Clean audio gives consumers a surprise, but durability, part swaps keep them coming back
Headphones for professional musicians and hardcore audio enthusiasts are in a different class than most mainstream options that flood retail space. Many focus on the pure sound signature and comfort needed for long sessions, leading to a focus on over-the-ear designs. To fill the gap in the market for on-ear headphones, Pioneer introduced the HDJ-C70. But does Pioneer's crack at a professional-grade on-ear model pay off, or should musicians and music fans seeking the best audio quality look elsewhere? Find out in our review.
Marks first practical support for platform
Pioneer has issued long-delayed firmware updates, bringing support for Apple's CarPlay platform to several of its NEX receivers. These include the AVH-4000NEX, AVIC-5000NEX, AVIC-6000NEX, AVIC-7000NEX, and AVIC-8000NEX, which range in cost from $700 to $1,400. CarPlay is also an option on the new $600 AppRadio 4. To leverage of the technology, users must have an iPhone 5 or better, running at least iOS 7.1.
Car audio company gets minority shares in new DJ audio company, Onkyo
Pioneer's vision for the future is shifting, as it was announced this week that the company is spinning its disk-jockey audio line off into a new company. Through an agreement with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), the private equity firm will acquire a majority share in the new company, tentatively titled Pioneer DJ. News follows a change in the previously-announced venture, that would see the home audio division splintered from Pioneer, selling it to Onkyo in its entirety.
Headphones feature interchangeable parts, smaller ear cups and rotatable arms
Pioneer Electronics has announced a new set of professional headphones in its DJ line today, with the HDJ-C70. The company took a different stance on design with the HDJ-C70s than other DJ headphones in the past, moving to create a lightweight headset to fit the sound quality demands and comfort needed for heavy use.
Serato Flip integration allows 'hot cue combination' loops, builds on previous deck
Pioneer Electronics announced a new DJ controller today, one that the company touts as being the first to include Serato Flip functionality. The new DDJ-SX2 controller contains purpose-designed buttons, improved reaction time of the jog wheel, and multi-colored performance pads. Additionally, the DDJ-SX2 brings some additional features to the table, including a built-in sound card, assignable settings, and multiple connection options behind its aluminum top panel.
Pioneer releases update for its digital music management software
Pioneer has announced the release of an updated version of Rekordbox for OS X, its digital music management software. Rekordbox is designed for DJing, and allows users to export tracks and playlists to USB devices and the Rekordbox app. During a DJing session, performance history is automatically saved, and after a set the user can review and prepare for a future performance by adding comments and ratings to an old set.
More then half of Pioneer division being offloaded to Baring Private Equity
Electronics manufacturer Pioneer has agreed in principle to a deal that will see most of its struggling audiovisual hardware business sold to rival Onkyo and an investment firm. Pioneer will sell a 51 percent stake in Pioneer Home Electronics to Baring Private Equity Asia. The remaining 49 percent will be split between Onkyo and the Pioneer parent company -- Onkyo and Pioneer will continue to sell products under separate banners.
Stylish speakers feature compact design, high-end coverings, 360-degree sound
Two new Bluetooth speakers have been announced by Pioneer Electronics, focusing on ease of use and style. The XW-LF3 and XW-LF1 "Free Me" speakers feature a lightweight design with 360 degrees of sound. The Bluetooth units are small enough to be carried in a bag, but are made to stand out with their high-end look.
Accessory maker speeds up CarPlay deployment
Pioneer has begun demonstrating Apple CarPlay-ready NEX head units to various media outlets, and will actually introduce CarPlay support in "a few weeks," the company says. That support is slated to arrive in the form of a software update for current NEX units, beating expectations that the public would have to wait for new models shipping in the summer. To install the update, owners of compatible NEX products will have to download firmware from Pioneer's website and copy it to a USB drive.
Five new receivers planned
Audio specialist Pioneer has announced plans to ship five Apple CarPlay-compatible receivers this summer. The new models in the NEX series will all have large LCD displays, but come in at very different price points. The cheapest model, the AVH-4000NEX, is set to cost $700. Higher-end models will ship for $750, $900, $1,200, and $1,400. Pioneer is also promising various non-CarPlay related improvements; the units are expected to have more responsive interfaces, for example, and better sound and safety features.
