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A/V Receivers & Preamp/Processors

Pioneer Elite VSX-LX303 A/V Receiver Released (2018)

Pioneer VSX-LX303 A/V Receiver

Pioneer just released the mid-level Elite VSX-LX303 9.2-channel A/V Receiver that plays back DTS:X and Dolby Atmos soundtracks via 5.2.4-ch or 7.2.2-ch speaker layouts for immersive 3D surround sound. Its got the usual bases covered with 4K HDR video support including Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG), Dolby Vision and HDR10 formats for pristine video pass-thru. Audiophiles will appreciate Hi-Res Audio and a discrete phono stage along with multi-room audio via 5 GHz/2.4 GHz Wi-Fi. Chromecast built-in enables voice-controlled audio streaming via devices featuring the Google Assistant, while DTS Play-Fi technology and FlareConnect broaden the choice of tailored multi-room platforms. The VSX-LX303 improvements over last year’s VSX-LX302 include two extra audio channels, USB connection for music playback, upgraded audio DACs and DSP, and a beefier power supply.

Pioneer’s Multichannel Stereophonic philosophy treats discrete sounds encoded in surround formats equally through a marriage of Direct Energy amplification and MCACC calibration. Key aspects of the Direct Energy design, such as shortened signal paths, clean grounds, and high simultaneous multi-channel power output achieve reproduction quality that’s source-faithful and in perfect harmony with adjacent channels. MCACC applies techniques refined in the studio environment to control phase timing and reverb through calibrated speakers for breathtaking sound-field clarity and cohesion.

High-Output Amps for Clarity and Control
Rated at 100 W/Ch (8 ohms, 20Hz–20 kHz, THD 0.08%, 2-ch driven, FTC), Pioneer’s acclaimed Direct Energy amp design delivers stable and precise high-output power through nine channels simultaneously, and displays stunning dynamic performance, wide frequency response, and low distortion. Augmented by 384 kHz/32-bit D/A conversion for accurate high-resolution playback, and a quad-core 32-bit chip and Aureus floating-point DSP chip facilitating 9.2-ch object-based audio playback, this powerful receiver drives any audio source with energy and assurance.

9.2-Ch Amp Supports Various Speaker Layouts Multi-Zone Audio
Users can assign nine available amplification channels to deliver audio entertainment that best suits their home and lifestyle. The VSX-LX303 supports 5.2.4-ch and 7.2.2-ch surround layouts for improved room coverage with object-based soundtracks. Alternatively, the four Height/Surround Back outputs can drive stereo speakers in Zone 2 and Zone 3 with a 5.2-ch setup in the main room, or a 5.2.2-ch layout with Powered Zone 2 distribution. As well as analog, multiple DACs support digital source playback in up to three zones simultaneously.

4K/60p Video Supporting HDR and HDCP 2.2
HDMI terminals pass 4K/60p/4:4:4/24-bit, BT.2020, and 4K HDR (HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision) video through to compatible displays and projectors. All terminals are compatible with HDCP 2.2 content protection, while onboard Super Resolution 4K upscaling technology can upscale Full HD video to the quality of a 4K signal.

Dolby Atmos and DTS:X Playback with Dolby Surround and DTS Neural:X
Spatially mixed Dolby Atmos and DTS:X soundtrack formats utilize object-based metadata (as opposed to traditional channel-based data) to create a 3D soundscape in the room. The codecs contain height-channel audio information in addition to floor-channel audio, freeing sound to move all around the audience for an amazingly realistic entertainment experience. Dolby Surround and DTS Neural:X up-mixing solutions are included to remap legacy movie and game soundtracks with a high degree of accuracy, enhancing playback immersion through any speaker layout. Both technologies are cross-compatible with a variety of common audio formats.

MCACC Creates the Ultimate Surround-Sound Field
MCACC (Multi-Channel Acoustic Calibration System), developed with the expertise of professional recording studios, creates an ideal listening environment in media rooms and entertainment spaces. The system automatically compensates for differences in speaker size, level, and distance, and equalizes response for exceptional clarity.

