Pioneer Elite SC-89 Review and Specs
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Pioneer Elite SC-89 (USA version)

SCORE:
87

Highlights

  • 9.2 channels
  • 140 W (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 channel driven)
  • USB DAC
  • Dolby Atmos capable
  • 4K Upscaling, 4K Passthrough
  • AirPlay
  • Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  • USB and Phono inputs

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Pioneer Elite SC-89 Overview

Pioneer Elite SC-89 was introduced in 2014 and represented a flagship model of the manufacturer. It is equipped with 9 channel amplifier and is capable of 9.2 maximum channel processing.

We evaluated the Receiver and gave 87 overall score out of 100. Our ranking system is based on the amplifier specifications, audio and video features, connectivity, multizone capabilities, radio and many other details.

AMPLIFIER
92
VIDEO FEATURES
79
AUDIO FEATURES
86
CONNECTIVITY
86
MULTIZONE
97
MISCELLANEOUS
87
RADIO
85
OVERALL
87

Amplifier score is based on power ratings, minimum impedance load, power supply, transformer type, total harmonic distortion, damping factor, signal to noise ratio and other small details. Audio score depends on the number of channels, front wide channel support, maximum channel processing, support of audio formats, DAC specifications, room calibration algorithm... Video score is based on HDR, Dolby Vision and video signal passthrough and upscaling, analog to HDMI upconversion. Connectivity score is defined from all wired and wireless inputs and outputs, internet and bluetooth connections, HEOS, SONOS and others. Multizone score depends on the number of zones with their outputs. Radio score is evaluated form digital radio support and analog tuner with its frequency range, signal to noise ratio, harmonic distortion...

Pros and Cons

In this section we present pros and cons of Pioneer Elite SC-89.

PROS
Front Wide Channel Support πŸ‘
Certified 4 Ω Performance πŸ‘
Bi-amp Capability πŸ‘
Many Channel Processing πŸ‘
Air Studios Monitor Certification πŸ‘
Dolby Atmos πŸ‘
Dolby TrueHD πŸ‘
Dolby Digital Plus πŸ‘
Dolby Pro Logic πŸ‘
Dolby Digital EX πŸ‘
DTS Neo πŸ‘
DTS-HD Master Audio πŸ‘
DTS-HD High Resolution Audio πŸ‘
DTS 96/24 πŸ‘
DTS Express πŸ‘
DTS-ES πŸ‘
High Resolution Music Playback via USB and/or Network πŸ‘
Gapless Playback πŸ‘
DSD via HDMI πŸ‘
DSD via USB πŸ‘
DSD to PCM Converter πŸ‘
USB DAC πŸ‘
DTS Dialog Control πŸ‘
Dialog Enhancement πŸ‘
Dialogue Lift πŸ‘
Sound Retriever πŸ‘
Sound Retriever AIR πŸ‘
Compressed Music Enhancer πŸ‘
High-resolution Music Enhancer πŸ‘
Auto Speaker Calibration System with Mic. πŸ‘
3-D Ready πŸ‘
4K or 8K Video Passthrough πŸ‘
4K or 8K Signal Upscaling πŸ‘
Analog To HDMI Upconversion πŸ‘
MHL Input πŸ‘
DLNA 1.5 πŸ‘
Ethernet πŸ‘
Wi-Fi πŸ‘
Bluetooth πŸ‘
HDBaseT Compatible πŸ‘
Many HDMI Inputs πŸ‘
Many HDMI Outputs πŸ‘
USB Input πŸ‘
Phono Input πŸ‘
Composite Video Inputs πŸ‘
Composite Video Outputs πŸ‘
Component Video Inputs πŸ‘
Component Video Outputs πŸ‘
Analog Pre-Outs πŸ‘
Zones πŸ‘
Detachable Power Cord πŸ‘
Analog Tuner πŸ‘
Pandora πŸ‘
Spotify πŸ‘
Low Leakage Flux Power Transformer πŸ‘
Transformer Stabilizer πŸ‘
CONS
No Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization πŸ‘Ž
No Dolby Surround Upmixer πŸ‘Ž
No DTS:X πŸ‘Ž
No DTS Neural:X πŸ‘Ž
No DTS Virtual:X πŸ‘Ž
No IMAX Enhanced πŸ‘Ž
No Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer πŸ‘Ž
No HDR10 πŸ‘Ž
No HDR10+ πŸ‘Ž
No BT.2020 color space πŸ‘Ž
No Dolby Vision πŸ‘Ž
No Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) πŸ‘Ž
No Chromecast Built-In πŸ‘Ž
Does not Work with Amazon Alexa πŸ‘Ž
Does Not Work with SONOS πŸ‘Ž
No eARC πŸ‘Ž
Few Analog Audio Line Inputs πŸ‘Ž
No Multi-Channel Input πŸ‘Ž
No Tidal πŸ‘Ž
No Deezer πŸ‘Ž
No Napster πŸ‘Ž
No SiriusXM Internet Radio πŸ‘Ž

