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Pioneer Steps Up Smartphone Connections In CD Receivers

Long Beach, Calif. — Pioneer shipped nine CD receivers and a digital media receiver (DMR) in its 2015 line, adding new Bluetooth connectivity features and bringing others to lower price points.

The single-CD head units are the double-DIN $150-suggested FH-X720BT and $120 FH-X520UI. The single-DIN CD models are the DEH-X6700BS, $120 DEH-X6700BT, $110 DEH-X5700HD, $110 DEH-X4700BT, $110 DEH-X3700S, $100 DEH-X3700UI, and $90 DEH-X2700UI. THE DMR is the $100 MVH-X370BT.

With the launch, Pioneer is offering its first four CD receivers with Bluetooth dual-device connection, enabling two different phones to remain Bluetooth-connected to a head unit to place hands-free calls. The feature makes it unnecessary to unpair one phone so that another phone can be paired to make a hands-free call. The feature is also available in the DMR and was available previously in DMRs.

In addition, automatic Bluetooth pairing of iPhones via a physical USB connection expands to four CD receivers from two. It’s carried over in the DMR. The process eliminates the wireless “searching for devices” process that occurs when pairing is accomplished via Bluetooth. Prices start at $110, down from $120.

The lineup also includes the company’s first CD receivers and DMR with Bluetooth’s Wideband Speech Hands Free Profile 1.6 and first CD receivers and DMR with Bluetooth AVRCP 1.5 Bluetooth music-library browsing.

HFP 1.6 with wideband speech delivers enhanced phone-call voice quality for users and recipients via an expanded frequency range (50Hz to 7kHz) and a doubling of the sampling frequency to 16kHz).

Bluetooth AVRCP 1.5 delivers wireless album browsing over Bluetooth for iPhones and Android phones. iPhone users can search through playlists, artists, songs and genres over Bluetooth. And for Android phones equipped with Android Media Transfer Protocol (MTP), users can browse through media content folders.  Compatible smartphones must be equipped with AVRCP 1.4 profile.

Also in the line, the company is expanding Siri Eyes Free to all five Bluetooth models and starting the feature at a lower price point of $110, down from $120. Siri Eyes Free enables voice control of such iPhone functions as placing a call, selecting music, composing and listening to text messages, getting navigation information, listening to notifications, and adding reminders.

Like before, all models feature USB port that connects to iOS, USB sticks, and Android 4.0+ phones with Android Media Transfer Protocol to enable head-unit control of a device’s basic play/pause/FF/rev/random/repeat functions. The head-unit display will also display track, artist and album information.

All new models also feature Pandora station creation on USB-connected iPhones and Android phones. Users press and hold a button on the new receivers to create a new Pandora station dynamically from the currently playing song or artist.

All also feature MIXTRAX, a virtual DJ that inserts transitions and effects to music played from an iPhone, iPod or USB storage device.  For an additional club-like effect, the illumination and display of receivers can be set to pulsate and change color with the tempo and intensity of the music.

Two models connect to optional SXV200 SiriusXM Vehicle Connect Tuner . The two support the tuner’s Tune Start and Tune Scan features. Tune Start begins playback of the current song from the beginning when a channel is changed, and Tune Scan lets users scan and listen to six-second samples of songs currently playing on favorite music channels.

HD Radio is built into the $110 DEH-X5700HD.