Pioneer Elite VSX-LX303 Review and Specs

Pioneer Elite VSX-LX303 (European version)

SCORE:
63

Highlights

  • 100 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 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

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Pioneer Elite VSX-LX303 Overview

Pioneer Elite VSX-LX303 was introduced in 2018. It is equipped with 9 channel amplifier and is capable of 9.1 maximum channel processing.

We evaluated the Receiver and gave 63 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
71
VIDEO FEATURES
70
AUDIO FEATURES
58
CONNECTIVITY
51
MULTIZONE
68
MISCELLANEOUS
32
RADIO
69
OVERALL
63

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-LX303.

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

Major Changes from its predecessor

Here we are comparing Pioneer Elite VSX-LX303 to its predecessor VSX-LX302 and displaying the major changes.

UPGRADES Pioneer Elite VSX-LX303 Pioneer Elite VSX-LX302
More Channels 9.2 7.2
More Channel Processing 9.1 7.1
Works with SONOS βœ” βœ–
More Zones 3 2
Bigger Power Supply 760 W 570 W

For more detailed comparison between the models please visit Pioneer Elite VSX-LX303 vs Pioneer Elite VSX-LX302.

Selected Features

Amplifier

Pioneer Elite VSX-LX303 has 9 channel amplifier and delivers 100 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 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. 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 VSX-LX303 supports Dolby Atmos with its Dolby Surround upmixer. It can be configured upto 7.1.2 or 5.1.4 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.


DTS:X and Neural:X upmixer

Pioneer Elite VSX-LX303 supports DTS:X with its Neural:X upmixer. It can be configured upto 7.1.2 or 5.1.4 channels using internal amplifiers.

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.


Advanced Sound Retriever

Compressed music enhancement in Pioneer Elite VSX-LX303 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-LX303 comes with MCACC room correction system and includes the calibration microphone.


Connectivity

Pioneer Elite VSX-LX303 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 7 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.

Front panel has HDMI, USB and Mini-Jack inputs.

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Detailed Specifications

Here we list all the available features and specifications of Pioneer Elite VSX-LX303.