Major Changes from its predecessor

Here we are comparing Pioneer Elite SC-89 to its predecessor SC-79 and displaying the major changes.

UPGRADES Pioneer Elite SC-89 Pioneer Elite SC-79
Dolby Atmos βœ” up to with firmware update βœ–
More Advanced Auto Speaker Calibration System βœ” MCACC Pro βœ” MCACC Advanced
Video Signal Passthrough up to 4K/60p (4:4:4 24-bit)
4K/60p (4:2:2 36-bit)
4K/24p (4:4:4 36-bit)
up to 4K/30p
Video Signal Upscaling βœ” up to 4K/60p (Marvell Qdeo) βœ” up to 4K/30p

DOWNGRADES Pioneer Elite SC-89 Pioneer Elite SC-79
THXβ„’ Certification βœ– βœ” Ultra2 Plus
Surround EX βœ– βœ”
Less HDMI Inputs 8 (1 front) 9 (1 front)
Less Analog Audio Line Inputs 3 5
Less Composite Video Inputs 2 5 (1 front)
Less Component Video Inputs 2 3

For more detailed comparison between the models please visit Pioneer Elite SC-89 vs Pioneer Elite SC-79.

Selected Features

Amplifier

Pioneer Elite SC-89 has 9 channel Class D3 amplifier and delivers 140 W (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 channel driven) and also has a stable performance at 4 Ω load. This receiver even supports front wide channels which is found only in a very few high-end receivers these days.


Video Features

The Receiver has 4K passthrough up to 60p and 4K upscaling up to 60p.


Dolby Atmos and Dolby Surround upmixer

Pioneer Elite SC-89 supports Dolby Atmos. It can be configured upto 7.1.2 or 5.1.4 channels using internal amplifiers.

Dolby Atmos is the first cinematic audio format in which sounds exist as individual entities, called audio objects. In Dolby Atmos, any sound - the helicopter, a car screeching around a corner, a melodic bird call - can exist as an independent audio object, free of channel restrictions. They can be precisely placed and moved anywhere in your room, including overhead, to flow above and around you in three-dimensional space. Through the use of audio objects, overhead sound, and all the richness, clarity, and power of Dolby sound, Dolby Atmos turns your room into an amazing place for entertainment. You'll feel like you're inside the action, in ways you've never experienced before.

Dolby Atmos for the home represents every sound in the original cinema mix as an audio object. Extensions to the Dolby Audioβ„’ codecs, along with an advanced scalable algorithm, allow Dolby Atmos to be delivered via Blu-ray Disc and streaming media. A spatially-coded substream is added to Dolby TrueHD or Dolby Digital Plus. A Dolby Atmos audio/video receiver (AVR) adapts the cinema experience to your home theater from seven speakers to as many as 34 in 24.1.10 configuration, recreating the original artistic concept. The format supports up to 128 simultaneous independent audio objects in a mix for rich, realistic, and breathtaking sound. It recreates the director's original concept through descriptive metadata to provide customized playback for home theater and delivers sounds above you through overhead speakers, special upward-firing Dolby Atmos speakers, or a Dolby Atmos enabled sound bar.

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.


Class D3 Amplifier

Pioneer Class D3 amplifiers contain advanced integrated circuitry technology creating unmatched power without sacrificing sound quality or performance. Class D3 amplifiers use a Direct Signal Path Design to provide the shortest audio signal path possible. By eliminating EMI filters, feedback loops, and current limiters of previous designs, Class D3 reduces ringing distortion and noise, especially in the high frequency audio band.

The power consumption of the Digital Class D3 Amplifier is significantly lower than traditional A/B amplifiers - letting you save energy and generate less heat without compromising performance. The Digital Class D3 Amplifier uses a simple structure employing a straight signal path, resulting in improved sound quality requiring less energy than competitive models yet producing more simultaneous power output. This direct signal path means no EMI filters, feedback loops or current limiting - a true engineering art. Unlike traditional designs, these amps deliver the strength to handle multiple low-impedance speakers without dramatic power loss. The efficiency of Class D3 means cooler operation while drawing just a fraction of the power consumed by conventional amplifiers, enhancing and extending component life and reliability.


