Tag: pioneer

CES: Pioneer, Kenwood, Sony flagship navigation head units


In the midst of a hall packed with countless car audio and multimedia devices were the latest offerings to come from major brands such as Pioneer, Kenwood and Sony. While some brands appear to have followed more of an evolutionary path than revolutionary, others, like Sony, have revealed new head units with substantially more technology than was available just last year.

Sony teams up with TomTom
Sony’s flagship navigation unit for 2011 comes in the form of the XNV-770BT, which is an all-new device that features fully integrated TomTom-based navigation and maps and a removable cartridge. This is an example of a revolutionary product for Sony, as there was no product in 2010 that shared the XNV’s approach to navigation.

This unit is also motorized for flip-out action, but still takes up a full two-din space and features a seven-inch WVGA touch screen. As expected, this model also features iPod and Bluetooth connectivity, as well as four-volt pre-outs and a built-in amp.

The XNV-770BT retails for $1,299.95 and is available now.

Pioneer goes bananas for Apple
While Sony decided to team up with TomTom for its latest navigation head unit, Pioneer decided to turn its flagship navigation units into extensions of the iPhone – essentially creating user-friendly docking stations that can make use of the many apps already developed for the mobile phone.

While iPhone’s navigation feature might function well for a walk downtown, or in the hands of a passenger relaying the information, Pioneer decided to integrate the iPhone into its AVIC-Z130BT and AVIC-X930BTin-dash navigation models so that the driver could utilize smartphone connectivity to Aha Radio for Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, traffic, podcasts, Pandora internet radio and App Mode.

“By providing a larger touchscreen unit installed in the dash that features a user interface specifically designed for the automotive environment and complemented by voice control features, we reduce the risk of distraction while driving,” said Ted Cardenas, director of marketing for the car electronics division of Pioneer.

The higher-end model of the two, the AVIC-Z130BT, also features 4 GB of flash memory, a seven-inch WVGA touch screen display, a 3D graphics accelerator, DVD playback and more.

The AVIC-X930BT will be available in March, while the AVIC-Z130BT will be available in April for suggested prices of $800 and $1,200, respectively.

Kenwood kicks it up a notch for 2011
For its 2011 lineup Kenwood has a broad range of models, with traditional single-din units as well as double-din navigation devices. Kenwood decided to take a similar route to both Sony and Pioneer – combined – by creating the DNX9980HD flagship navigation unit that features both iPhone integration as well as outside help from a navigation specialist or two with Germin navigation and Navteq Traffic integration.

Other key features for the device include a 6.95-inch WVGA motorized screen, voice recognition, HD radio, five-volt pre-outs and a 5.1-channel surround sound processor with DTA control.

This unit will retail for $2,00 and is expected to hit shelves in March of this year.

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Pioneer puts Twitter, Facebook features into your car


Techradar: At CES in 2008, Pioneer was one of the most exciting brands at the show.

It launched new world-beating 9th-generation Kuro plasma TVs and showcased some staggering PDP tech that’s still to be matched by any of the other big brands three years on.

But however much we don’t want to believe it, Kuro is dead. And Pioneer’s press conference at this year’s CES show concentrated solely on in-car mobile products.

Some journalists abandoned the queue for the press conference when they heard it was mobile products only, but they missed the launch of some fairly nifty in-car systems.

Possibly the most intriguing of Pioneer’s new in-car products are two in-dash car stereos which come with Aha Radio integration. The AVIC-Z130BT and AVIC-X930BT both sport touchscreen interfaces and allow you to keep in touch with your favourite social networking sites while you’re driving your car.

Yeah, sounds pretty dangerous to us, too. However, rather than having to read your Twitter or Facebook feeds off the screen, these stereos will actually read them out to you through your car’s stereo system.

So now, instead of driving to work listening to [your favourite feel-good album here], you can listen to a robotic Microsoft Sam-style computer voice reading out your mum’s tweets about baking soda and nail polish.

The system will also download and play your podcasts and all manner of other social web features, all of which require the use of your phone’s 3G connection.

During the press conference, Ted Cardenas, director of marketing for the car electronics division at Pioneer, also announced the new Pioneer SPX-SC101 SmartCradle for use with the Apple iPhone.

It’s designed to turn the iPhone into a more usable device for in-car satellite navigation. It’s a lot like a standard sat nav cradle, and is similar to many already released in that it has its own external GPS receiver, a gyroscope and an accelerometer to boost the iPhone’s GPS performance.

