Pioneer Elite SC-LX801 Review and Specs

Pioneer Elite SC-LX801 (European version)

SCORE:
68

Highlights

  • 140 W (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 channel driven)
  • Dolby Atmos, DTS:X capable
  • HDR10, Dolby Vision, 4K Upscaling, 4K Passthrough
  • AirPlay, Chromecast, DTS Play-Fi
  • Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  • USB and Phono inputs

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

Pioneer Elite SC-LX801 Overview

Pioneer Elite SC-LX801 was introduced in 2017. It is equipped with 9 channel amplifier and is capable of 11.2 maximum channel processing.

We evaluated the Receiver and gave 68 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
79
VIDEO FEATURES
68
AUDIO FEATURES
60
CONNECTIVITY
63
MULTIZONE
73
MISCELLANEOUS
39
RADIO
69
OVERALL
68

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-LX801.

PROS
Many Channel Processing 👍
Dolby Atmos 👍
DTS:X 👍
DTS Neural:X 👍
DSD via HDMI 👍
DSD via USB 👍
HDR10 👍
Dolby Vision 👍
4K or 8K Video Passthrough 👍
4K or 8K Signal Upscaling 👍
FireConnect 👍
FlareConnect 👍
Chromecast Built-In 👍
DTS Play-Fi 👍
Works with SONOS 👍
Ethernet 👍
Wi-Fi 👍
Bluetooth 👍
New HDCP Version 👍
Many HDMI Inputs 👍
USB Input 👍
Many Analog Audio Line Inputs 👍
Phono Input 👍
Composite Video Inputs 👍
Component Video Inputs 👍
Analog Pre-Outs 👍
Zones 👍
Analog Tuner 👍
Internet Radio 👍
Spotify 👍
Tidal 👍
Deezer 👍
New Bluetooth Version 👍
CONS
No Front Wide Channel Support 👎
No Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization 👎
No DTS Virtual:X 👎
No IMAX Enhanced 👎
No Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer 👎
No Audyssey Dynamic EQ 👎
No Audyssey Dynamic Volume 👎
No Audyssey LFC 👎
No Audyssey Sub EQ HT 👎
No HDR10+ 👎
No Dynamic HDR 👎
No Auto Low Latency Mode Pass-through 👎
No VRR 👎
No QFT 👎
No MHL Input 👎
No DLNA 1.5 👎
Does not Work with Amazon Alexa 👎
No eARC 👎
No Multi-Channel Input 👎
No Pandora 👎
No Napster 👎
No SiriusXM Internet Radio 👎

Major Changes from its predecessor

Here we are comparing Pioneer Elite SC-LX801 to its predecessor SC-97 and displaying the major changes.

UPGRADES Pioneer Elite SC-LX801 Pioneer Elite SC-97
BT.2020 color space
Dolby Vision
Analog To HDMI Upconversion Component**, Composite Component****, Composite
FireConnect
FlareConnect
Chromecast Built-In
DTS Play-Fi
Works with SONOS
More Analog Audio Line Inputs 6 3
More Optical Inputs 3 2
More Component Video Outputs 1
Analog Tuner FM/AM with RDS FM/AM
Tidal
Deezer
Higher DSD Sampling Rate via USB 11.2 MHz, 5.6 MHz, 2.8 MHz 5.6 MHz, 2.8 MHz
Newer Bluetooth Version 4.1 + LE 2.1 + EDR

DOWNGRADES Pioneer Elite SC-LX801 Pioneer Elite SC-97
Front Wide Channel Support
Sound Retriever Advanced Advanced (Multi-Channel / Auto with ARC)
Sound Retriever AIR
High-resolution Music Enhancer Hi-bit32 Audio Processing
MHL Input 1 Rear (Version 2.0)
DLNA 1.5
Less HDMI Outputs 2 (1 MAIN, 1 SUB/ZONE 2) 3 (2 for MAIN, 1 for MAIN/HDZONE)
Less Analog Audio Line Outputs 1
Less Optical Outputs 1
Less Composite Video Outputs 2
Less Analog Pre-Outs 11.2 13.2
Less Zones 3 4
Pandora
Smaller Power Supply 320 W 370 W

For more detailed comparison between the models please visit Pioneer Elite SC-LX801 vs Pioneer Elite SC-97.

Selected Features

Amplifier

Pioneer Elite SC-LX801 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.


Video Features

The Receiver has 4K passthrough up to 60p and 4K upscaling up to 60p. It can bypass HDR10, Dolby Vision.


HDR10

High-dynamic-range (HDR) video has greater dynamic range than standard-dynamic-range (SDR) video with brigter whites and deeper blacks. HDR10 was announced on August 27, 2015, by the Consumer Technology Association and 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 up to 1000 nits of brightness and 10-bit color which corresponds to 1024 shades of the primary RGB colors.


