Choosing an AV receiver is not an easy task and the Sony STR-ZA3100ES versus Pioneer Elite SC-LX704 comparison is meant to help you with this. According to the results of our review, Sony STR-ZA3100ES received 6.3 points out of 10 possible, and Pioneer Elite SC-LX704 was rated 8.8 points. The release date of STR-ZA3100ES is 2017, and Elite SC-LX704 is 2019. As a result, it becomes clear that Elite SC-LX704 is a better option for home theater than STR-ZA3100ES.
For the built-in amplifier, the devices received different marks - 7 and 8, respectively, on a 10-point scale.
The number of channels is equal to the number of possible connected speakers. The Sony STR-ZA3100ES supports 7.2-channels sound, but Pioneer Elite SC-LX704 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 Elite SC-LX704 this value is 135/8 W/Ohm, and for the STR-ZA3100ES it is 70/8 W/Ohm.
|Stereo power (RMS), W/Ohm||70/8, 90/6||135/8|
|Output impedance, Ohm||8, 6||8|
|THD in stereo, %||0.09||0.08|
After reviewing the audio features of each model, we can rate the STR-ZA3100ES 7 out of 10, and the Elite SC-LX704 - 10.
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. Pioneer Elite SC-LX704 can work with the main and additional set of speakers - and switch between them.
|Digital to analog converter (DAC)||N/A||ES9026PRO 384 KHz/32-bit|
|Pure direct (straight)||✔||✔|
|Auto speaker calibration||DCAC EX||MCACC|
|Speaker A/B switching||✖||✔|
|Other audio features||Sound Optimizer||Advanced Sound Retriever, Hi-Res audio|
The connectivity of competitors in our comparison is markedly different, Sony STR-ZA3100ES scored 6, and Pioneer Elite SC-LX704 scored 8 out of 10.
Wireless connection via Wi-Fi is possible on the Pioneer Elite SC-LX704.
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|
|Other streaming services||has not||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, Sony STR-ZA3100ES got 9 points, but Pioneer Elite SC-LX704 received 8 points.
Sony STR-ZA3100ES is equipped with 6/2 HDMI inputs and outputs, and Pioneer Elite SC-LX704 has 7/3 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 Sony STR-ZA3100ES.
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 Sony STR-ZA3100ES in the HDCP 2.2 version, and Pioneer Elite SC-LX704 has the HDCP 2.3 version.
Connecting a vinyl player or phonograph is possible using a Phono input which is represented by mini-jack or RCA connectors. Only the Elite SC-LX704 has a Phono interface.
|HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel)||✔||✔|
|HDMI eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel)||✔||✖|
|Digital content protection (HDCP)||HDCP 2.2||HDCP 2.3|
|Subwoofer output (LFE)||2||2|
|Headphone output||0||1 x 6.3|
|Optical digital input||2||3|
|Coaxial digital input||1||2|
|Phono (MM) input||✖||✔|
|Front panel connectors||USB, HDMI, 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 STR-ZA3100ES were rated 7 out of 10 against the 10 for the Elite SC-LX704.
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 Elite SC-LX704.
|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||HLG||x.v.Color, HLG, BT.2020|
In terms of evaluating additional features, the STR-ZA3100ES got 6 points, but the Elite SC-LX704 has 9.
Voice control allows you to control the basic functions of the receiver through a smartphone, smart speaker or using the microphone that comes with the kit. The Elite SC-LX704 can be controlled by voice via Amazon Alexa.
|Voice control||✖||Amazon Alexa|
|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||has not||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, preout||speaker, preout|
|Zone HDMI output||✔||✔|
|Multi-room control||has not||Pioneer Control App, FlareConnect|
|Remote control input/output (IR)||1/2||1/1|
|DC trigger output (12V)||3||2|
Sony STR-ZA3100ES got 7 points for the multichannel surround sound and Pioneer Elite SC-LX704 got 8.
Rivals in this competition licensed by IMAX.
|Dolby (other)||Dolby Digital Plus||Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization|
|DTS HD Master||✖||✔|
|DTS (other)||DTS-ES, DTS 96/24, DTS-HD||DTS-ES, DTS 96/24, DTS-HD, DTS-EXPRESS|