Being able to compare Denon HEOS AVR and Pioneer VSX-LX503 gave us an insight into what of them would be better for home theater configuration. According to the results of our review, Denon HEOS AVR received 4.8 points out of 10 possible, and Pioneer VSX-LX503 was rated 8.6 points. The release date of HEOS AVR is 2017, and VSX-LX503 is 2018. VSX-LX503 is more performable in terms of audio broadcast than the HEOS AVR.
For the built-in amplifier, the devices received different marks - 6 and 9, respectively, on a 10-point scale.
The number of channels is equal to the number of possible connected speakers. The Denon HEOS AVR supports 5.1-channels sound, but Pioneer VSX-LX503 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-LX503 this value is 120/8 W/Ohm, and for the HEOS AVR it is 50/8 W/Ohm.
|Stereo power (RMS), W/Ohm||50/8, 65/6||120/8, 230/6|
|Output impedance, Ohm||8, 6||8, 6|
|THD in stereo, %||0.05||0.08|
After reviewing the audio features of each model, we can rate the HEOS AVR 5 out of 10, and the VSX-LX503 - 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-LX503.
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)||N/A||AK4458 384 KHz/32-bit|
|Pure direct (straight)||✔||✔|
|Auto speaker calibration||✖||MCACC|
|Speaker A/B switching||✖||✖|
|Other audio features||has not||Advanced Sound Retriever, Hi-Res audio, Reflex Optimizer|
The connectivity of competitors in our comparison is markedly different, Denon HEOS AVR scored 7, and Pioneer VSX-LX503 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)||2 (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|
|Other streaming services||Deezer, TIDAL, Pandora, Napster, SiriusXM, TuneIn Radio, iHeart Radio, Sound Cloud||Deezer, TIDAL, Pandora, TuneIn Radio|
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, Denon HEOS AVR got 5 points, but Pioneer VSX-LX503 received 8 points.
Denon HEOS AVR is equipped with 4/1 HDMI inputs and outputs, and Pioneer VSX-LX503 has 7/2 HDMI inputs and outputs.
Connecting a vinyl player or phonograph is possible using a Phono input which is represented by mini-jack or RCA connectors. Only the VSX-LX503 has a Phono interface.
|HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel)||✔||✔|
|HDMI eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel)||✖||✖|
|Digital content protection (HDCP)||HDCP 2.2||HDCP 2.2|
|Subwoofer output (LFE)||1||2|
|Headphone output||1 x 6.3||1 x 6.3|
|Optical digital input||1||2|
|Coaxial digital input||1||1|
|Phono (MM) input||✖||✔|
|Front panel connectors||✖||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 HEOS AVR were rated 5 out of 10 against the 10 for the VSX-LX503.
HDR pass-through gives you the possibility to broadcast HDR content directly from source to TV without the processing of the receiver. HDR support is available on the Pioneer VSX-LX503.
Most of the AV receivers have a video scaling function, it is the process of reformatting the video signal to a higher resolution without losing the quality of the image. Upscaling the video signal resolution is possible with Pioneer VSX-LX503.
|HDR (High Dynamic Range)||✖||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||has not||DeepColor, x.v.Color, HLG, BT.2020|
In terms of evaluating additional features, the HEOS AVR got 4 points, but the VSX-LX503 has 8.
|Voice control||Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant||Google Assistant|
|App control||iPhone, iPad, iPod, Android||iPhone, iPad, iPod, Android|
|Auto power off||✖||✔|
|Graphical user interface (GUI)||✖||✔|
|Firmware update||network, USB||network, USB|
|Other additional features||has not||IP Control|
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.
|Multi-room zones||has not||3|
|Zone audio output||has not||speaker, preout|
|Zone HDMI output||has not||✔|
|Multi-room control||HEOS App||FlareConnect|
|Remote control input/output (IR)||1/0||1/1|
|DC trigger output (12V)||0||2|
Denon HEOS AVR got 5 points for the multichannel surround sound and Pioneer VSX-LX503 got 7.
Dolby Atmos' particularity is that this is the object-oriented sound format, that is, each audio signal object is independently sounded and connected to its spatial position. Pioneer VSX-LX503 can create 3D sound due to the Dolby Atmos support.
DTS:X is an algorithm used by the processor to create sound scenes, where sounds connected directly to objects rather than channels, and to determine the optimum sound output distribution in space. Surround sound with DTS:X is available on the VSX-LX503.
|Dolby (other)||Dolby Pro Logic||Dolby Digital Plus|
|DTS HD Master||✔||✔|
|DTS (other)||has not||DTS-ES, DTS 96/24, DTS-HD, DTS-EXPRESS|