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Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K 7.1 Channel Receiver - Short Review

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Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K 7.1 Channel Home Theater Receiver - Front View With Accesssories

Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K 7.1 Channel Home Theater Receiver - Front View With Accesssories

Photo (C) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

The Bottom Line

The Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K 7.1 Channel Home Theater Receiver brings high-end audio and video performance, as well as flexibility, down to an extremely affordable price. This receiver delivers a strong, sustained, power output, and features on-board Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD audio processing. This receiver also has 3 HDMI inputs, and up to 1080p video upscaling. Extra bonuses include iPOD connectivity via USB port, and both Sirius Satellite/XM Radio Compatibility. After reading this review, also check out my Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K Photo Gallery

Pros

  • Power to spare, excellent audio performance, extensive surround sound settings.
  • Extensive Audio and Video Connectivity - including 3 HDMI inputs and Front USB input for iPod.
  • Very good built-in 1080p video upscaling.
  • MCACC speaker setup system works very well.
  • Runs Cool compared to some other branded-receivers.

Cons

  • Could use more HDMI inputs. HDMI input on front panel would be nice.
  • No S-video Connections.
  • Complicated to use for the novice - Remote control has small buttons.
  • No dedicated phono turntable input connection.
  • No AC convenience outlet

Description

  • 7.1 channel home theater receiver rated at 110 Watts into each of 7 channels (20Hz - 20Khz) at .09% THD.
  • Audio Decoding: Dolby Digital Plus and TrueHD, DTS-HD, Dolby Digital 5.1/EX/Prologic IIx, DTS 5.1/ES, 96/24, Neo:6.
  • 8 additional input jacks for discrete multi-channel input. Can be used for accessing SACD, DVD-Audio, or external decoder.
  • 8 Channel Preamp Outputs. Preamp outputs for second zone operation.
  • Audio inputs: Stereo Analog, 3 Digital Optical, 2 Digital Coaxial. 1 Digital Optical Audio output.
  • Video Inputs: 3 HDMI, 3 Component, 5 Composite. One set of AV inputs mounted on front panel.
  • Analog to HDMI video conversion (480i to 480p) and upscaling from 480p to 1080p via HDMI. HDMI pass-through of 1080p sources.
  • Standard AM/FM tuner, as well as Sirius and XM connectivity(Subscription and optional antenna are required).
  • Front mounted USB port for direct iPOD connection. iPOd menu navigation and file access via Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K remote.
  • MCACC automatic speaker setup. Manual override available. Wireless remote and onscreen menu setup and navigation system.

Guide Review - Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K 7.1 Channel Receiver - Short Review

Home Theater receivers have definitely evolved, with even mid-priced units incorporating features and performance, in some cases, that did not even exist as recently as a couple of years ago.

With the VSX-1018AH-K, Pioneer has incorporated such features as three HDMI video inputs, HDMI video and audio switching with analog-to-HDMI video conversion and 1080p upscaling, advanced HDMI audio capabilities, iPOD compatibility, and both XM and Sirius satellite radio.

Having had a chance to get a hands-on with the receiver, I can say that it performs its primary role very well, providing a satisfying listening experience from both movie and music source material.

In addition, the VSX-1018AH-K offers convenient and abundant features. One of my favorite features is the front mounted USB port for connecting an iPod. Another welcome feature is the option for 2nd Zone operation. In addition, in terms of setup, the MCACC automatic speaker setup system provides fairly accurate results, which can be fine tuned by the user, if desired.

Also, this is one of the least expensive receivers to offer on-board 1080p upscaling. In comparison to other home theater receivers I have reviewed with video upscaling capability, the VSX-1018AH does a good job (see video upscaling test results ).

In addition, while you should always place a home theater in an setup that allows good air circulation, the VSX-1018AH-K remains fairly cool after hours of operation. It was definitely cooler than my Onkyo TX-SR705 home theater receiver used for performance and feature comparison.

If you are planning to purchase a mid-range home theater receiver, with lots of features and good performance for the price, then Pioneer VSX-1018 definitely deserves your attention.

The Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K has a suggested retail price of $599.

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Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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