1-on-1 Comparison

Side-by-Side Comparison

Pioneer Elite VSX-42 (USA version)



  • 7.1 channels
  • 7.1 channel processing
  • 80 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven)
  • 1080p Upscaling, 1080p Passthrough
  • AirPlay, DLNA
  • Ethernet, Bluetooth
  • USB input

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Pioneer Elite VSX-42 was introduced in 2012. It is equipped with 7 channel amplifier with 80 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven) power per channel and is capable of 7.1 maximum channel processing. It passes 1080/60p and upscales Anchor Bay up to 1080p video signal.

We evaluated the a/v receiver and gave 66 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.


Pros and Cons

In this section we present pros and cons of Pioneer Elite VSX-42.

  DSD via HDMI
  Auto Speaker Calibration System with Mic.
  New HDCP Version
  Analog To HDMI Upconversion
  USB Input
  Composite Video Inputs
  Component Video Inputs
  Analog Tuner
  No Front Wide Channel Support
  No Dolby Atmos
  No Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization
  No DTS:X
  No IMAX Enhanced
  No Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer
  No eARC
  No HDR10
  No HDR10+
  No Dolby Vision
  No 4K or 8K Video Passthrough
  No 4K or 8K Video Upscaling
  No Chromecast Built-In
  Does not Work with Amazon Alexa
  No Ethernet
  No Wi-Fi
  Few HDMI Outputs
  Few 8K Inputs
  Few RCA Line Inputs
  Few Optical Inputs
  No RCA Pre-Outs
  No Spotify
  No Tidal

Audio Section

7 channel Direct Energy Amplifier

Pioneer Elite VSX-42 features 7 channel power amplifier with Direct Energy design. It is rated at 80 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven).

    Speaker Configurations

    Pioneer Elite VSX-42's 7 channel amplifier can be assigned for different speaker configurations.

    • Configurations: Available configurations are:
    • 5.1, 7.1 with internal amplifier.

    Sound Processing

    • Advanced Sound Retriever: Compressed music enhancement in Pioneer Elite VSX-42 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 VSX-42 comes with room correction system and includes the calibration microphone.

      Video Section


      Pioneer Elite VSX-42 features 6 HDMI inputs. It has 1 output.

      • 1080/60p Passthrough: All inputs pass up to 1080p video signal.
      • 1080p Upscaling: Pioneer Elite VSX-42 can upscale Anchor Bay up to 1080p 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 VSX-42 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 VSX-42 is able to pass 3D video through HDMI.

      Multi-zone Playback

      Pioneer Elite VSX-42 offers multi-zone playback which allows you to play different input sources in 2 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 5 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.

      Inputs and Outputs


      • Analog Line Inputs: There are 3 line inputs for analog audio connection.
      • Digital Inputs and Outputs: 0 optical input, 1 optical output and 1 coaxial input are available for digital audio connection.
      • Headphone Output: There is a 6.3 mm (1/4") headphone output jack on the front panel.


      • HDMI:
      • Inputs: 6   Outputs: 1
        8K Inputs: 0
      • Composite Video: Connect you VCR, Laserdisc player and other old video equipment with composite video cables.
      • Inputs: 3   Outputs: 1
      • 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 VSX-42 supports up to 1080p (1125p) resolution on Component video connectors.
      • Inputs: 1   Outputs: 0
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      Here we list all the available features and specifications of Pioneer Elite VSX-42.

