Anthem MRX 540 8K vs Pioneer VSX-531

       
       

      Highlights

      • 5.2 Channels
      • 7.1 Channel Processing
      • 100 W (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 channel driven)
      • HDMI 2.1
      • Dolby Atmos, DTS:X
      • HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision
      • 8K Passthrough
      • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Ethernet
      • Phono Input

      Highlights

      • 5.1 Channels
      • 5.1 Channel Processing
      • 80 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven)
      • HDR10
      • 4K/60Hz Passthrough
      • Bluetooth

      Disclosure: We earn money from the affiliate links to products associated with content in this article.

      1. Overview

      Here we are comparing Anthem MRX 540 8K to Pioneer VSX-531 to reveal their common strengths and weaknesses as well as the differences between them which will help you in making a correct decision before the purchase. The Anthem MRX 540 8K has 5 channel and the Pioneer VSX-531 has 5 channel amplifiers.


      Anthem MRX 540 8K Pioneer VSX-531

      Anthem MRX 540 8K was introduced in 2021. It is equipped with 5 channel amplifier with 100 W (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 channel driven) power per channel and is capable of 7.1 maximum channel processing. It supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, passes 8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz video signal.

      Pioneer VSX-531 was introduced in 2016. It is equipped with 5 channel amplifier with 80 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz and 2 channel driven) power per channel and is capable of 5.1 maximum channel processing. It , passes 4K/60Hz video signal.


      We evaluated Anthem MRX 540 8K and Pioneer VSX-531 and gave them scores of 87 and 67 out of 100 recpectively. Our ranking system is based on the amplifier specifications, audio and video features, connectivity, multizone capabilities, radio and many other details.

      Anthem MRX 540 8K

      Pioneer VSX-531

      Amplifier
      84
      Amplifier
      68
      Audio Features
      87
      Audio Features
      62
      Video Features
      100
      Video Features
      80
      Connectivity
      87
      Connectivity
      63
      Zones
      71
      Zones
      55
      Radio
      73
      Radio
      59
      OVERALL
      87
      OVERALL
      67

      For more details about the ranking please go to    Evaluations section.

      2. Pros and Cons

      In this section we present pros and cons of Anthem MRX 540 8K and Pioneer VSX-531.

      PROS

      Anthem MRX 540 8K

      Pioneer VSX-531

      •   Dolby Atmos
      •   DTS:X
      •   IMAX Enhanced
      •   Auto Speaker Calibration System with Mic.
      •   HDR10
      •   HDR10+
      •   Dolby Vision
      •   HDMI 2.1
      •   eARC
      •   New HDCP Version
      •   Auto Low Latency Mode Pass-through
      •   VRR
      •   QFT
      •   8K Passthrough
      •   Wi-Fi
      •   Bluetooth
      •   Chromecast Built-In
      •   7 HDMI Inputs
      •   7 8K Inputs
      •   Phono Input
      •   RCA Pre-Outs
      •   Ethernet
      •   Analog Tuner
      •   Spotify
      •   DSD via HDMI
      •   HDR10
      •   New HDCP Version
      •   Bluetooth
      •   USB Input
      •   Composite Video Inputs
      •   Analog Tuner

      CONS

      Anthem MRX 540 8K

      Pioneer VSX-531

      •   Few Channels - 5.2
      •   No Front Wide Channel Support
      •   No Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization
      •   No Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer
      •   No DSD via HDMI
      •   Does not Work with Amazon Alexa
      •   No USB Input
      •   No Composite Video Inputs
      •   No Zones
      •   No Digital Radio
      •   No Pandora
      •   No Tidal
      •   Few Channels - 5.1
      •   Low Power Output - 80 W
      •   5.1 Channel Processing
      •   No Dolby Atmos
      •   No Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization
      •   No DTS:X
      •   No IMAX Enhanced
      •   No Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer
      •   No Auto Speaker Calibration System with Mic.
      •   No HDR10+
      •   No Dolby Vision
      •   No eARC
      •   No 8K Passthrough
      •   No Wi-Fi
      •   Does not Work with Amazon Alexa
      •   4 HDMI Inputs
      •   1 HDMI Outputs
      •   0 8K Input
      •   Few RCA Line Inputs
      •   No Phono Input
      •   No RCA Pre-Outs
      •   No Ethernet
      •   No Zones
      •   No Digital Radio
      •   No Pandora
      •   No Spotify
      •   No Tidal
      •   Bluetooth 3.0


      And here are some specifications which fall into average criteria and are neither in PROs nor in CONs category:

      AVERAGE

      Anthem MRX 540 8K

      Pioneer VSX-531

      •   Power Output - 100 W
      •   7.1 Channel Processing
      •   2 HDMI Outputs
      •   RCA Line Inputs

      3. Advantage of Anthem MRX 540 8K

      This section shows those features and specifications which are the reason to choose Anthem MRX 540 8K over Pioneer VSX-531.

