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Item#: N82E16882117398

Pioneer VSX-521-K 5.1-Channel 3D Ready A/V Receiver

  • Bluetooth® Compatible
  • HDMI (4 In / 1 Out)
  • Dolby® TrueHD & DTS-HD®
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Instantly match the sound to your room. The VSX-521 AV Receiver brings you the basics of HD home cinema, with the option to intelligently adjust the sound according to the position of your speakers using MCACC. This way, you'll always be sitting in the sweet spot for perfect audio when watching a film or gaming. With clean, compelling lines, the VSX-521 has been streamlined to look as elegant, modern and state-of-the-art as the technology inside. The VSX-521 was designed to serve one singular purpose: to get you closer than ever before to the artist's true intent.

  • newegg Unleash your Smartphone's Music with Bluetooth The VSX-521-K is fully ready for wireless Bluetooth audio from virtually any A2DP profile Bluetooth device, including iPod, iPhone, iPad, smartphones, laptops, etc. With the Pioneer AS-BT200 Bluetooth adapter, you can untether yourself from cables and inputs. And you'll enjoy near CD-quality with Sound Retriever AIR technology, created specifically to enhance Bluetooth audio.
  • newegg Ready for 3D All of Pioneer's newest receivers support the latest HDMI specification. So not only do you get the most out of your existing movies and music, with the VSX-521-K you're prepared for the next generation of 3D video content. With 4 HDMI inputs, you've got plenty of connectivity options for the growing number of high-definition sources available. All Pioneer receivers also offer advanced HDMI conveniences like Audio Return Channel and Power Save HDMI Standby Through.
  • newegg True-to-Life, High-Definition Audio and New Dolby Pro Logic IIz Of course the VSX-521-K receiver supports high-definition audio formats like Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Audio to give your Blu-ray Disc movies a soundtrack unsurpassed audio quality. But Pioneer also includes all of the Dolby and DTS surround formats best suited for the wide variety of entertainment sources, including the newest Dolby Pro Logic IIz height channel.
  • newegg Ultimate Sound Control Pioneer's exclusive Multi-Channel Acoustic Calibration system (MCACC) provides a near studio-quality, multi-channel listening experience customized specifically to your listening environment - just sit back and let MCACC do the work. Even compressed audio such as WMA, MP3 and AAC is enhanced with another Pioneer exclusive, Advanced Sound Retriever, by filling in areas where minute details were left out during the compression process. Additionally, the Auto Level Control feature can equalize volume level differences between tracks playing from an iPhone or iPod or during television programming so the volume can be enjoyed at a consistent level--no more jarring "blare" when switching audio sources.

Learn more about the Pioneer VSX-521-K




Power Output
Power Output Per Channel (20Hz-20kHz,.08%THD@8ohm): 80W

Power Output Per Channel (1kHz@8ohm): 110W

Power Output Per Channel (1kHz@6ohm): 125W
Dolby True HD

Dolby Digital Plus

Dolby Pro-Logic Iiz

DTS-HD Master Audio
D/A Converter
Audio D/A Converter: 192K/24-Bit
DSD to PCM Converter: 2 Channel

Auto Level Control: 2 Channel

Advanced Sound Retriever: 2 Channel

Sound Retriever AIR: Yes

Midnight Listening: Yes

Loudness: Yes

Tone Control: 2 Channel

Sound Delay (Lip Sync): Yes (9 Frames)
3-D Ready: Yes

Audio Return Channel: Yes

HDMI Standby Through: Yes

HDMI 36-bit Deep Color: Yes

HDMI x.v. Color: Yes


FM/AM Tuner
30 Preset AM / FM Tuner


4 In / 1 Out
Component Video
2 In
Headphone Jack
Pre-Amp Out
2.1 Ch (SW, SB/FH)
Optional AS-BT200 or AS-BT100
Other Connectors
Composite A/V Input / Output: 4 In / 1 Out (Rear)

Analog Audio Inputs / Output: 2 In / 1 Out

Digital Audio: 3 In

Large Speaker Terminals: 2


Remote Control
System Remote Control
On Screen Display
Analog OSD
Other Specifications
Digital Core DSP Engine: Texas Instruments Aureus

HDMI SACD Transfer: 2 Channel

EQ Bands: 5

MCACC Memory: 1

Distance Adjustment: 0.1 Feet

Surround Modes: 9+1 Mode DPS

Front A/V Inputs Type: Mini

Sleep Timer: 30, 60, 90 min.


