I was looking for a budget-friendly AV receiver and when I found a Pioneer VSX-532, it was a great surprise for me because this small device has a great power within. It was hard to find all the hidden “surprises”, but I did my best. The unit differs constantly from other similar creations thanks to the Ultra HD pass-through using HDCP 2.2 and front USB input for easy playback. These features caught my attention, so I decided to find out other decent characteristics of the VSX-532.
After visual Pioneer VSX-532 review, I mentioned that receiver looks really very compact and classically strict. A brushed front panel is an aesthetic advantage. As the device doesn’t take up much space (12.6 x 17.1 x 6.6 inches) and weighs only 19.9 pounds, I placed it as a part of the home theater and this small unit perfectly fitted it. There were no problems with the design because all the all ports labeled very well, it was easy to reach them. All the inputs and outputs didn’t spoil the exterior of the receiver. Speaker terminals (2 large and 3 clips) became something like a functional decoration. The creating is assembled on a high level because after close examination of the external case, I made a conclusion: a material is reliable, it can protect all the internal components from destroying. How did I know it? I knocked the device off the table and watched the result. Yeah, it was risky, but fortunately, nothing terrible has happened and the VSX-532 works without problems.
The Advanced Sound Retriever has presented to me probably one of the most interesting features. Thanks to it I had an opportunity to enjoy MP3, WMA, and AAC playback via USB. While testing, I draw an attention that Pioneer VSX-532 didn’t power on and off automatically with the TV. Such independence allowed me to enjoy 30 different stations even without using a “big screen”. Thanks to the special Pioneer remote app for iOS/Android I can control the device even without the remote. After Pioneer VSX-532 specs checking, I understood, that device can pass through 4K/60p signals for watching on a relevant display. It really worked! By the way, the Pioneer receiver is supplemented by sleep timer, which has never failed me! A built-in clock is also a pleasant surprise, but that feature is not important to me and perceived as a toy, which constantly and correctly fulfills its obligations.
After testing I was pleasantly surprised by the remote. There were no undesirable pauses and problems with signal. Even when I dropped it on the floor I found out that there were no cracks and all the details, buttons, and interior components stay on the same places. I liked that device has settings to determine the size, distance, and sound level for all the speakers. It allowed me to define that creation reproduces sound exactly according my individual setup. Different audio modes gave me an opportunity to find the desired sound. Finally, I get an enhanced acoustic environment!
Clean sound with all the recognizable tones brought me the real auditory enjoying. The bass reproduction is awesome! I didn’t use a powered sub and was amazed when the bass from the speakers sounded really great and volumetric. The volume is plentiful. While watching an epic movie I felt the sound around me. Such an effect was definitely made thanks to the Dolby Digital Plus. There were even goosebumps, which create conditions for total immersion into the atmosphere. I consider myself an audiophile so usually, I’m disappointed with lower-end Hi-Fi but not in this case. The great amount of listening modes is great, but I don’t think that will use all of them.
I hooked up 4 HDMI inputs: VHS using an RCA to HDMI converter, a DVD player, the TV Cable, and the Fire stick. Oh, one more thing, the Bluetooth connects perfectly. I was connected to my iPad and playing from 36 feet away. Even furniture didn’t bother. It’s really a worthy rate! I mentioned one more interesting monitoring: the unit automatically “switches” when I start my Blu-ray player or when I turn on other devices.
Installation was typical. The Pioneer VSX-532 replaced my old receiver, so I did all the setting procedures without any problems, except one. When I decided to use a receiver to pass through HDR content and choose 2160p RGB on my PS4 Pro, it appeared that I need to press the button Home on remote, scroll down to HDMI options, push Enter, and then change edit input to 4:4:4 by hand. Such manipulations finally allowed me to play games in 4K with HDR, but the whole process was nervous and a little bit incomprehensible. In the instruction, there was no word about that and such fact is annoying.
The unit is a perfect mix of old school and today. I think that I will become a true fan of Pioneer receivers, because for very reasonable price I’ve got a true “audio-monster”, which pleases me with an amazing sound quality, a concise design, a built-in Bluetooth, great video-features, ability to control the device through a smartphone, easy installation and others. At the same time, I was baffled with the PS4 Pro adaptation, but that small trouble didn’t spoil the whole impression from using the Pioneer VSX-532. Such a pretty decent no-frills receiver became my true friend!