      Check the Price

      Anthem MRX 540 8K vs Pioneer VSX-531
      More Channels 5.2 vs 5.1
      Higher Power Output 100 W (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 channel driven) vs 80 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven)
      Certified 4 Ω Performance vs
      Bi-amp capability vs
      Higher DAC Specs 768 kHz/32 Bit vs 192 kHz/24 Bit
      More Channel Processing 7.1 vs 5.1
      Dolby Atmos vs
      Dolby Surround Upmixer vs
      DTS:X vs
      DTS Neural:X vs
      DTS Virtual:X vs
      IMAX Enhanced vs
      More Advanced Auto Speaker Calibration System Anthem Room Correction (ARC Genesis) vs
      HDR10+ vs
      BT.2020 color space vs
      Dolby Vision vs
      HLG vs
      Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC) vs
      Newer HDCP Version 2.3 vs 2.2
      Auto Low Latency Mode Pass-through vs
      VRR vs
      QFT vs
      Video Signal Passthrough up to 8K 50/60Hz and 4K 100/120Hz 4:4:4 vs up to 4K/60p (4:4:4)
      Wi-Fi vs
      Chromecast Built-In vs
      AirPlay AirPlay 2 vs
      Remote Controll App Anthem Remote App vs
      More HDMI Inputs 7 vs 4
      More HDMI Outputs 2 vs 1
      More 8K Inputs 7 vs
      More Optical Inputs 3 vs 1
      More Optical Outputs 1 vs
      More Coaxial Inputs/Outputs 2 vs 1
      More RCA Line Inputs 4 vs 3 (1 front)
      More RCA Line Outputs 1 vs
      Phono Input vs
      More RCA Pre-Outs 7.2 vs 0.1
      Ethernet vs
      Detachable Power Cord vs
      RS-232C Interface vs
      +12V Trigger Output 3 vs
      Remote (IR) Input/Output 1 / 0 vs 0 / 0
      IP Control for CI vs
      Spotify vs
      More Large Speaker Terminals 5 vs 2
      Bigger Power Supply 365 W vs 210 W
      Check out other receivers which are frequently compared to Anthem MRX 540 8K.

      4. Advantage of Pioneer VSX-531

      This section shows those features and specifications which are the reason to choose Pioneer VSX-531 over Anthem MRX 540 8K.

      Check the Price

      Anthem MRX 540 8K vs Pioneer VSX-531
      Dolby Pro Logic vs PLII
      DTS Neo vs Neo:6
      DSD via HDMI vs 2-ch Input
      USB Input for factory service vs 1 Front
      More Composite Video Inputs vs 2
      More Composite Video Outputs vs 1
      Front A/V Inputs vs USB, Mini-Jack

      5. Common Strengths and Weaknesses

      We already listed pros and cons of each model. However, you may also find useful to look at their common strengths and weaknesses shown side-by-side.

      STRENGTHS Anthem MRX 540 8K Pioneer VSX-531
        HDR10
        New HDCP Version2.32.2
        Bluetooth SBC, AAC
        Analog Tuner FM/AM
      WEAKNESSES Anthem MRX 540 8K Pioneer VSX-531
        Few Channels5.25.1
        No Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization
        No Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer
        Does not Work with Amazon Alexa
        No Zones11
        No Digital Radio
        No Pandora
        No Tidal

      6. Amplifier

      Anthem MRX 540 8K Pioneer VSX-531

      5 channel Class A/B Amplifier: Anthem MRX 540 8K features 5 channel power amplifier with Class A/B design on Channels 1-5 and Class D design on the rest. It is rated at 100 W (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 channel driven) and is able to drive 4 ohm speakers.

      5 channel Discrete Direct Energy Amplifier: Pioneer VSX-531 features 5 channel power amplifier with Discrete Direct Energy design. It is rated at 80 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven).



