Pioneer Elite SC-95

    89
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    Highlights

    • 9.2 Channels
    • 11.2 Channel Processing
    • 135 W (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 channel driven)
    • Dolby Atmos, DTS:X
    • HDR10
    • 4K/60Hz Passthrough, 4K/60Hz Upscaling
    • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Ethernet
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    Disclosure: We earn money from the affiliate links to products associated with content in this article.

    Overview

    Pioneer Elite SC-95 was introduced in 2015. It is equipped with 9 channel amplifier with 135 W (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 channel driven) power per channel and is capable of 11.2 maximum channel processing. It supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, passes 4K/60Hz and upscales up to 4K/60p (4:4:4) video signal.

    We evaluated the a/v receiver and gave 89 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
    91
    Audio Features
    90
    Video Features
    83
    Connectivity
    86
    Zones
    97
    Radio
    85
    OVERALL
    89

    For more details about the ranking please scroll down to an    Evaluation section.

    Pros and Cons

    In this section we present pros and cons of Pioneer Elite SC-95.

    PROs

    •   High Power Output - 135 W
    •   Front Wide Channel Support
    •   11.2 Channel Processing
    •   Dolby Atmos
    •   DTS:X
    •   DSD via HDMI
    •   Auto Speaker Calibration System with Mic.
    •   HDR10
    •   New HDCP Version
    •   Analog To HDMI Upconversion
    •   Wi-Fi
    •   Bluetooth
    •   8 HDMI Inputs
    •   4 HDMI Outputs
    •   USB Input
    •   RCA Pre-Outs
    •   Composite Video Inputs
    •   Component Video Inputs
    •   Ethernet
    •   4 Zones
    •   Analog Tuner
    •   Pandora
    •   Spotify

    CONs

    •   No Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization
    •   No IMAX Enhanced
    •   No Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer
    •   No HDR10+
    •   No Dolby Vision
    •   No eARC
    •   No 8K Passthrough
    •   Does not Work with Amazon Alexa
    •   0 8K Input
    •   Few RCA Line Inputs
    •   No Phono Input
    •   No Digital Radio
    •   No Tidal
    •   Bluetooth 2․1 + EDR

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

    AVERAGE

    •   9.2 Channels

    Pioneer 2015 Lineup

    In 2015 Pioneer released 9 new receivers. Here is the lineup:

    Pioneer 2015 Lineup
    ModelChannelsPowerMax. Ch. Proc.Pre OutsRoom Corr.Immersive AudioHDRZones Price
    SC-99 Image cannot be found 9.2140 W11.213.2 MCACC ProDolby Atmos
    DTS:X
    HDR104
    SC-97 Image cannot be found 9.2140 W11.213.2 MCACC ProDolby Atmos
    DTS:X
    HDR104
    SC-95 Image cannot be found 9.2135 W11.213.2 MCACC ProDolby Atmos
    DTS:X
    HDR104
    SC-91 Image cannot be found 7.2130 W7.1 MCACC ProDolby Atmos3
    VSX-90 Image cannot be found 7.2100 W7.1 MCACC ProDolby Atmos3
    VSX-45 Image cannot be found 5.280 W5.1 Advanced MCACC1
    VSX-1130-K Image cannot be found 7.2100 W7.1 MCACC ProDolby Atmos2
    VSX-830-K Image cannot be found 5.280 W5.1 Advanced MCACC1
    VSX-530-K Image cannot be found 5.180 W5.11

    You can view their side-by-side comparison here: Pioneer SC-99 vs SC-97 vs SC-95 vs SC-91 vs VSX-90 vs VSX-45.

    Predecessor

    Here we are comparing Pioneer Elite SC-95 to its predecessor SC-85 and displaying the major changes.

