Pioneer Elite VSX-LX503 (North American version)
- 9.2 channels
- 11.1 channel processing
- 120 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-LX503 was introduced in 2018. It is equipped with 9 channel amplifier with 120 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven) power per channel and is capable of 11.1 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 90 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-LX503.
|11.1 Channel Processing|
|DSD via HDMI|
|Auto Speaker Calibration System with Mic.|
|New HDCP Version|
|4K or 8K Video Passthrough|
|4K or 8K Signal Upscaling|
|Analog To HDMI Upconversion|
|Many HDMI Inputs|
|Composite Video Inputs|
|Component Video Inputs|
|No Front Wide Channel Support|
|No Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization|
|No IMAX Enhanced|
|No Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer|
|Does not Work with Amazon Alexa|
|Few 8K Inputs|
Here we are comparing Pioneer Elite VSX-LX503 to its predecessor SC-LX502 and displaying the major changes.
|UPGRADES||Pioneer Elite VSX-LX503||vs||Pioneer Elite SC-LX502|
|More Channel Processing||11.1||vs||7.1|
|Works with SONOS||vs|
|USB Input||2 (1 Front)||vs||1 Front|
|More Analog Pre-Outs||11.2||vs||0.2|
|More Powered Zones||2 and 3||vs||2|
|More Speaker Terminals||11||vs||9|
|More Large Speaker Terminals||11||vs||9|
|Bigger Power Supply||850 W||vs||250 W|
|Higher Power Output (6 Ω, 1 kHz, 1 channel driven, JEITA)||230 W (10% THD)||vs||225 W (10% THD)|
|Higher Rated Headphone Power Output||85 mW (32 Ω, 1 kHz, 10% THD)||vs||55 mW (32 Ω, 1 kHz, 10% THD)|
|Higher S/N Ratio (Line, IHF-A)||106 dB||vs||105 dB|
|Higher DSD Sampling Rate via HDMI||2.8 MHz (2-ch/multi-ch), 5.6 MHz (2-ch)||vs||2.8 MHz|
|DOWNGRADES||Pioneer Elite VSX-LX503||vs||Pioneer Elite SC-LX502|
|Lower DAC Specs||384 kHz/32 Bit||vs||768 kHz/32 Bit|
For more detailed comparison between the models please visit Pioneer Elite VSX-LX503 vs Pioneer Elite SC-LX502.
9 channel Direct Energy Amplifier
Pioneer Elite VSX-LX503 features 9 channel power amplifier with Direct Energy design. It is rated at 120 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven) and is able to drive 4 ohm speakers.
Pioneer Elite VSX-LX503'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.
- 7.2.4 with addition of external 2 channel 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.
- 7.2.4 with addition of external 2 channel 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.
- Bi-Amp: You can bi-amp front left and right speakers. 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-LX503 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.
Pioneer Elite VSX-LX503 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.
- Advanced Sound Retriever: Compressed music enhancement in Pioneer Elite VSX-LX503 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.
Pioneer Elite VSX-LX503 comes with 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.
Pioneer Elite VSX-LX503 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-LX503 can upscale 1080p to 4K 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-LX503 will output them via HDMI. This means that you will need only one HDMI cable to connect to your TV.
- 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 2.2 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-LX503 is able to pass 3D video through HDMI.
HDR (High Dynamic Range)
Pioneer Elite VSX-LX503 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-LX503 offers multi-zone playback which allows you to play different input sources in 3 different rooms.
- 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-LX503 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.
- 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.
- 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 3 amplifier.
Inputs and Outputs
- 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 Pre-Outs: Pioneer Elite VSX-LX503 has 11.2 preamplifier outputs which allow you to connect the a/v receiver to the external power amplifier. You may want to use a high quality external amplifier for certain channels, usually for front L/R and center, and use the a/v receiver to power the rest. Also, Pioneer Elite VSX-LX503 has 11 channel processing but has only 9 channel amplifier, so it needs the external amplifier connected to the analog pre-outs in order to reach the maximum speaker configuration.
- Analog Line Inputs: There are 4 line inputs for analog audio connection.
- Digital Inputs: 2 optical inputs 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.
- Inputs: 7 (1 front) Outputs: 2 (1 MAIN, 1 SUB/ZONE 2)
8K Inputs: 0
- Composite Video: Connect you VCR, Laserdisc player and other old video equipment with composite video cables.
- Inputs: 2 Outputs: 0
- 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-LX503 supports up to 480i/576i resolution on Component video connectors.
- Inputs: 1 Outputs: 0
Here we list all the available features and specifications of Pioneer Elite VSX-LX503.
