Being able to compare Marantz NR1609 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, Marantz NR1609 received 8.2 points out of 10 possible, and Pioneer VSX-LX503 was rated 8.6 points. Both AV receivers were introduced in 2018. VSX-LX503 is more performable in terms of audio broadcast than the NR1609.
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 Marantz NR1609 supports 7.2-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 NR1609 it is 50/8 W/Ohm.
|Stereo power (RMS), W/Ohm||50/8, 70/6||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 NR1609 8 out of 10, and the VSX-LX503 - 9.
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.
Speaker A/B switching allows you to change between the main and sub speaker set. Marantz NR1609 can work with the main and additional set of speakers - and switch between them.
|Digital to analog converter (DAC)||192 KHz/24-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 Enhancer(MDAX2), Hi-Res audio||Advanced Sound Retriever, Hi-Res audio, Reflex Optimizer|
The connectivity of competitors in our comparison is equal and was rated 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, AirPlay 2||AirPlay|
|Other streaming services||Deezer, Pandora, TuneIn Radio||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, Marantz NR1609 got 9 points, but Pioneer VSX-LX503 received 8 points.
Marantz NR1609 is equipped with 8/1 HDMI inputs and outputs, and Pioneer VSX-LX503 has 7/2 HDMI inputs and outputs.
|HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel)||✔||✔|
|HDMI eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel)||✖||✖|
|Digital content protection (HDCP)||HDCP 2.2||HDCP 2.2|
|Subwoofer output (LFE)||2||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||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 NR1609 were rated 9 out of 10 against the 10 for the 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|
|Analog to HDMI scaling||✔||✔|
|HDMI to HDMI scaling||✔||✔|
|Other video features||BT.2020||DeepColor, x.v.Color, HLG, BT.2020|
In terms of evaluating additional features, the NR1609 got 10 points, but the VSX-LX503 has 8.
Only the Marantz NR1609 has the ECO mode.
|Voice control||Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, Josh.AI||Google Assistant|
|App control||iPhone, iPad, iPod, Android||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||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.
|Zone audio output||speaker, preout||speaker, preout|
|Zone HDMI output||✖||✔|
|Multi-room control||HEOS App||FlareConnect|
|Remote control input/output (IR)||0/0||1/1|
|DC trigger output (12V)||1||2|
Marantz NR1609 got 8 points for the multichannel surround sound and Pioneer VSX-LX503 got 7.
|Dolby (other)||Dolby Digital Plus||Dolby Digital Plus|
|DTS HD Master||✔||✔|
|DTS (other)||DTS-ES, DTS 96/24, DTS-HD, DTS-EXPRESS, DTS-Surround||DTS-ES, DTS 96/24, DTS-HD, DTS-EXPRESS|