Direct Energy Design

Phase Control


Symmetric EQ

Auto Surround

Stream Direct (Direct, Pure Direct)

Front Stage Surround Advance

Headphone Surround

FL Demo Mode (Feature Flashing)

Auto Power Down

FL Dimmer

Dimensions & Weight

17.16" x 6.6" x 14.27" (W x H x D)
19.8 lbs.

Quick Info


  • Limited Warranty period (parts): 1 year
  • Limited Warranty period (labor): 1 year

Customer Reviews of the Pioneer VSX-521-K

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  • Charles H.
  • 11/1/2013 4:57:30 AM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: more than 1 year
  • Verified Owner

1 out of 5 eggsDon't waste your money

Pros: Bought this from Newegg, seemed like a good deal at the time. Sounded decent for a while.

Cons: After about a year, it simply died one day. Was listening to a CD, the music stopped, the lights went out; it's been a brick since. Haven't had much luck finding someone to service it. Was looking online for a solution and came across a Audio/Visual forum site called There are a number of others who have had the exact same thing happen to them.

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  • Max W.
  • 9/3/2013 8:45:21 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: more than 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsWorks great and was cheap

Pros: It was a very cheap solution for my bedroom's home theater. It does the job it needs to.

Cons: Does some goofy on and off things when plugged in with tv.

When I run device > this receiver > tv via all hdmi the receiver will turn on and off with tv.

When I run device > tv > reciever with the tv using its optical out to the receiver, the receiver stays on after the tv turns off.

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  • Michael A.
  • 7/18/2012 8:31:42 AM
  • Tech Level: Average
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

1 out of 5 eggsGot what I paid for

Pros: Affordable
Easy to setup
Sound and video output quality is fairly good (when working at least, see below).

Cons: This model is plagued with HDMI handshaking issues, which is why I believe it was liquidated practically everywhere (picked mine up for $120 here on newegg). Out of my Comcast DVR, Sony Blueray player, Roku box, and an AMD HTPC, only the Roku box will correctly function using HDMI. The other devices are plagued with audio cutouts and black flickering screens.

Other Thoughts: Pioneer customer service was no help, after some "troubleshooting" on the phone I was informed my devices aren't HDCP compliant (even though they are) and their receiver is not at fault. They recommended if I wasn't happy with the unit to return it back to Newegg (lack luster customer service), but return shipping costs simply makes it not worth it.

After a little bit of research it quickly becomes apparent these problems propagate to a large number of owners and affect a large pool of devices, so be warned. This receiver may seem like a good deal, but you are getting what you are paying for, and less in some cases.

After my experience with this receiver, I will never be purchasing from Pioneer again and intend on advising my friends and family the same.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Anonymous
  • 6/30/2012 3:32:13 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsGlutton for Punishment or finally lucky?

Pros: I had a Pioneer 800 series and it lasted about one month out of warranty before it blew. This one was on a ridiculous sale tho, so I figured I'd give it a go. So far,, so good. Been about 90 days.

Cons: None, yet....

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  • Anthony V.
  • 6/18/2012 4:47:10 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

2 out of 5 eggsHDCP sucks

Pros: sound is fine and it does amplify

Cons: tested on 2 completely different setups and all cause my otherwise fine primary display to flash when using HDMI cables connected thru this receiver. not happy with mfr. response of "it is a HDCP compliant issue not us..."

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Kristopher T.
  • 5/2/2012 2:03:04 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

1 out of 5 eggs

Pros: Worked for about 2 weeks.

Cons: After 2 weeks the hdmi connections failed. It will not receive video or audio.

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  • Anonymous
  • 4/12/2012 7:44:10 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsGood investment, Excellent preformance, Great Value

Pros: I got this on a major sale from NewEgg one night with an $85 discount. So I got this for $135.99 plus the free shipping.
This was replacing a 20 year old Technics receiver that I have been using for a while. For the price, it was just what I was looking for to add to my system. I have the Playstaton3, HD FIOS Set-top Box, Wii and an option for my PC running through it Via HDMI. After tinkering with the setting and such, I finally gave it a test, and I couldn't be happier with the audio quality. I have a custom 5.1 speaker setup instead of going with pre setup speakers. I am basically using powerful Cerwin Vega speakers that I have been using for a few years and they sound much more valuable on this receiver than they did on my old one.

