Pioneer S-81 Home Cinema Speakers - Pioneer S-81 Home Cinema Speakers

By Danny Phillips



  • Recommended by TR
Pioneer S-81 Home Cinema Speakers


Our Score:


On the whole this is a system that you can get completely lost in, thanks to its innate warmth and sophistication, and we really can't find anything to fault from a performance perspective - everything just clicks, and the interplay between the tonally-matched speakers is mesmerising. If pushed, we'd concede that it doesn't quite attack film soundtracks with the same ruthlessness as the THX-certified Teufel System 9, but it doesn't stop the Pioneer's performance being anything less than sublime.

But some of the credit should go to the VSX-LX51 receiver driving it, which provides the ideal raw materials the S-81s need to deliver this knock-out performance and as a result proves itself to be a worthy partner.

The S-81's music performance is just as assured as its film handling and demonstrates many of the same qualities - a smoothness of tone, a fast, rhythmic delivery and plenty of detail. The fronts' wide frequency range enables it to convey punchy kick drums and delicate hi-hats in one fell swoop without batting an eyelid, and they sound astonishingly bassy even with the sub switched off.


The S-81 is a magnificent speaker system that continues Pioneer's rich vein of form after the VSX-LX51, BDP-51FD and BDP-LX71. The sound on offer is sensational with films and music, plus they're beautifully constructed and mightily attractive (even if the sub doesn't really match). Pioneer, keep up the good work.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Performance 9
  • Value 7
  • Features 9
  • Design 9

Mathew White

January 29, 2009, 9:45 pm

Please re-present this article when you have a price on these as I'm in the market for a really good set of surround speakers right now and these sound like a great purchase.


January 30, 2009, 2:14 am

8/10 for value without the price mentioned? Isn't the point of publishing reviews to help the reader make an informed decision?

Can you imagine a TrustedReviews graphics card or TV review without a mention of the price? Perhaps you should consider changing the name to


January 30, 2009, 3:16 pm

what are you guys talking about? the prices are seperate for the different speaker sets and are IN BOLD at the start of the review!


January 30, 2009, 4:25 pm

*smacks forehead* shame I didn't notice that. Guess it's easier to complain than notice I can't afford them.

Jay Werfalli

January 30, 2009, 10:44 pm

The prices were always quoted at the start of the review in bold. The price of the subwoofer was to be confirmed, but it has been now, by Pioneer, at 𨂟. Although these speakers are awesome, as a total package they are not cheap, so we have dropped the value score to 7 to reflect this.


January 30, 2009, 10:48 pm


if you were to compare this with the Teufel System 9, which do you think would come across as the best package?

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