Along with the growing popularity of custom home theater builds, the comparison of Denon AVR-S950H and Pioneer VSX-LX504 takes place. According to the results of our review, Denon AVR-S950H received 7.3 points out of 10 possible, and Pioneer VSX-LX504 was rated 8.8 points. Both AV receivers were introduced in 2019. Based on the data on the characteristics and features of both models, we can conclude that VSX-LX504 has better performance than AVR-S950H.
For the built-in amplifier, the devices received different marks - 7 and 9, respectively, on a 10-point scale.
The number of channels is equal to the number of possible connected speakers. The Denon AVR-S950H supports 7.2-channels sound, but Pioneer VSX-LX504 supports a 9.2-channels configuration.
RMS stands for the actual power of the receiver. The higher this value, the louder the sound can be produced. The differences between the models in terms of RMS power are significant - for the VSX-LX504 this value is 120/8 W/Ohm, and for the AVR-S950H it is 90/8 W/Ohm.
|Stereo power (RMS), W/Ohm||90/8, 125/6||120/8, 230/6|
|Output impedance, Ohm||8, 6||8, 6|
|THD in stereo, %||0.08||0.08|
After reviewing the audio features of each model, we can rate the AVR-S950H 6 out of 10, and the VSX-LX504 - 9.
Bi-amping is the amplification of one speaker with two amplifiers. This amplification method has a positive effect on sound quality. Bi-amping is possible on the VSX-LX504.
Most receivers now come with a microphone included. It is with the help of this microphone that the auto-calibration system functions, which adjusts the sound of the receiver to the room.
|Digital to analog converter (DAC)||AKM 192 KHz/32-bit||AK4458 384 KHz/32-bit|
|Pure direct (straight)||✔||✔|
|Auto speaker calibration||Audyssey MultEQ||MCACC|
|Speaker A/B switching||✖||✖|
|Other audio features||Audyssey Dynamic Volume, Audyssey Dynamic EQ, Compressed Audio Restorer, Hi-Res audio||Advanced Sound Retriever, Hi-Res audio|
The connectivity of competitors in our comparison is markedly different, Denon AVR-S950H scored 7, and Pioneer VSX-LX504 scored 8 out of 10.
Bluetooth connection is now one of the main communication protocols for the receiver's control or even music broadcasting.
|USB||1 (USB 2.0)||1 (USB 2.0)|
Now music streaming services are gaining more and more popularity. They allow users to listen to millions of songs by subscription.
|Apple Music (AirPlay)||AirPlay, AirPlay 2||AirPlay, AirPlay 2|
|Other streaming services||Deezer, TIDAL, Pandora, Napster, SiriusXM, TuneIn Radio, iHeart Radio, Sound Cloud, Mood Mix||Deezer, TIDAL, Pandora|
The presence of many connectors makes the receiver more versatile. But there are also narrowly targeted models, the number of connectors which are limited to a certain area of use. And when choosing their own receiver, users need to consider exactly your goals for using the receiver. For extensive connection, both receivers got 8 points on our 10-point scale.
Denon AVR-S950H is equipped with 8/2 HDMI inputs and outputs, and Pioneer VSX-LX504 has 7/2 HDMI inputs and outputs.
HDMI eARC is the next step in the development of audio return channel technology, which works in conjunction with HDMI 2.1. Using eARC provides the highest sound quality for home audio systems. HDMI eARC is available only on Denon AVR-S950H.
The HDCP encryption protocol is now mandatory for most media devices. This security technology encrypts digital signals from one product to another. HDCP content-encryption protocol is present on Denon AVR-S950H in the HDCP 2.3 version, and Pioneer VSX-LX504 has the HDCP 2.2 version.
|HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel)||✔||✔|
|HDMI eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel)||✔||✖|
|Digital content protection (HDCP)||HDCP 2.3||HDCP 2.2|
|Subwoofer output (LFE)||2||2|
|Headphone output||1 x 6.3||1 x 6.3|
|Optical digital input||2||1|
|Coaxial digital input||1||1|
|Phono (MM) input||✔||✔|
|Front panel connectors||USB, HDMI, phones, setup mic||USB, HDMI, phones, setup mic|
|Multi channel preamp output||✖||✔|
The AV receiver is the heart of the home theater. And in this case, support for all current video formats ensures the best user experience, so it is very important to consider this when choosing a device. Video features of the AVR-S950H were rated 8 out of 10 against the 10 for the VSX-LX504.
|HDR (High Dynamic Range)||HDR10||HDR10|
|4K signal pass-through||4K/60Hz||4K/60Hz|
|8K signal pass-through||✖||✖|
|HDMI signal pass-through||✔||✔|
|3D signal pass-through||✔||✔|
|HDMI pass-through in standby mode||✔||✔|
|Video conversion||✖||analog to HDMI|
|Analog to HDMI scaling||✖||✔|
|HDMI to HDMI scaling||✔||✔|
|Other video features||HLG, BT.2020||x.v.Color, HLG, BT.2020|
In terms of evaluating additional features, the AVR-S950H got 10 points, but the VSX-LX504 has 9.
Only the Denon AVR-S950H has the ECO mode.
|Voice control||Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, Josh.AI||Amazon Alexa|
|App control||iPhone, iPad, iPod, Android, Amazon Kindle||iPhone, iPad, iPod, Android|
|Display||colour OSD||colour OSD|
|Tuner||AM, FM||AM, FM|
|Auto power off||✔||✔|
|Graphical user interface (GUI)||✔||✔|
|Firmware update||network, USB||network, USB|
|Other additional features||IP Control, Web Control||has not|
As the center of a home media system, each multichannel receiver has an additional set of terminals for connecting the second set of speakers to create additional audio space in Zone 2 or even Zone 3 where audio can have the separate source.
|Zone audio output||speaker||speaker, preout|
|Zone HDMI output||✖||✔|
|Multi-room control||HEOS App||Pioneer Control App, FlareConnect|
|Remote control input/output (IR)||0/0||1/1|
|DC trigger output (12V)||0||2|
Denon AVR-S950H got 7 points for the multichannel surround sound and Pioneer VSX-LX504 got 8.
IMAX Enhanced is a licensing and certification program under which home theater devices deliver crisp 4K HDR pictures and powerful sound as it was designed by the IMAX engineers. The VSX-LX504 licensed by IMAX.
|Dolby (other)||Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization||Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization|
|DTS HD Master||✔||✔|
|DTS (other)||DTS-ES, DTS 96/24, DTS-HD, DTS-EXPRESS||DTS-ES, DTS 96/24, DTS-HD, DTS-EXPRESS|