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Pioneer VSX-534 5.2-Channel AV Receiver $374 Delivered @ Selby


I don't think you will get into 5.1 surround sound new for less than this. Under $400 has been my mark. I've had two less-than-impressive sub-$100 Marketplace experiences, so new it is for me.

It's the base model and from what I can see the shortfalls are no WiFi; 4K but not full-on 4K or 8K; not eARC but only ARC; bluetooth 4.2 rather than 5. Appreciate any expert input. (Never too late to cancel)

It is 2019 tech. The only deal for it I've seen posted was $495 in 2022.

Key features from website:
• 5.2 channel surround sound AV receiver
• 135 W/ch (6 ohms, 1 kHz, THD 1.0 %, 1ch Driven)
• Dolby Atmos & DTS;X, surround formats
• Dolby Surround & DTS Neural:X Upmixing
• 4 HDMI inputs with full HDCP 2.2 support
• 4K/60 Hz full-rate pass-through, 4:4:4 colour resolution, HDR10 and BT.2020
• Dolby Vision, Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) and ARC
• Built-in Bluetooth streaming
• Digital and analogue audio inputs
• Zone B audio output terminals for expanding the Main Zone sound
• Versatile placement options measuring 435 x 148 x 321 mm (W x H x D)

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closed Comments

  • Don't really need it but this is quite tempting.

    • +2

      the lack of network features is a bummer for sub $400 its bottom of the barrel stuff

      • +1

        Why would you want network features on a receiver?

        • +3

          Spotify etc streaming.

          • +1

            @mskeggs: Won't you able to do that with your phone via Bluetooth. The quality degrade won't matter that much since people who buys in this price range are not going to connect $10 grand speakers to it anyway.

            • @craving: Running it with Bluetooth means if you start it on your phone for guests then go bust one out quickly while viewing corn on your mobile it'll start playing that instead.

          • +4

            @mskeggs: Just use chromecast

            • +2

              @MikeKulls: Won't the TV need to be on then?

            • @MikeKulls: MikeKulls, off-topic, but if you find any of those deals for the Drill-Pro 99pcs drill bit sets can you post them please? My original set has lasted me 3 years and they're the best bang for buck drill bits I've found so far. Unless you've found something better? Cheers.

    • +2

      Username checks out

  • I've been looking for a decent receiver as I watch a lot of movies and want a better audio setup but I don't have speakers or anything I just use headphones. Is this even going to matter for headphones?

    • What are you watching on?

      • LG C1 normally through a 4k blu ray player if not through an apple tv 4k

        • Headphones should be fine with this, as you're not powering much. It's speakers that would matter.

          What's pair of cans do you have?

          • @sh4hp: Philips SHP9500 open ear. I have fosi audio k5 pro driver already, is this receiver going to be much different?

            • +3

              @mullman: I wouldn't think so. Honestly the sound difference wouldn't justify the price.

              But if you are looking into building a 5.2 system in the future, then it'll be a first step.

              I would recommend waiting for a better deal.

              • +1

                @sh4hp: I'd go further and say this will probably sound much worse, as well as being massively inconvenient compared to the Fosi.
                Doesn't seem to have discrete headphone amplification and the DAC is probably not as good.
                In really specific use cases (watching directly from cheap blu-ray player), maybe some benefit from stereo downmix and Dolby features, but that would be a very strange reason to buy a surround receiver imo.

                • @flopsy: Well I want something that will give me access to those audio mixes on my blu rays but upon research it doesnt look like I'm able to have that ability via headphones anyway and my current living situation doesn't really warrant a surround sound speaker set up unfortunately

                  • @mullman: I'd suggest a refurbished micro-PC and external Blu-Ray drive.
                    Would be cheaper than this receiver and give you much more control over A/V playback, as well as countless more features.

    • +3

      Troll around fb marketplace look around for a Yamaha ht set. Sub amp and speakers can be had for $3-600. Look for NS333/555/777

      • +3

        You can get absolute bargains if you know what to look for. Scored a Paradigm Monitor 11, matching sub and Integra amp for $500. Had to drive over an hour for it but worth every dollar

        • Yeah I built my setup over time. Aimed for around 25-30% of new RRP

  • Sounds like a good deal. I've been spoilt by Onkyo though, unfortunately.

    • This receiver is entry level. Onkyo owns Pioneer. Stick to your Onkyo for this round

  • Why is the receiver so short?

    • +10

      It's not a wide receiver I guess.

  • The biggest potential shortfall I'd worry about is if the amp sounds any good but I doubt you'd get better value at this price regardless.
    Maybe just me but seems low-end receiver bargains have really dried up compared to 2010s so I think this is a great find for the right buyer.

