updated 05:50 pm EST, Mon March 1, 2010
Pioneer receiver has iPhone Control, Bluetooth
Pioneer on Monday put out a pair of new AV receivers highlighted most by their tight link with Apple's handhelds. At the top of the mix, the VSK-820-K has the iPhone-approved USB connection but expands on it with an iPhone Control button: where the receiver's own controls normally take over, the button can force the receiver to hand back control and let the listener pick from the touchscreen of an iPhone or iPod touch.
It and the less costly VSX-520-K both also have support for an optional Bluetooth stereo audio adapter. Most iPhone and iPod touch units, as well as the iPad and any other A2DP device, can stream audio wirelessly to a connected home theater system. A sound processor on either receiver can recognize compressed audio from most any source and automatically restore some of the lost detail.
Besides these, the two support HDMI 1.4 and produce as much as 110W of power across five channels with a pre-out for Dolby ProLogic IIz-encoded audio. The 820-K has full-size USB and RCA front jacks that are shrunk to mini form on the 520-K, four HDMI inputs versus three, and extras like automatic surround sound calibration and support for Sirius satellite radio through an add-on.
Pioneer has the receivers priced at $229 for the VSX-520-K and $299 for the 820-K, though it has provided conflicting reports on when the two will ship, putting them either in March or in April.