When Oppo exited the high-end Blu-ray player market, many were concerned that a void might exist among devices containing high-end audio interfaces. Now, Pioneer has risen to meet the challenge. The Pioneer Elite UDP-LX500 is an incredible Blu-ray player for fans of high-quality audio and video content.
**The reviewed region-free version has been professionally modified and is not available in department stores, however, you can purchase one here.**
The initial highlight of the Pioneer Elite UDP-LX500’s quality is its DAC (Digital-to-Analog Converter), a device which converts a digital signal into an analog one. “Audiophiles” will recognize this term immediately, but for those who are new to the scene, this produces much higher-quality audio than one would get from a standard Blu-ray player. Digital audio is considered to be ‘lossy’; it has a low bit-rate, and thus lacks the detail and dynamic components one might wish for. The DAC converts this audio to an analog audio signal, a smooth sound wave of a vastly higher quality. The built-in DAC is the cornerstone of this device’s features and is a noteworthy part of what makes it immediately similar to the Oppo devices of old. You will not typically see DACs built into Blu-ray players, so it is a treat to see this.
The Pioneer Elite UDP-LX500 is uniquely constructed, designed from the ground-up as a device meant to please these demographics. The chassis of the device is 1.6 mm thick and has been reinforced by a 3 mm steel plate, making the device sturdy and durable. The chassis also prevents intense vibration during the playback of discs. The UDP-LX500’s internal components are structured in three ‘blocks’. These blocks divide the device’s power supply, drive and digital processor, and analogue audio components into separate regions. The division of these components serves to prevents electrical and magnetic interference between the components, ultimately producing better quality sound. To further improve audio and video processing, the device’s circuit board is actually split into six different layers, reducing the digital noise it produces
Pioneer has also introduced its own “Zero Signal Terminal” technology in the UDP-LX500. This original feature aligns the ground level between the UDP-LX500 and a Pioneer AV receiver for high-quality signal transmission between the two.
The Blu-ray player’s region-free features are phenomenal, allowing one to use it with any voltage, on any TV in the world. Blu-ray discs and DVDs from around the world function perfectly, great for individuals who have moved to other countries or who collect foreign films. The worldwide voltage feature requires nothing more than the flick of a button to switch between 120 and 220 volts, giving you the ability to use your UDP-LX500 in North America, Africa, Asia, or Europe with no need for voltage conversion. We found that its internal Pal/NTSC conversion offered compatibility with nearly any television. This is a ready-to-go Blu-ray player that is equipped with everything you could possibly need out of the box.
Pioneer has followed in Oppo’s footsteps by removing video streaming options from their device, opting to instead purely emphasize the A/V components of their device. Due to this removalof streaming features, the unique construction seen in this device was possible. High-quality music files can still be played directly via USB instead of using streaming services.
The Pioneer Elite UDP-LX500 also features:
- SDR/HDR Preset Modes for Optimal Display Performance
- Precision Quartz Lock System
- Two Channel Audio, Multi-Surround, Bit-Stream
- Plays Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD, SACD, and Audio CD discs
- Front and Rear USB Ports
- HDR10 Support
- Acoustic Damper Tray for Better Audio
- Detailed Disc Information On-Screen Display
- Jitter-less Sound Transmission via Dual HDMI Output
- Low Latency Dolby Vision
Ultimately, the Pioneer Elite UDP-LX500 is the best alternative to the no-longer available Oppo devices. The Region-Free UDP-LX500 is easily the closest device in quality to those made by Oppo. Its features will easily please audio/visual-philes. If there is an Oppo-sized hole in your home theatre, the UDP-LX500 is easily the best alternative. As a result, we heavily recommend the Pioneer Elite UDP-LX500 Region Free model Blu-ray player. This modified, region-free version is not available in stores; learn more about the Region Free UDP-LX500 and get yours now while they are still available.