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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.