Advanced Sound Retriever

Compressed music enhancement in Pioneer Elite SC-89 is done by Pioneer’s Advanced Sound Retriever. Hear the detail, warmth and clarity, the way the artist intended it, from all of your highly compressed MP3 and WMA files stored on USB, Smartphone and portable media players. By restoring data that tend to get lost in the digital compression process, Pioneers Advanced Sound Retriever Technology enhances audio reproduction all the way upto 20 Khz frequencies.


Room Correction

Pioneer Elite SC-89 comes with[y] MCACC Pro room correction system and includes the calibration microphone.


Connectivity

Pioneer Elite SC-89 can be connected to internet using ethernet cable or wirelessly[y] via optional AS-WL300 adapter (sold separately). It can also connect to bluetooth devices[y] via optional AS-BT100 or AS-BT200 adapters (sold separately). The Receiver supports[y] AirPlay. It has 8 HDMI inputs. There is a phono input with built-in phono stage for connecting the cartridge output of the turntable directly to the Receiver. There are 11.2 channel analog pre-outs for external amplification.

Front panel has HDMI and USB inputs.

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Detailed Specifications

Here we list all the available features and specifications of Pioneer Elite SC-89.

BASICS
BrandPioneer
SeriesElite
ModelSC-89
TypeA/V Receiver
CountryUSA
Release Year2014
AMPLIFIER
Channels9.2
Front Wide Channel Supportβœ”
Amplifier DesignClass D3 (Direct Energy HD)
THXβ„’ Certificationβœ–
Continuous 6 Ω Ratedβœ”
Certified 4 Ω Performanceβœ”
Bi-amp Capabilityβœ” Front, Center, Surround, SP-B
AUDIO
Digital Signal Processing (DSP) EngineTexas Instruments Aureus
DACESS SABRE32 Ultra (ES9016+ES9016)
Maximum Channel Processing9.2
Air Studios Monitor Certificationβœ”
Dolby Atmosβœ” up to with firmware update
Dolby Atmos Height Virtualizationβœ–
Dolby TrueHDβœ”
Dolby Digital Plusβœ”
Dolby Surround Upmixerβœ–
Dolby Pro Logicβœ” PLIIz
Dolby Digital EXβœ”
Surround EXβœ–
DTS:Xβœ–
DTS Neural:Xβœ–
DTS Virtual:Xβœ–
DTS Neoβœ” Neo:X
DTS-HD Master Audioβœ”
DTS-HD High Resolution Audioβœ”
DTS 96/24βœ”
DTS Expressβœ”
DTS-ESβœ” Discrete 6.1, Matrix 6.1
IMAX Enhancedβœ–
Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixerβœ–
PCMβœ” 2-ch/Multi-ch Input
Music Playback via USBMP3, WMA, AAC, Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, DSD
High Resolution Music Playback via USB and/or Networkβœ” 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192 kHz/24 bit
High Resolution Audio Formats via USBApple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, DSD
Multi-Channel Music File Playback via USBβœ” up to 96 kHz/24 bit
Gapless Playbackβœ”
DSD via HDMIβœ” 2-ch/Multi-ch Input
DSD via USBβœ” 2-ch Input
DSD to PCM Converterβœ”
USB DACβœ” 192kHz/32-bit
Jitter Reductionβœ” plus PQLS (HDMI Bitstream/ Multi)
Auto Level ControlMulti-Channel
Dialog Enhancementβœ”
Dialogue Liftβœ” via Dialog Enhancement
Sound Retrieverβœ” Advanced (Multi-Channel / Auto with ARC)
Sound Retriever AIRβœ”
Digital Noise Reductionβœ”
Tone Controlβœ” All Channels
