While most of us looking at buying an Ultra HD Blu-ray player are thinking purely about the visual upgrade that comes from 4K resolution and high dynamic range, that isn’t the case for everyone. Audiophiles might care about the picture, but they also care about audio fidelity and other features, like the ability to play back their collection of SACD or DVD audio discs. For this type of buyer, Pioneer’s new Elite UDP-LX500 universal disc player, which the company is unveiling at CEDIA, could be the perfect player.
Ultra HD Blu-ray discs spin incredibly fast — up to 5,000 rpm — and this can create a fair amount of noise, which is an issue if your player sits at the heart of your audio setup. For the UDP-LX500, Pioneer developed a low-resonance chassis to help minimize noise and vibration. This means you get the superior audio and video quality of the UHD format without the high noise sometimes associated with these discs and players.
Pioneer takes a similar approach through every aspect of the UDP-LX500, with the main board being specifically built to achieve the best possible signal-to-noise ratio. Pioneer’s Zero Signal Terminal lets you pass the reference ground signal from the player to a compatible receiver, like Pioneer’s own A/V receivers, helping to match the player and receiver, making for an even lower level of noise.
The UDP-LX500 is flexible when it comes to connections, with two HDMI outputs: one for your TV and another audio-only output meant to run to your A/V receiver. The player is flexible when it comes to formats too, letting you play your SACD and DVD Audio discs, and even includes two RCA analog outputs to run into an amp or other stereo gear.
All these features don’t exactly help keep the price tag low. While you can find a budget 4K player on the cheap these days, Pioneer’s Elite UDP-LX500 player retails for $1,100. For more information, see the Pioneer website, and to be sure you’re buying the right player for you, see our Blu-ray player buying guide and our list of the best Blu-ray players you can buy.