It includes video and audio-out functionality, which means you should be able to use a compatible in-dash screen instead of the one on your iPhone. Helpful if you’ve got a nifty in-dash stereo with a big and sexy display. No, we don’t have one either.

And finally, Pioneer also announced the expansion of its in-car Pandora internet radio range of products – there are now twelve Pioneer systems that support the service, although as Pandora is still blocked in the UK, don’t expect to see these features our side of the pond.

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3D Sound Systems: Group Test

T3.com: If you have a new 3D TV, you probably ought to consider a new sound system – come on, it’s only money; you can’t take it with you. There are plenty of audio options out there, from all-in-one systems and soundbars with built-in Blu ray decks, to speaker combos for those who own a Blu-ray player. Here are five of the best.


Best: Pure quality
Samsung HT-C9950W
Love: Innovative design. Audio and visual prowess
Hate: Very expensive

Best: Convenience
Pioneer HTP-200
Love: Convenient and quick to set up
Hate: No on-screen menus. Cheap design

Best: Sound quality
Denon AVR-1911 & KEF KHT8005
£1,400 (£400 + £1,000
Love: Awesome sound quality. Feature packed
Hate: High total price

Best: Internet content
Sony BDV-E370
Love: Internet extras. Streaming. Clear audio
Hate: Dull looks. Poor sub

Best: Extra features
Panasonic SC-BFT800
Love: Space-saving design. Wireless sub. Wide range of features
Hate: No surround sound. Lacks a certain punch

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New Pioneer car CD tuners with high-grade audio parts and advanced features

Pioneer.eu: Pioneer introduces its new range with, at the top of the line, the flagship models DEH-9300SD and DEH-8300SD. These models will be available from January 2011 at Pioneer car audio dealerships.

You can seamlessly connect your iPod, iPhone, CD, USB device, SD card or portable MP3 player. For those looking to add some extra power, both models offer complete flexibility when it comes to connecting extra amplifiers, speakers and subwoofers.

An SD card slot is discreetly hidden behind their front panels, compatible with SD and SDHC cards, and plays back a host of file formats from SD, including MP3, WMA, WAV and AAC files. A front USB input allows you to easily link USB audio devices.

The DEH-9300SD features a flap-type front panel that flips open at the touch of a button to reveal the CD and SD slots, and flips back once a format is inserted to maintain a clean dashboard look. With its Music Browser function it can automatically read the music from an SD/SDHC memory card or USB device and lists tunes alphabetically by artist, album, song or genre.

iPod Direct Control allows you to connect your iPod straight to the front USB terminal and enjoy superior sound, free from the static of an FM transmitter. As a handy extra, your iPod will charge while connected. A new “App mode” enables listening to music from various iPhone and iPod touch Apps, including games and internet radio (provided the app supports analogue audio output). An improved “Control mode” allows browsing through the songs on your iPod or iPhone with the tuner’s rotary knob.

With iTunes Tagging (currently in the UK only) on the DEH-8300SD, you can tag music to your iPod or iPhone as you listen to FM. When the iPod syncs to a computer, iTunes builds a tagged playlist so you can preview, buy, and download your selected songs.

Audiophiles can be assured of high-quality and pure audio with both units integrating high-grade audio parts such as a first-rate capacitor for the back-up line, a copper screw for PCB, Mecha and Power IC and a top-quality register for the audio line.

Full-dot OEL Displays make searching and selecting tracks from various sources more convenient. OEL technology also allows for wide viewing angles, active 3D visuals and high contrast and brightness, even in sunlight. All functions are managed through the single Rotary Commander or the optional IR remote.

The tuners boast many of the same features found in high-end home receivers including:

- high power output with the celebrated MOSFET 50 x 4 amplifier set-up for powerful sound reproduction
- a 5-band Graphic Equaliser (GEQ) to perfectly match the acoustics of your car
- Advanced Sound Retriever (ASR) technology to restore musical detail lost in the creation of compressed music files
- built-in crossovers and flexible audio/video connections utilising three pairs of pre-amp outputs (4-Volts).

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Pioneer introduces white pearl models of the CDJ-350 and DJM-350

Pioneer.eu: Pioneer’s popular CDJ-350 player and DJM-350 mixer are about to get even more desirable, with stylish pearl white models set for release at the end of January 2011. Suggested retail price is €650 for the CDJ and €550 for the DJM.

