It’s strongly recommended to compare different receivers if you want to choose the best one: Onkyo TX-SR494 vs Pioneer VSX-531.
The number of channels for receivers is different - 7.2 versus 5.1, respectively, for devices. In terms of power, there are differences, the TX-SR494 has such a ratio W/Ohm - 135/6, while the VSX-531 has a power of 80/8, 140/6. A common feature for devices is the same total harmonic distortion - 0.08%.
The manufacturer installed different DACs, the TX-SR494 received the model AKM 384 KHz/32-bit, but the VSX-531 is equipped with 192 KHz/24-bit. The Bi-amping function is implemented only in the Onkyo TX-SR494. Both Onkyo TX-SR494 and Pioneer VSX-531 can transmit an audio signal directly to the amplifier and bypasses any DSP processing.
Wireless connection to the Internet via WIFI can not be performed on these receivers. Each of the receivers has a Bluetooth connector. Support for Apple Music Services not implemented. Spotify is not available for these receivers. The quality of 4K/60Hz signal remains unchanged when transmitting from a source to a TV or projector via HDMI for both receivers. Signaling over HDMI in standby mode can provide the TX-SR494 and the VSX-531. None of the devices can increase the resolution of the incoming video signal. Review participants do not have the Dolby Vision feature.
The number of HDMI inputs/outputs is the same - 4/1. HDMI Audio Return Channel is implemented in both devices. HDMI eARC is not supported by the TX-SR494 and the VSX-531. When comparing receivers, it becomes clear that each of the rivals can work with HDMI CEC. TX-SR494 and VSX-531 support the standard HDCP 2.2. Unlike most receivers, our models do not have a built-in phono stage for connecting a vinyl player. Voice control of the basic functions of the receiver is not realized in both models. There is an ECO mode in VSX-531. The Onkyo TX-SR494 can be properly configured using the setup assistant.
A Dolby Atmos multichannel audio format is available only in the TX-SR494. Only in the TX-SR494 realized a DTS:X surround technology.