About

Pioneer VSX Series * New receiver line 2011

Pioneer has an entire line of new Receivers.  I reviewed Top end of the line first because the entire line is based on the same technology with certain features missing in each model down the line from the Pioneer VSX-1021 K 7.1 Model reviewed here, which is the top model. 

You'll find this line of receivers to be extremely affordable for entry to mid-level receivers providing an array of features that you couldn't find in this price range at all in previous years.


  
VSX-521 K ($249)
Main features:
  • Bluetooth Ready
  • 110 Watts x 5 Direct Energy Amplification
  • Dolby True-HD and DTS-HD Master Audio Decoders
  • HDMI 1.4a 3-D Ready with Audio Return Channel
  • Pioneer MCACC Room Calibration




VSX-821 K ($349)
Main Features:

  • Bluetooth Ready
  • 110 Watts x 5 Direct Energy Amplification
  • Dolby True-HD and DTS-HD Master Audio Decoders
  • HDMI 1.4a 3-D Ready with Audio Return Channel
  • Made for iPad / iPhone Certified with supplied cable


 

VSX-921 K ($449)
Main Features:

  • Bluetooth Ready
  • 110 Watts x 5 Direct Energy Amplification
  • Dolby True-HD and DTS-HD Master Audio Decoders
  • Anchor Bay video conversion to HDMI with 1080p scaler
  • Made for iPad / iPhone Certified with supplied cable


Heres a breakdown of the differences.  Essentially, if you're looking at going with Pioneer take a look below.  If you need it all go for the Pioneer VSK-1021 K  as the last column shows that it has all the features available.

The first column is the VSX-521 K
The second column is the VSX-821 K
The third column is the VSX-921 K
The fourth column again is the Pioneer VSK-1021 K 
                                                                                                   521      821     921      1021

3D Ready
Audio Return Channel
MCACC Room Calibration Advanced
Bluetooth Ready (opt. adapter required)
iPod, iPhone, iPad Compatible -
1080p Video Scaler - -
AirPlay Equipped - - -
Pioneer iControlAV2 Control App Compatible - - -
Pioneer Air Jam Bluetooth App Compatible - - -
Internet Radio w/ vTuner - - -
AV Navigator Interactive Owner's Manual - - -

For an explaination of any of these technologies you can take a look at the full Review of the Pioneer VSK-1021 K  as it has all the features available.  You can use the above chart to figure out what each model can and cannot do.  I will say the 1080p conversion is a quality we should all have in our home theater if you want to use any sources besides HD sources (SD cable box, some game consoles, DVD players).  Without this feature your old DVDs or any of these standard definition sources will be painful to watch.  With that being said, I think unless you just don't care about such things, the Pioneer VSK-1021 K .is the way to go as it is only $300 more and it will provide you with many more years of viewing and listening pleasure.


The only other differences you will find between the models is that the
VSX-521 and VSX-821 are 5.1 receivers at 110W a channel with 4 HDMI ports
VSX-921 is a 7.1 receiver at 110W a channel with 4 HDMI ports
VSX-1021 is also a 7.1 reciever at 120W a channel with 5 HDMI ports



 These recievers are some of the best high quality receivers I've seen at this price in well.....ever.
If you don't care about the connectivity today consider that for a couple hundred dollars you can purchase the top of this line.  I only say this as I'm all about futureproofing purchases to avoid having to replace technology when you change your mind and choose to take advantage of other technologies.