Pioneer Elite VSX-90 Review and Specs

Pioneer Elite VSX-90 (USA version)

SCORE:
42

Highlights

  • 100 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven)
  • Dolby Atmos capable
  • 4K Upscaling, 4K Passthrough
  • AirPlay
  • Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  • USB input

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Pioneer Elite VSX-90 Overview

Pioneer Elite VSX-90 was introduced in 2015. It is equipped with 7 channel amplifier and is capable of 7.1 maximum channel processing.

We evaluated the Receiver and gave 42 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
39
VIDEO FEATURES
32
AUDIO FEATURES
42
CONNECTIVITY
41
MULTIZONE
69
MISCELLANEOUS
38
RADIO
57
OVERALL
42

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 VSX-90.

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

Major Changes from its predecessor

Here we are comparing Pioneer Elite VSX-90 to its predecessor VSX-80 and displaying the major changes.

UPGRADES Pioneer Elite VSX-90 Pioneer Elite VSX-80
Dolby Atmos
More Advanced Auto Speaker Calibration System MCACC Pro MCACC Advanced
Wi-Fi via optional AS-WL300 adapter (sold separately)
Bluetooth via optional AS-BT100 or AS-BT200 adapters (sold separately)

DOWNGRADES Pioneer Elite VSX-90 Pioneer Elite VSX-80
Surround EX
Less Component Video Inputs 1 2
Less Component Video Outputs 1
Less Analog Pre-Outs 0.2 2.2

For more detailed comparison between the models please visit Pioneer Elite VSX-90 vs Pioneer Elite VSX-80.

Selected Features

Amplifier

Pioneer Elite VSX-90 has 7 channel amplifier and delivers 100 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven). 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 VSX-90 supports Dolby Atmos. It can be configured upto 5.1.2 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 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.


Advanced Sound Retriever

Compressed music enhancement in Pioneer Elite VSX-90 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 VSX-90 comes with MCACC Pro room correction system and includes the calibration microphone.


Connectivity

Pioneer Elite VSX-90 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 supports AirPlay. It has 7 HDMI inputs and HDCP 2.2 copy protection.

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 VSX-90.

