audio and audio streaming/wireless world, the video side of the equation is well represented now and into the foreseeable future! It's a fully functional HDMI 2.1 4K/8K monster, capable of 480P and 720P legacy video straight pass-through and featuring upconversion from 1080P to 4K/8K and 4K to 8K.

Support is also provided for the latest and greatest video CODECS in their various guises. Supported are HDR10+, HDR10, and HLG; 8K/60p (4:2:0/10-bit), 8K/30p (4:4:4/10-bit, 4:2:2/12-bit), 4K/120p (4:4:4/10-bit, 4:2:2/12-bit), 4K60p (4:4:4/12-bit) and BT.2020 color; DeepColor™ (36-bit), “x.v.Color," LipSync, and HDCP 2.3. And don't forget to add Dolby Vision to that list!

Connection-wise, digital inputs/outputs abound. The HDMI configuration features six rear panel (4K/8K, 1-4 are assignable, 5-6 are not) and one front panel HDMI (4K max resolution, not assignable) connectors. Also on the back panel are two HDMI outputs, Main (4K/8K - ARC/eARC capable) and Sub (4K/8K), which can be repatched internally as ZONE 2 video out (4K max resolution when used as Zone 2). Legacy digital audio gets the nod with one Coaxial Digital and one Optical Digital connection, both assignable. One USB port is on the front panel, and one is on the rear panel. A single Ethernet port sits next to the rear USB port.

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But wait… there's more! While diminished in stature, the analog side of things is still there. There are four line-level stereo pairs (assignable to inputs 1-4 if needed) and a serviceable MM phono stage with a signal ground screw-lug next to the RCA jacks. For analog out, there is Subwoofer 1 and 2 (paralleled), and no other pre-outs other than a stereo pair available for Zone 2 if needed.

Control-wise there are two 3.5mm 12Volt trigger jacks (assignable), an IR signal in and out on 3.5mm jacks, and a 9-pin RS232C for custom integration control.

The AM/FM antenna ports and the 2-pin IEC power socket complete the rear panel complement of connections.

There is a single 3.5mm audio input labeled "AUX" next to the front panel HDMI input on the front panel. A ¼" headphone jack and the calibration microphone input jack (3.5mm) reside on the left of the front panel.



Setup
Set up was straightforward using the "Quick-Start Guide" and the manual (available here). The manual is well written and logically laid out, containing a wealth of information and even a simple trouble-shooting dialog to help if you get into trouble.

Sources used during this review were an OPPO UHD-503 universal disk player, Pro-Ject Debut Carbon with Ortofon Red 2M, Yamaha CDC-755 CD player, Apple TV 4K, and my iPad/iPhone.

Navigating the simple and intuitive menu structure is aided by a nice crisp OSD that includes good graphics when appropriate. The front panel display displays much of the same information, albeit in tiny letters and symbols visible only in close proximity. The volume and play information is more prominent and will scroll across the display if necessary.

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As with most AV receivers these days, the first step in setup is to get the receiver connected to the Internet. Either wired via Ethernet, which I used, or Wi-Fi will work fine. I did test the Wi-Fi connectivity, and it is simple to accomplish using either the OSD menu or the front panel display. Connection using the setup, OSD, or the Pioneer Remote App was intuitive and quickly done. As part of this essential step, I suggest checking for available Firmware updates, as does Pioneer.

As I usually do, I started at the top of the menu structure and worked my way down through every option.

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I found the menu structure easy to navigate using the remote and the on-screen display (OSD). In addition, all tasks in the menu structure were easy to tweak as required.

If you are interested in the myriad setup options available through the menu, I suggest you peruse the manual! Almost every parameter is changeable, from how (and if) the OSD will be used, selecting inputs to skip, speaker selection and parameter setpoints, naming and assigning inputs, etc.

Conversely, using the front panel display for setup is an exercise in futility and was not meant to be. Stick to the OSD and remote, and all will be well.

