Pioneer Av Receiver Review: Everything You Need to Know

If you’re looking for an AV receiver to pair with your new Blu-ray player then the pioneer VSX-933  offers all the features you need and more. Along with the convenience of controlling all your electronics from one source, this receiver optimizes the audio and visual signals, giving you the best viewing and listening experience possible

Pioneer Av Receiver Review

An Overview of Pioneer VSX-933

The VSX-933 is a new 7.2 AV receiver from Pioneer, equipped with a new interface and many streaming options.

So much so, that you dare to suspect that they at Pioneer simply suffer from choice stress and that they, therefore, decided to support everything. Yes, everything.

Packed full of features the Pioneer VSX-933 AV 7.2 Channel Receiver offers a superb range of audio options, 4k picture quality, and built-in Wi-Fi.

With an excellent range of HDMI and phono inputs, the VSX-933 seamlessly combines and distributes content. You can easily connect Blu-ray players, game consoles, and record players.

In addition to these options, the Pioneer VSX-933 has built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth allowing you to stream music from your favorite services and any smart device. It also works with SONOS and Apple Airplay.

Pioneer VSX-933 Specs & Design:

From a design perspective, the unit basically looks like every other home theater receiver on the market, taking the form of a basic yet still relatively handsome black box complete with a handy dimmable display screen and requisite knobs for volume and source selections on its front panel.

The receiver measures 7-1/8 x 6-13/16 x 14-9/16 inches (W x H x D) and weighs in at 20.7 lbs.

Pioneer Av Receiver Review

Under the hood, the unit features a Digital Quad-Core 32-bit DSP (Cirrus Logic) and a 384 kHz/32-bit D/A Conversion with AK4458 (AKM).

The device includes support for up to a 5.2.2 immersive audio configuration with two ceiling speakers or two up-firing modules.

Likewise, users can instead opt for a traditional 7.2 surround sound configuration with two surround back speakers.

Pioneer VSX-933 Setup & Navigation:

Once everything is unpacked, setting up the VSX-933 is very straightforward.

Users just need to connect their speakers to the receiver’s terminals, hook up any HDMI devices they have, and then power on the unit.

Upon initial boot-up, the unit displays a standard setup screen guiding customers through a painless configuration process that allows users to specify their speaker configuration, run the company’s MCACC and connect to Wi-Fi.

Wireless Music Streaming & Additional Features

Beyond wired home theater use, the receiver also offers several music-streaming options through Wi-Fi, including Chromecast, DTS Play-Fi, and Spotify Connect.

Likewise, the unit supports Bluetooth 4.1 wireless connectivity as well and includes integrated access to TuneIn Internet radio stations.

In practice, these features all worked great when streaming a variety of MP3s, FLAC files, and Spotify tracks from my Samsung Galaxy S7 to the receiver, offering great playback quality and strong stereo performance for a variety of songs from artists.


  • Dolby Atmos & DTS:X Support
  • 4K Dolby Vision & HDR10 pass-through
  • Chromecast built-in, Bluetooth, and DTS Play-Fi
  • Voice control via Google Assistant devices


  • Limited to 5.2.2 immersive audio systems
  • No Amazon Alexa support
  • Potential ARC sync issues with VIZIO displays
  • The warmer audio profile might not suit all tastes

Simple Interface:

Compared to the Yamaha RX-V685 we viewed a few weeks ago, the Pioneer VSX-933 presents a much simpler TV interface.

The main menu offers you only three options: system settings, a menu for the Multi-Channel Acoustic Calibration System, and a menu for Bluetooth / network settings.

The interface is still in 720p, but thanks to its fine line and letter use it appreciates relatively nicely to 4K.

Pioneer Av Receiver Review

Even if you dive deeper into these three menus, you will encounter relatively few options for an AV receiver.

The most important thing is there, but the abundance of fine-tuning possibilities that we are familiar with from Yamaha is missing here.

The interface of the VSX-933 is available in Dutch, a plus, but the explanation you get with each option is rather brief.


Is the Pioneer VSX-933 Worth Buying?

Oh yes, it is worth buying. As a flexible unit, the Pioneer VSX-934 can handle a range of set-ups. If you lack space then you can use 3 speakers and a subwoofer and let the Pioneer replicate a surround sound experience.

Pioneer Av Receiver Review

There’s plenty of HDMI inputs and outputs to connect a plethora of devices. The multiple phonos inputs are of limited use and we’d prefer an RGA input and even a VGA input. However, the HDMI inputs should be sufficient.

Where the VSX-934 excels is decoders. Both audio and visual are processed using the latest decoders ensuring your purchase is future proof.

The multiple Dolby decoders produce an immersive sound and as a 4 K-ready unit, the picture quality is excellent. Even older formats shine as they are upscaled to the best possible quality.

If that wasn’t enough, Pioneer regularly releases firmware updates which can be download via the onboard Wi-Fi or saved to a USB drive and uploaded direct.

Even if you only use the Pioneer VSX-934 as an AV receiver, it’s still a fantastic investment.

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