Pioneer Elite SC-87 review & specs

Pioneer Elite SC-87: believe in a true power of quality

Pioneer Elite SC-87

The Pioneer brand is regarded as one of the most famous creators of music devices. Of course, I always wanted to test its products and the Pioneer Elite SC-87 became a perfect example. The item performs its main tasks greatly and in this version, the maker fixed all the problems, which appeared in earlier creations.

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The Pioneer brand is regarded as one of the most famous creators of music devices. Of course, I always wanted to test its products and the Pioneer Elite SC-87 became a perfect example. The item performs its main tasks greatly and in this version, the maker fixed all the problems, which appeared in earlier creations.


It was interesting to find out that thanks to the Class D3 technology, Pioneer Elite SC-87 consumes electricity cost-effectively. The device has even a special label on it. The creators implemented in their product one of the most interesting innovation technologies so it has low-impedance speaker loads that allow not losing power significantly. The Class D3 technology also takes care of the cooling process and the channels controlling. I would recommend using the iControlAV5 app for the smartphone. I’ve got an opportunity to monitor the functions of the SC-87 without problems, moreover, there was no need to use the onscreen menus built into the Pioneer product. The switch process between surround modes also was easy. Finally, I could enjoy the stereo audio from all the speakers. Important to remember: the Pioneer Elite SC-87 can’t propose WI-Fi or Bluetooth, but Ethernet is enough for unlocking the device’s potential. The updating process to new firmware version is a quick task without unpredictable consequences. Interestingly, that most receivers have 30 preset FM/AM stations, but the Pioneer Elite SC-87 has 63. OF course, built-in o’clock and sleep timer are also there.


The sound effects are thrown around with certainty and amazing speed. The receiver really plays the 5.1 flacs. I’m a movie buff so the restrictions on Atmos support made me sad. The unit proposes 9 power amps and the Atmos decoder will won’t go further than 9 channels sub(s), even if I had a desire to use the pre-outs for 2 channels. The solid 1080p video made me feel inside the displayed world and the sound quality only improved that effect. The using of Play To from a Surface Pro 3 was a little bit unpleasant for me. Within the hour of working the system displayed a “Server error” and it was impossible for me to turn the receiver off “thanks” to the power button disability. The only solution was to reset the device. A built-in equalizer became a true helper to me because it balanced my speakers easily and quickly.

Sound Quality

Speech is sounded with fabulous precision. Words were resonated clearly, so I could enjoy even the subtlest inflection. The bass is tight but not imposed, so I perceived it as an additional sound bonus. It was easy to split the characters dialogue from different channels. After making a short Pioneer Elite SC-87 review, I can definitely say, that the speech is not overpowered by surround sounds, as bombs explosion or something like this. Music is crystal clear. Great-recorded selections sound amazing.


I can comprehend as a downside the fact that the video signal goes blank with a 50 feet HDMI cable. The HDMI switching between sources was a little bit longer because the picture on the screen appeared after 15 seconds of waiting. I can plug my PC into the Type B USB socket at the rear side of the device and use Pioneer’s built-in DAC instead. After checking the Pioneer’s back, I found 2 coaxial and optical inputs for digital sound, 4 inputs for composite video and 3 for the component. All of them work well without pauses. The AirPlay works flawlessly with my iMac and there were no problems with connectivity.


The setting process was not as easy, as I thought. It took me a few attempts and finally I hooked up a Smart TV, Xbox, Apple TV, and cable box. The MCACC room correction was performed without problems. Except for one thing, I had to improve manually my subwoofers according to the proposed settings. Most of the configurations were done through the OSD and that was very comfortable. The receiver calibrated itself without the need for manual intervention.


Due to the high-level Pioneer Elite SC-87 specs, the unit came out really impressive and with greatly performed opportunities. I was pleasantly surprised when detected that my home theater was reborn. It doesn’t matter whether I was listening to stereo music or enjoying a movie in surround sound, my ears got true enjoying. The device has such positive peculiarities as the implementation of Class D3 technology, the accessibility of iControlAV5 app, 63 preset FM/AM stations, and clear sound. It can’t propose WI-Fi or Bluetooth and has limits on Atmos support, but it’s easy to adapt for usage.

Common features


Pioneer Elite SC-87


Elite SC-87




3.5 of 5




Digital player

Internet radio

Network audio player

Amplifier class


Audio formats



Apple lossless






Built-in decoders

DTS neural:X

DTS-HD master audio


Dolby atmos

Dolby digital plus

Dolby surround

Dolby true HD

Power device

Operational power consumption

370 W

Standby power consumption

0.1 W

Built-in display






Total output power

810 W

Output power per channel

140 W, 240 W

Output impedance per channel

4 Ohm, 8 Ohm

Frequency response

1 kHz

Total harmonic distortion

0.08 %

Number of channels


Signal-to-noise ratio

88 dB

Connectivity interfaces



IEEE 802.3

IEEE 802.3u

Signal processing

HDMI pass-through

up to 4K

Video conversion/scaling

HDMI to HDMI scaling, analog to HDMI up conversion

3D pass-through

Upscaling via HDMI

up to 4K

Connector type

AV inputs


Optical digital inputs


Coaxial digital inputs


HDMI inputs


HDMI outputs


Optical digital outputs


Coaxial digital outputs

has not

Subwoofer outputs






Media content source





Tuner type


Tuner bands


Preset station qty


Additional features

A-B speaker switch

AIR Studios monitor certification

Three-zone capability


Advanced sound retriever (ASR) technology

Apple air-play support

Audio return channel (ARC)


Deep color


Auto power off

Pure direct mode

Dual-zone capability

Smartphone remote control

Sound features

Sound output mode

Surround Sound

Audio D/A converter

32bit / 192kHz

Surround sound effects

Front Stage Surround Advance

Surround system class

9.2 channel

Digital sound processor (DSP)

DSP preset qty


Digital content protection

HDCP 1.4


Built-in clock

Sleep timer


Shipping size

17.4 x 17.1 x 7.3 inches

Product weight

38.6 pounds