Review: Pioneer VSX-930K 7.2 Dolby Atmos AV Receiver

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by Tony O'Brien

15th October, 2015

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Reviews

 

Performance

While Pioneer recommends using speakers with a 6-16 ohm impedance, the six ohm speakers I chose for the review are of average sensitivity (87-90 db.) and not the easiest to drive. With a retail price of $1,349 the VSX-930 sits closer to the lower mid-range of receivers and I had some real concerns about its ability to drive these speakers. I wondered if I would need to call in some more amplifier friendly speakers for the review.

As it turns out my concerns were unwarranted. While not offering the last word in dynamics, nor filling my room with sound to levels I am used to, they did drive my speakers to decent enough volume levels for an enjoyable home theatre experience. This was a real testament to the quality of the VSX-930 amplifiers, but particularly impressive for such an affordable unit.

The 2013 released “Oblivion” Bluray provides excellent (if not reference) video and audio quality. It was immediately obvious that the MCACC calibration software had done its job, as I was surrounded by a seamless soundstage that gave no hint of speaker to speaker difference or colouration.  This was no easy feat and a real credit to the effectiveness of the inbuilt MCACC calibration software. Although the speakers I used are sonically matched, due to their physical differences (floor standers, centre and bipolar surround speakers), there’s a variation in sound from speaker to speaker. Add room differences (in my case a fairly challenging room) and once again the VSX-930 had its work cut out for it.

After spending some time with the VSX-930, the best way to describe its home theatre sound was “well-rounded”. Sound neither favoured the high or low end and never became clinical, providing an enjoyable listening experience that was not in any way fatiguing. While some will enjoy the laid back sound produced by the VSX-930, others will seek a more dynamic sound from their AV receiver.

The Dolby Atmos encoded “American Sniper” is another bluray that offers demonstration quality audio. The tank rolling down the street in the opening scene literally kicked my subs into action and the bass could be felt at my usual listening position. Once again I was greeted with a seamless sound field, with small details placed accurately in the sound stage and never getting lost in amongst the action. While the sound stage of the VSX-930 was not large, it did abound with detail and at times had a great sense of depth. Voices sounded convincing and as with detail, never lost amongst the mix.

Conclusion

Offering Dolby Atmos decoding and support for Ultra HD, there isn’t a lot that the VSX-930 can’t do. With an RRP of $1,349 Pioneer has managed to pack a LOT into this receiver for the money. In a small to medium room, and matched to some amplifier friendly speakers, the VSX-930 could easily become the nerve centre of a very impressive (and budget friendly) home theatre system.

Pioneer is distributed in Australia by Powermove Distribution.

Tony O'Brien's avatar

Written by:

Tony O'Brien

As the owner of Adelaide based 'Clarity Audio & Video Calibration', Tony is a certified ISF Calibrator. Tony is an accomplished Audio-Visual reviewer specialising in theatre and visual products.

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Posted in: Home Theatre
Tags: pioneer  vsx-930k  dolby  atmos  powermove 

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