Excerpt: You don’t expect a budget home cinema amp to be jangling with bells and whistles. But the Pioneer VSX-521 provides all the basics: four HDMI inputs, a smattering of digital audio connections for connecting a set-top box or TV (one coaxial and two optical), automatic speaker calibration, and the ability to decode high-def Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks.
Pros: B&W Zeppelin Mini, Decent build and looks, good speaker calibration system, weighty sound
Cons: B&W Zeppelin Mini, Doesn’t sound as exciting or as the class-leader, spec lacks a couple of niceties
Summary: Frugal film fans looking for a fine-sounding, 3D-compatible AV receiver are unlikely to be disappointed by Pioneer's VSX-521. It provides an exciting listening experience, with more polish than you might expect for the price.
Pros: Exciting sound quality, Well built, smart design, Four HDMI inputs
Cons: No USB media playback, Spring-clip terminals for the centre and rear channels, No on-screen user interface, No video upscaler