Summary

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8/10

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Pioneer DCS-580 DVD Home Cinema System

The DCS-580 is a 5.1-channel home cinema system, made up of the XV-DV580 DVD/CD receiver unit, four S-DV395T floor-standing speakers and the S-DV395SW subwoofer. It sits in the middle of Pioneer’s systems range, above the entry-level DCS-370 but well below the spectacular LX01, and based on the quality of those two systems our expectations are understandably sky high.

As we’ve come to expect from Pioneer, the system is exceptionally stylish. The main unit, for instance, is blacker than night and delectably slim, placing all of the controls on top to give the fascia a clean, minimal appearance – the only things on show are a headphones jack, USB port and a slab of silver to cover the disc tray.


The quality of the speakers is apparent as soon as you pull them out of the box, as they’re a lot sturdier and less plasticky than you normally find at this price. They’re tall but far from imposing, sporting a classy gloss black lower section and cloth-covered upper section. A spot of DIY is needed to attach them to the square stands (screws are supplied) but once assembled they’ll make a very fetching addition to any room.

The S-DV395SW down-firing subwoofer is compact and attractive, and because it’s passive it doesn’t require its own power supply. Completing the speaker package is a discreet satellite centre speaker.

Connections include an HDMI output that delivers 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 576p or 576i pictures to your display, optical digital and stereo audio inputs, stereo audio output, composite video and RGB SCART outputs, ports for the MCACC microphone and remote control plus antenna terminals for the FM and AM radio tuners.


The main receiver musters 60W per channel of amplification (360W in total) and can decode Dolby Digital and DTS, as well as supply Dolby Pro Logic II to expand two-channel sources to 5.1. Also up its sleeve is a wide range of DSP modes, including eight different Advanced Surround settings designed to enhance stereo or multichannel sound in a variety of ways. There are plenty of other tweaks like dialogue enhancement, bass/treble controls and bass boost, and when playing compressed audio files Sound Retriever attempts to boost them back to CD quality by recovering the data lost during the compression process.

If you aren’t able to place the rear speakers at the back of the room, then you can place all six speakers at the front of the room and use the three Front Surround modes to enjoy a surround effect.

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