BASICS
BrandPioneer
SeriesElite
ModelVSX-LX303
TypeA/V Receiver
CountryEurope
Release Year2018
AMPLIFIER
Channels9.2
Front Wide Channel Supportβœ–
Amplifier DesignDirect Energy
THXβ„’ Certificationβœ–
Continuous 6 Ω Ratedβœ”
Certified 4 Ω Performanceβœ”
Bi-amp Capabilityβœ”
AUDIO
Digital Signal Processing (DSP) EngineDigital Quad-Core 32-bit DSP (Cirrus Logic) + Aureusβ„’ Floating-Point DSP (TI)
DACAKM AK4458 & TI PCM5101
Maximum Channel Processing9.1
Air Studios Monitor Certificationβœ–
Dolby Atmosβœ”
Dolby Atmos Height Virtualizationβœ–
Dolby TrueHDβœ”
Dolby Digital Plusβœ”
Dolby Surround Upmixerβœ”
Dolby Pro Logicβœ–
Dolby Digital EXβœ–
Surround EXβœ–
DTS:Xβœ”
DTS Neural:Xβœ”
DTS Virtual:Xβœ–
DTS Neoβœ–
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, Dolby TrueHD
High Resolution Music Playback via USB and/or Networkβœ” 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 USBβœ” up to 192 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–
Dialog Enhancementβœ–
Dialogue Liftβœ–
Sound Retrieverβœ” Advanced
Sound Retriever AIRβœ–
Digital Noise Reductionβœ–
Tone Controlβœ” All Channels
Compressed Music Enhancerβœ” Advanced Sound Retriever
High-resolution Music Enhancerβœ–
Audyssey Dynamic EQβœ–
Audyssey Dynamic Volumeβœ–
Audyssey LFCβœ–
Audyssey Sub EQ HTβœ–
Audyssey DSXβœ–
Direct Modeβœ”
Pure Direct Modeβœ”
Auto Surroundβœ”
Optimum Surroundβœ–
Advanced SurroundMultiple
Wide Surroundβœ–
Front Stage Surround Advanceβœ”
Headphone Surroundβœ–
Virtual Speakersβœ–
Virtual Depthβœ–
CALIBRATION
Auto Speaker Calibration System with Mic.βœ” MCACC
Manual MCACCβœ”
MCACC Memory1
Reflex Optimizerβœ”
Phase Controlβœ”
Full Band Phase Controlβœ–
Standing Wave Controlβœ–
Symmetric EQβœ”
Precision Distanceβœ–
Polarity Checkβœ–
Auto Subwoofer Crossoverβœ”
VIDEO
HDR10βœ”
HDR10+βœ–
Dynamic HDRβœ–
BT.2020 color spaceβœ”
Dolby Visionβœ”
Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG)βœ”
Quick Media Switching (QMS)βœ–
Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)βœ–
Variable Refresh Rate (VRR)βœ–
Quick Frame Transport (QFT)βœ–
3-D Readyβœ”
Video Signal Passthroughup to 4K/60p (YCbCr 4:4:4)
Video Signal Upscalingβœ” 1080p to 4K
Analog To HDMI Upconversionβœ” Component**, Composite
Component Video Upscalingβœ–
Analog to Analog Video conversionβœ–
Component Video Maximum Resolution480i/576i
Stream Smootherβœ–
Pure Cinemaβœ–
Video Parameter Adjustmentsβœ–
Super Resolutionβœ”
isf Certified Calibration Controlβœ–
CONNECTIVITY
MHL Inputβœ–
DLNA 1.5βœ–
FireConnectβœ–
FlareConnectβœ”
Chromecast Built-Inβœ”
DTS Play-Fiβœ”
Works with Amazon Alexaβœ–
Works with SONOSβœ”
AirPlayβœ” AirPlay
Apple Product Connectionβœ” Made for iPhone, iPod and iPad (Airplay only)
Remote Appβœ” Pioneer Remote App
InstaPrevue Input Source Prevueβœ–
Ethernetβœ”
Ethernet Switchβœ–
Wi-Fiβœ”
Bluetoothβœ” SBC, AAC
HDBaseT Compatibleβœ–
Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC)βœ–
HDCP Version2.2
HDMI Inputs7 (1 front)
HDMI Outputs2 (simultaneous)
USB Input2 (1 Front)
USB DC Out Portβœ–
Analog Audio Line Inputs5 (1 front)
Analog Audio Line Outputsβœ–
Phono Inputβœ”
Optical Inputs2
Optical Outputsβœ–
Coaxial Inputs/Outputs1 / No
Composite Video Inputs2
Composite Video Outputsβœ–
S-Video Inputsβœ–
S-Video Outputsβœ–
Component Video Inputs1
Component Video Outputsβœ–
PC Inβœ–
Multi-Channel Inputβœ–
Analog Pre-Outs0.2
