One of the best outcomes in the battle of audio technologies is the way features like DTS:X and Dolby Atmos are included in a variety of AV receivers. It certainly makes it more entertaining to review economical AVRs like Pioneer VSX-LX302. The delivery of object-based audio causes an impressive level of 3D sound without the need to rush out for different or additional speakers. Skim over the details to find out if they require an upgrade or more are needed for the proper setup.

The 7.2-channel VSX-LX302 offers 170W of power per channel add to the mix. Streaming services like Tidal, Spotify, and Deezer maximize the power of the two subwoofers. The continuing growth of 4K compatible TVs in homes is reflected by the inclusion of HDCP 2.2, HDR 10, Dolby Vision, and BT.2020 video pass-through via HDMI. This AVR delivers a remarkable home theater experience that is comparable to the cinema itself.

Pioneer VSX-LX302

Pioneer VSX-LX302

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About the VSX-LX302

Whether deep or intensive, sound vibrations start a subtle feeling of a beat or action. It’s the exciting delivery associated with movie theaters and sophisticated rides at upscale amusement parks. The more options to adjust sound and realize that rhythm, the better I like it – especially when it’s simple enough that friends and family can do the same quickly and easily. The Pioneer VSX-LX302 features the Multi-Channel Acoustic Calibration System, or MCACC. Top technicians at professional recording studios lent their expertise to create the optimum listening environment using a custom setup microphone. No complicated formulas tax the time of the human user. The system does the measurements and equalizes the response as it offsets differences in speaker level, distance, and size.

The big surprise is the performance of Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers at the viewing position. They operate seamlessly with the floor speakers to produce a cohesive, clear sound. It’s a result of the resolution of phase lag by the VSX-LX302’s Reflex Optimizer technology.

Speakers and subwoofers provide the best sound because they work as a team to deliver bass as a joint effort of all the speakers, improving sound synchronization in mid- and high-level frequencies. The two subwoofer pre-outs double low frequency effects (LFE). This unit includes DTS Neo:X surround processing as well as Powered Zone 2 and Zone 2 pre-/line out.

By eliminating distortion, the harsh clash of sound is seldom an issue. Clear, smooth audio is delivered through any of the seven channels to reinforce the dynamics of each feature. Object-based data uses the spatially mixed audio formats of Dolby Atmos and DTS:X to create a 3-D soundscape for the room. Height-based audio data and standard horizontal-based audio work together to free sound. The audio travels around the room and from speaker to speaker, resulting in an authentic theater experience.

The Pioneer VSX-LX302 maximizes streaming capability from a smartphone, laptop or tablet to associated speakers thanks to the Chromecast built-in Music Streaming Platform. Apps control playback through laptops, notebooks and other accessories including:

  • iPad
  • Smartphones
  • iPhones
  • Tablets

Below is the back panel layout. Click on image to enlarge for a clearer view.

Pioneer VSX-LX302 Back Panel

Pioneer VSX-LX302 Back Panel

Comparison with Denon AVR-X2400H

The most noticeable difference between the Pioneer VSX-LX302 and Denon’s AVR-X2400H is the price. The X2400H is nearly $200 above that of the VSX-LX302. They both feature 7.2 channels and surround sound. Like Pioneer’s LX-302, the X2400H has a room acoustic measurement system. The Audyssey MultEQ XT uses a microphone designed to analyze and optimize the output of each speaker and channel.

The audio performance for which Denon products are known is largely due to its built-in HEOS wireless technology. The VSX-LX302 uses FlareConnect Wireless Multiroom audio to enhance the performance of network and external audio input sources. Expect clear and compelling sound from any of the streaming sources to several rooms from either unit, whether it’s played through Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or Ethernet.

Impressive home cinema performance is presented with Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby Digital Plus, and an array of other enhancements that provide for full 4k support. The next generation ready equipment is quite similar in efficiency, setup, and performance. Both AVRs wear the name of a reputable company. The additional cost for Denon’s model warrants a second look at Pioneer’s VSX-LX302.

Pros

  • Supports DTS:X and Dolby Atmos
  • Chromecast built-in
  • Automatic setup and calibration technology
  • 6 HDMI inputs/2 HDMI outputs
  • Firmware update installed without problems

Cons

  • Remote only controls the AVR; separate remotes required for DVD and television

Conclusion

Pioneer’s technology continues to expand, making it easier to have an AVR that handles desirable features like streaming and uncomplicated detailed setup guidelines. The VSX-LX302 is ready for the next generation High Dynamic Range (HDR), such as Dolby Vision, BT.2020, and HDR 10. Its video signal transmission uses HDCP 2.2. technology to support 4K video signal transmission. The audio clarity and depth encourage watching movies once again because it is so pleasant to hear the sound blend together when they are supposed to or emphasize distinct audio at the right time. There’s an additional benefit in that the Pioneer VSX-LX302 supports games and fun. It handles the Xbox One like a pro and adds excitement to the gaming experience. Instead of spending money on new speakers right off the bat, test to see if current speakers perform as well as or better than the results to date. The unit seems to work well with speakers from companies like Sony and Yamaha. This affordable unit has sophisticated features backed by some of the best A/V engineers in the industry. The well-designed, immersive audio adds to the virtual 3D experience of most home theater systems.


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