        AMPLIFIER Anthem MRX 540 8K Pioneer VSX-531
        Channels5.25.1
        Power Output100 W (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 channel driven)80 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven)
        Amplifier DesignClass A/B on Channels 1-5 and Class D on the restDiscrete Direct Energy
        THX™ Certification
        Continuous 6 Ω Rated
        Certified 4 Ω Performance
        Bi-amp Capability

        Check the Price

        7. Speaker Configurations

        Anthem MRX 540 8K's and Pioneer VSX-531's amplifiers can be assigned for different speaker configurations.

        • Dolby Atmos Configurations: The following speaker configurations are supported for Dolby Atmos:
        • Anthem MRX 540 8K: 3.1.2 with internal amplifier.
        • Pioneer VSX-531: Not supported.
        • DTS:X Configurations: The following speaker configurations are supported for DTS:X:
        • Anthem MRX 540 8K: The speaker configurations for DTS:X are the same as for Dolby Atmos - 3.1.2 with internal amplifier.
        • Pioneer VSX-531: Not supported.
        • Configurations without height channels: There are also other speaker configurations available which do not include height channels:
        • Anthem MRX 540 8K: 5.2 with internal amplifier and 7.2 with addition of external 2 channel amplifier.
        • Pioneer VSX-531: 5.1 with internal amplifier.
        • Bi-Amp: Anthem MRX 540 8K is able to bi-amp up to 2 main channels simultaneously. During bi-amplification two amplifiers are used for one speaker. One amplifier powers the midrange and tweeter section of the speaker and another amplifier powers the low frequency woofers. Each amplifier is less loaded and performs better. In order to use this feature speakers must have 2 pairs of connectors.

        8. Immersive Audio Formats

        Dolby Atmos

        Anthem MRX 540 8K supports Dolby Atmos.

        • Dolby Surround Upmixer: Anthem MRX 540 8K supports Dolby Surround Upmixer. If the content is not mixed in Dolby Atmos then the Dolby surround upmixer will expand the audio to all channels including ceiling speakers. The upmixer has replaced the Dolby Pro Logic II family with improved upmixing algorithms.

        DTS:X

        Anthem MRX 540 8K supports DTS:X.

        • DTS Neural:X: Anthem MRX 540 8K supports DTS Neural:X which is an advanced upmixer that can take non DTS:X content and upmix it to the DTS:X speaker layout. It has replaced the DTS Neo family with improved flexibility.
        • DTS Virtual:X: Anthem MRX 540 8K supports DTS Virtual:X which bridges the gap between DTS:X codec and the reality of so many consumers' homes, allowing you to enjoy multi-dimensional sound regardless of room size, layout, or speaker configuration. If you have a limited speaker setup you will miss a full immersive potential of your entertainment system. DTS Virtual:X adds height and surround audio effect to your system without adding height speakers. It works with multiple configurations and delivers immersive sound experience out of 5.1 or even 2.1 speaker layouts.
        • DTS Dialog Control: Anthem MRX 540 8K supports DTS Dialog Control. This function adjusts the dialog levels during playback of the DTS:X stream. It allows you to separately increase the dialog levels in contrast with the background sound and hear dialog easily even under noisy circumstances.

        IMAX Enhanced

        Anthem MRX 540 8K is IMAX Enhanced certified. To qualify for IMAX Enhanced certification, 4K HDR televisions, projectors, sound bars, a/v receivers, loudspeakers, powered subwoofers and other premium home entertainment devices must meet carefully prescribed performance requirements established by IMAX, DTS and Hollywood's leading experts.

        • What makes an IMAX Enhanced A/V receiver different from an A/V receiver with DTS:X technology? DTS:X technology is commonly found in most multi-channel A/V receivers on the market today. All IMAX Enhanced A/V receivers include DTS:X technology and deliver additional features, such as auto-sensing of IMAX Enhanced content, via IMAX Mode. IMAX Mode indicates that your A/V receiver supports fully immersive IMAX signature sound.
        AUDIO DECODING Anthem MRX 540 8K Pioneer VSX-531
        Dolby Atmos
        Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization
        Dolby Atmos Music
        Dolby TrueHD
        Dolby Digital Plus
        Dolby Surround Upmixer
        Dolby Pro Logic PLII
        DTS:X
        DTS Neural:X
        DTS Virtual:X
        DTS Neo Neo:6
        DTS-HD Master Audio
        DTS-HD High Resolution Audio
        DTS 96/24
        IMAX Enhanced
        Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer

        Check the Price

        9. HDMI

        Anthem MRX 540 8K comes with 7 HDMI 2.1 inputs with 8K support. It has 2 outputs which work parallelly and output the same signal.