Room Correction - The Pioneer VSX-LX305 is blessed with two, count em', two, room correction systems. The proprietary Pioneer Advanced MCACC system (Multi-Channel AcoustiC Calibration System) is accessed and enabled through the setup and OSD. The other available system is a version of DIRAC Live accessed and set up using the Pioneer Remote App. The Pioneer Remote App is a free download for iOS and Android devices at either the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

To get the ball rolling, I simply identified my speaker set up, 5.1.4 in this case, and went immediately to room correction. I wanted to try the Pioneer Advanced MCACC first. I started the test by pressing the Home Button on the remote, navigating to the Full Auto MCACC menu selection, inserting the calibration microphone, and sitting it at the first of up to nine positions. Like other room correction schemes, the program first forced a subwoofer confirmation using a test tone and cycled through each speaker with a series of sweep tones. The Pioneer Advanced MCACC moves quickly through the calibration.

There is also a manual version of the Pioneer Advanced MCACC where you can later tweak what was automatically done with the auto version. Listening to and then looking at the results posted in the manual MCACC verified that speaker distance and levels were accurately set by the complete auto run-through of the Advanced MCACC. The Pioneer Advanced MCACC system seemed to work just fine and provided a competent room calibration.

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Pioneer also provides Dirac Live calibration. The supplied DIRAC Live is the full bandwidth 20Hz to 20kHz version and NOT THE LITE VERSION, sometimes supplied by other manufacturers. The free-to-download Pioneer Remote App can be installed and used on your phone or tablet device to access DIRAC Live. I downloaded and installed the Pioneer Remote App from the Apple App Store onto my iPad and jumped right in. If you already have DIRAC installed on a laptop and a calibrated microphone, you can also use that and upload the DIRAC files to the Pioneer.

The Pioneer implementation offers up two versions of DIRAC Live. The "Quick" three-position and the "Full" nine-position calibration. I started with the "Quick" calibration just for "giggles and grins" and found it was easily accomplished and quickly done. In comparing it to the Pioneer Advanced MCACC calibration results, I found it very close to the same with possibly additional clarity and impact in the lower registers.

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Next was the "Full" DIRAC Live calibration using all nine microphone positions. I took another listen post-calibration, using some of my "reference" music and movie material. The DIRAC "Full" version was my definite choice among the three calibration schemes offered. The room response was smooth and presented with added clarity over the Advanced MCACC, "Quick" version, or DIRAC Live. The most significant difference again seemed to be in the bass regions. After calibration with DIRAC, the lower end was better defined, balanced, and dynamic.

While the "Full" DIRAC Live calibration was the clear winner, the differences and improvements were not huge, glaring, in-your-face changes but were easily noted when listening.

Of course, never content to leave well enough alone, I dove into the Manual DIRAC curve editor and tweaked the results to my liking. The manual tweaks were quickly done and totally satisfying!

As is becoming the usual, virtual slots are available to hold three different versions of the DIRAC calibration results for instant recall through the Pioneer Remote App.


Subjective Listening and Viewing Assessment
I replaced my "Reference" processor and amplification equipment with the Pioneer VSX-LX305 and listened and watched as usual for a solid three weeks. As usual, I listened to a variety of music and watched videos in various formats.

I paired most of my listening time with my regular speakers, GoldenEar's Triton One.R's front right and left, a BG Radia CC-220i center, BG Radia SA-320 side surrounds, and four Polk RC-6 speakers for the ATMOS duties.

About two weeks into the review, I received some new front-channel speakers for evaluation and review, the Vivid Kaya S12s. So, after popping those fascinating speakers into the front channels and re-running DIRAC Live, I continued listening.

Functionally the Pioneer performed flawlessly. All audio switching, video switching, and video scaling happened as they should, with no failures. The unit was quiet, with a totally "black" noise background. Video-wise, the images were pristine, saturated, and detailed. I used a variety of sources, and the receiver switched and processed them all without issue.

Sources
OPPO UHD-503
– HDMI - OPPO video scaling turned off
Video/AudioKingsman – The Golden Circle UHD Blu-ray – The picture was smooth and detailed, and the colors were rich and saturated. The Dolby ATMOS soundtrack was fantastic, with the audio tightly connected with the images on screen and the effects tracked perfectly across all speakers. The receiver cleanly rendered ATMOS effects, and the atmospherics were there when the material called for it. Watching the same movie on the OPPO in 1080P Blu-ray gave me the same audio results. The Pioneer receiver upscaled the picture to 4K with a slight loss in perceived contrast and color saturation. The projector was reporting the resolution as 4K.