Compressed Music Enhancerβœ” Advanced Sound Retriever
High-resolution Music Enhancerβœ” Hi-bit32 Audio Processing
Audyssey Dynamic EQβœ–
Audyssey Dynamic Volumeβœ–
Audyssey LFCβœ–
Audyssey Sub EQ HTβœ–
Audyssey DSXβœ–
Direct Modeβœ”
Pure Direct Modeβœ”
Auto Surroundβœ”
Optimum Surroundβœ”
Advanced Surround11 + 1
Wide Surroundβœ”
Front Stage Surround Advanceβœ” (Focus/Wide)
Headphone Surroundβœ”
Virtual Speakersβœ” (Surround Back/Height/Wide)
Virtual Depthβœ”
Independent Dual Subwoofer Outputβœ”
CALIBRATION
Auto Speaker Calibration System with Mic.βœ” MCACC Pro
Manual MCACCβœ”
MCACC Memory6
Reflex Optimizerβœ–
Phase Controlβœ”
Full Band Phase Controlβœ”
Standing Wave Controlβœ”
EQ Bands9-Band (Advanced)
Symmetric EQβœ”
X-Curveβœ”
Distance Adjustment1/2 Inch
Precision Distanceβœ”
Polarity Checkβœ”
Auto Subwoofer Crossoverβœ”
VIDEO
HDR10βœ–
HDR10+βœ–
BT.2020 color spaceβœ–
Dolby Visionβœ–
Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG)βœ–
Quick Media Switching (QMS)βœ–
Auto Low Latency Mode Pass-throughβœ–
Variable Refresh Rate (VRR)βœ–
Quick Frame Transport (QFT)βœ–
3-D Readyβœ”
Video Signal Passthroughup to 4K/60p (4:4:4 24-bit)
4K/60p (4:2:2 36-bit)
4K/24p (4:4:4 36-bit)
Video Signal Upscalingβœ” up to 4K/60p (Marvell Qdeo)
Analog To HDMI Upconversionβœ” Component****, Composite
Component Video Upscalingβœ–
Analog to Analog Video conversionβœ–
Component Video Maximum Resolution1080p (1125p)
Stream Smootherβœ”
Pure Cinemaβœ”
Video Parameter AdjustmentsYNR, CNR, BNR, MNR, Detail, Brightness, Contrast, Hue, Chroma, Black Level
Triple HD Noise Reductionβœ”
Super Resolutionβœ–
isf Certified Calibration Controlβœ–
CONNECTIVITY
MHL Inputβœ” 1 Rear (Version 2.0)
DLNA 1.5βœ” (DMR)
FireConnectβœ–
FlareConnectβœ–
Chromecast Built-Inβœ–
DTS Play-Fiβœ–
Works with Amazon Alexaβœ–
Works with SONOSβœ–
AirPlayβœ” AirPlay
Apple Product Connectionβœ” iPod and iPhone via front USB
Remote Appβœ” iControlAV5 (for iOS and Android)
InstaPrevue Input Source Prevueβœ–
Ethernetβœ”
Ethernet Switchβœ–
Wi-Fiβœ” via optional AS-WL300 adapter (sold separately)
Bluetoothβœ” via optional AS-BT100 or AS-BT200 adapters (sold separately)
HDBaseT Compatibleβœ” for MAIN/HDZONE (HDMI Extension via CAT5 Cable)
Enhanced ARCβœ–
HDMI Input8 (1 front)
HDMI Output3 (2 for MAIN, 1 for MAIN/HDZONE)
USB Input1 Front
USB DC Out Port1 Rear for AS-WL300 (5 V, 0.6 A)
Analog Audio Line Input3
Analog Audio Line Output1
Phono Inputβœ”
Optical In2
Optical Out1
Coaxial In/Out2 / βœ–
Composite Video Input2
Composite Video Output2
S-Video Inputβœ–
S-Video Outputβœ–
Component Video Input2
Component Video Output1
PC Inβœ–
Multi-Channel Inputβœ–
Analog Pre-Outs11.2
XLR Inputsβœ–
XLR Pre-outsβœ–
Front A/V InputsHDMI, USB
Speaker A/Bβœ”
Headphone Outβœ” 6.3 mm
ZONES
Zones4
Powered Zones2, 3 and HDZone
Zone 2RCA Pre/Line Out + Subwoofer
Zone 3 OutsRCA Pre/Line Out
Zone 4 OutsHDMI
RS-232βœ”
+12V Trigger Output2 (Main, Zone2, Zone 3, HDZone)
Remote (IR) Input/Output2 / 1
MISC
On-Screen DisplayGraphical User Interface (GUI) with Album Artwork (HDMI only)
Multi-Zone On-Screen Displayβœ” HDZone
HDMI Speaker B Linkβœ”
AVNavigatorβœ” Built-in