        Pioneer VSX-531 comes with 4 HDMI inputs. It has 1 output.

        • 8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz Passthrough on Anthem MRX 540 8K: All inputs pass up to 8K 50/60Hz and 4K 100/120Hz 4:4:4 video signal.
          4K/60Hz Passthrough on Pioneer VSX-531: All inputs pass up to 4K/60p (4:4:4) video signal.
        • BT.2020 Color Space: BT.2020 or Rec. 2020 is a color standard which delivers a wider color gamut compared to Rec. 709. It covers approximately 75% of the total visual spectrum while the Rec. 709 covers only 35% (available on Anthem MRX 540 8K only).
        • HDCP Copy Protection: Anthem MRX 540 8K is HDCP 2.3 and Pioneer VSX-531 is HDCP 2.2 compliant which is a requirement for 4K/HDR copy-protected content transmission.
        • 3D Ready: Both receivers are able to pass 3D video through HDMI.

        HDR (High Dynamic Range)

        Anthem MRX 540 8K supports HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision and Hybrid Log-Gamma.

        Pioneer VSX-531 supports HDR10 High dynamic range video has greater dynamic range than standard dynamic range (SDR) video with brighter whites and deeper blacks. The result is greater contrast and more details in dark and bright areas, better color and depth.


        Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC)

        Anthem MRX 540 8K supports Audio Return Channel (ARC) which allows the compatible TV to send audio signal to the a/v receiver through the same HDMI cable which is used to send audio and video signals to the TV. So one HDMI cable is used to transfer audio signal in both directions. New Enhanced ARC will support uncompressed audio formats such as Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master Audio whereas the previous ARC could support only Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS, DTS HD, and PCM.


        Gaming Features

        Anthem MRX 540 8K supports Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) and Quick Frame Transport (QFT) for lag-free and smooth gaming.



        VIDEO FEATURES Anthem MRX 540 8K Pioneer VSX-531
        HDR10
        HDR10+
        Dynamic HDR
        BT.2020 color space
        Dolby Vision
        HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma)
        Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC)
        HDCP Version2.32.2
        ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode)
        VRR (Variable Refresh Rate)
        QFT (Quick Frame transport)
        3-D Ready
        Video Signal Passthroughup to 8K 50/60Hz and 4K 100/120Hz 4:4:4up to 4K/60p (4:4:4)

        Check the Price

        10. Inputs and Outputs

        Audio

        • Phono Input: There is an MM phono input on Anthem MRX 540 8K with built-in phono stage for connecting the moving magnet cartridge output of the turntable directly to the receiver.
        • Analog Pre-Outs: Anthem MRX 540 8K has 7.2 preamplifier outputs which allows you to connect the receiver to the external power amplifier. You may want to use a high quality external amplifier for certain channels, usually for front L/R and center, and use the receiver to power the rest. Also, Anthem MRX 540 8K has 7 channel processing but has only 5 channel amplifier, so it needs external amplifier connected to the analog pre-outs in order to reach its maximum speaker configuration.
        • Analog Line Inputs and Outputs: There are 4 pair of line inputs on Anthem MRX 540 8K and 3 pair of line inputs on Pioneer VSX-531 for connecting sources with analog outputs. There is also 1 pair of line outputs on Anthem MRX 540 8K.
        • Digital Inputs and Outputs: 3 optical inputs, 1 optical output and 2 coaxial inputs are available on Anthem MRX 540 8K and 1 optical input and 1 coaxial input are available on Pioneer VSX-531 for digital audio connections.
        • Headphone Output: There is a 6.3 mm (1/4") headphone output jack on the front panel of each receiver.

        Video

        • HDMI:
        • Anthem MRX 540 8K
          Inputs:
          7   Outputs: 2
          8K Inputs: 7.
        • Pioneer VSX-531
          Inputs:
          4   Outputs: 1
          8K Inputs: 0.
        • Composite Video: Connect you VCR, Laserdisc player and other old video equipment with composite video cables.
        • Anthem MRX 540 8K
          Inputs:
          0   Outputs: 0.
        • Pioneer VSX-531
          Inputs:
          2   Outputs: 1.

