Pioneer Elite VSX-LX304

    91
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    Highlights

    • 9.2 Channels
    • 9.1 Channel Processing
    • 100 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven)
    • Dolby Atmos, DTS:X
    • HDR10, Dolby Vision
    • 4K/60Hz Passthrough, 4K/30Hz Upscaling
    • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Ethernet
    • Phono Input
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    Disclosure: We earn money from the affiliate links to products associated with content in this article.

    Overview

    Pioneer Elite VSX-LX304 was introduced in 2019. It is equipped with 9 channel amplifier with 100 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven) power per channel and is capable of 9.1 maximum channel processing. It supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, passes 4K/60Hz and upscales 1080p to 4K video signal.

    We evaluated the a/v receiver and gave 91 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-LX304.

    PROs

    •   9.1 Channel Processing
    •   Dolby Atmos
    •   Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization
    •   DTS:X
    •   IMAX Enhanced
    •   DSD via HDMI
    •   Auto Speaker Calibration System with Mic.
    •   HDR10
    •   Dolby Vision
    •   New HDCP Version
    •   Wi-Fi
    •   Bluetooth
    •   Google Assistant
    •   Chromecast Built-In
    •   7 HDMI Inputs
    •   USB Input
    •   Phono Input
    •   Ethernet
    •   3 Zones
    •   Analog Tuner
    •   Pandora
    •   Spotify
    •   Tidal

    CONs

    •   No Front Wide Channel Support
    •   No Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer
    •   No HDR10+
    •   No eARC
    •   No 8K Passthrough
    •   Does not Work with Amazon Alexa
    •   0 8K Input
    •   No RCA Pre-Outs
    •   No Composite Video Inputs
    •   No Digital Radio

    And here are some specifications which fall into average criteria and are neither in PROs nor in CONs category:

    AVERAGE

    •   9.2 Channels
    •   Power Output - 100 W
    •   3 HDMI Outputs
    •   RCA Line Inputs
    •   Bluetooth 4․2

    Pioneer 2019 Lineup

    In 2019 Pioneer released 9 new receivers. Here is the lineup:

    Pioneer 2019 Lineup
    ModelChannelsPowerMax. Ch. Proc.Pre OutsRoom Corr.Zones Price
    SC-LX904 Image cannot be found 11.2140 W11.211.2 MCACC Pro3
    SC-LX704 Image cannot be found 9.2135 W11.211.2 MCACC Pro3
    VSX-LX504 Image cannot be found 9.2120 W11.211.2 Advanced MCACC3
    VSX-LX304 Image cannot be found 9.2100 W9.1 Advanced MCACC3
    VSX-LX104 Image cannot be found 7.280 W7.1 MCACC2
    VSX-934 Image cannot be found 7.280 W7.1 MCACC2
    VSX-834 Image cannot be found 7.280 W7.1 MCACC1
    VSX-534 Image cannot be found 5.280 W5.1 MCACC1
    VSX-534D Image cannot be found 5.280 W5.1 MCACC1

    You can view their side-by-side comparison here: Pioneer SC-LX904 vs SC-LX704 vs VSX-LX504 vs VSX-LX304 vs VSX-LX104 vs VSX-934.

    Predecessor

    Here we are comparing Pioneer Elite VSX-LX304 to its predecessor VSX-LX303 and displaying the major changes.

    UPGRADES Pioneer Elite VSX-LX304 vs Pioneer VSX-LX303
    Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization vs
    IMAX Enhanced vs
    Dialog Enhancement vs
    Auto Phase Control Plus vs
    Standing Wave Control Multi-Point vs
    Newer HDCP Version 2.3 vs 2.2
    AirPlay AirPlay 2 vs AirPlay
    More HDMI Outputs 2 (1 MAIN, 1 SUB/ZONE 2) vs 2 (simultaneous)
    Zone 2 Outs HDMI, RCA Pre/Line Out (shared with Zone B line out) vs RCA Pre/Line Out
    Higher Power Output (6 Ω, 1 kHz, 1 channel driven, JEITA) 225 W (10% THD) vs 200 W (10% THD)
    Higher DSD Sampling Rate via USB 2.8 MHz, 5.6 MHz, 11.2 MHz vs 5.6 MHz, 2.8 MHz
    Newer Bluetooth Version 4․2 vs 4․1 + LE
    DOWNGRADES Pioneer Elite VSX-LX304 vs Pioneer VSX-LX303
    Music Playback via USB MP3, WMA, AAC, Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, DSD vs MP3, WMA, AAC, Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, DSD, Dolby TrueHD
    High Resolution Audio Formats via USB Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, AAC, DSD vs Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, AAC, DSD, Dolby TrueHD
    Analog To HDMI Upconversion vs Component**, Composite
    Less Optical Inputs 1 vs 2
    Less Composite Video Inputs vs 2
    Less Component Video Inputs vs 1
    Speaker A/B vs
    Zone 3 Outs vs RCA Pre/Line Out
    Lower DSD Sampling Rate via HDMI 2.8 MHz vs 2.8 MHz (2-ch/multi-ch), 5.6 MHz (2-ch)

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

    Successor

    In 2021 Pioneer Elite VSX-LX304 was replaced by Pioneer VSX-LX305. Let us now have a look at some important differences between Pioneer Elite VSX-LX304 and its successor.

