Pioneer VSX-834 7.2-Channel AV Receiver 2020 Detailed Review.
Pioneer VSX-834 7.2-Channel AV Receiver: It can be a nightmare to try and pick the right AV receiver. Because you’ve got to balance a lot of different issues. Not only do you want to think about the kinds of connections you need for your current system, but the sort of connections you might want to add over the next couple of years. Because a good AV receiver should be able to last you for a decade or more.
Are you going to be running two separate zones of speakers? Do you need both coaxial and optical inputs? Would you like the option of running separate speaker zones in the future? Getting the right AV receiver is really about answering these kinds of questions to the best of your ability.
In a lot of ways, the Pioneer VSX-834 AV receiver looks like any classic receiver of the past. From a physical standpoint, this device could easily be confused with a receiver which was constructed thirty years ago. But the classic design doesn’t tell you anything about what’s actually inside of the receiver. Within you’ll find a number of ways to help adapt your AV equipment with the latest audio and video standards so you can start enjoying them at home.
Ports & Connections
After you’ve got everything set up, you probably won’t have to break out the user manual in order to start operating things. But for novices, you will find the setup process can take some doing. The backside of your typical AV receiver will almost invariably look like a complicated nightmare.
Because the designer needs to pack about two dozen different ports back there, so it can be a bit confusing to work around. That’s true even when the ports are placed in some kind of organized, orderly, and rational way. To the extent that ordering this many ports is possible, the VSX-834 does have a reasonably well-ordered backside.
That’s mostly because of grossly redundant labeling alongside each of the ports. For example, along the top of the HDMI inputs, you’ll find each one labeled with the specific type of media, like “game” or “DVD”. You won’t find much color coding, in fact, only the speaker connections really take advantage of using color-coding at all.
Design & Layout
The Pioneer VSX-834 AV Receiver measures 17.1 x 12.6 x 6.8 inches. That makes it roughly 15% slimmer than the previous version of this machine. There’s no denying that it’s still quite large, but that large size doesn’t get in the way of the Pioneer VSX-834 being generally quite approachable.
The bottom side of the device has four feet which help lift it up. The feet are optional, but you’ll want to use them because this bit of lift provides some extra airflow under the chassis. The chassis was made with the standard metallic sheen and professional matte finish that’s become a signature of most models in this series.
Using a pretty standardized design, on one side of the device, you’ll find an input selector knob. On the other, you’ll find a master volume knob. And towards the center of the receiver, there’s a color display that can be used to help you check your current presets or otherwise go about configuring your stereo settings.
Audio & Video Presentation
If you want to change your presets, the preset button on the front of the panel needs to be held down for about three seconds. Not very intuitive, but something that’s not tough to remember. After you’ve spent some time building audio presets, it’s possible to access those settings from one of three preset buttons on the front panel. Alternatively, they can be accessed by remote control.
Sometimes you want your AV equipment to have a minimalistic remote. Many people like that kind of remote. Because when you’re only dealing with five or six buttons that you use on a regular basis, you can punch away at them without so much as having to look at the remote.
Other times, you want your AV equipment to have the kind of remote that will require you to bust out a user manual for use. Because complexity also means greater depth when it comes to your customization options. And it should be little surprise that the Pioneer VSX-834 was constructed with that type of remote.
Some people don’t need the ability to connect multiple zones of independent audio channels. Some people don’t need Bluetooth connectivity. If you’re someone who can do without one of the major features this AV receiver brings to the table, then you’ll unquestionably be able to save a couple of bucks by getting a slightly weaker unit.
But the VSX-834 provides a lot of room for growth. It’s got a forward-looking design partially because of its support for forward like HDR10 and Dolby Vision, and partly because the I/O allows you to connect up with basically anything. When it comes to ease of use, AV receivers like the VSX-834 can be tricky. Especially when they allow you to get into deep customization options.