Long Beach, Calif. -
launched its first entry-level line of in-room speakers in at least four years, promoting the five-SKU line as offering better cosmetics and performance than other speakers at their prices.
The new Home Theater and Music Speaker series ranges in price from a suggested $79 to $199 each for two bookshelf speakers, a floorstanding speaker, a center channel and a powered sub.
In its Series 3 line, the company offers a $749.99 floorstanding speaker, $249 center channel, and $349 bookshelf speaker. In the EX speaker series, prices go to a suggested $10,800/pair for a floorstanding model.
Unlike other low-cost speakers that are boxy in design, Pioneer said its new series features radio-frequency-bonded curved cabinets to provide a distinctive look as well as produce a stiffer structure that reduces cabinet resonances. The curved walls also reduce interior standing waves. Also to provide a more distinctive look, each speaker also features flush-mounted grills for each driver instead of a single grill for the entire baffle. The speakers also feature metal grilles for enhanced cosmetics and better durability in retail environments and at home.
In contrast to most entry-level speakers whose crossovers consist of a single capacitor and inductor, Pioneer said its speakers use multi-component crossovers to achieve more accurate frequency division between their drivers. All models also feature gold-plated five-way binding posts to deliver better conductivity and flexible connection methods.
All were designed by Pioneer USA's chief speaker engineer Andrew Jones, a 30-year speaker-design veteran who worked as chief engineer at KEF and Infinity before joining Pioneer in 1994. His YouTube video, which discusses the line's philosophy and build quality, can be accessed via a smartphone equipped with an app that reads the Quick Response (QR) Code barcode on the products' packaging.
The packaging also provides additional information on proper room setup and Pioneer's audio heritage as a speaker manufacturer for more than 70 years,.
The two bass-reflex bookshelf models and center channel are two-way models, and the bass-reflex floorstander is a 2.5-way model. The bookshelf models start with the $89.99 SP-BS21-LR with 4-inch woofer, 1-inch soft-dome tweeter, 80-watt maximum power handling at 6 ohms, and frequency response of 65Hz to 20kHz. The step-up SP-BS41-LR bookshelf at $199.99 each steps up to a 5.25-inch woofer, 130-watt maximum power handling, and 55Hz to 20kHz frequency response. The $79.99 SP-C21 center channel features two 5.25-inch woofers flanking a 1-inch soft-dome tweeter. It delivers 120 watts of maximum power handling and 55Hz-20KHz frequency response.
The floorstanding speaker is the $199.99 three-way SP-FS51-LR, with three 5.25-inch woofers, 1-inch soft-dome tweeter, 130-watt maximum power handling, and 45Hz to 20kHz frequency response. The $149 SW-8 bass-reflex active subwoofer delivers 100-watt output and a frequency response of 38Hz to 150kHz through its 8-inch driver. The crossover is variable from 45 to 150Hz.