Introducing Pioneer's New Elite VSX-LX101 and VSX-LX301 Network Receivers - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

 
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Introducing Pioneer's New Elite VSX-LX101 and VSX-LX301 Network Receivers


On the heels of last week’s new Onkyo AVR models announcement, the company’s subsidiary – Pioneer Electronics – has revealed two new budget-ish Elite branded receivers. Pioneer’s Elite receivers have routinely offered fantastic levels of performance and the new 7-channel VSX-LX301 and 7-channel VSX-LX101 appear to be no different.

Traditionally, Pioneer has offered two levels of AV Receivers. Its “Pioneer” labeled gear typically occupied a space filled with stripped-down budget models and solid mid-range offerings. Its “Elite” models would then pick-up where the top-of-the-line Pioneer model ended, with a crossover receiver nearly identical to the best Pioneer with a few added bells and whistles and a slightly higher price tag. That has certainly changed in recent years, with the current Elite VSX-45 ($450 MSRP) and VSX-90 ($700) as evidence. The new LX301 and LX101 occupy similar price points ($700 and $500 MSRP, respectively) and certainly enforce the idea that Pioneer is looking to diminish the breadth of its self-branded offerings.

We are deep enough into the industry-wide 4K and immersive sound technology rollout that the vast majority of features on the LX301 and LX101 are hardly a surprise. Both receivers carry HDMI 2.0a, allowing for support of 4K UHD video (60 Hz, 4:4:4 color space, HDR, 24-bit) and signal compatibility with HDCP 2.2 encoded 4K content. They also ship with Dolby Atmos onboard and a DTS:X-ready status with the promise of a future downloadable firmware update. Wireless connectivity comes in the form of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for use with GoogleCast, AirPlay, and Onkyo’s recently announced FireConnect wireless protocol that allows in-house streaming to FireConnect compatible speakers. It’s impossible to complain about any of these features and their presence alone ensures practical usability well into the foreseeable future.



The backside of the LX301.


Of course, Pioneer’s MCACC calibration software has always been widely accepted as an excellent performer in the enthusiast community. Both the LX301 and LX101 ship with basic versions of MCACC (note, not MCACC Pro). This version of calibration comes with typical measurement characteristics (distance and channel levels) in addition to Phase Control and 4-band Subwoofer equalization. It’s paired with “Reflex Optimizer” which works with MCACC to improve the performance of Atmos-enabled speaker modules that reflect sound off a ceiling.

Musically speaking, both units offer hi-res performance (192kHz / 24-bit) with FLAC, WAV, AIFF, and Apple lossless support along with an upscaling sound protocol (Advanced Sound Retriever) that improves compressed audio. In addition, they have onboard access to Pandora, Spotify, Tune In, Tidal and DEEZER online streaming services.



A look at the Elite VSX-LX101.


The primary differences between the LX301 and LX101 boil down to power and connectivity. The LX301 offers 100 Watts per channel (2 channels, 8 Ohms) while the LX101 has 80 Watts per channel performance (2 channels, 8 Ohms). On the front side of the AVRs, the LX301 offers one HDMI and one USB input, which are absent on the LX101. On the backside, both models have six HDMI inputs (LX301 offers two HDMI outputs, the LX101 offers one), one Ethernet input, phono, digital coaxial, digital optical inputs (LX301 has two, LX101 has one), two subwoofer pre-outs, and a Zone 2 line out (LX301 only).

Look for the LX301 and LX101 to begin shipping next month. As of April 1, 2016, all Elite-branded AVRs will carry a three-year warranty.


Image Credits: Pioneer Electronics
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