Phase Control
An innovative solution to resolve phase-lag between the subwoofer and front L+R speakers, Phase Control compensates for bass delay at the viewing position to improve sound synchronization. Consequently, it makes low-frequency effects more dynamic and facilitates clearer reproduction of sound in the mid- and high-frequency bands.

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Reflex Optimizer
When using Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers, high directivity sound from the unit reflects off the ceiling, while low directivity sound directly reaches the ears. The different pathways cause a phase shift, making the sound feel uncomfortable. The Reflex Optimizer which uses the Phase Control technology adjusts this shift and improves the localization of the sound image creating the ideal reproduction environment.

Make Multi-Room Audio Easy with DTS Play-Fi Technology
DTS Play-Fi technology facilitates wireless streaming of virtually any audio content from any compatible mobile devices to the VSX-LX303 and other supported audio systems, creating a flexible multi-room system in the home. Different sources can be streamed to different speakers at the same time from the free Pioneer Music Control App.

Chromecast built-in Audio Streaming Platform
The VSX-LX303 comes with Chromecast built-in. Stream and control your favorite music from Chromecast-enabled apps on your iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets, Chromebook, and the Chrome web browser right to your speakers. Owners of devices with the Google Assistant built-in can control music on the VSX-LX303 by voice.

FlareConnect Wireless Multi-Room Audio
FlareConnect shares audio from network and external audio input sources between compatible components. Enjoy effortless multi-room playback of LP records, CDs, network music services, and more with supported components and speaker systems. Music selection, speaker grouping, and playback management across the home are built into the Pioneer Remote App.

High-Grade Audio DAC
The VSX-LX303 incorporates a high-grade 384 kHz/32-bit DAC (AK4458) produced by AKM. The device offers clear and precise audio reproduction with a unique digital filter that achieves extremely low distortion and excellent S/N performance.

Hi-Res Audio
Careful attention has been invested in digital audio processing design to achieve best possible Hi-Res Audio fidelity. DAC filtering and wideband amplification are tuned for flawless reproduction of formats including SACD via HDMI (5.6 MHz/2-ch, 2.8 MHz/5.1-ch) and digital files via network and USB input. Supported formats comprise 192 kHz/24-bit FLAC, WAV (RIFF), AIFF, and ALAC; DSD 5.6 MHz/2.8 MHz; and Dolby TrueHD to 192 kHz/24-bit.

Internet Radio and Online Music
A limitless flow of music, sports, talk, news, and audiobooks is ready to explore courtesy of Internet radio and online music services including Amazon Music, Pandora, Spotify, TuneIn, TIDAL, and Deezer. Services are accessed with Pioneer Remote App or Pioneer Music Control App.

Dual-band 5 GHz/2.4 GHz Wi-Fi
High-fidelity sound sources can be played wirelessly over a built-in Wi-Fi connection offering 5 GHz (11a/n) and 2.4 GHz (11b/g/n) bands. In busy households with many devices contributing to congestion on the 2.4 GHz band, the 5 GHz channel provides stable transmission of audio files.

Bluetooth Wireless Technology
Bluetooth wireless technology is a convenient audio streaming solution for almost any content playing on mobiles, tablets, and laptops, from audiobooks and podcasts to music played from smartphone applications.

Graphical User Interface with Easy Setup
Pioneer’s class-leading GUI makes using the VSX-LX303 enjoyable. A clean graphical layout details receiver functions and streamlines everyday operability, while Setup Guidance makes initial network setup fast and easy.

Other Features

  • Apple AirPlay certified
  • 2 x 12 V trigger outputs, IR input and output, RS-232C-compliant
  • AM/FM tuner with 40 memory presets
  • Assignable component and composite video inputs
  • Zone 2 pre-/line output

Price and Availability

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  • Pioneer VSX-LX303 is available now for $799 USD.
1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Phil

    July 4, 2021 at 1:11 pm

    I have the vsx lx 303 and it works fine BUT the speaker terminals do a poor job of holding Banana plugs and there is little space between the HDMI inputs and the speakers…this is a real problem…I don’t know what they were thinking…The Remote is poorly designed and incomplete in accessing each HDMI input but a button..just some…color coding for increase and decrease volume etc but color coding seems not to be a Chinese practice…

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