Pioneer's new Dolby Atmos AVRs want to be the heart of your home cinema setup

Pioneer VSX-835 on a white background
(Image credit: Pioneer)

If you're looking to upgrade your home cinema setup, Pioneer's two new AVRs should fit the bill nicely. Both the VSX-835 and VSX-535 support Dolby Atmos, HDMI 2.1, Bluetooth and 4K/120, making them a boon or gamers. They both play nice with 8K content too – not that useful now, admittedly, but it means they're future-proofed.

They both support Dolby Surround sound, and are compatible with the HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision and BT.2020 formats of HDR.

The VSX-835 is the more premium of the two, supporting either 7.2 or 5.2.2 arrangements (the VSX-535 supports 3.2 or 3.2.2 setups). It has IMAX Enhanced Certification, and supports DTS Virtual:X and 4:4:4 colour space as well as its previously mentioned skills.

Pioneer's IMAX Enhanced Mode is optimised to meet strict performance standards concerning colour, brightness, contrast and audio fidelity, and aims to deliver content exactly as the director intended. 

With both Dolby Atmos and its DTS:X rival, the VSX-835 is better equipped for immersive sound. DTS:X automatically adapts the audio to the existing channels and speaker setups, so you don't need to follow a specific layout. And if you don't have upwards-firing or rear speakers, DTS Virtual:X will create the effect virtually (though it's never quite as good as the real thing). Atmos does this too – with Dolby Atmos Height Virtualiser – so you should get enveloping audio whatever your media formats or speaker arrangement.

Both receivers use Pioneer's auto-tuning tech to calibrate to your room. A custom microphone compensates for differences in speaker size, level and distance, and equalises the response. They restore details lost from compressed audio formats like MP3 and AAC, too, and both have 4x HDMI 2.1 in and 1x HDMI eARC. All terminals are HDCP 2.2 compliant.

Both are available now – the VSX-835 for $499 (around £390 / AU$755) and the VSX-535 for $379 (around £300 / AU$574). UK and Australian pricing is still TBC.


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Joe Svetlik

Joe has been writing about tech for 17 years, first on staff at T3 magazine, then in a freelance capacity for Stuff, The Sunday Times Travel Magazine, Men's Health, GQ, The Mirror, Trusted Reviews, TechRadar and many more (including What Hi-Fi?). His specialities include all things mobile, headphones and speakers that he can't justifying spending money on.