IP Control for CIβœ”
PreAmp Modeβœ”
Versatile Speaker ConfigurationSurround Back/ Front Height/ Front Wide/ Front Bi-Amp/ Zone 2/ B-Speaker/ Powered HD Zone
FL Dimmerβœ”
Function Renameβœ”
Remote ControllerLearning Remote Control (Lumiβœ– us)
Detachable Power Cordβœ”
adapterportβœ”
RADIO
Analog Tunerβœ” FM/AM
Presets63
Digital Radioβœ–
Internet Radioβœ” vTuner
Pandoraβœ”
Spotifyβœ”
Tidalβœ–
Deezerβœ–
Napsterβœ–
SiriusXM Internet Radioβœ–
CONSTRUCTION
Front PanelBrushed
Solid Aluminum Frontβœ–
Advanced Direct ConstructionAdvanced Direct Construction
Speaker Terminals11
Large Speaker Terminals11
Color-Coded Speaker Terminalsβœ–
Ceramic Speaker Terminalsβœ”
3D Space Frame Constructionβœ”
Gold plated RCA terminalsβœ”
POWER
Power SupplyAC 120 V, 60 Hz
Low Leakage Flux Power Transformerβœ”
Transformer Stabilizerβœ”
Power Consumption370 W
Standby Power0.1 W
GENERAL
ECO Mode / Hybrid Standby Functionβœ”
Auto Power Standbyβœ”
Dimensions (W x H x D)435 mm x 185 mm x 441 mm
17-1/8" x 7-5/16" x 17-3/8"
Weight17.6 kg (38.8 lbs)
Warranty2 Years Parts & Labor
SPECS
Power Output (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 2140 W (0.08% THD)
Power Output (6 Ω, 1 kHz, 2200 W (1.0% THD)
Power Output (4 Ω, 1 kHz, 2255 W (1.0% THD)
Multi Channel Simultaneous Drive (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 1.0%)850 W
THD0.04% (1 kHz, 130 W + 130 W, 8 Ω)
Input Sensitivity and Impedance (Line)400 mV/47 kΩ (Line)
Input Sensitivity and Impedance (Phono MM)5 mV/47 kΩ
Rated Lineout Level and Impedance400 mV/2.2 kΩ (REC OUT)
S/N Ratio (Line, IHF-A)103 dB
DSD Sampling Rates via HDMI2.8 MHz
DSD Sampling Rates via USB5.6 MHz, 2.8 MHz
USB DAC TerminalUSB2.0 (Type B)
Video Input Sensitivity/Output Level and Impedance1 Vp-p/75 Ω (Component Y)
0.7 Vp-p/75 Ω (Component PB/CB, PR/CR)
1 Vp-p/75 Ω (Composite)
Ethernet Standard10BASE-T/100BASE-TX
Wi-Fi Terminal5 V, 600 mA
HDMI Terminal19-pin (not DVI)
HDMI Output Type5 V, 55 mA
HDMI Input/MHL Terminal5 V, 900 mA
USB TerminalUSB2.0 (Type A) 5 V, 1 A
adapterport Terminal5 V, 100 mA
Extension Terminalβœ–
FM Frequency87.5 MHz - 108.0 MHz
AM Frequency530 kHz - 1710 kHz

* - 480i/576i and 480p/576p only
** - 480i/576i only
*** - no 1080p/24 upconversion
**** - 1080p signal is not converted

Successor

In 2015 Pioneer Elite SC-89 was replaced by SC-99. Let us now have a look at some important changes that the successor brought.


UPGRADES Pioneer Elite SC-99 Pioneer Elite SC-89
More Channel Processing 11.2 9.2
Dolby Surround Upmixer βœ” βœ–
DTS:X βœ” up to with firmware update βœ–
DTS Neural:X βœ” with firmware update βœ–
HDR10 βœ” βœ–
Wi-Fi βœ” βœ” via optional AS-WL300 adapter (sold separately)
Bluetooth βœ” SBC, AAC βœ” via optional AS-BT100 or AS-BT200 adapters (sold separately)
Multi-Channel Input βœ” 7.1 βœ–
More Analog Pre-Outs 13.2 11.2

DOWNGRADES Pioneer Elite SC-99 Pioneer Elite SC-89
Less HDMI Outputs 3 (2 for MAIN, 1 for MAIN/HDZONE) 3 (2 for MAIN, 1 for MAIN/HDZONE)

For more detailed comparison between the models please visit Pioneer Elite SC-99 vs Pioneer Elite SC-89.

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