Pioneer SX-10AE stereo receiver review

We are no strangers to the Pioneer brand, having tested several Pioneer products in the past.
With the SX-10AE stereo amplifier, you get an affordable price, 100W of power per channel, AM/FM tuner, Bluetooth connectivity, phono preamplifier (MM) headphone output and a rugged enclosure.

Pioneer SX-10AE features

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Power: 2 x 100 (6 Ohms), frequency response: 10 – 100 000 Hz, signal to noise ratio: 100 dB, total harmonic distortion : 0.08 %, speaker impedance : 4-8 Ohms.
It has 4 analogue audio inputs and 1 output, phono input, headphone and active subwoofer outputs.
Dimensions: 435 mm x 147 mm x 321 mm, weight: 6.7 kg.

Design

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This model has a sturdy, robust casing. For the price, the build quality is good. The rigid design avoids resonances. This amplifier also features an integrated AM/FM tuner and Bluetooth connectivity. The four analogue RCA inputs can be connected to a CD or turntable. Unsurprisingly at this price, Pioneer does not include a DAC. It does, however, have A/B speaker switching. The shorter signal paths provide a clearer sound.

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The 6.3 mm headphone jack is on the front panel, along with large controls and a clear, easy-to-read text display. The remote control is simple but practical.
There’s a slightly vintage feel to the amp’s exterior, but that’s not a drawback at all.all.

Sound

We tried the Pioneer SX-10AE amplifier in a smaller room. We paired the amp with Dali Rubicon 6 speakers. The room was not yet acoustically perfect. As it was newly renovated, only a partial acoustic treatment was done. The walls are fitted with some premium double leather membrane sound absorbing panels and slanted diffusers to ensure that the sound is properly attenuated and dispersed.

However, to achieve flawless sound, the ceiling will also need some diffuser front panels, and to optimise the bass, membrane corner panels will be installed in the corners. Without improving the acoustics of the room, even the most professional audio and hi-fi equipment will not achieve satisfactory results.

The SX-10AE produced a spacious, clear, neutral sound. The result was a detailed, decisive performance. The instruments were well separated and the dynamics were quite good, although they could have been better. The midrange was also firm, and the bass and treble were fine.

The SX-10AE automatically switches off when not in use for a certain period of time (stand-by mode).
What’s really great about the SX-10AE is that the inputs are as easy to manage and the setup is as simple as possible. The speaker jacks can be simply connected to a copper speaker wire, but also accept a banana plug. You can connect two speakers using either the ‘A’ or ‘B’ connector, or a total of four speakers using both. Any source input can be connected via a simple RCA cable, including the subwoofer via the sub-out input.

What you should definitely look out for, however, is performance. The manufacturer warns about this. The warning says that this receiver can handle two 4-ohm speakers, but not four. If someone tried, they could destroy the speakers.

Otherwise, this amplifier, with its 2 x 100 watts of power, is more than enough to drive non-professional speakers.
Unlike cheaper receivers, the components inside the SX-10AE are spaced apart and air-tight. It’s important not to put anything on top of the receiver – the vent is there for a reason, if the unit can’t ventilate properly it can overheat.

Bluetooth connectivity makes set-up quick and easy, although we did find that the sound lost a bit of its range over Bluetooth.

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We recommend it for smaller rooms, because it is not strong enough for a larger room. The digital inputs were a little lacking.
You can control the amp with a remote control or smartphone.

In summary

This stereo amplifier is a great product for those who want to save money, but also want to play radio or need Bluetooth streaming. The design is simple and attractive, and despite the affordable price, it’s quality and sturdy. The built-in Bluetooth connectivity is a big plus, although the sound quality is slightly degraded when connected wirelessly. The sound is natural, spacious, clear and detailed, although the dynamics could be a little better. The bass and treble are in place, and the midrange is ideal. Recommended for studios, it also has a phono input.

Digital inputs are sadly lacking, and in larger rooms the sound is not powerful enough. It is important to pair it with good quality speakers. For smaller rooms and home studios, however, it is perfectly adequate and provides sufficient performance.
In this price range, we absolutely recommend the Pioneer SX-10AE amplifier.

Written by Róbert Polgár