AudioNora Jones Come Away with Me (SACD Multi-Channel), Hiromi – Another World (SACD Multi-Channel), Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here (SACD Multi-Channel)
With all three SACDs, the sound was pristine and set against a "black" background. Effects, when present, were steered effectively and cleanly toward the surround speakers. Center channel output was (to me!) more subtle and more suitable to music content than what I am used to with my Marantz processor! With the Pioneer surround implementation, I felt no need to bump the center channel down in volume as I am wont to do with my reference Marantz AV7706.

Apple TV 4K – Much like the OPPO, the Apple TV 4K was an excellent match to the Pioneer. The video was clean and sharp across multiple streaming services (Apple TV+, iTunes, HBO Max, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Paramount+). Higher video resolutions and surround sound formats were presented to the receiver and worked as they should. The receiver correctly reported both resolution and surround mode as I bounced around the various services. In addition, any 1080P video content presented to the receiver was upscaled to 4K to good effect.

Music sent to the Apple TV 4K via AirPlay played at the maximum bit rate and resolution available to the source material.

Yamaha CDC-755 CD Player
(circa 1995) – I played my vintage Yamaha through the Digital Optical input and the same selections again through one of the four analog stereo inputs. For both tests, I used the 1988 release by Thomas Dolby, Aliens Ate My Buick, and the tracks "Airhead" and "Hot Sauce." In both cases, the Pioneer faithfully transcribed the signature Yamaha "Natural Sound" of the day… Slightly warm and rounded. The funky bass and synths had a great weight and feel.

Pro-Ject Debut Carbon with Ortofon Red 2M – The phono stage in the Pioneer seemed serviceable enough. I played through The Cars' eponymous 1978 debut release, The Cars, and the 1977 release, I Robot, from the Alan Parsons Project. Both albums presented well using my modest turntable and cartridge. Clarity, presence, and channel separation were good, albeit overall, the sound was slightly thin. I'll chalk that up to possible impedance matching and go with the idea it may improve with a different cartridge. The phono stage presented a noiseless background, and I detected no hum.

Wireless Connectivity – The Pioneer VSX-LX305 has many other ways to access your music. I used the Pioneer Remote App to connect and listen in several ways as a test.

The first on my list was Amazon Music HD. Using the Pioneer Remote App as the control device and signing into Amazon Music HD, I was ready in a jiffy to stream HD music via the Pioneer receiver. The OSD display displayed the currently playing resolution and the name and particulars of each selection. The same information on the OSD was mirrored on the Pioneer's small but clearly legible front panel display.

Next, I tried Pandora using the Pioneer Remote App. Again, operation and information were the same.

Using my iPhone and iPad, I connected via Apple AirPlay directly to the receiver and then through the AppleTV 4K. The connection, in either case, was immediate and solid, with the audio well rendered.

I also connected via Bluetooth. The pairing was easy-peasy, and the sound via Bluetooth was fantastic, rendered with weight and clarity I don't remember getting from my Marantz Pre/Processor.

Lastly, I tried TuneIn for a bit of Internet radio action. Again, the connection was rock solid, and the sound was excellent for "Internet radio."



Summary and Closing Thoughts
I enjoyed my time with the Pioneer VSX-LX305 AV Receiver. Form, fit, and function were of the highest quality. Yes, I dissed the remote as a lightweight, but many of us have a go-to universal remote that we would pass control to anyway after the initial setup. The remote is perfectly functional and works well enough for what it is.

Features and functionality-wise, the Pioneer receiver is packed to the rafters. There are two discrete room calibration systems, both of which work well, with the clear win going to Pioneer's implementation of DIRAC Live.

With all the features, functions, and systems packed into the Pioneer, I expected something to fall flat, not work, or be clunky. However, that was NOT THE CASE! Functionally it worked perfectly.

There were some functions and features I could not try as I now have no access to them. On the video side, that is anything to do with 8K video. Unfortunately, I have no source or display that is 8K compatible. However, I can say that the 4K video was pristine, and upscaling from 1080P to 4K worked perfectly.