    UPGRADES Pioneer VSX-LX305 vs Pioneer Elite VSX-LX304
    Music Playback via USB MP3, WMA, AAC, Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, LPCM, AIFF, DSD vs MP3, WMA, AAC, Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, DSD
    HDR10+ vs
    Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC) vs
    QMS vs
    Auto Low Latency Mode Pass-through vs
    VRR vs
    QFT vs
    Video Signal Passthrough up to 8K/60p RGB/YCbCr4:2:0/10-bit uncompressed or RGB/YCbCr4:4:4/12-bit compressed (TV needs DSC) vs up to 4K/60p (YCbCr 4:4:4)
    Video Signal Upscaling 1080p to 4K/8K and 4K to 8K vs 1080p to 4K
    Works with Amazon Alexa vs
    More 8K Inputs 6 vs
    Zone 2 Outs HDMI, RCA Pre/Line Out (shared with Zone B line out) vs HDMI, RCA Pre/Line Out (shared with Zone B line out)
    Wi-Fi Standard IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac vs IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n
    DOWNGRADES Pioneer VSX-LX305 vs Pioneer Elite VSX-LX304
    Lower DAC Specs 192 kHz/24 Bit vs 384 kHz/32 Bit
    Less RCA Line Inputs 4 vs 5 (1 front)

    For more detailed comparison between the models please visit Pioneer Elite VSX-LX304 vs VSX-LX305.

    Audio Section

    9 channel Direct Energy Amplifier

    Pioneer Elite VSX-LX304 features 9 channel power amplifier with Direct Energy design. It is rated at 100 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven) and is able to drive 4 ohm speakers.

      AMPLIFIER
      Channels9.2
      Power Output100 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven)
      Front Wide Channel Support
      Amplifier DesignDirect Energy
      THX™ Certification
      Continuous 6 Ω Rated
      Certified 4 Ω Performance
      Bi-amp Capability

      Speaker Configurations

      Pioneer Elite VSX-LX304's 9 channel amplifier can be assigned for different speaker configurations.

      • Dolby Atmos Configurations: The following speaker configurations are supported for Dolby Atmos:
      • 5.2.2, 5.2.4, 7.2.2 with internal amplifier.
      • DTS:X Configurations: The speaker configurations for DTS:X are the same as for Dolby Atmos:
      • 5.2.2, 5.2.4, 7.2.2 with internal amplifier.
      • Configurations without height channels: There are also other speaker configurations available which do not include height channels:
      • 5.2, 7.2 with internal amplifier.
      • 2-ch Bi-Amp: Pioneer Elite VSX-LX304 allows you to bi-amp up to 2 main channels simultaneously. During bi-amplification two amplifiers are used for one speaker. One amplifier powers the midrange and tweeter section of the speaker and another amplifier powers the low frequency woofers. Each amplifier is less loaded and performs better. In order to use this feature speakers must have 2 pairs of connectors.
      Pioneer Elite VSX-LX304

      Dolby Atmos

      Pioneer Elite VSX-LX304 supports Dolby Atmos. It is a cinematic audio format in which sounds exist as individual entities, called audio objects. In Dolby Atmos, any sound 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. 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.

      • Dolby Surround Upmixer: 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.
      • Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization: Dolby Atmos height virtualization is a digital signal processing solution that leverages Dolby's deep understanding of human audio perception to create the sensation of overhead sound from the listener-level speakers.

      DTS:X

      Pioneer Elite VSX-LX304 supports DTS:X. 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: DTS Neural:X is an advanced 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.
      • DTS Dialog Control: This function adjusts the dialog levels during playback of the DTS:X stream. It allows you to separately increase the dialog levels in contrast with the background sound and hear dialog easily even under noisy circumstances.
      DECODING
      Dolby Atmos
      Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization
      Dolby Atmos Music
      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

      Sound Processing

      • Advanced Sound Retriever: Compressed music enhancement in Pioneer Elite VSX-LX304 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-LX304 comes with Advanced MCACC room correction system and includes the calibration microphone.

      • MCACC: Pioneer’s exclusive Multi-Channel Acoustic Calibration System (MCACC) delivers an easy-to-use, automatic sound adjustment system to precision-tune your Pioneer and Pioneer Elite receivers with minimal effort. Every MCACC system comes with a microphone to measure and analyze reverb characteristics. The equalizer optimally adjusts sound parameters to fit the size and shape of your home environment while maintaining the integrity of high-resolution playback without any degradation to the quality of your music.

