- Dozens of connections, HDMI switching, great audio calibration options, learning remote, iPod connector included
A fully featured AV receiver with all the features we could ask for.
Price$ 1,999.00 (AUD)
There's only one solution for today's discerning home theatre enthusiast, and that's to buy an AV receiver. What's it the solution to you may ask? Well, just about everything it turns out, especially if you opt for a powerhouse such as Pioneer's VSX-AX2AS.
The AX2 really is a very good AV receiver. Sure, it's big, ridiculously big in fact. It's also not the most attractive thing we've ever seen, though if you want to give guests the impression that you have a nuclear powered device sitting in your living room, it fits the bill perfectly. What's special about the AX2 is that it's one of the first AV receivers we've seen where we haven't thought "if only it had that" or "what's wrong with these designers, that's ridiculous."
Pioneer has truly crammed an incredible amount into this package. For a start there are the inputs. We're used to having a lot of connections on AV receivers, but Pioneer has taken things to the next level. Four HDMI inputs/outputs are the most useful inclusion, especially as HDMI is becoming increasingly common. Then there are the whopping ten composite connections, four component, eight S-video, five optical digital and others besides. Being a 7.1 system you'll also be able to connect up to seven home theatre speakers, with 170W of power provided per channel. Upgrading to the AX4 for an extra $500 also gets you USB and FireWire thrown in for good measure. If you have more devices to connect than the AX2 supports you clearly have too much money.
After connecting up all your wires it's time to get busy with some calibration. Like every AV receiver on the market these days Pioneer has bundled an automatic calibration microphone with the AX2. Unlike the others however, this one's really good. The idea behind these microphones is to set them up where you would normally sit. They then ensure all the speakers are set at the correct distance and balance the volume accordingly. Usually that's about the limit of their power, but the AX2 offers a whole lot more with reverb, standing wave and other acoustic enhancements. Should you really wish to get your hands dirty, the AX2 can bring up on-screen graphs for advanced equalisation adjustments. It's even possible to save six preset listening positions for your room, should you feel like moving round in the middle of a film. Other adjustments, such as the standing wave, can be normalised to give a balanced simultaneous calibration at multiple listening areas. These are great inclusions for the budding audiophile.
With regards to surround options, the AX2 has got all the usual suspects: Dolby Pro Logic IIx, Neo:6, Digital EX, DTS and a few others. But, behold, there's more! As a THX certified device there's a whole plethora of additional options designed to give cinematic style effects. There's THX cinema, THX music, THX surround, THX games; you get the idea. This might seem excessive, but it doesn't end there. Pioneer has also included various equalisation modes for different kinds of music and movies. That means things like sci-fi, musicals and drama for movies, or jazz, rock and chamber for audio. Finally, there's a special setting to give headphone users a surround-like effect.
Of course, with all these settings it's important that accessing them is made easy. Thankfully Pioneer has included an on-screen interface with the AX2 which makes things a good deal easier. Like every good AV receiver it's possible to reassign all the various inputs and outputs using the interface. Video output can also be switched from component input to HDMI output which is a useful inclusion. We especially liked the way the speaker outputs can be adjusted to provide bi-amplification to the front speakers using the rear surround amplifiers. This is another boon for the audiophile user. There's also a powerful learning remote with LCD screen that can be used to control all your external devices. This supports all the important functions such as macro controls too, though it is a little cluttered and cumbersome to use.
One final feature of note is the ubiquitous iPod support. No self respecting audio device comes without at least a tentative stab at keeping the legions of Apple fans happy these days, and the AX2 is no exception. It's nice to see that Pioneer has included the connection in the box; basically you just plug your iPod's dock connector into the included cable and the iPod menu appears on your screen. Pioneer's effort is one of the better implementations we have seen and the ability to continue listening to music while browsing through songs is useful. However, to browse photos or videos you have to switch back to using the iPod's own controls: a minor annoyance.
Pioneer's AX2 is definitely a great step in the right direction for AV receivers. We couldn't find much to fault with it. If you're after a powerful AV receiver with a plethora of connections then this is a great option.
Join the newsletter!
Apple iPhone X
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
cloudandco Smart Cane
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
Toys for Boys
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
UBTech First Order Stormtrooper Robot
Google Daydream View VR Headset
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Bose SoundLink Micro
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
Xbox One X
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Fallout Geeki Tikis
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Fitbit Ionic review: Impressive but not quite iconic
- 2 Acer Spin 5 review: Value for money but conditions apply
- 3 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 4 Sony LF-S50G review: Google Assistant and then some
- 5 Google Pixel 2 review: not quite 'pixel perfect' but damn close
Latest News Articles
- JBL join smart speaker arena with the portable, waterproof and (Google-powered) JBL Link range
- BenQ Debuts True 4K UHD HDR Home Cinema Projector Designed for Modern Families
- Foxtel Now's new streaming device launched weeks after TelstraTV
- Logitech announce new MX Sound speakers
- Telstra looks to solve 'Entertainment Exasperation' with new 4K Telstra TV
PCW Evaluation Team
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
- CES 2018: Belkin go big on wearables accessories
- Amazon Alexa and Echo set for Febuary launch
- OPPO Load Up A73 Smartphone With Flagship Features
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- FTExecutive Assistant (APS4)ACT
- TPSenior Business Analyst - Health - Data Linkage SystemQLD
- TPBusiness Analyst - Health - 12+ month contractQLD
- FTProgram ManagerSA
- CCSenior Front-End DeveloperQLD
- CCProgram Manager l O365, Windows 10, VMWare WorkspaceNSW
- TPBusiness Analyst - Data & Information ModellingQLD
- FTJava DeveloperWA
- FTSenior Java Developer - April startACT
- CCMid-level Architect/Technical Lead ( Java/J2EE) - Brisbane LocationVIC
- CCData ArchitectWA
- FTNetwork Engineering Team Lead/Network ManagerACT
- FTEngineer Control Systems SpecialistSA
- FTSalesforce Project ManagerOther
- CCTableau DeveloperQLD
- FTSenior .NET Developer - Back EndOther
- FTIntegration SpecialistNSW
- CCHFC Support EngineerNSW
- FTMid Level UX DesignerOther
- FTJAVA DevelopersACT
- FTGlobal Product ManagerOther
- FTUNIX Systems AdministratorOther
- FTNetwork ArchitectVIC
- FTSenior Salesforce DeveloperNSW
- FTClient Delivery DirectorACT