Surround Receivers

AV Receiver Wars: Pioneer Elite VSX-LX805 Vs. Integra DRX 8.4

I don’t know about you, but choosing a new AV receiver can be a frustrating experience. First, you have a lot of choices out there, which is never a bad thing. But then you have to compare features, prices, your needs, and any number of criteria that you may have. And to add, each brand has several options, making the choice harder! Well, what if you let us do all the hard work? Today, we move to Flagship-tier receivers and pit two AV receivers from Pioneer and Integra against one another! Priced at $2999, the Pioneer Elite VSX-LX805 takes on the $3200, Integra DRX 8.4. Who will be victorious in this round of AV Receiver Wars: Pioneer Elite VSX-LX805 Vs. Integra DRX 8.4?

The Criteria

In this round of Receiver Wars, we are pitting the two Flagship AV receivers from Pioneer and Integra (the Pioneer Elite VSX-LX805 and Integra DRX 8.4) against each other. With flagship receivers, money is not always the deciding factor. In this case, we will need to really focus on features that could sway you one way or the other. As always, I’ll utilize one of Rob H’s (AV Rant podcast co-host) favorite tools, the ZKelectronics AV receiver comparison tool. It’s a quick and easy way to compare AV receivers at a glance. I highly recommend you use it for your comparisons.

Pioneer Elite VSX-LX805 Vs. Integra DRX 8.4

Let’s also get this out there. The same parent company, Sound United (Massimo), owns Pioneer, Pioneer Elite, Onkyo, Integra, Denon, and Marantz. That said, among audio enthusiasts, Pioneer Elite and Integra are not as mainstream as Denon and the like. They tend to appeal to enthusiasts who have a certain aesthetic or profile in mind.

Round 1 – Base Specs

These AV receivers feature 11.4 channels allowing you to add Atmos/DTS:X/Auro 3D in a 7.4.4 configuration without external amplification needed. That’s right, both AV receivers have 11 channels of amplification onboard. Both are also HDMI 2.1 compliant (6 inputs with full bandwidth), enabling you to use your next-gen console. Honestly, these two AV receivers are so close that choosing a winner in this round will be a challenge. Let’s compare them!

Pioneer Elite VSX-LX805Integra DRX 8.4
5.4.2, 5.4.4, 7.4.2,, 5.4.4, 7.4.2, 7.4.4
11.4 channel amplification11.4 channel amplification
150 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz – 20 kHz, 2 channel driven)150 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz – 20 kHz, 2 channel driven) THX Select Certified
HDMI 2.1HDMI 2.1
Dolby Atmos, DTS:X , Auro 3D capableDolby Atmos, DTS:X, Auro 3D capable
HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, 8K Upscaling, 8K PassthroughHDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, 8K Upscaling, 8K Passthrough
AirPlay 2, ChromecastAirPlay 2, Chromecast
Ethernet, Wi-Fi, BluetoothEthernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
USB and Phono inputsUSB and Phono inputs

Result – Winner – Integra DRX-8.4

These two AV receivers are so close it was hard to choose a clear winner. The THX Select Certification is where I will give the Integra the slightest of nods. While THX Select is not the end-all-be-all for your setup, it ensures that the AV receiver will do all of the things that AV enthusiasts consider important.

Round 2 – Price

Pricing is often THE major consideration when choosing an AV receiver. But when you start considering Flagship AV receivers, price becomes less of a concern.

The Pioneer Elite VSX-LX805 is $2999 and the Integra DRX 8.4 is $3200.

Result – Winner – Pioneer Elite VSX-LX805

With both base specs being so close, the Pioneer Elite VSX-LX805, at $200 cheaper, is the winner.

Round 3 – Features

Price is important, but features are where it is at! Most people don’t mind paying a little more if they get enough value for their money. Let’s see how these two stack up against each other!

FeaturePioneer Elite VSX-LX805Integra DRX 8.4Winner
Bi-amp capabilityYesYesDraw*
Room CorrectionDirac Live/Dirac Bass/MCACCDirac Live/Dirac BassPioneer Elite
Zone 2/3 Pre-OutsYesYesDraw*
Analog Pre-OutsYesYesDraw*
Custom Installer OptionsYesYesDraw*
Whole House ModeNoYesIntegra*
* Most people won’t use this feature.

Result – Winner – Draw

This round was the hardest yet. Both of these AV receivers have options that the other does not. That said, the addition of MCACC for the Elite (Pioneers proprietary room correction), or Whole House Mode for the Integra don’t sway me one way or another. Both those options are great to have, but probably will not be used by most AV enthusiasts.

And the Winner Is – Integra DRX 8.4

In Receiver Wars: Pioneer Elite VSX-LX805 Vs. Integra DRX 8.4, the Integra DRX 8.4 pulls off the win. In this war, it was the THX Select certification that swayed my decision. With so many of the features being so evenly matched, having THX on board justifies the $200 difference between the two AV receivers. And sales happen all the time so that $200 difference might be wiped out quickly. If I am being honest, I never liked the amber color that Pioneer gave the Elite line!

But not to sound wishy-washy, I wouldn’t fault you if you decided that the $200 was better in your pocket. and went with the Pioneer Elite. No matter what choice you go with, you are getting a capable AV receiver that will last you for years to come.

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