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Pioneer VSX-S520

Pioneer VSX-S520
alaScore 86

214 reviews

Dec, 2018

alaTest has collected and analyzed 214 reviews of Pioneer VSX-S520. The average rating for this product is 4.1/5, compared to an average rating of 4.1/5 for other products in the same category for all reviews. People really like the size and reliability. The design and usability also get good comments.

price, usability, design, reliability, size

We analyzed user and expert ratings, product age and more factors. Compared to other products in the same category the Pioneer VSX-S520 is awarded an overall alaScore™ of 86/100 = Very good quality.

Review analysis

(Based on 214 reviews)

Expert Reviews  

User Reviews  

Showing 157 review(s)

Expert Reviews User Reviews


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Showing 1 - 137 of 157 Show Reviews: in English | in other languages (8)

Consumer review ( review summary for Pioneer VSX-S520


alaTest has collected and analyzed 127 user reviews of Pioneer VSX-S520 from The average user rating for this product is 3.9/5, compared to an average user rating of 4.0/5 for other products in the same category on Opinions about the design and size are overall positive. The reliability and usability are also mentioned favorably.

price, usability, reliability, size, design

80% of the reviews on give this product a positive rating.

This summary is based on the products: Pioneer VSX-520-K 5.1 Home Theater Receiver (Old Version)Pioneer VSX-520-K 5.1 Home Theater Receiver (Old Version)

Dec, 2018

Expert review by : Tom Andry (

Pioneer VSX-520-K Receiver First Look


One of our favorite things is to see the trickle down of technology. Sure it sometimes happens way to slow for our liking, but occasionally a manufacturer makes a leap that literally floors us. Pioneer has done that before, and it looks like they are...

Pioneer seems to be pushing the envelope of what we can expect in an entry-level receiver. We really think they have cut the right corners with the Pioneer VSX-520-K. While we think a lot of users will miss the MCACC auto setup, we think the inclusion...

Mar, 2010

Expert review by : Tom Andry (

Pioneer VSX-520-K Receiver Preview


We really think Pioneer has cut the right corners with the Pioneer VSX-520-K. You can add surround back/height channels, Bluetooth control, and with HDMI 1.4 it is ready for 3D all for $229.

Mar, 2010

Expert review by : Billy Bommer (

Pioneer VSX-S520 Review


The Pioneer VSX-S520 is the slimmest AV receiver on the market, which makes it a good choice if your home entertainment center has little space to spare. However, its size comes with some downsides – it's not very powerful, only has four HDMI inputs...

This is the most compact AV receiver on the market.

It doesn’t have enough power to create great home surround sound.

The Pioneer VSX-S520 is a good fit if you plan on using smaller speakers to build a 5.1 system.

Sep, 2017

Expert review by : What Hi-Fi? (

Pioneer VSX-520 review


Three 3D-ready HDMI sockets are part of the decent spec list for the Pioneer VSX-520

Solid build ; automatic speaker calibration ; focused, direct sound ; three 3D HDMI inputs.

Lacks the punch, scale and dynamics of the top amps at this money ; speaker terminals detract from the build quality

A solid performer, but sounds a little underwhelming compared to its rivals.

Oct, 2010

Expert review by : Danny Philips (

Pioneer VSX-520 review


A sexy, feature-packed AVR from Pioneer with sizzling sound

Classy design ; decent sound quality ; sports a healthy feature count

Springclip speaker terminals ; lacks a little punch ; no OSD

Pioneer's 2010 receivers are the best looking on the market, and that applies even to the bottom-end of the range, represented by the VSX-520

Feb, 2011

Expert review by (

Pioneer VSX-520-K review


The VSX-520-K isn't Pioneer's cheapest AV receiver, but its three HDMI 1.4a inputs plus decoding of Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD MA soundtracks makes it more appealing than the 420-K, which costs £50 less but only has two HDMI 1.3 inputs and can't decode...

Competent, but the better-sounding Onkyo SR308 makes it seem overpriced

Aug, 2010

Consumer review (

Sounds Amazing


When I first bought this system, I was using two Sony bookshelf speakers in 2.0 configuration, and they sounded Ok. I decided I needed surround sound, so I bought the Klipsch HD 300 speakers. Good speakers make all the difference. Also if you're using...

