Let's make the Pioneer VSX-S520 versus Onkyo TX-NR686 comparison. According to the results of our review, Pioneer VSX-S520 received 6 points out of 10 possible, and Onkyo TX-NR686 was rated 7.2 points. The release date of VSX-S520 is 2016, and TX-NR686 is 2018. After comparison, it will become clear that among these two devices, the TX-NR686 is more suitable for the role of the heart of home theater system.
For the built-in amplifier, the devices received different marks - 5 and 7, respectively, on a 10-point scale.
The number of channels is equal to the number of possible connected speakers. The Pioneer VSX-S520 supports 5.1-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.
|Stereo power (RMS), W/Ohm||50/4||165/6|
|Output impedance, Ohm||4||6|
|THD in stereo, %||0.09||0.08|
After reviewing the audio features of each model, we can rate the VSX-S520 6 out of 10, and the TX-NR686 - 9.
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 on the TX-NR686.
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 VSX-S520 can work with the main and additional set of speakers - and switch between them.
|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||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|
|Other streaming services||Deezer, TIDAL, TuneIn Radio||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 VSX-S520 got 6 points, but Onkyo TX-NR686 received 8 points.
Pioneer VSX-S520 is equipped with 4/1 HDMI inputs and outputs, and Onkyo TX-NR686 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)||1||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, phones, setup mic||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 VSX-S520 were rated 8 out of 10 against the 7 for the TX-NR686.
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 VSX-S520.
|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||✔||✔|
|Analog to HDMI scaling||✔||✖|
|HDMI to HDMI scaling||✔||✖|
|Other video features||DeepColor, x.v.Color||DeepColor, x.v.Color|
In terms of evaluating additional features, both receivers received a score of 7 out of 10.
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 TX-NR686 can be controlled by voice via Google Assistant.
|Voice control||✖||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||has not||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.
|Multi-room zones||has not||2|
|Zone audio output||has not||speaker, preout|
|Zone HDMI output||has not||✖|
|Multi-room control||has not||Onkyo Controller app, FlareConnect|
|Remote control input/output (IR)||0/0||0/0|
|DC trigger output (12V)||0||0|
For the ability to create multichannel surround sound, each of the receivers received 7 points out of 10.
|Dolby (other)||Dolby Digital Plus||Dolby Digital Plus|
|DTS HD Master||✔||✔|
|DTS (other)||DTS-ES, DTS 96/24||DTS-ES, DTS 96/24, DTS-HD, DTS-EXPRESS|