With a pearl white body, gloss finish, and red/white/blue LED display the CDJ-350-W and DJM-350-W offer home DJs the perfect party set-up with a difference.

Like the already released CDJ-350 and DJM-350, the special editions boast many of the features found on our club products, including remix-style looping and rekordbox™ compatibility on the CDJ.

Meanwhile the DJM-350-W introduces recording straight to USB, and two new creative effects: Noise and Short Echo, an all new dubbed out echo which is exclusive to the DJM-350.

Other new features include an isolator equaliser on each channel, and a Track Mark function for seamless mixes without the need for editing software.


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New Champion Series subwoofers provide a pure, rock-solid bass experience

Pioneer.eu: Pioneer has introduced its new line-up of Champion Series car subwoofers, combining high power output, clean and punchy bass and sharp new cosmetic design. They use technologies derived from our world record-breaking SPL and Competition-grade models.

New models include the 30 cm TS-W309, TS-W309S4, TS-W309D4 and the 25 cm TS-W259S4 and TS-W259D4, in shops as of mid January 2011. Available in single 4-Ohm and dual 4-Ohm, the subwoofers offer greater installation flexibility.

Each new model features a seamless composite IMPP woofer cone that has been enlarged by 14% to generate greater air movement. Together with an improved magnet structure, air vents in the basket under the spider and holes in the aluminium former that both work to reduce the mechanical resistance, this combination of innovations results in smooth response and clean, solid bass sound.

The subwoofers’ surround is constructed of a sophisticated dual-layer elastic polymer that is much lighter than rubber, decreasing the weight of the moving parts to improve control and speed, whilst guaranteeing high durability.

Additional performance features across the range include:

  • Integrated one-sided terminals: to allow for greater flexibility and easy installation, all Champion Series speaker terminals have been placed on one side of the subwoofer rather than both sides like conventional subwoofers.
  • Cupper wire voice coil with aluminium former: the aluminium used for the former improves heat radiation which eliminates the need for a heavy voice coil, decreasing its weight by 7%. In addition, the holes in the former reduce distortion.


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Smart portables continue to gain on nav systems

(Credit: Automotive News)

Car Tech: Suppliers of navigation systems and their automaker customers are facing a tough new competitor. And the competitor is, literally, in their pocket.

That pesky device stuck to the windshield continues to cause trouble, too.

According to a J.D. Power and Associates study, 60 percent of people with a factory-installed navigation system also own either a portable device or a smartphone with a navigation system. In both cases, most consumers prefer to use the installed navigation system.

But one in four, given a choice, ignores the installed system–and that might spell trouble for the future.

Thirty-six percent of survey respondents had both a portable navigation device–such as those from TomTom International and Garmin–and a system installed in their vehicle. And 28 percent of consumers with both say they prefer to get directions from the portable device.

The pattern is similar for users of smartphones: twenty-four percent of respondents have them, and 28 percent of those with both a smartphone and an installed system say they prefer to use the phone.

The October survey of 17,517 drivers suggests no immediate serious trouble for suppliers that provide navigation systems. The list includes Clarion, Denso, Alpine Electronics, Pioneer, Harman International Industries, Hyundai Mobis, and Delphi Automotive.

But they shouldn’t be complacent, said Mike Marshall, director of automotive emerging technologies at J.D. Power. “It’s important that suppliers take into account some of the features that make these systems preferable,” Marshall said.

Those features include ease of use and more frequent updates for maps and points of interest.

Also, “Prices of factory-installed navigation systems need to stay competitive,” Marshall said.

Clarion appears to be meeting the challenge. The Cypress, Calif., unit of the Tokyo company partnered with Ford Motor to create navigation systems for the automaker’s vehicles. Several of those models led the industry in the Power study, which asked consumers to rate factory-installed navigation systems.

The top four systems in the survey were the ones in the Ford Fusion, Flex and Taurus and the Lincoln MKS. Clarion supplied all of them.

Clarion supplied 13 of the 50 vehicles with navigation systems that ranked better than the industry average. Denso and Harman, each had 11 vehicles in the top 50.

Marshall said that one of the factors in Clarion’s success is its partnership with Ford.

“Clarion also supplies the Nissan Infiniti vehicles, which aren’t scoring as high as the Ford vehicles but they are still doing well,” he said. “But it’s that true partnership that really brings it home, and it’s not one supplier all by itself.”


