Long Beach, Calif. - Pioneer expanded its Elite series
of A/V receivers (AVRs) to lower price
points and incorporated multiple new features for the first time, including 3D-capable
HDMI 1.4a inputs, optional stereo-Bluetooth connectivity, Dolby Pro Logic IIz
post processing to add two front-height channels, and proprietary technology to
add left-right wide channels.
Those features, as well as Internet radio streaming, start
at the series' new opening price point of a suggested $550. In the previous
Elite lineup, Internet radio streaming started at $1,700, and the previous line's
opening price was $700.
Six new models consist of the $550-suggested VSX-30, $650
VSX-31, $800 VSX-32, $1,000 VSX-33, $1,600 SC-35 and $2,200 SC-37. They ship in
July and August. It wasn't clear at press time whether the company's $7,000
flagship 10-channel receiver would be carried over.
The series now overlaps in price points with the company's
five-SKU mainstream AVR series, whose 2010 models were launched
earlier this year at suggested prices of $229, $299, $399, $549 and $749.
As it did last year,
Pioneer is promoting Elite models' certification by London's Air Studios
recording studio and THX as delivering reference-sound performance. All models
are certified by THX as meeting either its Select2 Plus or Ultra2 Plus
performance standards, and the top two models add certification by Air Studios,
making them the only AVRs on the market to be certified by both companies,
Pioneer said it is extending its long relationship with both
companies to underscore its A/V
specialty roots and its mission to bring the passion and emotion of
musicians, music producers, post-production houses, movie producers and other
creative types into the home.
At the $550 price
point, the 7.1-channel VSX-31 offers an Ethernet connection to stream thousands
of Internet radio stations, four HDMI 1.4a inputs and one output, THX Select2 Plus
certification, iPod/iPhone-certified front-panel USB to stream stored audio and
video, playback of audio and pictures stored on other USB devices, full-color
onscreen GUI, 1080p up-scaling of analog and digital video sources via Anchor
Bay technology, control via a free iPhone/iPod Touch app, and proprietary Sound
Retriever technology to restore fidelity to compressed-music files, including
music streamed via Bluetooth. The AVR also features proprietary sound-leveling
technology to even out the level disparities between audio sources,
compressed-music tracks and transitions from TV programs to commercials.
Proprietary MCACC technology corrects for the deleterious sonic effects of a
At a suggested $650,
the VSX-31 adds five back-panel HDMI 1.4a inputs, one front-panel HDMI input,
and second-zone analog-A/V output. The $800 VSX-32 and higher models add
Marvell Qdeo 1080p/24 fps video processing, HDMI audio return channel, and HDMI
jitter reduction for improved sonic accuracy. The $1,000 VSX-33 adds three-zone
output, with the third output being audio only. At $1,600, the SC-35 adds Air
Studios certification, and at $2,200, the SC-37 adds THX Ultra2 Plus
certification, RF LCD remote, Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) 1.5
certification to stream music and photos from a networked PC, Sirius Internet
radio and Rhapsody's on-demand music service.
features in all models include RS-232C ports, interfaces with select
home-control systems, two 12-volt triggers and detachable power cords.
Elite's new optional pug-in stereo Bluetooth adapter is the AS-BT100
at a suggested $99.