      Video Section

      HDMI

      Pioneer Elite VSX-LX304 features 7 HDMI inputs. It has 2 outputs: 1 MAIN and 1 SUB/ZONE 2.

      • 4K/60Hz Passthrough: All inputs pass up to 4K/60p (YCbCr 4:4:4) video signal.
      • 4K Upscaling: Pioneer Elite VSX-LX304 can upscale 1080p to 4K from HDMI sources.
      • BT.2020 Color Space: BT.2020 or Rec. 2020 is a color standard which delivers a wider color gamut compared to Rec. 709. It covers approximately 75% of the total visual spectrum while the Rec. 709 covers only 35%.
      • HDCP 2.3 Copy Protection: All inputs and outputs are HDCP 2.3 compliant which is a requirement for 4K/HDR copy-protected content transmission.
      • 3D Ready: Pioneer Elite VSX-LX304 is able to pass 3D video through HDMI.

      HDR (High Dynamic Range)

      Pioneer Elite VSX-LX304 supports HDR (high dynamic range) video formats such as HDR10, Dolby Vision and Hybrid Log-Gamma. High dynamic range video has greater dynamic range than standard dynamic range (SDR) video with brighter whites and deeper blacks. The result is greater contrast and more details in dark and bright areas, better color and depth.

      • HDR10: HDR10 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 10-bit color which corresponds to 1024 shades of the primary RGB colors. It is technically limited to a maximum of 10,000 nits peak brightness, however common HDR10 contents are mastered with peak brightness from 1,000 to 4,000 nits.
      • Dolby Vision: Dolby Vision is a set of technologies developed by Dolby Laboratories for high dynamic range (HDR) video. It covers content creation, distribution, and playback. Like HDR10+, it includes dynamic metadata that are used to adjust and optimize each frame of the HDR video to the consumer display's capabilities in a way specified by the content creator. Dolby Vision allows for a maximum resolution of 8K up to 12-bit color depth, maximum peak brightness of 10,000 nits and a color gamut up to Rec. 2020. It uses Dolby's proprietary dynamic metadata defined in SMPTE ST 2094-10.
      • Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG): The Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) is a transfer function developed mainly for HDR live video feed and over-the-air broadcasts. It is an HDR format that uses BT.2020 color primaries and a bitdepth of 10-bit. It is backward compatible with the transfer function of SDR and is designed to be better-suited for television broadcasting, where the metadata required for other HDR formats is not backward compatible with non-HDR displays. HLG defines a non-linear optical-electro transfer function, in which the lower half of the signal values use a gamma curve and the upper half of the signal values use a logarithmic curve.
      Pioneer Elite VSX-LX304

      IMAX Enhanced

      Pioneer Elite VSX-LX304 is IMAX Enhanced certified. To qualify for IMAX Enhanced certification, 4K HDR televisions, projectors, sound bars, a/v receivers, loudspeakers, powered subwoofers and other premium home entertainment devices must meet carefully prescribed performance requirements established by IMAX, DTS and Hollywood's leading experts.

      • What makes an IMAX Enhanced A/V receiver different from an A/V receiver with DTS:X technology? DTS:X technology is commonly found in most multi-channel A/V receivers on the market today. All IMAX Enhanced A/V receivers include DTS:X technology and deliver additional features, such as auto-sensing of IMAX Enhanced content, via IMAX Mode. IMAX Mode indicates that your A/V receiver supports fully immersive IMAX signature sound.
      • IMAX Enhanced Content: IMAX Enhanced studio partners have announced IMAX Enhanced versions of movies that exclusively feature IMAX's signature picture, sound and scale.
      • Picture: Stunning, ultra-vivid 4K HDR picture that utilizes the newest, proprietary Digital Media Remastering technology (DMR) developed by IMAX. DMR accurately reduces noise and grain under the filmmaker’s guidance to best optimize the content for a much higher-quality, higher-brightness display. Without this technology, high-dynamic range content can actually look worse than what was originally seen and intended by the filmmaker.
      • Sound: IMAX and DTS have partnered with award-winning Hollywood sound mixers leveraging DTS:X codec technology integrated in home audio equipment and select televisions to deliver an IMAX signature sound experience with deeper bass and more dynamic range.
      • Scale: Select IMAX Enhanced titles that were shot with IMAX-certified cameras or specially formatted for IMAX theatres feature its exclusive expanded aspect ratio, enabling viewers to see the full scale and scope of the picture on 4K HDR TVs.
      • Streaming Services: IMAX Enhanced is now available on the world’s biggest streaming services, including Disney+, BRAVIA CORE, Tencent, iQiyi and more.
      VIDEO FEATURES
      HDR10
      HDR10+
      Dynamic HDR
      BT.2020 color space
      Dolby Vision
      HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma)
      HDBaseT Compatible
      Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC)
      HDCP Version2.3
      QMS (Quick Media Switching)
      ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode)
      VRR (Variable Refresh Rate)
      QFT (Quick Frame transport)
      3-D Ready
      Video Signal Passthroughup to 4K/60p (YCbCr 4:4:4)
      Video Signal Upscaling 1080p to 4K