    UPGRADES Pioneer Elite SC-95 vs Pioneer SC-85
    More Channel Processing 11.2 vs 9.2
    Dolby Surround Upmixer vs
    DTS:X up to with firmware update vs
    DTS Neural:X with firmware update vs
    HDR10 vs
    Wi-Fi vs via optional AS-WL300 adapter (sold separately)
    Bluetooth SBC, AAC vs via optional AS-BT100 or AS-BT200 adapters (sold separately)
    More RCA Pre-Outs 13.2 vs 11.2
    DOWNGRADES Pioneer Elite SC-95 vs Pioneer SC-85
    Dolby Pro Logic vs PLIIz
    DTS Neo Neo:X (before firmware update) vs Neo:X
    Wide Surround vs
    Virtual Depth vs
    X-Curve vs
    Component Video Maximum Resolution 1080i (1125i) vs 1080p (1125p)
    USB DC Out Port vs 1 Rear for AS-WL300 (5 V, 0.6 A)
    Less Component Video Inputs 1 vs 2
    Less Component Video Outputs vs 1
    adapterport vs
    Zone 2 Outs RCA Pre/Line Out vs RCA Pre/Line Out + Subwoofer
    PreAmp Mode vs

    For more detailed comparison between the models please visit Pioneer Elite SC-95 vs SC-85.

    Successor

    In 2017 Pioneer Elite SC-95 was replaced by Pioneer SC-LX701. Let us now have a look at some important differences between Pioneer Elite SC-95 and its successor.

    UPGRADES Pioneer SC-LX701 vs Pioneer Elite SC-95
    Music Playback via USB MP3, WMA, AAC, Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, DSD, Dolby TrueHD vs MP3, WMA, AAC, Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, DSD
    High Resolution Audio Formats via USB Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, AAC, DSD, Dolby TrueHD vs Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, DSD
    Reflex Optimizer vs
    BT.2020 color space vs
    Dolby Vision vs
    Analog To HDMI Upconversion Component**, Composite vs Component****, Composite
    Chromecast Built-In vs
    Works with SONOS vs
    DTS Play-Fi vs
    More Optical Inputs 3 vs 2
    More RCA Line Inputs 6 vs 3
    Phono Input vs
    More Component Video Inputs 2 vs 1
    More Component Video Outputs 1 vs
    Zone 2 Outs HDMI, RCA Pre/Line Out vs RCA Pre/Line Out
    PreAmp Mode vs
    Tidal vs
    Deezer vs
    Higher S/N Ratio (Line, IHF-A) 107 dB vs 101 dB
    Higher DSD Sampling Rate via USB 11.2 MHz, 5.6 MHz, 2.8 MHz vs 5.6 MHz, 2.8 MHz
    Newer Bluetooth Version 4․1 + LE vs 2․1 + EDR
    Wider AM Frequency Range 530 kHz - 1710 kHz vs 530 kHz - 1700 kHz
    Longer Warranty 3 Years Parts & Labor vs 2 Years Parts & Labor
    DOWNGRADES Pioneer SC-LX701 vs Pioneer Elite SC-95
    Front Wide Channel Support vs
    Bi-amp capability vs Front, Center, Surround, SP-B
    Dolby Digital EX vs
    DTS Neo vs Neo:X (before firmware update)
    DSD to PCM Converter vs
    Sound Retriever AIR vs
    Digital Noise Reduction vs
    High-resolution Music Enhancer vs Hi-bit32 Audio Processing
    Optimum Surround vs
    Headphone Surround vs
    Virtual Speakers vs (Surround Back/Height/Wide)
    Higher MCACC Memory 3 vs 6
    Stream Smoother vs
    Pure Cinema vs
    Video Parameter Adjustments vs YNR, CNR, BNR, MNR, Detail, Brightness, Contrast, Hue, Chroma, Black Level
    MHL Input vs 1 Rear (Version 2.0)
    DLNA 1.5 vs
    Less HDMI Outputs 2 (1 MAIN, 1 SUB/ZONE 2) vs 3 (2 for MAIN, 1 for MAIN/HDZONE)
    Less Optical Outputs vs 1
    Less RCA Line Outputs vs 1
    Less RCA Pre-Outs 11.2 vs 13.2
    Less Composite Video Outputs vs 2
    Less Zones 3 vs 4
    Less Powered Zones 2 and 3 vs 2, 3 and HDZone
    On-Screen Display Icon-based Graphical User Interface (GUI) vs Graphical User Interface (GUI) with Album Artwork (HDMI only)
    AVNavigator vs Built-in
    Less Presets 40 vs 63
    Smaller Power Supply 310 W vs 330 W

    For more detailed comparison between the models please visit Pioneer Elite SC-95 vs SC-LX701.

