Pioneer VSX-531 review

If capitalism has shown us anything, it’s that money is power. Skew that into a home cinema context and that correlation isn’t necessarily as straightforward – you don’t need to spend much to get a fair bit of muscle, as the entry-level 5.1-channel Pioneer VSX-531 proves.

Delivering a claimed 130W per channel (into 6 ohms) for a rather thrifty (in AV amplifier terms) £250/$375, it’s a decent bedrock from which to begin your inevitable life-spanning march towards surround sound.

Fortunately for novices, the journey required to get the Pioneer up and running is far from arduous.

Plug the supplied microphone into the front panel’s dedicated port and by using the integrated software – in this case MCACC (Multi-Channel Acoustic Calibration System) Auto Room Tuning – you’ll be ready in the time it takes you to put batteries in the remote control and connect your Blu-ray player.

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