Surround Receivers

Inflation Break: Pioneer Budget AV Receivers VSX-835 and VSX-535

Everyone is complaining about inflation and prices. It makes sense that if you are going to cut back it would first happen with your hobbies. You would love a full Atmos system, but the cost of all those speakers and a full-featured AV receiver quickly adds up. Not to mention that there are a lot of rooms that simply don’t need that many speakers. Pioneer introduces the VSX-835 and VSX-535 budget AV receivers to meet your needs if not your ultimate wants. Let’s take a closer look!

Pioneer VSX-835 and VSX-535 Prices and Main Features

Let’s start with the most pertinent information first. Pioneer is helping you stay on budget with the pricing of their VSX-835 and VSX-535 AV receivers. The VSX-835 will run you $499 at retail with the VSX-535 clocking in at $399. As you might expect, you won’t be able to connect a full Atmos speaker system to these. The VSX-835 maxes out at seven speakers and the VSX-535 at five. While Pioneer isn’t putting it on the front page, each of these sports 80 watts/per channel into 8ohms (two-channels, 0.08% THD). They have four HDMI 2.1 compliant inputs, eARC-ready HMDI output, and dual subwoofer pre-outs.

The new Pioneer offerings are fairly flexible in their configurations. The five-channel VSX-535 supports your traditional 5.2 speaker layout as well as 3.2.2 for those with more challenging rooms. The VSX-835 can power a 7.2 system or can be configured for 5.2.2. You can also choose to run a traditional 5.2 system with the two extra channels of amplification routed to a Zone 2 or to bi-amp your front speakers. We will note that the dual subwoofer pre-outs are mirrored, something we prefer.

Room Correction, DTS:X, and Other Features of Note

Pioneer has included their MCACC room correction with the VSX-835 and VSX-535. There are three sets of RCA audio inputs, a single optical and coaxial input, and an FM tuner. Bluetooth version 5.0 is built-in for streaming from your phone or other device. SBC and AAC are supported. One thing to take note is that the VSX-535 does NOT support DTS in any form. For the extra $100, the VSX-835 not only has two extra channels of amplification but it also supports both DTS and IMAX formats.

Take Away

It’s easy to fall down the rabbit hole of features when you are shopping for an AV receiver. We were excited that Pioneer had introduced the VSX-535 and VSX-835 budget AV receivers. These have enough features for many rooms while keeping the prices down. The lack of DTS support on the VSX-535 is a little worrying for those who care about getting all of the lossless formats. The flexibility of both of these units is pretty impressive considering their price points.

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