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Pioneer VSX-815 Receiver Review

by June 19, 2005
Pioneer VSX-815-K Receiver

Pioneer VSX-815-K Receiver

  • Product Name: VSX-815
  • Manufacturer: Pioneer
  • Performance Rating: StarStarStarStar
  • Value Rating: StarStarStarStarhalf-star
  • Review Date: June 19, 2005 19:00
  • MSRP: $ 365

Power Amplifier Design: Thermal Compensation Transistor

Surround Power: 100 watts x 7 (1kHz; 1% THD @ 8-ohms) 700 Watts total system power

Stereo Power: 100 watts x 2 (20Hz-20kHz; 0.7% THD @ 8-ohms) 200 Watts total system power

Digital Decoding & Processing: Double-precision 48-bit Motorola DACs; 192kHz/24-bit DACs, 96kHz/24-bit ADCs

DSP: Dolby Digital 5.1/EX, DTS-ES 6.1 Discrete, DTS 96/24/Neo6, Pro Logic IIx/Game Mode, WMA9 Pro, 9 Advanced Surround modes, 7-chanel stereo, Virtual surround bac

Inputs: 4 audio/video/s-video, 5 digital ins (2 optical/1 front optical/2 coax), 5.1 multi-channel input, 3 component video, front AV inputs (including optical)

Outputs: 1 component, 2 audio/video/s-video, headphone output, 7.1 preamp outputs (includes subwoofer)

Room EQ: Auto/Manual MCACC (including 5-band EQ),

Additional Features: Sleep timer, dimmer option, multi-way loudspeaker binding posts, AM/FM tuner

Remote: Preprogrammed with manufacturer codes and 1-line 8-character LCD

Dimensions: 16 9/16 " W  x 6 1/4" H x 15 13/16" D

Weight: 22 lbs. 4 oz.

Warranty: 1 year parts & labor

MSRP: $365


  • Three (3) 40MHz HDTV-compatible component video inputs
  • Plays loud
  • Flexible amplifier assignments
  • Dolby Pro Logic IIx Game Mode
  • Front A/V Inputs
  • Easy to Setup


  • Auto Setup not accurate for bass management
  • No video upconversion
  • No On-Screen Display (expected at this price point)


Pioneer VSX-815 Introduction

Despite all of the mid-fi and hi-fi product reviews written by us at Audioholics, we get a steady stream of reader requests for more entry level systems. In fact, it's almost imperative that we provide them because to assume that a manufacturer's flagship products necessarily reflect the quality and usability of its entry-level units ignores the lessons learned from our article on Product Managing Receiver Platforms & Power Ratings .

So, it was with a desire to investigate Pioneer's new entry-level line of receivers that we requested the VSX-815 and HTP-4600 , two products that give us a nice slice of Pioneer's lower-priced offerings. The VSX-815 is a 100 watt x 7 product with auto setup and room EQ. Main features for this receiver include:

  • MCACC auto setup with calibration microphone
  • 100 watts x 7 (1kHz; 1% THD @ 8-ohms)
  • Integrated biamping mode for 5.1 systems (using Surround Back amplifiers)
  • Powered Zone 2 (using Surround Back amplifiers) *not independent source
  • Programmable remote control with 1-line 8 character LCD
  • Speaker delay settings with 0.5ft increments
  • Selectable crossover (50/80/100/150/200)
About the author:
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Clint Deboer was terminated from Audioholics for misconduct on April 4th, 2014. He no longer represents Audioholics in any fashion.

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