Help for a Begginer! Pioneer vs Onkyo ACR and Epson vs Optoma Projector for a Cinema


Standard Member
Hi all

My apologies for the random post which definitely won't live up to your technical knowledge and expertise! Im building a mini home cinema set up and need an AVR, speakers and Home cinema projector. Note im living in the UK so im buying UK spec.

I appreciate the topic is very complicated but my basic requirements are:

- I would say I would spend 40% of time listening to music from iOS devices or watching MTV through it, 20% on movies and 40% gaming through PS3 through it
- Airplay is a requirement for me but there are options as per below
- Music is very varied from hip hop and bass style stuff to movie sound tracks and classical.

For Speakers I want the Q Acoustics Cinema 2000 range which are on offer in SuperFi for £399 (unless any expert here thinks they aren't great or I can get better for similar money)

Options for the AVR are:

1. Pioneer VSX 921 K with built in Airplay, 150w per channel (?) and 7.1
2. Onkyo TX NR 609 which is less (110w?) per channel, 7.2 and supports THX + I buy Apple TV and plug this in for Airplay

The latter costing me around £180 more in total

Options for Projector are:

1. Epson EH TW 5900 or 6000
2. Optoma HD 33 or 300X

I tested the AVR's side by side and couldnt tell much difference but that was only in 10 mins and we (including the salesman) im sure didnt get the settings right for THX mode or Stereo mode etc etc

Any help or input deciding would be appreciated!!

Many thanks

A new joiner.


Distinguished Member
Your probably best to split your questions up, there is a dedicated PJ section here:

If you want people to recommend AVR and speakers as well, a budget would help. I know you have listed a couple of models and speakers but an indication of your overall budget for AVR and speakers would help.


Standard Member
OK thanks - ill split the question and post the projector one to that section

For the AVRs, I guess budget total including speakers would be around the £800 mark, but I guess regardless of budget those two come in at around the same price with a diff of £180 which im happy to spend if the Onkyo is worth it and better than the Pioneer

So its a question of Pioneer 921 vs Onkyo 609 + Apple TV, I dont know if any one knows about them well enough to give any input.....?


Distinguished Member

The only way to really tell is to get hands/ears on and have a play/listen in a store, preferably with your chosen speakers. I very much doubt that you would be unhappy with either of them. Why did you only spend 10 mins on your demo by the way? If you're going to go to all the effort of arranging a demo, make sure you have time to have a play and ensure the setup of the kit is to your satisfaction.

The Q-Acoustics have always up near the top and I doubt you would get a better sounding set of speakers for the money.

Another receiver to consider would be the Denon AVR-1912, which also has Airplay. I have always been a fan of Denon. It's been on sale for around £350 if that fits in with your budget. Denon might be less generous when it comes to inputs but are usually up there with the best at their price points. Have a search for the various models. If your AV Receiver will use a wired rather than a wireless ethernet connection, I can highly recommend Yamaha. The network streaming is a bit clunky when using a PC/Mac/NAS but the latest update to the free Yamaha AV Controller app. has enabled streaming from iOS devices. It works very well indeed. I have my Yamaha AVR hooked up to my network via homeplug ethernet.


Standard Member
OK thanks

I only had 10 mins as im constantly flat out between work and other stuff.It was more like 30 mins and the Onkyo sounded better on movies and the Pioneer more detailed on music.

With the Denon you only get 7 x 90, whereas you get 7 x 150 with Pioneer and 7 x 120 with Onkyo?

The Pioneer I heard can sound bright and brash. Not sure about whether the speakers are. I guess my only question is around some of the HDMI issues people are having with Onkyo - are they common or a couple of one-off issues? Also the receiver will be near radiators so im worried about heat effects - I heard the Pioneers run cooler.

thanks for the input - all useful.

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