    Audio Section

    9 channel Class D3 Amplifier

    Pioneer Elite SC-95 features 9 channel power amplifier with Class D3 design. It is rated at 135 W (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 channel driven) and is able to drive 4 ohm speakers.

      AMPLIFIER
      Channels9.2
      Power Output135 W (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 channel driven)
      Front Wide Channel Support
      Amplifier DesignClass D3 (Direct Energy HD)
      THX™ Certification
      Continuous 6 Ω Rated
      Certified 4 Ω Performance
      Bi-amp Capability Front, Center, Surround, SP-B

      Speaker Configurations

      Pioneer Elite SC-95's 9 channel amplifier can be assigned for different speaker configurations.

      • Dolby Atmos Configurations: The following speaker configurations are supported for Dolby Atmos:
      • 5.2.2, 5.2.4, 7.2.2 with internal amplifier.
      • 7.2.4, 9.2.2 with addition of external 2 channel amplifier.
      • DTS:X Configurations: The speaker configurations for DTS:X are the same as for Dolby Atmos:
      • 5.2.2, 5.2.4, 7.2.2 with internal amplifier.
      • 7.2.4, 9.2.2 with addition of external 2 channel amplifier.
      • Configurations without height channels: There are also other speaker configurations available which do not include height channels:
      • 5.2, 7.2, 9.2 with internal amplifier.
      • Front Wide Channel support: Pioneer Elite SC-95 supports front wide channels. With the presence of two front wide speakers you can enhance the front surround stage. The following speaker configurations are available for front wide channels - 9.2, 9.2.2.
      • 4-ch Bi-Amp: Pioneer Elite SC-95 allows you to bi-amp up to 4 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.
      Pioneer Elite SC-95

      Dolby Atmos

      Pioneer Elite SC-95 supports Dolby Atmos. It is a cinematic audio format in which sounds exist as individual entities, called audio objects. In Dolby Atmos, any sound 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. 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.

      • 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

      Pioneer Elite SC-95 supports DTS:X. A technique used in DTS:X is similar to the one used in Dolby Atmos. Instead of a fixed number of channels, DTS:X defines object locations from the listener in polar coordinates. An a/v receiver then dynamically renders sound according to the current speaker configuration. The speaker layout employed by DTS:X is the sum of Dolby Atmos and Auro-3D. It has standard 7.1 channel base layer, a 5 channel height layer above the base layer on the front and side walls, and 3 rows of speakers on the ceiling.

      • DTS Neural:X: DTS Neural:X 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.
      DECODING
      Dolby Atmos
      Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization
      Dolby Atmos Music
      Dolby TrueHD
      Dolby Digital Plus
      Dolby Surround Upmixer
      Dolby Pro Logic
      Dolby Digital EX
      Surround EX
      DTS:X up to with firmware update
      DTS Neural:X with firmware update
      DTS Virtual:X
      DTS Neo Neo:X (before firmware update)
      DTS-HD Master Audio
      DTS-HD High Resolution Audio
      DTS 96/24
      DTS Express
      DTS-ES Discrete 6.1, Matrix 6.1
      IMAX Enhanced
      Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer

      Sound Processing

      • Advanced Sound Retriever: Compressed music enhancement in Pioneer Elite SC-95 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 Calibration

      Pioneer Elite SC-95 comes with MCACC Pro room correction system and includes the calibration microphone.

