Pioneer’s latest Elite receiver packs brains and brawn at a nice price

Pioneer has officially announced its CEDIA 2017 lineup, and if you’re in the market for a new A/V receiver, you’ll want to pay close attention. The Elite SC-LX502 is a 7.2-channel network receiver with a boatload of goodies to set up just about any home theater configuration you’ve got.

The LX502 offers plenty of power, including a claimed 120 watts per channel of Class D amplification at 8 ohms. Hi-fi digital conversion is accomplished via a sticker-shocking 32-bit/768kH AKM AK4458 DAC, claimed to utilize a unique output filter to convert audio signals with incredible clarity and excellent signal-to-noise performance. The unit supports numerous high-resolution audio formats, including DSD files (via PCM conversion) and multiple PCM files, including FLAC, ALAC, WAV, and AIFF at a max 24-bit/192kHz resolution.

Along with support for both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X object-based surround sound, the SC-LX502 features Dolby Surround and DTS Neural:X, which allows up-mixing of video content through speakers with height channels to take regular surround sound signals up a notch — literally.

As for Wi-Fi connection, DTS Play-Fi technology enables wireless multiroom audio streaming to a wide array of supported Play-Fi speakers to disperse sound throughout your home, though you’ll first need to download a firmware update.

The receiver also supports Blackfire’s FireConnect, a different multiroom protocol that offers network and analog audio distribution. FireConnect isn’t as prevalent as Play-Fi, but it’s nice to know that the LX502 plays nicely with lots of other devices, and it does include several built-in streaming services (including Spotify, Deezer, Tidal, and Pandora). Perhaps unsurprisingly, AirPlay is also included, with support for both 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi bands. Built-in Google Chromecast technology supports a litany of popular music streaming services, and the SC-LX502 interfaces with Google Assistant for voice control functionality via built-in speakers and microphone.

And of course, the LX502 also allows you to make up for frequency holes in your listening room with calibration software in the form of MCACC and phase control technology.

From the video side, every HDMI input save the front one supports 4K at 60 frames per second, as well as HDCP 2.2 copy protection. HDR10, Dolby Vision, and Hybrid-Log Gamma (HLG) HDR signals are supported as well (along BT.2020 wide color gamut) — as long as you’ve got a compatible 4K HDR display, of course.

The SC-LX502 will be available for purchase later this month with a relatively affordable suggested $1,099 price tag.

Pioneer’s CEDIA lineup also features several products from its Elite line, which first premiered at IFA in Berlin, including the following:

Also on hand at CEDIA this year are several speakers designed by acclaimed audio engineer Andrew Jones:

You can see it all on the show floor, and stay tuned to Digital Trends as we bring in some of this cool new gear for review.

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