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Pioneer VSX-LX505: 9.2 amplifier, Dirac Live, Imax Enhanced, HDMI 2.1, HDR Dolby Vision, HDR10, Dolby Atmos 7.2.2, DTS:X, AirPlay 2, DTS Play-Fi…

A look back at the latest range of Pioneer Home Cinema amplifiers, mentioned in March 2021 in our columns following the CES show in Las Vegas, and only available in stores for a few months. If the technical characteristics, still relevant, have not changed, the same cannot be said for the prices. Like all other amp builders, these have grown noticeably. The opportunity for the editorial staff of to come back to these products and a price update. After our Pioneer VSX-LX305 update, we continue with the Pioneer VSX-LX505.

After a series of setbacks, the new Pioneer range is finally available in stores. As a reminder, the brand suffered from the health crisis in 2020 which paralyzed the Asian factories, the fire at the end of 2020 of the AKM factory, supplier of the Pioneer Dacs, then the delay assumed by the brand to integrate the new HDMI 2.1 cards signed Nuvotron free of bugs (see our news item HDMI 2.1 bug in 2020 Home Cinema amplifiers, see you in spring 2021). Not to mention, in 2022, the lack of electronic components that affected all economic sectors. That's a thing of the past now…

Pioneer VSX-LX505, what's new

The Pioneer VSX-LX505 of course incorporates most of the specifications of the Pioneer VSX-LX305, modulo some welcome changes, for example, richer connections with analog inputs and a Pre-Out 11.2 output, not to mention more power power output of 180 W/8 ohms and 215 W/6 ohms per channel (Class AB Direct Energy amplification) and a more accomplished design, with a sliding flap on the front hiding the multitude of buttons.

For the rest, there are therefore six 40 Gbps HDMI 2.1 inputs/two outputs (see our CES 21 news > Pioneer VSX-935, Pioneer VSX-LX305 and Pioneer VSX-LX505: 8K, HDMI 2.1 (40 Gbps )) compatible HFR 4K/120, 8K/60, VRR, ALLM, eARC, QMS (Quick Media Switching) and QFT (Quick Frame transport). Of note, three HDMI inputs are 40 Gbps models and three feature 24 Gbps bandwidth. Both outputs are 40 Gbps specimens. Similarly, an 8K Ultra HD upscaling of 4K UHD sources and another in 4K UHD of 1080p sources are included.

Still in terms of new features, there is the management of HDR10+, in addition to HDR10, HDR HLG and HDR Dolby Vision and the Works with Alexa and Works with Hey Google functions. Thus, it is possible to partly control the Pioneer VSX-LX505 by voice through an Amazon Echo or Google Home type speaker. Namely, again, the Alexa Multiroom Music function will be on the program via a later Firmware update. The list of upgrades also mentions the presence of a DAB+ tuner (40 presets).

And to be complete in terms of new features, we must also mention the Bluetooth transmitter functionality (see below) and the Dirac Live automatic calibration function.

Main Specifications

For the rest, there are nine discrete channels, the Dolby Atmos 7.2.2 or 5.2.4 function, rich connectivity (see below in this news). Ditto for the Imax Enhanced certification, the automatic MCACC Advanced calibration (against the “simple” MCACC) allowing fine adjustment of the LFE channel supported by the Reflex Optimizer function to manage the Dolby Atmos speakers.

Network and multiroom lens

There is also Works with Sonos certification, a remote control with direct access to three custom audio presets, AirPlay 2 compatibility, and Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization and DTS Virtual:X functions.

There is built-in Dual Band 2.4 GHz/5 GHz Wi-Fi compatibility, UPnP (DLNA) audio gateway, Hi-Res Audio certification, access to Web radios (TuneIn) and many services audio streaming (Spotify, Deezer, Tidal…).

In addition to AirPlay 2, the Pioneer VSX-LX505 incorporates another wireless (or wired) network protocol, DTS Play-Fi. As a reminder, the latter also offers multiroom management. Several speakers or Play-Fi devices can coexist in the same household, communicate together, and all the functionalities of a multiroom configuration are available: streaming of the same music source on all Play-Fi products, or the possibility of streaming on each of them from a separate source.

Audio Specifications

We note this year the use of a 192 kHz/32 bit converter and the management of Wav/Flac, Alac, AIFF (192 kHz/24 bit) and DSD (2.8 MHz via HDMI or USB and 5 .6 MHz via Ethernet or USB).

Finally, in addition to the Wi-Fi function already mentioned, Bluetooth 4.2 APT-X HD compatibility is integrated, in reception but also in transmission. It is therefore possible to send a musical signal from the amplifier to a compatible peripheral (headphones, sound bar, etc.). The front USB port (iPhone/iPod/iPad certified) supports MP3, AAC and WMA formats for fast and easy listening via streaming. There is also Phase Control processing (active in multichannel) for perfect sound synchronization of all channels, an AM/FM RDS tuner (in addition to DAB+) and the Advanced Sound Retriever process to improve the sound quality of compressed stereo audio files .

