Let's make the Pioneer Elite VSX-LX305 versus Onkyo TX-NR686 comparison. According to the results of our review, Pioneer Elite VSX-LX305 received 8.5 points out of 10 possible, and Onkyo TX-NR686 was rated 7.2 points. The release date of Elite VSX-LX305 is 2021, and TX-NR686 is 2018. After comparison, it will become clear that among these two devices, the Elite VSX-LX305 is more suitable for the role of the heart of home theater system.
For the built-in amplifier, the devices received different marks - 9 and 7, respectively, on a 10-point scale.
The number of channels is equal to the number of possible connected speakers. The Pioneer Elite VSX-LX305 supports 9.2-channels sound, but Onkyo TX-NR686 supports a 7.2-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 VSX-LX305 this value is 225/6 W/Ohm, and for the TX-NR686 it is 165/6 W/Ohm.
|Stereo power (RMS), W/Ohm||100/8, 225/6||165/6|
|Output impedance, Ohm||8, 6||6|
|THD in stereo, %||0.08||0.08|
The score for audio features is 9 of 10 for both receivers.
Pure Direct mode feeds sound directly to the amplifier and bypasses any DSP processing. Only Onkyo TX-NR686 has Pure Direct mode.
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)||192 KHz/24-bit||VLSC 384 KHz/32-bit|
|Pure direct (straight)||✖||✔|
|Auto speaker calibration||MCACC||AccuEQ|
|Speaker A/B switching||✖||✖|
|Other audio features||Advanced Sound Retriever, Hi-Res audio, Dirac Live Room Correction||Advanced Music Optimizer, Theater-Dimensional, Hi-Res audio|
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)||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|
|Other streaming services||Deezer, TIDAL, Pandora, SiriusXM, Napster, SoundCloud||Deezer, TIDAL, 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, Pioneer Elite VSX-LX305 got 7 points, but Onkyo TX-NR686 received 8 points.
Competitors in our review have 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 Pioneer Elite VSX-LX305.
HDMI-CEC helps gadgets attached to your TV to link back and forth with your TV via HDMI ports. It is become possible to control all linked devices with one remote. The TX-NR686 features HDMI CEC.
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 Pioneer Elite VSX-LX305 in the HDCP 2.3 version, and Onkyo TX-NR686 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||1||2|
|Coaxial digital input||1||1|
|Phono (MM) input||✔||✔|
|Front panel connectors||HDMI, USB, phones, setup mic, AUX||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 Elite VSX-LX305 were rated 8 out of 10 against the 7 for the TX-NR686.
With the 4K pass-through feature, the AV receiver sends "native" 4K signals to a 4K TV from a video source without any processing. The Elite VSX-LX305 works with the 4K/120Hz video, and the TX-NR686 has the 4K/60Hz.
The AV receiver passes "native" 8K signals from a video source to 8K TV without any encoding, with the 8k pass-through features. The 8K path-through is available only on Pioneer Elite VSX-LX305.
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 only with Pioneer Elite VSX-LX305.
|HDR (High Dynamic Range)||HDR10+||HDR10|
|4K signal pass-through||4K/120Hz||4K/60Hz|
|8K signal pass-through||8K/60Hz||✖|
|HDMI signal pass-through||✔||✔|
|3D signal pass-through||✖||✔|
|HDMI pass-through in standby mode||✔||✔|
|Analog to HDMI scaling||✖||✖|
|HDMI to HDMI scaling||✔||✖|
|Other video features||DeepColor, x.v.Color, HLG, BT.2020, LipSync||DeepColor, x.v.Color|
In terms of evaluating additional features, the Elite VSX-LX305 got 9 points, but the TX-NR686 has 7.
|Voice control||Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, Josh.AI||Google Assistant|
|App control||iPhone, iPad, iPod, Android||iPhone, iPod, Android|
|Tuner||AM, FM||AM, FM|
|Auto power off||✔||✖|
|Graphical user interface (GUI)||✔||✔|
|Firmware update||network, USB||network, USB|
|Other additional features||App Control, Sonos Connect 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||Pioneer Control App||Onkyo Controller app, FlareConnect|
|Remote control input/output (IR)||1/1||0/0|
|DC trigger output (12V)||2||0|
Pioneer Elite VSX-LX305 got 8 points for the multichannel surround sound and Onkyo TX-NR686 got 7.
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. Only the Elite VSX-LX305 licensed by IMAX.
|Dolby (other)||Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization||Dolby Digital Plus|
|DTS HD Master||✔||✔|
|DTS (other)||DTS-ES, DTS 96/24, DTS-EXPRESS||DTS-ES, DTS 96/24, DTS-HD, DTS-EXPRESS|