Dolby Vision

Dolby Vision is an update to HDR10 by adding dynamic metadata that can be used to more accurately adjust brightness levels up to 10,000 nits maximum brightness on a scene-by-scene or frame-by-frame basis and supports up to 12-bit color depth (4096 shades of RGB) and 8K resolution.


Dolby Atmos and Dolby Surround upmixer

Pioneer Elite SC-LX801 supports Dolby Atmos with its Dolby Surround upmixer. It can be configured upto 7.1.2 or 5.1.4 channels using internal amplifiers or upto 7.1.4 channels by adding 2 channel external amplifier.

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 Audio™ 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.


DTS:X and Neural:X upmixer

Pioneer Elite SC-LX801 supports DTS:X with its Neural:X upmixer. It can be configured upto 7.1.2 or 5.1.4 channels using internal amplifiers or upto 7.1.4 channels by adding 2 channel external amplifier.

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 is a new 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.


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-LX801 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-LX801 comes with MCACC Pro room correction system and includes the calibration microphone.


Connectivity

Pioneer Elite SC-LX801 can be connected to internet using ethernet cable or built-in wi-fi adapter. It can also connect to bluetooth devices via built-in bluetooth adapter. The Receiver works with SONOS and supports AirPlay. It has 8 HDMI inputs and HDCP 2.2 copy protection. 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-LX801.

