LONG BEACH, CALIF. –
Pioneer shipped the first
two A/V receivers (AVRs) in its 2012 Elite series and
brought networking, Internet radio, Apple AirPlay
and other features down to the series’ opening price
point for the first time.
The opening-price model is the $450-everday
7.1-channel VSX-42, which is being joined by the
$650 7.2-channel VSX-60. The latter replaces two
models priced at $600 and $700.
In last year’s Elite series, the opening price point for
an AVR was also an everyday $450, but the starting
price for an AVR with DLNA 1.5-certified networking,
Windows 7 networking, vTuner Internet radio and Air-
Play was $600.
Also new at the $450 price point this year is remote
control via an iPod/iPhone and Android app.
In other Elite AVR changes, Pioneer is starting
Stream Smoother technology at $650, down from
$900. The technology improves the picture quality
of compressed video streamed from the Internet
through such sources as connected Blu-ray players.
The company is also starting the Pandora, Rhapsody
and the SiriusXM streaming services at $650, down
from last year’s $900.
And Pioneer Elite brought down the opening price
of Virtual Modes to $650 from $900. Virtual Modes
adds virtual height channels, surround-back channels,
depth channels, and new front-wide channels without
adding speakers. Depth channels are designed for 2.1 systems, and the height, surroundback,
and front-wide channels can be
applied simultaneously to a 5.1-channel
system to create up to an 11.1-channel
soundfield, the company said.
Both new models also feature streaming
of 192kHz/24-Bit FLAC and WAV
files from a networked device or USBconnected
device. That feature wasn’t
available at $450 in last year’s Elite line.
Both models also feature connection
to an optional $99 stereo-Bluetooth
adapter, Sound Retriever Air technology
to improve the quality of Bluetoothstreamed
music, and front-panel iPod/
iPhone/iPad-certified USB port.
The $450 8×70-watt VSX-42 can be
controlled remotely from a free ControlApp
loaded on Apple and Android mobile
devices. The Controls App controls
such functions as AVR on/off, volume,
sound modes, and ability to select Internet
radio stations, Pandora content, and
networked-PC music. The $650 AVR’s
iControlAV2012 app adds control of
18 DSP sound settings, Virtual Modes,
second-zone analog-audio audio and
The VSX-42 also features IP control,
12-volt trigger and IR in/outs.
Compared to the VSX-42, the $650
VSX-60 adds 7×90-watt amp, RS-
232 port, optional Wi-Fi Ethernet-port
adapter, four virtual speaker modes, a
more advanced form of room calibration/
correction compared to the VSX-
42, and Advanced Video Adjust.
Compared to the VSX-42, the VSX-60
also Auto Sound Retriever compressedmusic
enhancer to a TV’s HDMI audioreturn
channel. The VSX-60 also adds
networked audio, including AirPlay
audio, to the second-zone output. The
VSX-45 features six HDMI 1.4a inputs
and one 1.4a output with audio return
channel. The VSX-60 adds a front-panel
HDMI 1.4a input.