        Front A/V Inputs

        • Anthem MRX 540 8K: None
        • Pioneer VSX-531: USB, Mini-Jack

        Anthem MRX 540 8K

        Image cannot be found Image cannot be found

        Pioneer VSX-531

        Image cannot be found Image cannot be found
        TERMINALS Anthem MRX 540 8K Pioneer VSX-531
        HDMI Inputs74
        HDMI Outputs21
        8K Inputs7
        USB Input for factory service1 Front
        USB DC Out Port
        Optical Inputs31
        Optical Outputs1
        Coaxial Inputs21
        RCA Line Inputs43 (1 front)
        RCA Line Outputs1
        XLR Line Inputs
        Phono Input
        Multi-Channel Input
        RCA Pre-Outs7.20.1
        XLR Pre-outs
        Composite Video Inputs2
        Composite Video Outputs1
        S-Video Inputs
        S-Video Outputs
        Component Video Inputs
        Component Video Outputs

        Check the Price

        11. Evaluations

        We evaluated Anthem MRX 540 8K and Pioneer VSX-531 and gave them scores of 87 and 67 out of 100 recpectively. We also gave separate scores for 7 different categories according to the available features and specifications some of which are listed below. These evaluations are relative and may change each time a new receiver is added to the database.


        Anthem MRX 540 8K

        Pioneer VSX-531

        OVERALL
        87
        OVERALL
        67

        Amplifier

        GOOD
        84
        •   Few Channels - 5.2
        •   Power Output - 100 W
        AVERAGE
        68
        •   Few Channels - 5.1
        •   Low Power Output - 80 W

        Audio Features

        EXCELLENT
        87
        •   Few Channels - 5.2
        •   No Front Wide Channel Support
        •   7.1 Channel Processing
        •   Dolby Atmos
        •   No Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization
        •   DTS:X
        •   IMAX Enhanced
        •   No Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer
        •   No DSD via HDMI
        AVERAGE
        62
        •   Few Channels - 5.1
        •   5.1 Channel Processing
        •   No Dolby Atmos
        •   No Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization
        •   No DTS:X
        •   No IMAX Enhanced
        •   No Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer
        •   DSD via HDMI

        Video Features

        EXCELLENT
        100
        •   HDR10
        •   HDR10+
        •   Dolby Vision
        •   HDMI 2.1
        •   Auto Low Latency Mode Pass-through
        •   VRR
        •   QFT
        •   8K Passthrough
        GOOD
        80
        •   HDR10
        •   No HDR10+
        •   No Dolby Vision
        •   No 8K Passthrough

        Connectivity

        EXCELLENT
        87
        •   eARC
        •   New HDCP Version
        •   Wi-Fi
        •   Bluetooth
        •   Does not Work with Amazon Alexa
        •   Chromecast Built-In
        •   7 HDMI Inputs
        •   2 HDMI Outputs
        •   7 8K Inputs
        •   No USB Input
        •   RCA Line Inputs
        •   Phono Input
        •   RCA Pre-Outs
        •   No Composite Video Inputs
        •   Ethernet
        AVERAGE
        63
        •   No eARC
        •   New HDCP Version
        •   No Wi-Fi
        •   Bluetooth
        •   Does not Work with Amazon Alexa
        •   4 HDMI Inputs
        •   1 HDMI Outputs
        •   0 8K Input
        •   USB Input
        •   Few RCA Line Inputs
        •   No Phono Input
        •   No RCA Pre-Outs
        •   Composite Video Inputs
        •   No Ethernet
        •   Bluetooth 3.0

        Zones

        GOOD
        71
        •   No Zones
        AVERAGE
        55
        •   No Zones

        Radio

        GOOD
        73
        •   Analog Tuner
        •   No Pandora
        •   Spotify
        •   No Tidal
        AVERAGE
        59
        •   Analog Tuner
        •   No Pandora
        •   No Spotify
        •   No Tidal

        For the complete list of specifications please go to the next page:

        Discussion

        Amazon Affiliate Disclosure
        ZKelectronics is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for website owners to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon (.com, .co.uk, .ca, etc) and any other websites that may be affiliated with Amazon Service LLC Associates Program.