BASICS
BrandPioneer
SeriesElite
ModelSC-LX801
TypeA/V Receiver
CountryEurope
Release Year2017
AMPLIFIER
Channels9.2
Front Wide Channel Support
Amplifier DesignClass D3 (Direct Energy HD)
THX™ Certification
Continuous 6 Ω Rated
Certified 4 Ω Performance
Bi-amp Capability
AUDIO
Digital Signal Processing (DSP) EngineCirrus Logic (Quad Core) x 1
DACESS SABRE32 Ultra (ES9016S)
Maximum Channel Processing11.2
Air Studios Monitor Certification
Dolby Atmos
Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization
Dolby TrueHD
Dolby Digital Plus
Dolby Surround Upmixer
Dolby Pro Logic
Dolby Digital EX
Surround EX
DTS:X
DTS Neural:X
DTS Virtual:X
DTS Neo
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
PCM 2-ch/Multi-ch Input
Music Playback via USBMP3, WMA, AAC, Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, DSD, Dolby TrueHD
High Resolution Music Playback via USB and/or Network 64, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192 kHz/24 bit
High Resolution Audio Formats via USBApple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, AAC, DSD, Dolby TrueHD
Multi-Channel Music File Playback via USB up to 192 kHz/24 bit
Gapless Playback
DSD via HDMI 2-ch/Multi-ch Input
DSD via USB 2-ch Input
DSD to PCM Converter
USB DAC
Jitter Reduction PQLS & PQFA
Dialog Enhancement
Dialogue Lift via Dialog Enhancement
Sound Retriever Advanced
Sound Retriever AIR
Digital Noise Reduction
Tone Control All Channels
Compressed Music Enhancer Advanced Sound Retriever
High-resolution Music Enhancer
Audyssey Dynamic EQ
Audyssey Dynamic Volume
Audyssey LFC
Audyssey Sub EQ HT
Audyssey DSX
Direct Mode
Pure Direct Mode
Auto Surround
Optimum Surround
Advanced Surround11 + 1
Wide Surround
Front Stage Surround Advance
Headphone Surround
Virtual Speakers
Virtual Depth
Independent Dual Subwoofer Output
CALIBRATION
Auto Speaker Calibration System with Mic. MCACC Pro
Manual MCACC
MCACC Memory3
Reflex Optimizer
Phase Control
Full Band Phase Control
Standing Wave Control
EQ Bands9-Band
Symmetric EQ
X-Curve
Distance Adjustment0.5 feet
Precision Distance
Polarity Check
Auto Subwoofer Crossover
VIDEO
HDR10
HDR10+
Dynamic HDR
BT.2020 color space
Dolby Vision
Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG)
Quick Media Switching (QMS)
Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)
Variable Refresh Rate (VRR)
Quick Frame Transport (QFT)
3-D Ready
Video Signal Passthroughup to 4K/60p (YCbCr 4:4:4)
Video Signal Upscaling up to 4K/60p (YCbCr 4:4:4)
Analog To HDMI Upconversion Component**, Composite
Component Video Upscaling
Analog to Analog Video conversion
Component Video Maximum Resolution1080i
Stream Smoother
Pure Cinema
Video Parameter Adjustments
Super Resolution
isf Certified Calibration Control
CONNECTIVITY
MHL Input
DLNA 1.5
FireConnect
FlareConnect
Chromecast Built-In
DTS Play-Fi
Works with Amazon Alexa
Works with SONOS
AirPlay AirPlay
Apple Product Connection Made for iPhone, iPod and iPad (Airplay only)
Remote App iControlAV5 (for iOS and Android)
InstaPrevue Input Source Prevue
Ethernet
Ethernet Switch
Wi-Fi
Bluetooth SBC, AAC
HDBaseT Compatible
Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC)
HDCP Version2.2
HDMI Inputs8 (1 front)
HDMI Outputs2 (1 MAIN, 1 SUB/ZONE 2)
USB Input1 Front
USB DC Out Port
Analog Audio Line Inputs6
Analog Audio Line Outputs
Phono Input
Optical Inputs3
Optical Outputs
Coaxial Inputs/Outputs2 / No
Composite Video Inputs2
Composite Video Outputs
S-Video Inputs
S-Video Outputs
Component Video Inputs2
Component Video Outputs1
PC In
Multi-Channel Input
Analog Pre-Outs11.2
XLR Inputs
XLR Pre-outs
Front A/V InputsHDMI, USB
Speaker A/B
Headphone Out 6.3 mm
ZONES
Zones3
Powered Zones2 and 3
Zone 2 OutsHDMI, RCA Pre/Line Out
Zone 3 OutsRCA Pre/Line Out
RS-232 Interface
+12V Trigger Output2 (A: 100 mA, B: 25 mA)
Remote (IR) Input/Output2 / 1
MISC
On-Screen DisplayIcon-based Graphical User Interface (GUI)
GUI Languages9
AVNavigator
IP Control
PreAmp Mode
Versatile Speaker ConfigurationSurround Back/Height 1/Height 2/Speaker B/Bi-Amp/Zone 2/Zone 3
FL Dimmer
Function Rename
Detachable Power Cord
adapterport
RADIO
Analog Tuner FM/AM with RDS
Presets40
Digital Radio
Internet Radio TuneIn
Pandora
Spotify
Tidal
Deezer
Napster
SiriusXM Internet Radio
CONSTRUCTION
Front PanelBrushed
Solid Aluminum Front
ConstructionAdvanced Direct Construction
Speaker Terminals11
Large Speaker Terminals11
Color-Coded Speaker Terminals
Ceramic Speaker Terminals
3D Space Frame Construction
Gold plated RCA terminals
POWER
Power SupplyAC 220-230 V, 50/60 Hz
Low Leakage Flux Power Transformer
Transformer Stabilizer
Power Consumption320 W
No Sound Power90 W
Standby Power0.2 W
GENERAL
Auto Power Standby
Auto Power off
Dimensions (W x H x D)435 mm x 185 mm x 441 mm
17-1/8" x 7-5/16" x 17-1/3"
Weight18.1 kg (39.9 lbs)
Warranty3 Years Parts & Labor
SPECS
Power Output (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 channel Driven, FTC)140 W (0.08% THD)
Power Output (6 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 channel driven, FTC)200 W (1.0% THD)
Power Output (6 Ω, 1 kHz, 1 channel driven, FTC)200 W (1% THD)
Power Output (4 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 channel Driven)255 W (1.0% THD)
Rated Power Output (4 Ω, 1 kHz, 1 channel Driven)280 W (1% THD)
Maximum Power Output (4 Ω, 1 kHz, 1 channel Driven)340 W (10% THD)
Multi Channel Simultaneous Drive (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 1.0%)770 W
THD0.04% (1 kHz, 100 W)
Input Sensitivity and Impedance (Line)200 mV/82 kΩ
Input Sensitivity and Impedance (Phono MM)3.5 mV/47 kΩ
Rated Preout Level and Impedance1 V/470 kΩ
Rated Headphone Jack Output Level and Impedance43 Ω
Rated Headphone Power Output57 mW (32 Ω, 1 kHz, 10% THD)
Phono Overload70 mV (MM, 1 kHz, 0.5%)
S/N Ratio (Line, IHF-A)108 dB
S/N Ratio (Phono MM, IHF-A)90 dB
DSD Sampling Rates via HDMI2.8 MHz
DSD Sampling Rates via USB11.2 MHz, 5.6 MHz, 2.8 MHz
Video Input Sensitivity/Output Level and Impedance 1 Vp-p/75 Ω (Component Y)
0.7 Vp-p/75 Ω (Component PB/PR)
1 Vp-p/75 Ω (Composite)
Ethernet Standard10BASE-T/100BASE-TX
Wi-Fi StandardIEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n
Wi-Fi Terminal Frequency5 GHz, 2.4 GHz
Bluetooth Version4.1 + LE
Bluetooth Frequency2.4 GHz
HDMI Output Type5 V, 55 mA
USB TerminalUSB2.0 (Type A) 5 V, 1 A
Extension Terminal
FM Frequency87.5 MHz - 108.0 MHz
AM Frequency522/530 kHz - 1611/1710 kHz

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

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