Pioneer Expands Multiroom, Google Cast
Pioneer Home Entertainment is bringing wireless multiroom audio, Google Cast and Tidal streaming to its Pioneer-series AVRs for the first time, joining the first Elite-series receivers announced last month with the features.
With the shipment of the Pioneer-series 7.2-channel VSX-1131 at $599 and 5.2-channel VSX-831 at $449, the company is maintaining the opening price for Dolby Atmos in the Pioneer series at $599. The new $599 receiver, however, adds the ability to accept a DTS:X firmware upgrade, due later in the fall.
Like their predecessors, both models are networked AVRs with built-in Wi-Fi, built-in Bluetooth, AirPlay, and streaming services.
As with the previously announced Elite-series AVRs, Google Cast, wireless multiroom audio, and Tidal will be available as a future firmware update. For multiroom audio, Pioneer is using FireConnect technology developed by Blackfire Research and used in new AVRs from sister brand Onkyo.
High-Res MQA Updates Arrive
Mytek Digital released its MQA firmware update for its $1,995-suggested Brooklyn DAC/headphone-amp/phono preamp, enabling it to decode high-resolution MQA files. The Brooklyn also decodes such highres formats such as PCM 384kHz/32-bit and DSD256.
Meridian, Onkyo and Pioneer have also released firmware updates for select products, with the latter two adding MQA to headphone-equipped portable music players. Bluesound, NAD and Saturday Audio Exchange are also developing firmware upgrades.
Denon Adds High-Res To Heos
Denon upgraded its Heos wireless multiroom-audio lineup with the addition of wireless high-resolution audio streaming, built-in Bluetooth and fast Wi-Fi 802.11 ac to most models.
The features are available on new versions of the $399 Heos 5, $599 Heos 7, $199 Heos 1, and $299 Heos 3 tabletop speakers along with the compact $499 Heos amp/streamer and compact $349 Heos Link preamp/streamer. Pricing and cosmetics are unchanged.