  • +1

    I have this model and it is great for an entry level receiver.

    Have had no issues running Nvidia Shield Pro (REMUX movies), 4K UHD Blu-Ray player & Nintendo Switch through it. Everything passes through perfect (video & audio).

    The only thing that might be concern for some is it doesn't get super loud (I mean, you can't hear someone knock on your front door loud). It is still fine for me though and still rattles the windows with two subs hooked up to it ;)

    • Yup, I have the VSX515 and they definitely are good enough to drive the speakers.

      Definitely entry level. I compared it with the Onkyo TX-DS494 (similar price point at the time), and the Onkyo drives the speakers way better although it has a lower Wattage output.

  • Tempting…

    I've been looking for something to use in a small setup. All I really need is something with one or two HDMI in for bluray and android box, but it seems all the manufacturers have given up on the market for all in one tabletop style, or micro-component systems.

  • Would this be on par or worse than a Yamaha RX-V385?

    • +1

      I own the rx-v385. It only has 1 subwoofer out, unlike this which is 5.2. However the Yamaha has earc which this lacks.

    • Got the V485 a few years back for $345. Its a steal for the money. Highly recommended.

  • +4

    I had one of these receivers a while back. It is a good basic unit. It is easy to setup and use. I used it hooked up a 4k blu ray player and a Chromecast w Google TV.

    I thought it sounded good with my my speaker setup at the time. It was plenty loud enough for sane listening levels

    It can also be set up as a 3.1.2ch Atmos configuration. Meaning the rear channels are virtual. I never used it in this setup, so cant comment to how effective it is.

    Other than that, when set up as a 5.1, it will do Virtual Atmos and DTS Virtual X. You do have to do a firmware update to get this. Has to be done via USB stick as this receiver obviously does not support WiFi.

    Downsides for me were the rubbish spring clip speaker terminals for all but the main speakers and the global crossover which was inconvenient for the speakers I was running at the time. By global, I mean you can't assign different crossover levels for different speaker groups.

    For this price its a bargain and ideal for a budget setup.

    • Agree. It would of been great if it had 8K 60p/4K 120p

  • I've got a Sony STR-DN1060 receiver that's stuck in Protector mode. I've poked around inside with my multimeter under the guidance of YouTube tutorials and determined that at least the emitter resistor and transistors on one of the channels are cooked. (There could still be more problems to discover)

    I'm only running it as a 5.1 with some Sony SS-CS310CR kit speakers and a SA-CS9 sub that I picked up in some kind of all in one deal from JB nearly 10 years ago.

    Anyone got advice on if it's worth pursuing paying a tech to repair this amp (assuming I can't fix it myself) or should I consider just pulling the trigger on this instead? If a repair will cost me anything around $200+ I'd want to make sure it's worth it over topping that up a bit and getting a new receiver.

    Speaker & sub specs for reference:



    • The equivalent would be a Pioneer VSX935. So, IMO i would spend more. This is just an entry receiver for a small room. It'll be gutless when you crank it.

    • Its hard to compare old with new. It's much easier to compare old with old. I'd say search 2nd hand prices for your old reciever as well as its competitors. If you find lots of 2nd hand options cheaper than the quote from the technician repairman then maybe enquire/audition the 2nd hand items. Why pay higher than 2nd hand prices on 2nd hand items.

      A 2015 reciever is almost 10 years old. Most A/V recievers starts having niggles at that age. Capacitors dry out on 10 year old PC motherboards, TVs, etc. Its more about how annoying an unlucky the problem gets. I'd be carefully scrutinising any electronics older than a few years.

      • The comparative unit is not that old. It supports 4K 60p etc and it's disgusting how it's failed. The buyer should push for warranty repair.

  • +1

    Dumb question. Can I use 8ohm speakers? If not which speakers and subs do you recommend?

    • +2

      For sure, might be a bit quiet though.

    • 100% you can. It is rated for 6, so technically you'll be giving the speakers 125% juice if my math is mathing.

      The thing to look out for is the maximum wattage for the speaker. I.e. if you have an 8ohm 40W speaker for example, then you don't really wanna drive the speakers to the amps maximum 165W for risk of blowing the speakers.

      If you have a pair of 8ohm 150W speakers, then it'll be fine.

      • It’s 135w 1 channel at 6ohms
        2 channels at 8ohms would be about 50w
        I don’t think you will blow anything up with this amp

  • How does this compare to Denon AVR-X250BT besides the extra sub?

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