Pioneer has just launched three new AV receivers which pack support for both Dolby Atmos and its rival DTS:X.
The two audio technologies allow for what’s called object-based audio, which essentially means you get a much more enveloping “3D” sound experience.
Of course, you’ll need the requisite speaker setup in order to take advantage of the technology, but Pioneer has provided us with three new impressive foundations for object-based audio systems.
Related: What is Dolby Atmos?
First up is the larger VSX-LX302 – a 7.2-channel receiver, which allows you to drive two subwoofers, with 170W of power per channel.
There’s support for music streaming services, including Spotify and Tidal, so you can listen to your favourite playlists through the VSX-LX302.
It also comes with a feature called Reflex Optimiser to help reduce phase-lag problems that have been known to affect some Dolby Atmos elevation speakers.
That should make for clearer mid and high tones, while the video features are similarly impressive, with support for 4K/60p/4:4:4/24-bit video signal transmission with HDCP 2.2, plus HDR support.
And that means support for all the big HDR technologies, including the most prevalent HDR10, as well as Dolby Vision and BT.2020.
Pioneer has also been generous with the ports, too, packing six HDMI inputs and two HDMI outputs into the receiver.
Elsewhere, there’s Bluetooth, Apple AirPlay and Wi-Fi support, along with built-in Chromecast technology and support for hi-res music files.
And there’s a ton of other features including a moving magnet phono stage for those looking to get into some vinyl action, along with an FM/AM radio.
Related: What is HDR?
There’ll be a DAB-enabled dongle arriving later this year, too, in case you weren’t impressed with the slew of features already.
Backing up the VSX-LX302 is the smaller VSX-932 – a 7.2-channel receiver with a lower 130W of power per channel and only four HDMI inputs and one HDMI output.
It can also only power one subwoofer and the DAC is a lesser version of the DAC in the larger model.
And finally, the VSX-832 is a 5.1-channel receiver with 130W of power per channel, and no phono input for vinyl playback.
The VSX-LX302 arrives in May, and will go on sale for £700, while the VSX-932 and VSX-832 are available now for £500 and £450 respectively.
Whereas DTS:X was originally aimed at home-use, Dolby Atmos started life in the cinema, before moving to home speaker setups.
As mentioned, both technologies expand on the standard 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound setups and make use of object-based audio.
That means sound designers don’t have to limit a sound to a particular channel, and can specify where an individual sound originates from and moves to – referred to as an audio object.
The Atmos or DTS:X system then interprets that data and plays it back within a virtual 3D space, making for a more realistic and immersive sound experience.
Let us know what you think of the new receivers in the comments.