The sound quality of this system redefined my definition of good sound. It has plenty of inputs for me, and switches HDMI. It is 3D capable if I ever decide to buy into that scam. The receiver doesn't cause lag between my PC and my HDTV

The FM reciever is not very sensitive ; The Bluetooth module is another $100 ; Ever since I bought this, other systems I thought were great just seem mediocre now

Jun, 2012

Consumer review (

great for the $$$


review is not a play by play for why it is a good value, just reinforcing other reviews that it is, indeed, a good value.

does what it should and more for the money

none at this price point

Feb, 2011

Consumer review (

Great receiver


I hope it lasts me many years, and it is future proof with 3D and HDMI 1.4.

This is a great receiver, it has become my hub for my entertainment system. It has crisp and clear sound

Won't do Dolby trueHD from my ps3, but that's my ps3's fault since the older fat models can't decode it

Nov, 2010

Consumer review (

I'm not mad, just disapointed


Returned defective unit for replacement after trying other every other possible issue for 2 weeks. After a few days my RMA status showed as Approved with a replacement coming. After a day it still stated replacement but had not updated with shipping...

Wide variety of inputs, 3D ready, came with free Bluetooth adapter. Lots of decode options, inluding TrueHD and DTS-HD and passthrough of surround LPCM (for PS3, which decodes internally and sends the uncompressed signal to receiver) to speakers

Had multiple video connection issues on HDMI connection. Whenever input was shanged or source reset video connection roughly 60% of the time receiver would output an "Invalid Signal" output severely distorted video, output video with with layer of pink...

Oct, 2010

Product Specifications

The Pioneer VSX-520-K delivers amazing home theater performance in an elegant package at a surprising value. With connectivity options for all your latest high-definition home theater components, the VSX-520-K takes it a step further with support for the latest high-definition audio formats, and support for your portable devices via a front panel mini-jack input and compatibility with Bluetooth sources.


Audio D/A Converter (DAC):192kHz/24-bit / 24-bit/192kHz
Audio output channels:5.1
Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR):98

Audio System

Built-in Decoders:DTS Express / Dolby Pro Logic IIz / Dolby Pro Logic IIx / DTS decoder / Dolby Digital / DTS 96/24 / DTS Neo:6 / DTS-ES decoder / Dolby Digital Plus / DTS-HD decoder / Dolby TrueHD / Dolby Digital EX
Functions (KA):AV receiver
Sound Output Mode:Surround Sound
Subcategory (KA):AV components
Surround Sound Effects:Front Stage Surround
Surround System Class:5.1 channel
Type:AV receiver


Coaxial Digital Input: Yes
Headphone Jack: Yes
Optical Digital Input: Yes


Color of product:Black
Device type:Blu-ray Player

Dimensions & Weight


Energy Management

Power consumption (standby):0.45
Power consumption (typical):130 / 240 / 260

File formats

Audio formats supported:MP3 / MP3, WMA
Image formats supported:JPG


Packaged Quantity:1
Product Line:Pioneer VSX


Digital audio coaxial in:1
Digital audio optical in:2

Media Types

Disc types supported:BD-R, BD-RE, BD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-R, DVD-R DL, DVD-RW / BD-R, BD-RE, BD-ROM, DVD-R, DVD-R DL, DVD-RW




Wi-Fi: No

Other Features

Audio system:Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio
Dimensions (WxDxH):16.5 x 6.22 x 13.7
HDMI ports quantity:3
Output Power:130W
Portable: Yes
Power Requirements:AC 220 - 230 V / 50/60 Hz


Headphone connectivity:3.5 mm

Ports & interfaces

Audio (L,R) out:1
Component video (YPbPr/YCbCr) out:1
Composite video in:1
Composite video out:1
USB 2.0 ports quantity:1


Power consumption (standby):0.45
Power consumption (typical):240 / 260


Tuner Bands:AM/FM
Tuner Type:Digital

Remote Control

Type:Universal remote control

Technical Details

Color of product:Black / Silver
Equalizer: Yes
Input sensitivity & impedance:200 mV / 45 kΩ


3D compatibility: Yes
Video D/A Converter (DAC):192MHz/24-bit

Weight & Dimensions

Weight:19.6 / 25.1