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Pioneer awarded for Best Technology at the International DJ Awards

Pioneer.eu: At the 13th annual International DJ Award show, at world-famous Pacha (Ibiza) on 28th September, Pioneer were selected by a panel of experts – ranging from DJs and producers to promoters and the media – for its dedication to producing products the electronic music industry love to use.

Pioneer was the only manufacturer to pick up an award, thanks to the industry’s reception of the innovative CDJ-2000/CDJ-900 players and rekordbox software. The new CDJs have started to gain traction during their first Ibiza season – and are expected to become the club industry standard.

DJ Awards co-founder and renowned producer Lenny Ibizarre explains:

“The technology award is dedicated to the company that has provided the state-of-the-art new industry standard throughout the past decade. Pioneer have changed the game by redesigning the DJ Box as we know it and in doing so they have written history.”

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Limited Edition HDJ-1000 DJ headphones from Pioneer


Pioneer.eu: Pioneer introduces an updated version of the well-loved HDJ-1000 DJ headphones in two new colours (black or gold), now offering a more comfortable fit and easier low-range listening. 

The HDJ-1000 Limited offers the exceptional sound quality, lightweight design and futuristic look of the widely used HDJ-1000. But their new, innovative features deliver the next level in professional DJ headphones.

Designed for easy low-range listening and high responsiveness
The new headphones feature a thicker diaphragm (38 micrometers) and longer voice coil (1.5mm), to enable playback of low and heavy sounds, achieving high responsiveness – even with a high input. Plus, the protection resistance value in the MONO/STEREO switch has been halved, making beats and other sounds in the mid-range even easier to hear.

A more comfortable fit and better sound insulation
Low-rebound urethane on the ear pads makes for a better fit, ensuring comfort during even the longest DJ set. As with its predecessor, the huge 50mm dome driver reproduces the best possible sound clarity. And the ear pads create a tight seal on your ears for incredible sound isolation and accurate monitoring in even the loudest clubs.

Other features include the swivel mechanism with 90-degree housing rotation to support a wide range of monitoring styles, a convenient MONO/STEREO switch for single ear use and exchangeable cables and ear pads.


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The best-sounding midprice receiver is…

The Audiophiliac: I’ve reviewed a bunch of midpriced receivers over the past few months, and came away impressed by the quality of all of them. Pioneer’s VSX-1020 was an immediate front-runner, and I love the Marantz NR1601′s rich sound. Yamaha’s RX-V667 was no slouch, but Sony’s STR-DN1010 didn’t thrill me as much as the others. The receivers all carry MSRPs between $500 and $600; street prices are $100 or so less.

So it was the Denon AVR-1911 that took top honors, it just sounded better to my ears than the others. Bass definition was superb; upper treble clarity and resolution led the pack. I didn’t have all of the contenders on hand to directly compare with the AVR-1911; just the Marantz NR1601 and the Pioneer VSX-1020. The Pioneer was the brightest and in some ways the most detailed-sounding, and I felt its front-to-rear imaging was the clearest, but the NR1601 and AVR-1911 both sounded more powerful. The grenade explosions and gunfire in the “Black Hawk Down” Blu-ray had greater impact, and dialog sounded more naturally balanced over the AVR-1911.

I also felt, literally, the Denon’s bass control and power was the best of the three receivers. Not only that, the AVR-1911′s treble purity and “air” on “Goldberg Variations Acoustica,” a jazz interpretation of Bach’s Goldberg Variations was well above average for a midpriced receiver. This Blu-ray’s Dolby TrueHD sound is a great test for speakers and electronics, and the AVR-1911 decoded the drummer’s cymbals and percussion instruments with remarkable finesse.

A side benefit of the AVR-1911′s high-frequency resolution was that it had the best soundstage depth of the three receivers. That is, on a great recording like the “Goldberg” disc, the soundstage of the front left, center, and right channels seemed to simultaneously project farther forward and behind the plane of the three speakers. That spacious quality was also evident on the better-sounding movies, like “Master and Commander.”

I felt the AVR-1911′s charm was just as apparent on CDs; the receiver’s soundstage depth and dimensionality on Barbra Streisand’s “Live at the Village Vanguard” was ahead of all the other receivers. The Denon AVR-1911 is the best-sounding midpriced receiver I’ve heard this year.