      • MCACC: Pioneer’s exclusive Multi-Channel Acoustic Calibration System (MCACC) delivers an easy-to-use, automatic sound adjustment system to precision-tune your Pioneer and Pioneer Elite receivers with minimal effort. Every MCACC system comes with a microphone to measure and analyze reverb characteristics. The equalizer optimally adjusts sound parameters to fit the size and shape of your home environment while maintaining the integrity of high-resolution playback without any degradation to the quality of your music.

      Video Section

      HDMI

      Pioneer Elite SC-95 features 8 HDMI inputs. It has 3 outputs: 2 for MAIN and 1 for MAIN/HDZONE.

      • 4K/60Hz Passthrough: All inputs pass up to 4K/60p (4:4:4) video signal.
      • 4K Upscaling: Pioneer Elite SC-95 can upscale up to 4K/60p (4:4:4) from HDMI and analog sources.
      • Analog To HDMI Upconversion: The a/v receiver supports video upconversion, so you can connect your analog Component and Composite video sources and Pioneer Elite SC-95 will output them via HDMI. This means that you will need only one HDMI cable to connect to your TV.
      • HDCP 2.2 Copy Protection: All inputs and outputs are HDCP 2.2 compliant which is a requirement for 4K/HDR copy-protected content transmission.
      • 3D Ready: Pioneer Elite SC-95 is able to pass 3D video through HDMI.
      andh3>HDR (High Dynamic Range)

      Pioneer Elite SC-95 supports HDR (high dynamic range) video formats such as 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.

      • HDR10: HDR10 uses the wide-gamut Rec. 2020 color space. It sends static metadata via video stream to the TV which calibrates its screen brightness and color according to that. HDR10 supports 10-bit color which corresponds to 1024 shades of the primary RGB colors. It is technically limited to a maximum of 10,000 nits peak brightness, however common HDR10 contents are mastered with peak brightness from 1,000 to 4,000 nits.
      Pioneer Elite SC-95
      VIDEO FEATURES
      HDR10
      HDR10+
      Dynamic HDR
      BT.2020 color space
      Dolby Vision
      HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma)
      HDBaseT Compatible
      Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC)
      HDCP Version2.2
      QMS (Quick Media Switching)
      ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode)
      VRR (Variable Refresh Rate)
      QFT (Quick Frame transport)
      3-D Ready
      Video Signal Passthroughup to 4K/60p (4:4:4)
      Video Signal Upscaling up to 4K/60p (4:4:4)

      Multi-zone Playback

      Pioneer Elite SC-95 offers multi-zone playback which allows you to play different input sources in 4 different rooms.


      Zone 2

      • Powered Zone 2: You can use the unit's 2 amplifier channels by connecting Zone 2 speakers directly to the speaker terminals. The remaining 7 channels will be left for main zone amplification.
      • Audio Pre/Line Output: If you have a dedicated amplifier for Zone 2 you can connect it to the a/v receiver via pre/line outs and use "pre out" option to control volume from the a/v receiver or use "line out" option - send fixed signal and then control volume on the Zone 2 amplifier.

      Zone 3

      • Powered Zone 3: You can use the unit's 2 amplifier channels by connecting Zone 3 speakers directly to the speaker terminals. The remaining 7 channels will be left for main zone amplification.
      • Audio Pre/Line Output: If you have a dedicated amplifier for Zone 2 you can connect it to the a/v receiver via pre/line outs and use "pre out" option to control volume from the a/v receiver or use "line out" option - send fixed signal and then control volume on the Zone 3 amplifier.

      Zone 4

      • HDMI Output: Pioneer Elite SC-95 offers HDMI output for Zone 4. This means that it can send two different HDMI signals to two displays.
      ZONES
      Number of Zones4
      Powered Zones2, 3 and HDZone
      Zone 2 OutsRCA Pre/Line Out
      Zone 3 OutsRCA Pre/Line Out
      Zone 4 OutsHDMI
      RS-232C Interface
      +12V Trigger Output2 (assignable)
      Remote (IR) Input/Output2 / 1
      >

