Pioneer VSX-531 review & specs

Pioneer VSX-531 - high-quality entry-level AV receiver

Pioneer VSX-531

Pioneer VSX-531 is a typical representative of entry-level receivers: inexpensive and with basic functionality. The receiver is designed for an audience of users who really know what functions they need and can easily give up unnecessary functionality. I was able to get one item and now I can make Pioneer VSX-531 review.

Article navigation

Design

The Pioneer VSX-531 is similar to most Pioneer receivers. It has a strict and minimalistic design. The body is made in black color, with perforations in the upper part. Control are located on the front panel. 2 large knobs are located on the left and right on the panel, in the center of the panel is an informative display. Below the display, there are the settings buttons. The power button, headphone input, and AUX are in the lower left corner. The controls are made with a high quality: the buttons and controls have not backlash and are pleasant to the touch.

Different connectors are located on the rear panel. The receiver is equipped with 4 HDMI inputs and only 1 HDMI output. There are analog audio and video inputs for connecting different devices. For home acoustics, there are 5 pairs of terminals. Acoustic terminals of 2 types: screw for the front channels and spring for the rear and center. Also, on the rear panel, there are connectors for FM, AM antennas, and digital inputs (coaxial and optical).

Characteristics

The package is the simplest: receiver, manual, remote control, microphone for automatic acoustic calibration MCACC, wire FM antenna and AM loop antenna. All features of the receiver are in its program part. Pioneer VSX-531 has an automatic calibration. Calibration takes only a couple of minutes, but the result is very noticeable: the sound has become more saturated and detailed, and the low frequencies are better, which is especially felt by the “presence effect” when watching movies. At the same time, the transparency and clarity of the sound are preserved, as in the Pure Direct mode, which indicates the delicate handling of the DSP with sound.

For navigation, the receiver has 2 different on-screen menus: one for calibrating multichannel acoustics depending on their installation location, and the other for playing MP3, WMA, and AAC music files from a USB drive.

Performance

VSX-531 is equipped with a 5.1-channel amplifier with power 140 watts/channel. Amplifier performance is more than enough for home use. The receiver scales the image in SD or HD format to 4K resolution with a frame rate of 60p, and the high dynamic range of the HDR provides a contrast and clear picture - this is evident, as they say, with the naked eye. The sound of films is affected by the lack of support for rear speakers - the viewer is not in the center of what is happening but in front of him. By the way, to save electricity, there are 2 ECO modes.

Sound Quality

Pioneer VSX-531 specs allows the device to support audio with a sampling frequency of 44.1 kHz and 16-bit depth, WAV, and FLAC files in studio-quality resolution up to 192/24, as well as DSD format used on Super Audio CDs with frequency up to 2.8 MHz. However, the most interesting thing about the VSX-531, in my opinion, is a powerful 5 x 130W amplifier with Direct and Pure Direct modes for turning off the tone and digital processing. The VSX-531 supports playback of uncompressed high-resolution multi-channel audio in Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio Surround formats played from Blu-ray discs and other sources.

Connectivity

The receiver does not provide ample opportunities to connect to external media. From wireless interfaces, only Bluetooth 3.0 is available, but without the support of the aptX codec.

Setup

Tuning the sound system to your taste turned out to be quite simple, and sophisticated audiophiles will be satisfied with the receiver's capabilities such as phase control and automatic determination of the cut-off frequency of the crossover speakers.

Conclusion

Pioneer VSX-531 is touted as an entry-level receiver and the average user will have enough of its capabilities. Nevertheless, an inexpensive receiver was able to convey the advantages of a high-class source.

Common features

Product

Pioneer VSX-531

Model

VSX-531

Brand

Pioneer

Rating

3.9 of 5

Reviews

125

Functions

Digital player

Internet radio

Network audio player

Amplifier class

D

Audio formats

AAC

AIFF

Apple lossless

DSD

FLAC

MP3

WAV

WMA

Built-in decoders

DTS neural:X

DTS-HD master audio

DTS:X

Dolby atmos

Dolby digital plus

Dolby surround

Dolby true HD

Power device

Operational power consumption

210 W

Standby power consumption

0.45 W

Built-in display

Type

fluorescent

Colour

black

Amplifier

Total output power

140 W

Output power per channel

140 W, 80 W

Output impedance per channel

6 Ohm, 8 Ohm

Frequency response

20 Hz-20 kHz

Total harmonic distortion

0.08 %

Number of channels

5

Signal-to-noise ratio

98 dB

Connectivity interfaces

Bluetooth

Wi-Fi

IEEE 802.3

IEEE 802.3u

Signal processing

HDMI pass-through

up to 4K

Video conversion/scaling

HDMI to HDMI scaling

3D pass-through

Upscaling via HDMI

up to 4K

Connector type

AV inputs

2

Optical digital inputs

1

Coaxial digital inputs

1

HDMI inputs

4

HDMI outputs

1

Optical digital outputs

has not

Coaxial digital outputs

has not

Subwoofer outputs

1

USB

1

Phones

1

Media content source

Bluetooth

Network

USB-host

Radio

Tuner type

digital

Tuner bands

AM/FM

Preset station qty

30

Additional features

A-B speaker switch

AIR Studios monitor certification

Three-zone capability

X.v.Color

Advanced sound retriever (ASR) technology

Apple air-play support

Audio return channel (ARC)

Bi-amplifying

Deep color

MCACC Pro

Auto power off

Pure direct mode

Dual-zone capability

Smartphone remote control

Sound features

Sound output mode

Surround Sound

Audio D/A converter

24bit / 192kHz

Surround sound effects

Front Stage Surround Advance. Headphone Surround (V.S.S.)

Surround system class

5.1 channel

Digital sound processor (DSP)

DSP preset qty

5

Digital content protection

HDCP 2.2

Clock

Built-in clock

Sleep timer

Dimensions

Shipping size

12.6 x 17.1 x 6.6 inches

Product weight

19.67 pounds