XLR Inputsβœ–
XLR Pre-outsβœ–
Front A/V InputsHDMI, USB, Mini-Jack
Speaker A/Bβœ”
Headphone Outβœ” 6.3 mm
ZONES
Zones3
Powered Zones2 and 3
Zone 2 OutsRCA Pre/Line Out
Zone 3 OutsRCA Pre/Line Out
RS-232 Interfaceβœ”
+12V Trigger Output2 (A: 100 mA, B: 25 mA)
Remote (IR) Input/Output1 / 1
MISC
GUI Languages9
AVNavigatorβœ–
IP Controlβœ”
PreAmp Modeβœ–
Versatile Speaker ConfigurationFRONT, CENTER, SURROUND, HEIGHT 1/Bi-AMP/ZONE 2, SURROUND BACK/HEIGHT 2/ZONE 3
FL Dimmerβœ”
Function Renameβœ”
Remote Controllerβœ” User-Friendly Simple Remote Control
Detachable Power Cordβœ”
adapterportβœ–
RADIO
Analog Tunerβœ” FM/AM with RDS
Presets40
Digital Radioβœ–
Internet Radioβœ” TuneIn
Pandoraβœ–
Spotifyβœ”
Tidalβœ”
Deezerβœ”
Napsterβœ–
SiriusXM Internet Radioβœ–
CONSTRUCTION
Front PanelBrushed
Solid Aluminum Frontβœ–
Speaker Terminals9
Large Speaker Terminals9
Color-Coded Speaker Terminalsβœ–
Transparent High-Grade Speaker Terminalsβœ–
Ceramic Speaker Terminalsβœ–
3D Space Frame Constructionβœ–
Gold plated RCA terminalsβœ–
POWER
Power SupplyAC 220-240 V, 50/60 Hz
Low Leakage Flux Power Transformerβœ–
Transformer Stabilizerβœ–
Power Consumption760 W
No Sound Power70 W
Standby Power0.15 W
GENERAL
Dimensions (W x H x D)435 mm x 173 mm x 370.5 mm
17-1/8" x 6-13/16" x 14-9/16"
Weight10.8 kg (23.8 lbs)
Warranty3 Years
SPECS
Rated Power Output (6 Ω, 1 kHz, 1 channel driven, IEC)170 W (1% THD)
Dynamic Power per Channel (3 Ω, Front)250 W
Dynamic Power per Channel (4 Ω, Front)220 W
Dynamic Power per Channel (8 Ω, Front)130 W
THD0.08% (20 Hz - 20 kHz, half power)
Input Sensitivity and Impedance (Line)200 mV/47 kΩ
Input Sensitivity and Impedance (Phono MM)3.5 mV/47 kΩ
Rated Preout Level and Impedance1 V/470 Ω
Rated Headphone Jack Output Level and Impedance8 Ω - 600 Ω
Rated Headphone Power Output85 mW (32 Ω, 1 kHz, 10% THD)
Phono Overload70 mV (MM, 1 kHz 0.5%)
S/N Ratio (Line, IHF-A)106 dB
S/N Ratio (Phono MM, IHF-A)80 dB
Frequency Response (Analog In)10 Hz - 100 kHz/+1 dB, -3 dB (Direct/Pure Audio)
DSD Sampling Rates via HDMI2.8 MHz (2-ch/multi-ch), 5.6 MHz (2-ch)
DSD Sampling Rates via USB5.6 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/CB, PR/CR)
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
USB TerminalVer. 2.0, 5 V, 500 mA
Extension Terminalβœ–
FM Frequency87.5 MHz - 108.0 MHz
FM 50 dB Quiet Sensitivity (IHF, 1 kHz, 100% MOD.)Mono: 1.56 Β΅V (15.0 dBf)
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

Successor

In 2019 Pioneer Elite VSX-LX303 was replaced by VSX-LX304. Let us now have a look at some important changes that the successor brought.


UPGRADES Pioneer Elite VSX-LX304 Pioneer Elite VSX-LX303
Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization βœ” βœ–
IMAX Enhanced βœ” βœ–
AirPlay βœ” AirPlay 2 βœ” AirPlay
Newer HDCP Version 2.3 2.2
More HDMI Outputs 2 (1 MAIN, 1 SUB/ZONE 2) 2 (simultaneous)
Higher DSD Sampling Rate via USB 2.8 MHz, 5.6 MHz, 11.2 MHz 5.6 MHz, 2.8 MHz
Newer Bluetooth Version 4.2 4.1 + LE

DOWNGRADES Pioneer Elite VSX-LX304 Pioneer Elite VSX-LX303
Analog To HDMI Upconversion βœ– βœ” Component**, Composite
Less Optical Inputs 1 2
Less Composite Video Inputs βœ– 2
Less Component Video Inputs βœ– 1

For more detailed comparison between the models please visit Pioneer Elite VSX-LX304 vs Pioneer Elite VSX-LX303.

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