|Front Wide Channel Support|
|Continuous 6 Ω Rated|
|Certified 4 Ω Performance|
|Digital Signal Processing (DSP) Engine||Digital Quad-Core 32-bit DSP (Cirrus Logic) + Aureus™ Floating-Point DSP (TI)|
|DAC||AKM AK4458 & TI PCM5101|
|DAC Specs||384 kHz/32 Bit|
|Maximum Channel Processing||11.1|
|Air Studios Monitor Certification|
|Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization|
|Dolby Atmos Music|
|Dolby Digital Plus|
|Dolby Surround Upmixer|
|Dolby Pro Logic|
|Dolby Digital EX|
|DTS-HD Master Audio|
|DTS-HD High Resolution Audio|
|DTS-ES||Discrete 6.1, Matrix 6.1|
|Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer|
|Music Playback via USB||MP3, WMA, AAC, Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, DSD, Dolby TrueHD|
|High Resolution Music Playback via USB and/or Network||64, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192 kHz/24 bit|
|High Resolution Audio Formats via USB||Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, AAC, DSD, Dolby TrueHD|
|Multi-Channel Music File Playback via USB||up to 192 kHz/24 bit|
|DSD via HDMI||2-ch/Multi-ch Input|
|DSD via USB||2-ch Input|
|DSD to PCM Converter|
|DTS Dialog Control|
|Sound Retriever AIR|
|Digital Noise Reduction|
|Tone Control||All Channels|
|Compressed Music Enhancer||Advanced Sound Retriever|
|High-resolution Music Enhancer|
|Audyssey Dynamic EQ|
|Audyssey Dynamic Volume|
|Audyssey Sub EQ HT|
|Pure Direct Mode|
|Front Stage Surround Advance|
|Auto Speaker Calibration System with Mic.||MCACC|
|Full Band Phase Control|
|Standing Wave Control|
|Auto Subwoofer Crossover|
|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)|
|Video Signal Passthrough||up to 4K/60p (YCbCr 4:4:4)|
|Video Signal Upscaling||1080p to 4K|
|Analog To HDMI Upconversion||Component**, Composite|
|Component Video Upscaling|
|Analog to Analog Video conversion|
|Component Video Maximum Resolution||480i/576i|
|Video Parameter Adjustments|
|isf Certified Calibration Control|
|Works with Amazon Alexa|
|Works with SONOS|
|Apple Product Connection||Made for iPhone, iPod and iPad (Airplay only)|
|Remote App||Pioneer Remote App|
|InstaPrevue Input Source Prevue|
|HDMI Inputs||7 (1 front)|
|HDMI Outputs||2 (1 MAIN, 1 SUB/ZONE 2)|
|USB Input||2 (1 Front)|
|USB DC Out Port|
|Analog Audio Line Input||4|
|Analog Audio Line Output|
|Composite Video Input||2|
|Composite Video Output|
|Component Video Input||1|
|Component Video Output|
|Front A/V Inputs||HDMI, USB|
|Headphone Out||6.3 mm (1/4")|
|Powered Zones||2 and 3|
|Zone 2 Outs||HDMI, RCA Pre/Line Out|
|Zone 3 Outs||RCA Pre/Line Out|
|+12V Trigger Output||2 (A: 100 mA, B: 25 mA)|
|Remote (IR) Input/Output||1 / 1|
|IP Control for CI|
|Versatile Speaker Configuration||FRONT, CENTER, SURROUND, HEIGHT 1/Bi-AMP/ZONE 2, SURROUND BACK/HEIGHT 2/ZONE 3|
|Remote Controller||User-Friendly Simple Remote Control|
|Detachable Power Cord|
|SiriusXM Internet Radio|
|Solid Aluminum Front|
|Large Speaker Terminals||11|
|Color-Coded Speaker Terminals|
|Transparent High-Grade Speaker Terminals|
|Ceramic Speaker Terminals|
|3D Space Frame Construction|
|Gold plated RCA terminals|
|Power Supply||AC 120 V, 60 Hz|
|Low Leakage Flux Power Transformer|
|Power Consumption||850 W|
|No Sound Power||70 W|
|Standby Power||0.15 W|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||435 mm x 185 mm x 386 mm|
17-1/8" x 7-5/16" x 15-3/16"
|Weight||13.0 kg (28.7 lbs)|
|Power Output (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2||120 W (0.08% THD)|
|Maximum Effective Power Output (6 Ω, 1 kHz, 1 channel driven, JEITA)||230 W (10% 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|
|THD||0.08% (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 Impedance||1 V/470 Ω|
|Rated Headphone Jack Output Level and Impedance||8 Ω - 600 Ω|
|Rated Headphone Power Output||85 mW (32 Ω, 1 kHz, 10% THD)|
|Phono Overload||70 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)||5 Hz - 100 kHz/+1 dB, -3 dB (Direct/Pure Audio)|
|DSD Sampling Rates via HDMI||2.8 MHz (2-ch/multi-ch), 5.6 MHz (2-ch)|
|DSD Sampling Rates via USB||2.8 MHz, 5.6 MHz, 11.2 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)
|Wi-Fi Standard||IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n|
|Wi-Fi Terminal Frequency||5 GHz, 2.4 GHz|
|Bluetooth Version||4․1 + LE|
|Bluetooth Frequency||2.4 GHz|
|USB Terminal||Ver. 2.0, 5 V, 500 mA|
|FM Frequency||87.5 MHz - 107.9 MHz|
|FM 50 dB Quiet Sensitivity (IHF, 1 kHz, 100% MOD.)||Mono: 1.56 µV (15.0 dBf)|
|AM Frequency||530 kHz - 1710 kHz|
* - 480i/576i and 480p/576p only
** - 480i/576i only
*** - no 1080p/24 upconversion
**** - 1080p signal is not converted
In 2019 Pioneer Elite VSX-LX503 was replaced by VSX-LX504. Let us now have a look at some important changes that the successor brought.
|UPGRADES||Pioneer Elite VSX-LX504||vs||Pioneer Elite VSX-LX503|
|Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization||vs|
|Standing Wave Control||Multi-Point||vs|
|Newer HDCP Version||2.3||vs||2.2|
|Higher S/N Ratio (Line, IHF-A)||106 dB||vs||106 dB|
|Higher S/N Ratio (Phono MM, IHF-A)||80 dB||vs||80 dB|
|Newer Bluetooth Version||4․2||vs||4․1 + LE|
|DOWNGRADES||Pioneer Elite VSX-LX504||vs||Pioneer Elite VSX-LX503|
|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|
|Less Optical Inputs||1||vs||2|
|Lower Rated Headphone Power Output||85 mW (32 Ω, 1 kHz, 10% THD)||vs||85 mW (32 Ω, 1 kHz, 10% THD)|
|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-LX503 vs Pioneer Elite VSX-LX504.