From the audio side, those things "not tested" would be, Works with SONOS, Hey Google, Alexis, and the bi-directional aspect of the Bluetooth transceiver or anything ROON. However, given that the many other features functioned flawlessly, I would be surprised if any of the features I mentioned as not tested would not perform as Pioneer has advertised!

So, how did the Pioneer VSX-LX305 sound? From my purely subjective point of view and based on a comparison to my usual pile of (much more expensive) equipment, I'll hazard an answer. It is clear, concise, and a tad cool and sterile in its rendering. But above all that, it is neutral in its sonic nature. There is no hint of harshness, and there are certainly no barriers to the music.

After glancing at the specs, I expected the VSX-LX305 to be a less-than-stellar performer in the power stages. I was wrong. The receiver played long and loud and never seemed to run out of gas, no matter how hard I pushed it.

Was there anything left off, something I missed? Well, yes, there was. For example, I would have liked pre-outs across the board and an actual two-channel subwoofer output. But I can't complain too much. After researching a bit, I find the Pioneer is just as well, if not better, equipped in those respects as other competing products, at and even well above the VSX-LX305's price point. But, hey, I always wish for record-outs (Tape Monitors) to make a comeback!

NOTE TO SELF: After reading my gripe about the lack of "Tape Monitors," Rolf, the Global Product Manager at Pioneer, rightly pointed out there are pre-outs for Zone Two that can be set in the menu to "Fixed" volume output. Essentially Record Outs! DOH!


If you must have (most of) those things, Pioneer offers the VSX-LX505 Elite 11.2 channel receiver with more power, more channels, more features, and those pre-outs I'm griping about for only $1499.00!
At the end of the day, I found the Pioneer VSX-LX305 to be a functional, beautifully conceived, and rendered piece of equipment, especially considering its price point.

The Pioneer VSX-LX305 offers way more features, function, and subjective sound quality than many competing products at this price point. Add a three-year warranty to the mix, and you will have a flexible, functional, and well-supported product. It is absolutely recommended!


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Specifications: Pioneer VSX-LX305 AV Receiver

Amplification

Channels: 9
Amplification Type: Direct Energy Class AB
FTC Power Output: 100 W/CH into 8 Ohms, 20Hz – 20kHz, THD 0.08%, two channels driven

Audio Features

IMAX Enhanced
Dolby ATMOS®, Dolby Surround Upmixer supports DTS Formats
Reflex Optimizer
Dolby ATMOS Height Virtualizer
Dolby True HD, Dolby Digital Plus
DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS-HD High-Resolution Audio, DTS 96/24, DTS-ES, DTS Express
DSD Disc (SACD) Playback via HDMI (2.8 MHz/2 ch, 5.1 ch)
Digital Quad-Core 32-bit DSP (Cirrus Logic) + Aureus™ floating-point DSP (TI)
192 kHz/24-bit D/A Conversion for Hi-Res Audio
Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC) on HDMI Out (Main)
Advanced MCACC Auto Room Tuning with Auto Phase Control Plus, Subwoofer EQ, Multi-point
Standing Wave Control
Dirac Live® Room Correction
Advanced Sound Retriever (2ch)
Advanced Surround Modes
Classical, Unplugged, Entertainment Show, Drama, Advanced Game, Action, Rock/Pop, Sports,
Extended Stereo, Mono Music, Front Stage Surround Advance

Video Features
Supports HDMI 2.1*1 with 8K VRR (Variable Refresh Rate), ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode), QFT
(Quick Frame transport), DSC (Display Stream Compression) and QMS (Quick Media Switching)
pass-through
Supports HDR10+ HDR10, and HLG; 8K/60p (4:2:0/10-bit), 8K/30p (4:4:4/10-bit, 4:2:2/12-bit),
4K/120p (4:4:4/10-bit, 4:2:2/12-bit), 4K60p (4:4:4/12-bit) and BT.2020 color; DeepColor™ (36-
bit), “x.v.Color”, LipSync, and HDCP 2.3
Dolby Vision Compatible
Ultra HD Upscaling (4K to 8K, 1080p to 8K/4K)

460P and 720P legacy video pass through

 
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