Pioneer distances itself from service rep's statement
Kenwood isn't planning any aftermarket CarPlay add-ons for 2014, says a marketing manager for the company, Scott Caswell. He in fact suggests that Apple could be reserving CarPlay as a perk for automakers, who may want it to entice new car buyers. The manager adds, though, that Kenwood products already support some subsets of CarPlay, like Siri and media playback. CarPlay proper involves duplicating iOS control functions on an in-dash display.
Suggests workarounds coming for cars without built-in support
Pioneer is exploring the possibility of adding CarPlay support to its current and future aftermarket car add-ons, a customer service representative for the company says. Although the claim doesn't constitute an official announcement, and no specific products have been named, it may represent the first hint that CarPlay could reach vehicles that don't even have built-in dash displays. Mercedes-Benz has proposed retrofitting older models for Apple's technology, but that might still be limited to cars with integrated displays.
Two Elite, three Pioneer-branded models revealed
Today, Pioneer Electronics has introduced five new A/V receivers into its Home Electronics Division. The VSX-824 5.2-channel, VSX-1024 and VSX-1124 7.2-channel receivers join the line-up of Pioneer-branded home theater receivers, and the VSX-44 and VSX-80 7.2-channel receivers join the company's Elite branded receivers. All five support the recently-announced HDMI 2.0 specification.
Video-oriented sound bar includes Bluetooth streaming receiver
Pioneer has been heavily invested in home audio for decades. Couple that expertise with the predilection for flat screen televisions to have equally flat-sounding speakers, and the fit seems obvious. Couple a television-oriented sound bar with wireless audio streaming from a smart device, and the value equation just gets better, assuming the product is of sufficient quality. Recently, Electronista has been given the chance to try out the Pioneer SP-SB23W sound bar, with Bluetooth audio streaming capability. Check out our review to see what we thought of the system.
New model uses same user interface as higher-end DDJ-SX, SR
The Pioneer Electronics Sound and Visual Division today unveiled a new addition to its "DDJ-S" Serato based line of controllers, the DDJ-SB, which features similar operability as Pioneer's DDJ-SX and recently announced DDJ-SR. The DDJ-SB 2-channel DJ controller is designed for the entry-level DJ who wants the same look and feel as the two higher-end models but with more basic operability and at a lower price point.
New unit Lightning-enabled, can draw power from connected PC
Pioneer Electronics announced its next generation DDJ-WeGO2 ultra-compact DJ controller that makes it easy to learn DJing essentials by providing users with a simple means of creating mixes with user-supplied music collections. Like its predecessor, the DDJ-WeGO2 offers functions that simplify DJing including Jog FX, Pulse Control, multi-color LED illumination, Virtual DJ Limited Edition DJ software for Windows and Mac, and additional support for other DJ software such as Algoriddim’s djay.
New line optimized for longevity, bass response
Pioneer Electronics's Professional Sound and Visual Division today introduced a new line of active DJ speakers designed for audio feedback while practicing DJing skills. The new line of DJ speakers are offered in four models; S-DJ80X, S-DJ60X, S-DJ50X and S-DJ50X-W. They feature three types of inputs, built-in equalization, and enhanced sound quality over previous models.
App for iOS can control DJ deck functions over Wireless Direct
Pioneer has created a DJ system that can be controlled through an app. The XDJ-R1 can follow commands sent from a "remotebox" app on an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch over Wireless Direct, allowing the DJ to move around a venue and still have control over most of the deck's functions. This includes controlling the volume levels, playlist management, and the ability to mix songs from a USB device.
Both receivers upscale to 4k, provide multi-zone audio
Pioneer Electronics today introduced the Elite SC-71 and SC-72 home theater AV receivers, offering enhanced audio performance utilizing the power of Class D3 amplification. The 7.2-channel receivers are designed to deliver high quality audio and video output along with multi-zone and multi-source capability, 4K Ultra HD upscaling, high-resolution audio playback and wireless control via Pioneer’s proprietary iControlAV2013 App.