      TypeA/V Receiver
      Release Year2012
      Front Wide Channel Support
      AmplifierDirect Energy
      THX™ Certification
      Continuous 6 Ω Rated
      Certified 4 Ω Performance
      Bi-amp Capability
      Digital Signal Processing (DSP) EngineTI Aureus
      DAC Specs192 kHz/24 Bit
      Maximum Channel Processing7.1
      Air Studios Monitor Certification
      Dolby Atmos
      Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization
      Dolby Atmos Music
      Dolby TrueHD
      Dolby Digital Plus
      Dolby Surround Upmixer
      Dolby Pro Logic PLIIz
      Dolby Digital EX
      Surround EX
      DTS Neural:X
      DTS Virtual:X
      DTS Neo Neo:6
      DTS-HD Master Audio
      DTS-HD High Resolution Audio
      DTS 96/24
      DTS Express
      IMAX Enhanced
      Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer
      PCM 2-ch/Multi-ch Input
      Music Playback via USBWAV, MP3, WMA, AAC, FLAC,
      High Resolution Music Playback via USB and/or Network 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192 kHz/24 bit
      High Resolution Audio Formats via USBWAV/FLAC
      Gapless Playback
      DSD via HDMI 2-ch Input
      DSD to PCM Converter
      USB DAC
      Jitter Reduction
      Auto Level Control2 Channel
      Dialog Enhancement
      Dialogue Lift
      Sound Retriever Advanced (2-Channel)
      Sound Retriever AIR
      Digital Noise Reduction
      Tone Control Front L/R Channels
      Compressed Music Enhancer Advanced Sound Retriever
      High-resolution Music Enhancer
      Digital Filter Slow Mode
      Audyssey Dynamic EQ
      Audyssey Dynamic Volume
      Audyssey LFC
      Audyssey Sub EQ HT
      Audyssey DSX
      Direct Mode
      Pure Direct Mode
      Auto Surround
      Optimum Surround
      Advanced Surround9 + Headphone Surround
      Wide Surround
      Front Stage Surround Advance
      Headphone Surround
      Virtual Speakers
      Virtual Depth
      Independent Subwoofer Outputs
      Auto Speaker Calibration System with Mic.
      Manual MCACC
      MCACC Memory1
      Phase Control
      Full Band Phase Control
      Standing Wave Control
      EQ Bands5
      Symmetric EQ
      Distance Adjustment.1 Ft
      Precision Distance
      Polarity Check
      Auto Subwoofer Crossover
      Enhanced ARC
      HDCP Version2.2
      Dynamic HDR
      Dolby Vision
      HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma)
      BT.2020 color space
      QMS (Quick Media Switching)
      ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode)
      VRR (Variable Refresh Rate)
      QFT (Quick Frame transport)
      3-D Ready
      Video Signal Passthroughup to 1080p
      Video Signal UpscalingAnchor Bay up to 1080p
      Analog To HDMI Upconversion Component****, Composite
      Component Video Upscaling
      Analog to Analog Video conversion
      Component Video Maximum Resolution1080p (1125p)
      Stream Smoother
      Pure Cinema
      Video Parameter Adjustments
      Triple HD Noise Reduction
      Super Resolution
      isf Certified Calibration Control
      MHL Input
      DLNA 1.5
      Chromecast Built-In
      DTS Play-Fi
      Works with Amazon Alexa
      Works with SONOS
      AirPlay AirPlay
      Apple Product ConnectioniPod/iPhone/iPad
      Remote AppControlApp (iPad, iPhone, Android)
      InstaPrevue Input Source Prevue
      Ethernet Switch
      Bluetooth via optional AS-BT100 or AS-BT200 adapters (sold separately)
      HDBaseT Compatible
      HDMI Inputs6
      HDMI Outputs1
      8K Inputs
      USB Input1 Front
      USB DC Out Port
      RCA Line Input3
      RCA Line Output
      XLR Line Inputs
      Phono Input
      Optical Inputs1
      Optical Outputs
      Coaxial Inputs1
      Composite Video Input3 (1 front)
      Composite Video Output1
      S-Video Input
      S-Video Output
      Component Video Input1
      Component Video Output
      PC In
      Multi-Channel Input
      RCA Pre-Outs0.1
      XLR Pre-outs
      Front A/V InputsUSB, Composite Video
      Speaker A/B
      Headphone Out6.3 mm (1/4")
      Powered Zones 2
      Zone 2 OutsRCA Pre/Line Out
      RS-232C Interface
      +12V Trigger Output1
      Remote (IR) Input/Output1 / 1
      On-Screen DisplayGUI with Album Art
      Multi-Zone On-Screen Display
      HDMI Speaker B Link
      PC Set-Up
      IP Control for CI
      PreAmp Mode
      Versatile Speaker ConfigurationSurround Back / Front Height / Speaker B
      FL Dimmer
      Function Rename
      Remote ControllerPreset
      Detachable Power Cord
      Analog Tuner FM/AM
      Digital Radio
      Internet Radio vTuner
      SiriusXM Internet Radio
      Front PanelHairline
      Solid Aluminum Front
      Speaker Terminals9
      Large Speaker Terminals7
      Color-Coded Speaker Terminals
      Ceramic Speaker Terminals
      3D Space Frame Construction
      Gold plated RCA terminals
      Power SupplyAC 120 V, 60 Hz
      Low Leakage Flux Power Transformer
      Transformer Stabilizer
      Power Consumption520 W
      Standby Power0.4 W
      Auto Power Standby
      Dimensions (W x H x D)435 mm x 168 mm x 342.5 mm
      17-3/16" x 6-5/8" x 13-1/2"
      Weight9.3 kg (20 lb 9 oz)
      Warranty2 Years
      Power Output (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 280 W (0.08% THD)
      Input Sensitivity and Impedance (Line)200 mV/47 kΩ (Line)
      S/N Ratio (Line, IHF-A)98 dB
      S/N Ratio (Line, EIA, at 1 W (1 kHz))79 dB
      DSD Sampling Rates via HDMI2.8 MHz
      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
      HDMI TerminalType A (19-pin)
      HDMI Output Type5 V, 100 mA
      USB TerminalUSB2.0 (Type A) 5 V, 2.1 A
      adapterport Terminal5 V, 100 mA
      Extension Terminal
      FM Frequency87.5 MHz - 108 MHz
      AM Frequency530 kHz - 1700 kHz

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


      In 2013 Pioneer Elite VSX-42 was replaced by VSX-43. Let us now have a look at some important changes that the successor brought.

      UPGRADES Pioneer Elite VSX-43 vs Pioneer Elite VSX-42
      Bi-amp capability Front vs
      Music Playback via USB MP3, WMA, AAC, Apple Lossless, 192kHz / 24-Bit WAV, FLAC, AIFF vs WAV, MP3, WMA, AAC, FLAC,
      High Resolution Audio Formats via USB Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF vs WAV/FLAC
      Gapless Playback vs
      Wide Surround vs
      Video Signal Passthrough up to 4K/30p vs up to 1080p
      MHL Input 1 (Front) vs
      Ethernet vs
      More Component Video Outputs 1 vs
      Front A/V Inputs HDMI, USB, Composite Video vs USB, Composite Video
      Spotify vs

      DOWNGRADES Pioneer Elite VSX-43 vs Pioneer Elite VSX-42
      Headphone Surround vs
      Video Signal Upscaling vs Anchor Bay up to 1080p
      Analog To HDMI Upconversion vs Component****, Composite

      For more detailed comparison between the models please visit Pioneer Elite VSX-42 vs Pioneer Elite VSX-43.

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