      Inputs and Outputs

      Audio

      • Analog Pre-Outs: Pioneer Elite SC-95 has 13.2 preamplifier outputs which allow you to connect the a/v 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 a/v receiver to power the rest. Also, Pioneer Elite SC-95 has 11 channel processing but has only 9 channel amplifier, so it needs the external amplifier connected to the analog pre-outs in order to reach the maximum speaker configuration.
      • Analog Line Inputs and Outputs: There are 3 line inputs and 1 line output for analog audio connection.
      • Digital Inputs and Outputs: 2 optical inputs, 1 optical output and 2 coaxial inputs are available for digital audio connection.
      • Headphone Output: There is a 6.3 mm (1/4") headphone output jack on the front panel.

      Video

      • HDMI:
      • Inputs: 8 (1 front)   Outputs: 3 (2 for MAIN, 1 for MAIN/HDZONE)
        8K Inputs: 0
      • Composite Video: Connect you VCR, Laserdisc player and other old video equipment with composite video cables.
      • Inputs: 2   Outputs: 2
      • Component Video: Component video connection gives you the higher quality video compared to the composite video connection. So in case your old DVD player and other equipment do not have an HDMI output but have Component video output use this connection over the composite one. Pioneer Elite SC-95 supports up to 1080i (1125i) resolution on Component video connectors.
      • Inputs: 1   Outputs: 0

      Front A/V Inputs

      • HDMI, USB
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      TERMINALS
      HDMI Inputs8 (1 front)
      HDMI Outputs3 (2 for MAIN, 1 for MAIN/HDZONE)
      8K Inputs
      USB Input1 Front
      USB DC Out Port
      Optical Inputs2
      Optical Outputs1
      Coaxial Inputs2
      RCA Line Inputs3
      RCA Line Outputs1
      XLR Line Inputs
      Phono Input
      Multi-Channel Input
      RCA Pre-Outs13.2
      XLR Pre-outs
      Composite Video Inputs2
      Composite Video Outputs2
      S-Video Inputs
      S-Video Outputs
      Component Video Inputs1
      Component Video Outputs

      Pioneer Elite SC-95 Evaluation

      We evaluate Pioneer Elite SC-95 and give score of 89 out of 100. We also give separate scores for 6 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.


      OVERALL
      89

      Amplifier

      EXCELLENT
      91

      We give Pioneer Elite SC-95 a score of 91 for Amplifier features.

      •   9.2 Channels
      •   High Power Output - 135 W

      Audio Features

      EXCELLENT
      90

      We give Pioneer Elite SC-95 a score of 90 for Audio Features features.

      •   9.2 Channels
      •   Front Wide Channel Support
      •   11.2 Channel Processing
      •   Dolby Atmos
      •   No Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization
      •   DTS:X
      •   No IMAX Enhanced
      •   No Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer
      •   DSD via HDMI

      Video Features

      GOOD
      83

      We give Pioneer Elite SC-95 a score of 83 for Video Features features.

      •   HDR10
      •   No HDR10+
      •   No Dolby Vision
      •   No 8K Passthrough
      •   Analog To HDMI Upconversion

      Connectivity

      EXCELLENT
      86

      We give Pioneer Elite SC-95 a score of 86 for Connectivity features.

      •   No eARC
      •   New HDCP Version
      •   Wi-Fi
      •   Bluetooth
      •   Does not Work with Amazon Alexa
      •   8 HDMI Inputs
      •   4 HDMI Outputs
      •   0 8K Input
      •   USB Input
      •   Few RCA Line Inputs
      •   No Phono Input
      •   RCA Pre-Outs
      •   Composite Video Inputs
      •   Component Video Inputs
      •   Ethernet
      •   Bluetooth 2․1 + EDR

      Zones

      EXCELLENT
      97

      We give Pioneer Elite SC-95 a score of 97 for Zones features.

      •   4 Zones

      Radio

      EXCELLENT
      85

      We give Pioneer Elite SC-95 a score of 85 for Radio features.

      •   Analog Tuner
      •   Pandora
      •   Spotify
      •   No Tidal


      For a full specification list please go to the specifications page:

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