VSX-823-K Review

The Pioneer VSX-823-K is a surprisingly feature rich A/V Receiver. It includes features you will absolutely love!

Among the many features which were available only on higher end receivers just a few short years ago is an ethernet port which opens up so many great entertainment options!

This is a 5.1 model, which is perfectly sufficient for most people. 140 watts again is more than enough for a condo, apartment or moderately sized home.

Initial set-up is simple, using Pioneer’s MCACC Automation Room Calibration the entire process was quick and easy. We did make some minor manual adjustments after the automatic routine was done, but they were minor and also quick.

We tested the sound modes and found them to really make a difference. Dolby® TrueHD® and DTS-HD® Master Audio provide terrific sound in most applications, but we found DTS surroundmode to work really well with Netflix and Hulu-Plus which we accessed via Roku.

We found the VSX-823-K’s six HDMI® inputs to be a much appreciated in comparison to the VSX-523-K. The HDMI inputs provide connectivity for all your sources like Blu-ray DiscTM players, cable boxes, and gaming consoles. The HDMI inputs support both 3D and new 4k Ultra HD content. One feature which we consider to be a necessity is HDMI Standby Through, which allows your sources (cable box etc.) to pass through the receiver to the television even when it is in standby mode. We would never consider a receiver lacking this feature.

Apple® connectivity on the VSX-523-K will not disappoint The front USB input now supports music playback and control for the new iPhone® 5 and iPad mini. The USB port located conveniently on the front panel lets you play back all your favorite music files, like MP3, WMA and AAC files.

The addition of an ethernet port on the VSX-823-K is brilliant! Once connected to your home network you are able to easily access Pandora and the vTuner Music Services. Both of these services require you to have a (free) account but they are truly worth having. By downloading the Pioneer Control Ap to your Smart Phone or Apple device you are able to control all functions of the VSX-823-K without using the remote. Where we found this to be most useful was in using these services without having to turn on the television set. Very nice indeed!

For just a few dollars more than the entry level model, this Pioneer receiver offers a truly impressive list of features and benefits. While we rate it very highly and believe it to be a great buy, consider the VSX-1023-K if you are interested in even more advanced features.
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