Pioneer’s VSX-920 receiver is part of the company’s new range of receivers which support full Blu-ray 3D. Despite the relatively low price, it also offers extraordinary connectivity features to a wider world of music.

Pioneer VS-920 AV Receiver


As with the other receivers here, the VSX-920 of course offers audio decoding for all modern standards — including Dolby Pro Logic IIz and the highest specifications of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. To deliver these it has seven power amplifiers, with the usual configuration options for outputting the two surround back channels to the front for bi-amping, or to the front height speakers for DPLIIz, or indeed to a second zone. Most of the speaker connections are proper binding posts, but two sets of spring clips are also provided for auxiliary use, so you can relatively easily switch from one state to another if you have all the speakers connected.

Unfortunately this is one of those receivers where comparable power output figures aren’t given. The headline amount set out in the manual is 150W, but that’s at a ludicrous 10% THD, into six ohms at 1kHz only. I presume it is one channel driven. The ‘rated power output’ is 125W, but the criteria remain the same except the THD is 1%. The ‘FTC power output’ is 65W per channel across the full audio bandwidth into eight ohms at 0.2% THD, but is only stated for the front stereo pair. I suspect that it would be conventionally specified at 7 x 65W within those parameters.

And having said all that, a separate ‘Total Harmonic Distortion’ figure is given as an excellent 0.06% from 20 to 20,000Hz into eight ohms at ... 85 watts per channel! Make sense of that if you can.

The receiver has four HDMI inputs, as well as Ethernet and USB, and also a proprietary port for Pioneer peripherals. There’s no support for S-Video here.

Its remote control has a learning capability, and is also preprogrammed for hundreds of other devices. If the receiver is connected to your home network and you have wireless available, then you can download a free app to an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad, which also acts as a remote control. This has some cool features that make use of the accelerometer built into those devices. Fun — though really, the functions controllable are so constrained, it’s far easier to just use the normal remote.