Of course, in addition to enjoying Dolby Atmos, the Pioneer VSX-LX505 also has the DTS:X decoder.


In addition to the six HDMI 2.1 inputs already mentioned (three 40 Gbps and three 24 Gbps) plus one on the front (this is a split rear input), plus two outputs, all HDCP 2.3 certified and transparent 2160p/50, 2160p/60 signals up to 4:4:4 and BT.2020. Of course, these connectors are also Deep Color (36-bit) and xvYCC certified. The 3D Ready label is still there. Also present, an optical input, a coaxial, five stereo RCA including a Phono, a YUV input, two Composite, a Pre-Out 11.2 output, an Ethernet port and nine pairs of screw terminals. Plus two front and rear USB Host ports, an RS-232C socket, a front 3.5 mm mini-Jack input for the calibration microphone and a headphone output. Also noteworthy, zone B stereo management (with dedicated Dac to take advantage of digital sources) via RCA (which can also be used as a Pre-Out 2.0 output), a zone 3 (Pre-Out 2.0) and a color OSD.

To come back to the nine pairs of terminal blocks, four of which can be used for a zone 2 and a zone 3, two others for a pair of Atmos speakers or to bi-amplify the fronts, plus two subwoofer outputs bass.

And to come back to the second HDMI output, this allows the same audio-video signal carried on the first to be sent to another room to power a video projector in addition to the TV, for example. If the Zone 2 HDMI parameter is activated, this is then completely independent of the first, in order to feed a secondary room with a different audio and video signal.

Immediate availability. Indicative price: 1,799 euros.

Reminder of the key characteristics of the Pioneer VSX-LX505B:

• Model: 9.2

• Power: 9 x 215 W at 6 ohms

• Inputs: 3 HDMI 2.1 40 Gbps inputs, 3 HDMI 2.1 24 Gbps inputs, 1 YUV, 2 Composite, 1 optical, 1 coaxial, 4 RCA stereo, 1 Phono, 2 USB Host ports (front and rear), 1 Ethernet port, 1 3.5 mm mini-Jack auxiliary input on the front, 1 RS-232C


• Outputs: 2 HDMI outputs (with Zone 2 HDMI option to carry two independent audio-video signals on each of the HDMI outputs), 2 subwoofer outputs, 1 headphone output, 1 Stereo RCA pre-out (zone B/2), 1 Pre-Out 11.2 output, 1 zone 3, 9 pairs of screw terminal blocks

• OSD functions

• UPnP (DLNA) audio gateway functions

• Dialog Enhancement functions

• ALLM functions

• VRR functions

• QFT functions

• QMS functions

• Ultra HD 4K/120 fps functions

• Ultra HD 8K/60 fps functions

• Flac HD compatibility

• AIFF compatibility

• Alac compatibility

• DSD compatibility (2.8/5.6/11 .2 MHz)

• Wav compatibility

• Audio Advanced Sound Retriever function

• Audio DTS:X

• Audio Reflex Optimizer function

• Audio Dolby Atmos Height Virtualizer function

• Audio Dolby Atmos 7.2.2/5.2.4

• Audio MCACC Advanced automatic calibration

• Audio eARC function

• Audio 192 kHz/32-bit digital-to-analog converter

• Ultra HD/4K Pass‑Through video

• Ultra HD Upscaling video

• HDR10 video

• HDR HLG video

• Dolby Vision HDR video

• Video BT.2020 compatibility

• Video Ultra HD Pass-Trought function

• 3D Ready video

• HDR10+ video

• Video Ultra HD/8K Upscaling function (24/25/30/ 60)

• Video Ultra HD/4K Upscaling Function (24/25/30/60/120)

• Imax Enhanced Certification

• Dual Band Wi-Fi Network (2.4/5 GHz)

• AirPlay 2 network

• ChromeCast function network

• DTS Play-Fi certification network

• Works with Sonos certification network

• Bluetooth 4.2 APT-X network Qualcomm HD

• Network Bluetooth TX

• Multimedia Works with Hey Google

• Multimedia Works with Alexa

• Multimedia Amazon Multiroom Music

• Streaming Hi-Res Audio via USB /network: Alac, AIFF, Flac and Wav up to 192 kHz/ 24 bits, DSD 2.8/5.6/11.2 MHz

• Web radio(s): Amazon Music, Spotify, TuneIn, Deezer , Tidal

• 40-preset AM/FM tuner

• Hi-Res Audio certification

• Direct Energy amplification

• Works with Sonos certification

• HDCP 2.3 certification

• DAB+ tuner

• Roon Ready

• Headphone output: yes 6.35 mm jack

• Other(s): Dolby Atmos Upmixing function, DTS Neural Upmixing, active zone 2 with Dac dedicated, Android/iOS Pioneer Remote app

• Dimensions (W x H x D, mm): 536 x 265 x 458 mm

• Consumption: 850 W (0.15 W in standby)

• Weight: 13 kg