      Multi-zone Playback

      Pioneer Elite VSX-LX304 offers multi-zone playback which allows you to play different input sources in 3 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 7 channels will be left for main zone amplification.
      • HDMI Output: Pioneer Elite VSX-LX304 offers HDMI output for Zone 2. This means that it can send two different HDMI signals to two displays.
      • 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.

      Zone 3

      • Powered Zone 3: You can use the unit's 2 amplifier channels by connecting Zone 3 speakers directly to the speaker terminals. The remaining 7 channels will be left for main zone amplification.
      ZONES
      Number of Zones3
      Powered Zones2 and 3
      Zone 2 OutsHDMI, RCA Pre/Line Out (shared with Zone B line out)
      Zone 3 Outs
      RS-232C Interface
      +12V Trigger Output2 (A: 100 mA, B: 25 mA)
      Remote (IR) Input/Output1 / 1
      >

      Inputs and Outputs

      Audio

      • Phono Input: There is an MM phono input with built-in phono stage for connecting the moving magnet cartridge output of the turntable directly to the a/v receiver.
      • Analog Line Inputs: There are 5 line inputs for analog audio connection.
      • Digital Inputs: 1 optical input 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.

      Video

      • HDMI:
      • Inputs: 7 (1 front)   Outputs: 2 (1 MAIN, 1 SUB/ZONE 2)
        8K Inputs: 0

      Front A/V Inputs

      • HDMI, USB, Mini-Jack
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      TERMINALS
      HDMI Inputs7 (1 front)
      HDMI Outputs2 (1 MAIN, 1 SUB/ZONE 2)
      8K Inputs
      USB Input2 (1 Front)
      USB DC Out Port
      Optical Inputs1
      Optical Outputs
      Coaxial Inputs1
      RCA Line Inputs5 (1 front)
      RCA Line Outputs
      XLR Line Inputs
      Phono Input
      Multi-Channel Input
      RCA Pre-Outs0.2
      XLR Pre-outs
      Composite Video Inputs
      Composite Video Outputs
      S-Video Inputs
      S-Video Outputs
      Component Video Inputs
      Component Video Outputs

      Pioneer Elite VSX-LX304 Evaluation

      We evaluate Pioneer Elite VSX-LX304 and give score of 91 out of 100. We also give separate scores for 6 different categories according to the available features and specifications some of which are listed below. These evaluations are relative and may change each time a new receiver is added to the database.


      OVERALL
      91

      Amplifier

      EXCELLENT
      90

      We give Pioneer Elite VSX-LX304 a score of 90 for Amplifier features.

      •   9.2 Channels
      •   Power Output - 100 W

      Audio Features

      EXCELLENT
      90

      We give Pioneer Elite VSX-LX304 a score of 90 for Audio Features features.

      •   9.2 Channels
      •   No Front Wide Channel Support
      •   9.1 Channel Processing
      •   Dolby Atmos
      •   Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization
      •   DTS:X
      •   IMAX Enhanced
      •   No Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer
      •   DSD via HDMI

      Video Features

      EXCELLENT
      95

      We give Pioneer Elite VSX-LX304 a score of 95 for Video Features features.

      •   HDR10
      •   No HDR10+
      •   Dolby Vision
      •   No 8K Passthrough

      Connectivity

      EXCELLENT
      86

      We give Pioneer Elite VSX-LX304 a score of 86 for Connectivity features.

      •   No eARC
      •   New HDCP Version
      •   Wi-Fi
      •   Bluetooth
      •   Does not Work with Amazon Alexa
      •   Google Assistant
      •   Chromecast Built-In
      •   7 HDMI Inputs
      •   3 HDMI Outputs
      •   0 8K Input
      •   USB Input
      •   RCA Line Inputs
      •   Phono Input
      •   No RCA Pre-Outs
      •   No Composite Video Inputs
      •   Ethernet
      •   Bluetooth 4․2

      Zones

      EXCELLENT
      90

      We give Pioneer Elite VSX-LX304 a score of 90 for Zones features.

      •   3 Zones

      Radio

      EXCELLENT
      92

      We give Pioneer Elite VSX-LX304 a score of 92 for Radio features.

      •   Analog Tuner
      •   Pandora
      •   Spotify
      •   Tidal


      For a full specification list please go to the specifications page:

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