The Sony STR-ZA2100ES versus Pioneer VSX-532 comparison makes clear all pros and cons of AV receivers. According to the results of our review, Sony STR-ZA2100ES received 6.5 points out of 10 possible, and Pioneer VSX-532 was rated 4.3 points. Both AV receivers were introduced in 2017. Identified advantages have shown that STR-ZA2100ES is better over VSX-532 mainly as a home theater processor.
For the built-in amplifier, the devices received different marks - 7 and 6, respectively, on a 10-point scale.
The number of channels is equal to the number of possible connected speakers. The Sony STR-ZA2100ES supports 7.2-channels sound, but Pioneer VSX-532 supports a 5.1-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-532 this value is 80/8 W/Ohm, and for the STR-ZA2100ES it is 75/8 W/Ohm.
|Stereo power (RMS), W/Ohm||75/8, 95/6||80/8, 150/6|
|Output impedance, Ohm||8, 6||8, 6|
|THD in stereo, %||0.09||0.08|
The score for audio features is 7 of 10 for both receivers.
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||192 KHz/24-bit|
|Pure direct (straight)||✔||✔|
|Auto speaker calibration||DCAC EX||MCACC|
|Speaker A/B switching||✖||✖|
|Other audio features||Digital Legato Linear, Sound Optimizer||Advanced Sound Retriever|
The connectivity of competitors in our comparison is equal and was rated 6 out of 10.
Bluetooth connection is now one of the main communication protocols for the receiver's control or even music broadcasting.
Wired internet connection via RJ45 allows receiver faster connection than wireless or even use NAS storages. Wired connection via RJ45 is possible in the STR-ZA2100ES only.
|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)||✖||✖|
|Other streaming services||has not||has not|
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-ZA2100ES got 7 points, but Pioneer VSX-532 received 5 points.
Sony STR-ZA2100ES is equipped with 6/2 HDMI inputs and outputs, and Pioneer VSX-532 has 4/1 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-ZA2100ES.
|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||1|
|Headphone output||0||1 x 6.3|
|Optical digital input||2||1|
|Coaxial digital input||1||1|
|Phono (MM) input||✖||✖|
|Front panel connectors||USB, HDMI, setup mic||USB, 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-ZA2100ES were rated 10 out of 10 against the 5 for the VSX-532.
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 Sony STR-ZA2100ES.
|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||✔||✔|
|Analog to HDMI scaling||✔||✖|
|HDMI to HDMI scaling||✔||✖|
|Other video features||HLG||DeepColor, x.v.Color|
In terms of evaluating additional features, the STR-ZA2100ES got 7 points, but the VSX-532 has 5.
Pioneer VSX-532 has the ECO mode.
|App control||iPhone, iPad, iPod, Android||✖|
|Tuner||AM, FM||AM, FM|
|Auto power off||✔||✔|
|Graphical user interface (GUI)||✔||✖|
|Firmware update||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.
|Multi-room zones||2||has not|
|Zone audio output||speaker, preout||has not|
|Zone HDMI output||✔||has not|
|Multi-room control||has not||has not|
|Remote control input/output (IR)||1/2||0/0|
|DC trigger output (12V)||3||0|
Sony STR-ZA2100ES got 7 points for the multichannel surround sound and Pioneer VSX-532 got 5.
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. Sony STR-ZA2100ES 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 only on the STR-ZA2100ES.
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 STR-ZA2100ES licensed by IMAX.
|Dolby (other)||Dolby Digital Plus||Dolby Digital Plus|
|DTS HD Master||✔||✔|
|DTS (other)||DTS-ES, DTS 96/24, DTS-HD||DTS 96/24, DTS Neo:X|