Cons: Now there was a few drawbacks that had slightly disappointed me. For 1, there is no up-conversion of lower resolution video, but I knew this because most of the feed was going to be in Full HD anyways. However my biggest draw back, and this is most likely something wil all new receivers, when you feed 2 Ch. audio into the until, it will only output the audio from the front L & R satellites. This is just a heads up. Since this is not really Pioneers fault, there is no real need to knock off an egg for this. Mainly because the only devices that feed 2 Ch [ Stereo ] audio into the unit is the Wii, STB when watching standard Def channels, playing PS1 games and watching any type of video that does not support either 5.1 or 7.1 audio. However, there is a significant boost in performance in the audio quality even if stereo is coming from 2 satellites. This is because the unit tries it's best to deliver the best sound it can decode.

Other Thoughts: Since there was a small issue with the Ch 2 from my own personal experience, I just gotten 2 powerful speakers in addition and installed them as the Stereo speakers to get the better of both worlds from SD to HD content. One other thing I should state is my old receiver split the stereo audio into a codec that was heard from all the speakers there was connected. However, coming from an old unit, it didn't sound as good as this one, even if the channel isn't divided, there is no loss in sound quality at all, for this, I am just as pleased, it would have been nice to have the divided channels though. Especially if you invested a decent amount of money into high end satellites. Overall, I am very satisfied with this unit, and big KUDOS to NewEgg as always for providing such a great value and no extra cost in shipping.

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  • Jon B.
  • 4/7/2012 7:28:04 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsGood Basic Receiver

Pros: This was perfect for my needs. I plugged in my Cable box, a Roku, a DVD player and an old VCR that I'm not quite ready to give up yet. I ran the optical audio back from my LG TV since it's not quite new enough to have audio return over HDMI. Since the Cable box, the Roku and the TV all are wired into my home network I figured I didn't need the receiver to be as well and saved some money.

Cons: The back panel is not laid out as logically as some other receivers, and it took a little experimentation to get the digital audio from the TV and old DVD player paired up properly.

Other Thoughts: This replaced an old Kenwood receiver. I redefined my Logitech Harmony 700 remote setup, made a couple of tweaks here and there, and everything is switching like it should. I also have my old iPod set up to stream audio into the receiver from my MacBook.

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  • Anonymous
  • 4/5/2012 8:12:19 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsOSD

Pros: This receiver has a OSD for under 200$ which is a great welcome overlooked by lots of people.

Cons: People need to stop complaining about the OSD you don't need to use it i never did, use the display on the receiver this is getting me mad reading these comments about it, Pioneer is the only brand that even has this for the public under the 300$ price point. If you ask me its completely pointless to begin with. Use the display on the receiver like the world's been doing for the last 25 years.

Other Thoughts: You don't have to use the On screen display so stop complaining about it!

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  • Anonymous
  • 4/5/2012 8:06:04 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsBest 5.1 receiver for less then 300$

Pros: This is a 230$(original price, I got this for 149.99$ a Steal if you ask me) receiver that sounds like it’s worth way more. I’m pretty picky as well at least that’s what my friends and family say!

Powers my CS1 Polk center with ease as well as 4 Polk monitor 30’s. And the pre out for the sub is clean(clear) I have a Polk PSW10 sub.

This receiver showed how bad my onboard audio is, under music and movies I heard static in the voices and it was bad until I used my Amd video card audio then the voices where loud and clear.

Sound retriever works great and makes MP3’s and even low quality movies sound clearer, makes my old music come to life.

Also the DSP Is great Dolby pro logic 2 works much better than it did on my old pioneer receiver(517-K)

EXT. Stereo works great for parties

Also this unit runs cool under movies and games and only gets warm under loud music

There is a pre out for 7.1 audio which I think is a nice touch

Cons: On my pc I have this connected to the HDMI port and it works great and does not in any way make my picture look worse unlike the Yamaha RX-V371 which I had. My only con is I wish I got this over the 371 to begin with.

Don’t really care for pioneer speakers love Polkaudio WAY more.

I always loved pioneer receiver s they always sound the clearest out of all the other brands(and I tested a lot of them !) and they last for a long time my family has owned pioneer receivers since the Dolby pro logic 1 days and this receiver still works even today and its over 20 years old!

Other Thoughts: I have my center and my left and right channels at 0DB and my back and sub at 3DB. The automatic setup works pretty good but I still say you should just use it to start out. I use a tape measure for my distance its lame I know but it works great!

Also the max volume is 77 and under movies and music 55-60 is real loud and clear and I use 40-45 for my games.

I’m quite familiar with all of their receivers and I must say Pioneer’s the best Price/Performance brand out there; name the price and pioneer will sell you the best receiver for that much money.

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Item#: N82E16882117398
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