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Pioneer launches new 3D-ready home cinema range

TechRadar: Pioneer has announced three new 3D-capable home cinema systems, with the ability to pass 3D signals over HDMI. Pioneer’s new line-up includes 5.1-channel HTP-610, the bar-style 3.1 channel HTP-SB510 and the 2.1 channel HTP-FS510 front speaker system.

Stylish and entertaining

Pioneer’s latest range of receiver subwoofer home cinema systems, provide what the company claims to be a “stylish as well as entertaining home cinema experience.”

At the top end of the new range, the new 5.1-channel HTP-610, is described as “a brilliant solution for immersive high definition home cinema sound in the home entertainment space.”

For those on slightly tighter home cinema budgets, Pioneer has also launched the 3.1 channel HTP-SB510 bar-style and the 2.1 channel HTP-FS510 front speaker system.

Pioneer HTP range

Pioneer’s “HTP” product range consists of a main subwoofer unit and a fully featured home cinema receiver, combined with three speaker set variations.

“All receiver subwoofer components are finished in a high-gloss, deep black, exuding a clean, minimalist feel that will enhance any living room environment,” adds the press release.

All three new systems include three of the latest specification HDMI (v1.4a with 3D) inputs and are all fully compatible with upcoming 3D TV broadcast receivers, Blu-ray Disc players and game consoles.

They also pack in integrated decoders for the latest HD audio formats, including Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, enabling “the systems to deliver sound to match the breathtaking depth and richness of high definition imagery.

Finally, Pioneer promises “the ultimate iPhone or iPod experience – without the need for a docking station” as all three systems come with a specialist cable providing a complete video and digital audio connection.

Pricing and exact release dates to follow. For now, head over to www.pioneer.co.uk for more.

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New Pioneer X-HM50 micro hi-fi system in October


Pioneer.eu: From October, Pioneer’s new X-HM50 micro hi-fi system will be available across Europe.
Despite its compact size, the X-HM50 is rich in features, incorporating:

  • a built-in docking station for iPhone and iPod,
  • a CD player,
  • an FM/AM tuner for listening to radio broadcasts,
  • an USB audio input and
  • an auxiliary line input that allows music lovers to connect other source components.

The new X-HM50 is designed to meet the needs of iPhone and iPod users as well as CD devotees who enjoy listening to their favourite music in outstanding quality at home.

Compact style
With clear, dynamic audio and sleek styling, the all-in-one X-HM50 is available in a silver or black finish. The solid front panel of this only 215 mm wide model is made from brushed aluminium.

Its compact size allows for easy setup on a bookshelf, in a bedroom or home office. The use of premium audio components provides the foundation for audio with an enormous sense of presence and expression, regardless of the source.

Versatile connectivity
A multitude of connectivity options give you the opportunity to enjoy a wide variety of digital music as well as your favourite radio stations.

The X-HM50 features a Digital Direct Connection for iPhone or iPod, offering you the purest sound performance by skipping intermediate digital-to-analogue conversion steps.

The system plays your music straight from a docked iPhone or iPod exactly as it’s stored and charges the mobile device at the same time. Equipped with a video output, the X-HM50 also allows playback of videos from iPhone or iPod on a large screen.

Playback of MP3 or WMA files is supported from both the conveniently located front USB input as well as from its built-in CD-drive mechanism, which is compatible with CD and CD-R/RW discs. Rounding off the X‑HM50 is an AM/FM RDS tuner with 40 memory presets for straightforward radio listening.

High fidelity quality
A critical factor for the sound quality, the hi-fi system’s 2-way bass-reflex speakers further enhance its performance. These 260 mm high, black wood finish enclosures, include a 120 mm woofer and 20 mm soft dome tweeter.

With 50 Watts of output per channel – driven by quality digital amplifiers and output through high-quality speaker terminals – the system is the ideal solution for music lovers looking for a lot of power and brilliant sound in a small package.

Those in search of an enhanced bass experience will appreciate the X-HM50’s subwoofer pre-out or the ‘extra bass’ boost function. For easy genre-matching music enjoyment, the hi-fi system features 6 equalizer presets: Flat/Game/Classic/Pops/Vocal/Jazz. Completing the system is a convenient timer/sleep function, which enables you to wake up and go to sleep with your favourite music.

Key features

  • iPhone/iPod docking station with charging facility
  • CD playback/USB terminal/Aux in
  • RDS FM/AM tuner with 40 presets
  • MP3/WMA playback from CD and USB
  • 50W + 50W Amplifier
  • Aluminium front panel

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