Pioneer VSX-LX503 vs Denon AVR-S960H

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Votes 1 1
Rating 5 5

VSX-LX503 vs AVR-S960H comparison chart

Pioneer VSX-LX503 vs Denon AVR-S960H review

Pioneer VSX-LX503
vs
Denon AVR-S960H

Along with the growing popularity of custom home theater builds, the comparison of Pioneer VSX-LX503 and Denon AVR-S960H takes place. According to the results of our review, Pioneer VSX-LX503 received 8.6 points out of 10 possible, and Denon AVR-S960H was rated 7.8 points. The release date of VSX-LX503 is 2018, and AVR-S960H is 2020. Based on the data on the characteristics and features of both models, we can conclude that VSX-LX503 has better performance than AVR-S960H.

Main advantages Pioneer VSX-LX503 over Denon AVR-S960H

  • More channels, namely 9, makes this receiver more profitable than its 7-channel competitor.
  • 120/8 W/Ohm RMS makes it more productive compared to 90/8 W/Ohm RMS in another receiver in the review.
  • Both receivers have a multi-room zone function, but VSX-LX503 has 3 zones vs 2 on its competitor.

Main advantages Denon AVR-S960H over Pioneer VSX-LX503

  • Include HDMI eARC function.
  • 8K/60Hz signal pass-through is available.

Amplifiers

For the built-in amplifier, the devices received different marks - 9 and 7, respectively, on a 10-point scale.

VSX-LX503
9
AVR-S960H
7

The number of channels is equal to the number of possible connected speakers. The Pioneer VSX-LX503 supports 9.2-channels sound, but Denon AVR-S960H 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 VSX-LX503 this value is 120/8 W/Ohm, and for the AVR-S960H it is 90/8 W/Ohm.

VSX-LX503 AVR-S960H
Channels9.27.2
Stereo power (RMS), W/Ohm120/8, 230/690/8, 125/6
Output impedance, Ohm8, 68, 6
Frequency response10Hz-100KHz10Hz-100KHz
THD in stereo, %0.080.08

Audio features

After reviewing the audio features of each model, we can rate the VSX-LX503 9 out of 10, and the AVR-S960H - 6.

VSX-LX503
9
AVR-S960H
6

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 only 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.

VSX-LX503 AVR-S960H
Digital to analog converter (DAC)AK4458 384 KHz/32-bitN/A
Bi-amping
Pure direct (straight)
Auto speaker calibrationMCACCAudyssey MultEQ
Speaker A/B switching
Other audio featuresAdvanced Sound Retriever, Hi-Res audio, Reflex OptimizerAudyssey Dynamic Volume, Audyssey Dynamic EQ, Hi-Res audio

Connectivity

The connectivity of competitors in our comparison is markedly different, Pioneer VSX-LX503 scored 8, and Denon AVR-S960H scored 10 out of 10.

VSX-LX503
8
AVR-S960H
10

Bluetooth connection is now one of the main communication protocols for the receiver's control or even music broadcasting.

DLNA is the perfect way to use your local cloud storage to stream movies and music directly to a TV. You can use the DLNA protocol only with Denon AVR-S960H.

VSX-LX503 AVR-S960H
Wi-Fi2.4/5GHz2.4/5GHz
USB2 (USB 2.0)1 (USB 2.0)
Bluetooth
Ethernet (RJ45)11
DLNA
MHL

Streaming services

Now music streaming services are gaining more and more popularity. They allow users to listen to millions of songs by subscription.

VSX-LX503 AVR-S960H
Apple Music (AirPlay)AirPlayAirPlay, AirPlay 2
Amazon Music
Spotify
Other streaming servicesDeezer, TIDAL, Pandora, TuneIn RadioDeezer, TIDAL, Pandora, SiriusXM, Qobuz, TuneIn Radio

Extensive connections

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, both receivers got 8 points on our 10-point scale.

VSX-LX503
8
AVR-S960H
8

Pioneer VSX-LX503 is equipped with 7/2 HDMI inputs and outputs, and Denon AVR-S960H has 6/2 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 on Denon AVR-S960H.

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 VSX-LX503 in the HDCP 2.2 version, and Denon AVR-S960H has the HDCP 2.3 version.

VSX-LX503 AVR-S960H
HDMI input/output7/26/2
HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel)
HDMI eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel)
HDMI CEC
Digital content protection (HDCP)HDCP 2.2HDCP 2.3
Subwoofer output (LFE)22
Headphone output1 x 6.31 x 6.3
Optical digital input22
Coaxial digital input11
Composite input22
Component input/output1/02/2
Phono (MM) input
Front panel connectorsUSB, HDMI, phones, setup micUSB, phones, setup mic
Multi channel preamp output

Video features

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 VSX-LX503 were rated 10 out of 10 against the 8 for the AVR-S960H.

VSX-LX503
10
AVR-S960H
8

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 VSX-LX503 works with the 4K/60Hz video, and the AVR-S960H has the 4K/120Hz.

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 on Denon AVR-S960H.

VSX-LX503 AVR-S960H
HDR (High Dynamic Range)HDR10HDR10
4K signal pass-through4K/60Hz4K/120Hz
8K signal pass-through8K/60Hz
HDMI signal pass-through
3D signal pass-through
HDMI pass-through in standby mode
Video conversionanalog to HDMI
Analog to HDMI scaling
HDMI to HDMI scaling
Dolby Vision
Other video featuresDeepColor, x.v.Color, HLG, BT.2020HLG, BT.2020

Additional features

In terms of evaluating additional features, the VSX-LX503 got 8 points, but the AVR-S960H has 10.

VSX-LX503
8
AVR-S960H
10

Denon AVR-S960H has the ECO mode.

VSX-LX503 AVR-S960H
Voice controlGoogle AssistantAmazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, Josh.AI
App controliPhone, iPad, iPod, AndroidiPhone, iPad, iPod, Android
Displaycolour OSDcolour OSD
TunerAM, FMAM, FM
Sleep timer
Auto power off
ECO mode
Graphical user interface (GUI)
Setup assistant
Firmware updatenetwork, USBnetwork, USB
Other additional featuresIP ControlIP Control, Web Control, RS-232 Control, App Control

Multi-room

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.

VSX-LX503 AVR-S960H
Multi-room zones32
Zone audio outputspeaker, preoutspeaker
Zone HDMI output
Multi-room controlFlareConnectHEOS App, Denon 2016 AVR Remote
RS-23210
Remote control input/output (IR)1/10/0
DC trigger output (12V)20

Multichannel surround

For the ability to create multichannel surround sound, each of the receivers received 7 points out of 10.

VSX-LX503
7
AVR-S960H
7

VSX-LX503 AVR-S960H
Dolby Atmos
Dolby TrueHD
Dolby Surround
Dolby (other)Dolby Digital PlusDolby Digital Plus, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization
DTS:X
DTS HD Master
DTS Virtual:X
DTS Neural:X
DTS (other)DTS-ES, DTS 96/24, DTS-HD, DTS-EXPRESSDTS-ES, DTS 96/24, DTS-HD, DTS-EXPRESS
Auro-3D
IMAX Enhanced
Multichannel stereo
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