Pioneer VSA-LX805: 11.2 amplifier, Dirac Live, Imax Enhanced, HDMI 2.1, HDR Dolby Vision, HDR10, Dolby Atmos 7.2.4, 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 present the Pioneer VSA-LX805 which tops the brand's range.

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 VSA-LX805, Main Specifications

The Pioneer VSA-LX805 of course incorporates most of the specifications of the Pioneer VSX-LX505, modulo a few major changes, for example an HDMI connection with six 40 Gpbs inputs (compared to three on the VSX-LX505), two channels of additional amplification for a total of eleven, a third HDMI output, not to mention a slightly higher power of 220 W/6 ohms per channel (Class AB Direct Energy amplification). On the other hand, exit the DAB+ and AM/FM tuners.

For the rest, there are therefore six HDMI 2.1 inputs/outputs compatible with HFR 4K/120, 8K/60, VRR, ALLM, QMS (Quick Media Switching) and QFT (Quick Frame transport). Note, a seventh HDMI input is present on the front but its bandwidth is only 9 Gbps. Of the three outputs, two are 40 Gbps specimens, the third (zone 2) is limited to 18 Gbps. The eARC function is on the menu on the HDMI Main output. Similarly, 8K Ultra HD Upscaling of 4K or 1080p UHD sources is included.

There is still HDR10+ management, in addition to HDR10, HDR HLG and HDR Dolby Vision and the Works with Alexa, Works with Hey Google and Works with Apple Airpay functions. Thus, it is possible to partly control the Pioneer VSA-LX805 by voice through an Amazon Echo, Google Home or HomePod type speaker. Namely, again, the Alexa Multiroom Music function will be on the program via a later Firmware update.

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 in the premium version (the multi Sub version is available via the optional update MCACC Pro).

Pioneer VSA-LX805, main specs continued…

For the rest, there are therefore eleven discrete channels, the Dolby Atmos 7.2.4 or DTS:X 11.1 function, rich connectivity (see below in this news), Imax Enhanced certification. There is also Works with Sonos certification, a remote control with direct access to three personalized audio presets, AirPlay 2 compatibility, Chromecast (integrated), Spotify, Tidal, Deezer… not to mention access to Web radios (TuneIn).

Pioneer VSA-LX805, network and multiroom lens

There is built-in Dual Band 2.4 GHz/5 GHz Wi-Fi ac compatibility, UPnP (DLNA) audio gateway and Hi-Res Audio certification. In addition to AirPlay 2, the Pioneer VSA-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.

Pioneer VSA-LX805, audio specs

We note this year the use of two ESS Saber ES9026Pro 32-bit digital-analog converters and the management of Wav/Flac, Alac, AIFF (up to 192 kHz/24-bit), MP3, AAC and WMA files, and DSD (2.8MHz/5.6MHz/11.2MHz 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.). There is also Phase Control+ processing (active in multichannel) for perfect sound synchronization of all channels.


In addition to the six HDMI 2.1 inputs already mentioned, plus one on the front and three outputs, all HDCP 2.3 certified and transparent to 2160p/50, 2160p/60 signals up to 4:4:4 and BT.2020, there are also three optical inputs, two coaxial, five stereo RCA including a Phono, a YUV input, two Composite, a Pre-Out 11.2 output, an XLR 2.0 Pre-Out output, an Ethernet port and fifteen pairs of screw terminal blocks. Plus two front and rear USB Host ports, an RS-232C socket, a front 6.35 mm jack input for headphone output plus an input for the calibration microphone. Also of note, zone 2/B and zone 3 stereo management via RCA (they can also be used as Pre-Out 2.0 output) and a color OSD.

To come back to the fifteen 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, two others for all that subwoofer, plus another to bi-amplify the central.

And to come back to the second HDMI output, this allows the same audio-video signal (up to Ultra HD 8K) conveyed on the first to be sent to another room, for example to power a video projector in addition to the TV, while the third allows the transfer of a different signal (limited to UHD 4K) to another room.

Availability announced, in black finish only, for the end of May. Indicative price: 3,499 euros.

Reminder of the key characteristics of the Pioneer VSA-LX805:

• Model: 11.2

• Power: x 220 W at 6 ohms

• Signal-to-noise ratio: 107 dB

• THD (total harmonic distortion): 0.08%

• Frequency response: 20 - 20,000 Hz

• Inputs: 6 HDMI 2.1 40 Gbps, 3 optical, 2 coaxial, 5 stereo RCA including a Phono, 1 YUV input, 2 Composite, 1 Ethernet port, 2 USB Host ports on the front and rear, 1 RS-232C


• Outputs: 3 HDMI outputs, 2 subwoofer outputs, 1 headphone output, 1 XLR 2.0 Pre-Out, 2 stereo RCA Pre-Out (zone B/2 and zone 3), 1 11.2 Pre-Out, 15 pairs of screw terminal blocks

• OSD functions

• UPnP (DLNA) audio gateway functions

• ALLM functions

• VRR functions

• QFT functions

• QMS functions

• Ultra HD 4K/120 im/ functions s

• Ultra HD 8K/60fps functions

• Amazon Music functions

• Tidal functions

• Deezer functions

• Spotify functions

• Compatibility Flac HD

• AIFF compatibility

• Alac compatibility

• DSD compatibility (2.8/5.6/11.2 MHz)

• Wav compatibility

• Compatibility MP3

• WMA compatibility

• AAC compatibility

• LPCM compatibility

• DTS:X audio

• eARC function audio

• Dirac Live calibration audio

• Audio Dolby Atmos 7.2.4/DTS:X 11.1

• Audio ESS Saber ES9026Pro 768 kHz/32-bit digital-to-analog converter

• Video Ultra HD/4K Pass-Through

• HDR10 video

• HDR HLG video

• Dolby Vision HDR video

• BT.2020 compatibility video

• Ultra HD Pass-Trought function video

• 3D Ready video

• Video HDR10+

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

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

• Imax Enhanced certification

• Dual Band Wi-Fi network (2.4/5 GHz)

• AirPlay 2 network

• Network DTS Play-Fi certification

• Network Works with Sonos certification

• Bluetooth APT-X Qualcomm HD network

• Bluetooth TX network

• Bluetooth 4.2 APT-X network

• Chromecast network (integrated)

• Multimedia Works with Hey Google

• Multimedia Works with Alexa

• Multimedia Amazon Multiroom Music

• Multimedia Works with Apple AirPlay

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

• Web radios: TuneIn

• Hi-Res Audio certification

• Direct Energy amplification

• Works with Sonos certification

• Roon Ready

• HDCP 2.3 certification

• Headphone output: yes 6.35 mm jack

• Other: Android app /iOS Pioneer Remote

• Dimensions (W x H x D, mm): 435 x 185.5 x 468 mm

• Consumption: 1,190 W (0.2 W in standby)

• Weight: 21.5 kg