Pioneer Elite VSX-90 Review and Specs
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Pioneer Elite VSX-90 (USA version)

SCORE:
79

Highlights

  • 7.2 channels
  • 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

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

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 79 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
72
VIDEO FEATURES
79
AUDIO FEATURES
83
CONNECTIVITY
80
MULTIZONE
90
MISCELLANEOUS
71
RADIO
85
OVERALL
79

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 πŸ‘
Bi-amp Capability πŸ‘
Dolby Atmos πŸ‘
Dolby TrueHD πŸ‘
Dolby Digital Plus πŸ‘
Dolby Pro Logic 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‘
DTS Dialog Control πŸ‘
Dialog Enhancement 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‘
New HDCP Version πŸ‘
Many HDMI Inputs πŸ‘
USB Input πŸ‘
Composite Video Inputs πŸ‘
Composite Video Outputs πŸ‘
Component Video Inputs πŸ‘
Zones πŸ‘
Detachable Power Cord πŸ‘
Analog Tuner πŸ‘
Pandora πŸ‘
Spotify πŸ‘
CONS
Not Certified 4 Ω Performance πŸ‘Ž
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 Phono Input πŸ‘Ž
No Multi-Channel Input πŸ‘Ž
No Analog Pre-Outs πŸ‘Ž
No Tidal πŸ‘Ž
No Deezer πŸ‘Ž
No Napster πŸ‘Ž
No SiriusXM Internet Radio πŸ‘Ž
Old Bluetooth Version πŸ‘Ž

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 βœ” βœ–
More Advanced Auto Speaker Calibration System βœ” MCACC Pro βœ” MCACC Advanced
Wi-Fi βœ” βœ” via optional AS-WL300 adapter (sold separately)
Bluetooth βœ” βœ” via optional AS-BT100 or AS-BT200 adapters (sold separately)

DOWNGRADES Pioneer Elite VSX-90 Pioneer Elite VSX-80
Surround EX βœ– βœ”
Less Component Video Inputs 1 2
Less Component Video Outputs βœ– 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 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.


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[y] 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[y] 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 Supportβœ”
Amplifier DesignDiscrete Direct Energy
THXβ„’ Certificationβœ–
Continuous 6 Ω Ratedβœ”
Certified 4 Ω Performanceβœ–
Bi-amp Capabilityβœ” Front
AUDIO
Digital Signal Processing (DSP) EngineTexas Instruments Aureus
DACSABRE Premier (ES9006S)
Maximum Channel Processing7.1
Air Studios Monitor Certificationβœ–
Dolby Atmosβœ”
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:6
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–
Jitter Reductionβœ”
Auto Level ControlMulti-Channel
Dialog Enhancementβœ”
Dialogue Liftβœ–
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-bit24 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 Surround10 + 1 Mode
Wide Surroundβœ–
Front Stage Surround Advanceβœ”
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 Adjustmentsβœ”
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”
Bluetoothβœ”
HDBaseT Compatibleβœ–
Enhanced ARCβœ–
HDCP Version2.2
HDMI Input7 (1 front)
HDMI Output2 (1 for MAIN, 1 for MAIN/HDZONE)
USB Input1 Front
USB DC Out Portβœ–
Analog Audio Line Input3
Analog Audio Line Outputβœ–
Phono Inputβœ–
Optical In1
Optical Outβœ–
Coaxial In/Out1 / βœ–
Composite Video Input2
Composite Video Output1
S-Video Inputβœ–
S-Video Outputβœ–
Component Video Input1
Component Video Outputβœ–
PC Inβœ–
Multi-Channel Inputβœ–
Analog Pre-Outs0.2
XLR Inputsβœ–
XLR Pre-outsβœ–
Front A/V InputsHDMI, USB
Speaker A/Bβœ”
Headphone Outβœ” 6.3 mm
ZONES
Zones3
Powered Zones2 and HDZone
Zone 2RCA Pre/Line Out
Zone 4 OutsHDMI
RS-232βœ”
+12V Trigger Output1 (Main, Zone2, HDZone)
Remote (IR) Input/Output1 / 1
MISC
On-Screen DisplayIcon-based Graphical User Interface (GUI)
Multi-Zone On-Screen Displayβœ” HDZone
AVNavigatorβœ” Built-in
IP Control for CIβœ”
PreAmp Modeβœ–
Versatile Speaker ConfigurationSurround Back / 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–
Speaker Terminals9
Large Speaker Terminals9
Color-Coded 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 Consumption550 W
Standby Power0.1 W
GENERAL
ECO Mode / Hybrid Standby Functionβœ”
Auto Power Standbyβœ”
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, 2100 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 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 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 Terminalβœ–
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 βœ” βœ–
DTS:X βœ” βœ–
DTS Neural:X βœ” βœ–
HDR10 βœ” βœ–
BT.2020 color space βœ” βœ–
Dolby Vision βœ” βœ–
FireConnect βœ” βœ–
FlareConnect βœ” βœ–
Chromecast Built-In βœ” βœ–
More Analog Audio Line Inputs 6 (1 front) 3
Phono Input βœ” βœ–
More Optical Inputs 2 1
Tidal βœ” βœ–
Deezer βœ” βœ–
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 βœ– βœ”
Sound Retriever βœ” Advanced βœ” Advanced (Multi-Channel / Auto with ARC)
Sound Retriever AIR βœ– βœ”
High-resolution Music Enhancer βœ– βœ” Hi-bit24 Audio Processing
Less Advanced Auto Speaker Calibration System βœ” MCACC βœ” MCACC Pro
Analog To HDMI Upconversion βœ” Component**, Composite βœ” Component, Composite
MHL Input βœ– βœ” 1 Rear (Version 2.0)
DLNA 1.5 βœ– βœ” (DMR)
Less HDMI Outputs 2 (simultaneous) 2 (1 for MAIN, 1 for MAIN/HDZONE)
Less Composite Video Outputs βœ– 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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