BASICS
BrandPioneer
SeriesElite
ModelVSX-90
TypeA/V Receiver
CountryUSA
Release Year2015
AMPLIFIER
Channels7.2
Front Wide Channel Support
Amplifier DesignDiscrete Direct Energy
THX™ Certification
Continuous 6 Ω Rated
Certified 4 Ω Performance
Bi-amp Capability Front
AUDIO
Digital Signal Processing (DSP) EngineTexas Instruments Aureus
DACSABRE Premier (ES9006S)
Maximum Channel Processing7.1
Air Studios Monitor Certification
Dolby Atmos
Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization
Dolby TrueHD
Dolby Digital Plus
Dolby Surround Upmixer
Dolby Pro Logic PLIIz
Dolby Digital EX
Surround EX
DTS:X
DTS Neural:X
DTS Virtual:X
DTS Neo Neo:6
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
High Resolution Music Playback via USB and/or Network 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 USB up to 96 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
Auto Level ControlMulti-Channel
Dialog Enhancement
Dialogue Lift
Sound Retriever Advanced (Multi-Channel / Auto with ARC)
Sound Retriever AIR
Digital Noise Reduction
Tone Control All Channels
Compressed Music Enhancer Advanced Sound Retriever
High-resolution Music Enhancer Hi-bit24 Audio Processing
Audyssey Dynamic EQ
Audyssey Dynamic Volume
Audyssey LFC
Audyssey Sub EQ HT
Audyssey DSX
Direct Mode
Pure Direct Mode
Auto Surround
Optimum Surround
Advanced Surround10 + 1 Mode
Wide Surround
Front Stage Surround Advance
Headphone Surround
Virtual Speakers (Surround Back/Height/Wide)
Virtual Depth
Independent Dual Subwoofer Output
CALIBRATION
Auto Speaker Calibration System with Mic. MCACC Pro
Manual MCACC
MCACC Memory6
Reflex Optimizer
Phase Control
Full Band Phase Control
Standing Wave Control
EQ Bands9-Band (Advanced)
Symmetric EQ
X-Curve
Distance Adjustment1/2 Inch
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 (4:4:4 24-bit)
4K/60p (4:2:2 36-bit)
4K/24p (4:4:4 36-bit)
Video Signal Upscaling up to 4K/60p (Marvell Qdeo)
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
CONNECTIVITY
MHL Input 1 Rear (Version 2.0)
DLNA 1.5 (DMR)
FireConnect
FlareConnect
Chromecast Built-In
DTS Play-Fi
Works with Amazon Alexa
Works with SONOS
AirPlay AirPlay
Apple Product Connection iPod and iPhone via front USB
Remote App iControlAV5 (for iOS and Android)
InstaPrevue Input Source Prevue
Ethernet
Ethernet Switch
Wi-Fi
Bluetooth
HDBaseT Compatible
Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC)
HDCP Version2.2
HDMI Inputs7 (1 front)
HDMI Outputs2 (1 for MAIN, 1 for MAIN/HDZONE)
USB Input1 Front
USB DC Out Port
Analog Audio Line Inputs3
Analog Audio Line Outputs
Phono Input
Optical Inputs1
Optical Outputs
Coaxial Inputs/Outputs1 / No
Composite Video Inputs2
Composite Video Outputs1
S-Video Inputs
S-Video Outputs
Component Video Inputs1
Component Video Outputs
PC In
Multi-Channel Input
Analog Pre-Outs0.2
XLR Inputs
XLR Pre-outs
Front A/V InputsHDMI, USB
Speaker A/B
Headphone Out 6.3 mm
ZONES
Zones3
Powered Zones2 and HDZone
Zone 2 OutsRCA Pre/Line Out
Zone 4 OutsHDMI
RS-232 Interface
+12V Trigger Output1 (Main, Zone2, HDZone)
Remote (IR) Input/Output1 / 1
MISC
On-Screen DisplayIcon-based Graphical User Interface (GUI)
Multi-Zone On-Screen Display HDZone
AVNavigator Built-in
IP Control
PreAmp Mode
Versatile Speaker ConfigurationSurround Back / Front Wide/ Front Bi-Amp/ Zone 2/ B-Speaker/ Powered HD Zone
FL Dimmer
Function Rename
Remote ControllerLearning Remote Control (Luminous)
Detachable Power Cord
adapterport
RADIO
Analog Tuner FM/AM
Presets63
Digital Radio
Internet Radio vTuner
Pandora
Spotify
Tidal
Deezer
Napster
SiriusXM Internet Radio
CONSTRUCTION
Front PanelBrushed
Solid Aluminum Front
Speaker Terminals9
Large Speaker Terminals9
Color-Coded Speaker Terminals
3D Space Frame Construction
Gold plated RCA terminals
POWER
Power SupplyAC 120 V, 60 Hz
Low Leakage Flux Power Transformer
Transformer Stabilizer
Power Consumption550 W
Standby Power0.1 W
GENERAL
ECO Mode / Hybrid Standby Function
Auto Power Standby
Dimensions (W x H x D)435 mm x 168 mm x 363 mm
17-3/16" x 6-5/8" x 14-5/16"
Weight9.8 kg (21 lb 10 oz)
Warranty2 Years Parts & Labor
SPECS
Power Output (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven, FTC)100 W (0.08% THD)
Input Sensitivity and Impedance (Line)315 mV/47 kΩ (Line)
S/N Ratio (Line, IHF-A)101 dB
DSD Sampling Rates via HDMI2.8 MHz
DSD Sampling Rates via USB2.8 MHz
Video Input Sensitivity/Output Level and Impedance 1 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 StandardIEEE 802.11 b/g/n
Wi-Fi Terminal FrequencyDual band 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz
Bluetooth Version2.1 + EDR
Bluetooth Frequency2.4 GHz
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
Extension Terminal
FM Frequency87.5 MHz - 108.0 MHz
AM Frequency530 kHz - 1700 kHz

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

Successor

In 2017 Pioneer Elite VSX-90 was replaced by VSX-LX301. Let us now have a look at some important changes that the successor brought.


UPGRADES Pioneer Elite VSX-LX301 Pioneer Elite VSX-90
Dolby Surround Upmixer
DTS:X
DTS Neural:X
HDR10
BT.2020 color space
Dolby Vision
FireConnect
FlareConnect
Chromecast Built-In
More Analog Audio Line Inputs 6 (1 front) 3
Phono Input
More Optical Inputs 2 1
Tidal
Deezer
Bigger Power Supply 580 W 550 W
Higher DSD Sampling Rate via USB 5.6 MHz, 2.8 MHz 2.8 MHz
Wi-Fi Standard IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n IEEE 802.11 b/g/n
Newer Bluetooth Version 4.1 + LE 2.1 + EDR

DOWNGRADES Pioneer Elite VSX-LX301 Pioneer Elite VSX-90
Front Wide Channel Support
Sound Retriever Advanced Advanced (Multi-Channel / Auto with ARC)
Sound Retriever AIR
High-resolution Music Enhancer Hi-bit24 Audio Processing
Less Advanced Auto Speaker Calibration System MCACC MCACC Pro
Analog To HDMI Upconversion Component**, Composite Component, Composite
MHL Input 1 Rear (Version 2.0)
DLNA 1.5 (DMR)
Less HDMI Outputs 2 (simultaneous) 2 (1 for MAIN, 1 for MAIN/HDZONE)
Less Composite Video Outputs 1
Less Zones 2 3

For more detailed comparison between the models please visit Pioneer Elite VSX-LX301 vs Pioneer Elite VSX-90.

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