What HiFi: Pioneer may have pulled out of the TV market, but it has a comprehensive line-up of new products for 2010. There are two new Blu-ray players (with a pair of 3D models to follow later in the year), eight new multichannel receivers, three Blu-ray home cinema in a box systems, a trio of DVD home cinema systems, five new iPod docks and a vast array of headphones.
The two Blu-ray players, due this month, are the BDP-LX53 (£399) and BDP-330 (£299). Both new models offer a choice or wired or wireless internet connectivity, BD-Live capability. YouTube and RSS feed browsing and control via a free iPhone/iPod Touch app, but they don’t do 3D (nor will they be upgradeable to make them 3D compatible).
They have onboard decoding for audio formats up to the HD versions of Dolby Digital and DTS, and can output as either raw data or Linear PCM.
In addition they use Pioneer’s Precision Quartz Lock System to ensure jitterless digital audio transmission over HDMI to suitable Pioneer AV receivers. The system works by synchronising the digital clocks of player and receiver.
The upmarket BDP-LX53 is set apart from the mainstream model by its rigid construction, using a layered chassis and drive stabiliser Pioneer calls its ‘Armoured Chassis Concept’. This reduces vibration, and thus plays a part in the player’s superior audio performance. It’s also fitted with more advanced audio components.
Home cinema receivers
There are eight new multichannel receivers from £250 to £1200.
All of the new models (aside from the entry-level VSX-420) can be enhanced with wireless Bluetooth audio streaming and are capable of supporting 3D via the latest HDMI version 1.4 connection.
All but the cheapest two models are Works with iPhone certified too and thanks to the Pioneer iControlAV app you can use your iPhone or iPod Touch to fully control your receiver.
Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding is on board all but the entry-level model, as well as Dolby ProLogic IIz height channel processing.
The VSX-920, VSX-1020 and VSX-1025 feature the new Pioneer-developed Sound Retriever AIR specifically developed for use with Bluetooth sources, as well as internet radio.
And the forthcoming Pioneer VSX-LX53 is a replacement for the outgoing VSX-LX52 model.
There’ll be two additional high-end multichannel receivers available later this year: the SC-LX83 and SC-LX73, replacing the existing ‘LX82 and ‘LX72. Pioneer has not yet release any details on these two, but we do have a picture (below).
Blu-ray home cinema systems
Pioneer is releasing three new Blu-ray in a box home cinema systems for 2010. Key technical features common across all three models include:
• BD-Live Profile 2.0
• 1080p/24fps resolution
• 12-bit Deep Colour support
• Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio Essential
• Wireless music playback via Bluetooth
• DLNA home network connectivity
• Made for iPod/Works with iPhone certification (iPod dock included)
• Support for DivX, DivX HD and MKV vieo files
• Support for WMA. MP3 and AAC audio files
• FM radio with RDS
There’s a five-strong range of iPod docks, building on the success of last year’s XW-NAS5. The XW-NAC3 and NXW-NAC1 are equipped with docking stations for two iPods or iPhones so, using the ‘shuffle’ function, music can be played back from both of the docked devices at random. Both models are Bluetooth-enabled too.
The XW-NAC3 also includes internet radio via the Vtuner portal, DLNA connectivity and a multiline display.
For those who want video capability with their dock, the XW-NAV1 has a built-in CD/DVD drive with 1080p upscaling via HDMI, an FM radio, USB connectivity and iPod video/photo playback (via composite connection).
Later this year, two further models will arrive: the wall-mountable XW-NAW1 (£199) and the more upmarket XW-NAM1 at £350.
Oh Gizmo:You may question the need for an iPod/iPhone dock in your kitchen, but when you think about all the clever cooking related things you can do with either device, like downloading recipes, or following along with a cooking podcast, the idea does have some merit. Besides an alarm clock and an FM radio, which probably won’t see much use if you have an iDevice, the iP39 also has 2 independent cooking timers, a set of USB ports that can be used to charge other devices like a cellphone, a magnetic remote that sticks to the side so it doesn’t get misplaced, and of course a kitchen-friendly design with easy to clean membrane buttons.
Stereophile: The Stingray iTube is built around eight EL84 output tubes (four per channel), which will put out a rated 32Wpc in ultralinear mode and 18Wpc in triode mode. The modes are easily selected by flicking two switches at the rear of the amp. Among the new Stingray iTube’s many design changes and upgrades, two stand out. The first is the addition of an Apple-certified iPod dock on the amp’s top front. Read more…
What HiFi: Afraid you might miss an important call when listening to your iPhone? Well you won’t with the new Intempo Phono, which will automatically stop the music and take the call when the phone rings.
And if that’s not handy enough, your iPhone can also swivel through 90 degrees when in the dock, so you can use it to view films or videos on your iPhone or iPod Touch.
Although it’s designed specifically for the iPhone, the Intempo Phono will work with any iPod.
The dock will charge your iPhone, has built-in speakers and a subwoofer, a claimed power output of 20W and digital EQ for altering treble and bass settings, plus a loudness control.
You also get an FM tuner with 20 presets, a multi-functional LCD display, alarm and snooze functions, and a remote control.
Intempo’s Phono is available now for £99.99 from Amazon.