High channel surround sound audio was, until fairly recently, something you had to go to a commercial venue to truly experience. But at home surround sound is quickly becoming more popular, and all kinds of a/v products, technologies, and services that support it have come out which didn’t exist just a few years ago.
This isn’t just for movies either – surround sound audio for music specifically, often referred to as “spatial” audio, is quickly becoming popular too. We’re starting to see multiple services offer music, including the iconic classics, in formats designed for multi channel and dimensional speaker systems, as if you were right in the middle of the room listening to the band play all around you.
Pioneer, an audio company that we like very much, has in recent years been at the forefront of affordable a/v equipment for higher end set ups that can do things like spatial audio, and their VSX-LX505 Elite 11.2 channel a/v receiver is right among these products:
There is a guard panel that actually pops open to reveal a fairly intricate interface panel – noteworthy inclusions are buttons for presets, 6.35mm headphone jack, a mic input for calibration, a front facing HDMI slot. The input selector knob on the right is a bit much, but it’s probably there to aesthetically mirror the volume knob. The VSX-LX505 Elite also comes with a fairly basic remote which unfortunately doesn’t light up.
The back panel is somewhat minimal compared to other 11+ channel receivers and processors out there, but what’s important is that it has all the essentials for surround sound and spatial audio while keeping the relative price of the product down.
Pioneer VSX-LX505 Elite Important Specs
Here are the important specs and attributes of this product, as well as a short discussion of each if it’s warranted.
Release date: May, 2021
Power: 120 watts per channel (8 ohms, 2 ch driven) – this is probably more than enough for most full 11 channel setups.
RCA pre-outs: one available for each possible channel – when you start getting into 9+ channel systems, having enough pre-outs is, in our opinion, actually more important than having a really beefy on-board amplifier. The fact that the VSX-LX505 has an available pre-out for every channel, just in case you need it, is an excellent inclusion for being the low-price/value champion in this market.
HDMI slots: 9 total, which should be plenty for most people. 2.1/8k compatible, for those who want it. We don’t think 8k TVs are worth it yet, but it’s on every modern 11+ channel receiver that we’ve seen and will likely become the standard soon enough.
Here’s a link to the full spec sheet from their product website (which for some reason mislabels this product as a 9.2 receiver, must be an copy editing oversight)
Overall Take, As Compared to the Competition
Pioneer is a great company that has been an industry leader in affordable a/v equipment for a few years now, and the VSX-LX505 Elite is far less expensive than any other current 11+ channel receiver on the market while still having all the essential features and inputs that are currently required for 11 channel surround sound and/or spatial audio, and for that reason is a product is a pretty clear top choice for those who want to get into multi channel audio at minimal cost.
Currently available from:
‣ Amazon – see current price (affiliate link)
‣ Walmart – see current price (affiliate link)
‣ B&H Photo Video – see current price (affiliate link)
‣ Best Buy – see current price (affiliate link)
(note: some of these links also say this is a 9 channel receiver but they’re incorrect, it’s indeed 11 channels)
See our current picks for the overall best 11 channel receivers here,
Don’t think you need 11 channels? There are a lot of great and significantly less expensive 9 channel options that might work just as well for you. See our current picks for the overall best 9 channel receivers here.