Two new models boast enhanced connectivity, greater flexibility
Pioneer Electronics has deployed two new smartphone connectivity options for the car with two versions of its next generation AppRadio 3 smartphone connected in-dash receiver -- the SPH-DA210 and the SPH-DA110. Both AppRadio 3 models feature compatibility with MirrorLink enabled smartphones in addition to the current AppRadio compatibility with both iOS and select Android smartphones.
VSX-70 ready for 4k, both receivers boast multiple HDMI outputs
Pioneer Electronics today introduced two new Elite home theater AV receivers, the Elite VSX-43 7.1-channel receiver and VSX-70 7.2-channel receiver, designed for expanded entertainment options controllable throughout the home. The new receivers incorporate high-resolution file format playback, expanded multi-zone and multi-source management and functionality, custom installation features, AirPlay and 4K Ultra HD compatibility. Both receivers are controllable by way of Pioneer’s smartphone apps for iOS and Android.
We check out Pioneer's touchscreen head units, most of which connect to iPhone 5
Car audio gear maker Pioneer Electronics debuted a number of new wares at the 2013 CES show, including three new double DIN navigation receivers from its AVIC range and three multimedia-focused DVD receivers, two of which fold out from a single DIN slot. All six don't ship until March, so the early look was appreciated.
SMA series update adds internet streaming as input source
Pioneer Electronics has deployed a free firmware update that adds the Pandora Internet radio and vTuner Internet radio services as available features on its line of SMA series Wi-Fi speaker systems, the XW-SMA1-K, XW-SMA3-K and XW-SMA4-K. With the update, Pandora and vTuner are incorporated as sources available on the wireless speakers.
Pro-level mixer integrates multitouch with DJ tools
The Pioneer Electronics Inc., Professional Sound and Visual Division has unveiled the new DJM-2000nexus performance mixer. The DJM-2000nexus offers more music mixing functions, including the new Beat Slice and Sync Master, available in conjunction with Pioneer’s Pro DJ Link. The mixer also incorporates a built-in full-color 5.8-inch LCD multi-touch panel with screen effects, evolved Beat Effects, Pro DJ Link and MIDI control capability.
Pioneer disc burner supports 3D Blu-ray movies, due early in May
Pioneer has just detailed its new BDR-2207 internal Blu-ray burner that supports BDXL optical media with capacities of up to 128GB. Calling it its most powerful and full-featured drive, Pioneer said it can write at up to 12x speeds onto BD-R and BD-R DL media as well. There is a SATA connection onboard as well, and the bundled CyberLink software lets users play back Blu-ray movies on a PC. With the proper hardware behind it, users can watch 3D Blu-ray content using the drive as well.
Three models in the Steez line, two audiophile
Pioneer Electronics disclosed five different on-ear headphones models today. Three of the headsets come from the Steez line, directed at the dance and DJ scenes. The other two are noise-reducing headphones aimed at the audiophile market, one with enhanced passive external sound reduction and the other with active noise cancellation technologies.
Use air chambers to deaden noise
Pioneer is launching a new series of headphones designed for professional DJs and musicians. The HDJ-1500 carries paired 50mm drivers embedded in sound insulating casings with air chambers to reduce the sound by 4dB and help hear the intended mix. The ear cups are held by magnesium alloy carriers to help them withstand the typically tough
Pioneer adds two Elite AV receivers, AirPlay/DLNA
Pioneer has taken the covers off to new additions to its Elite range of AV receivers. Both the Elite VSX-42 and the Elite VSX-60 sport AirPlay support for lossless iTunes and iOS streaming, as well as support for DLNA (1.5) and Bluetooth audio streaming with an optional Bluetooth adapter. They also come with vTuner Internet radio, which is extended in the VSX-60 to include support for Pandora and Sirius XM.
Pioneer VSX-x22 series receivers arrive
A late-week release saw Pioneer introduce four new mainstream AV receivers that mostly bring Internet awareness to the core of its lineup. The top three, the VSX-822, VSX-1022, and VSX-1022, all have support for AirPlay, DLNA, and vTuner Internet radio to grab media from iOS devices, iTunes, and some other hardware on the same local network. Ethernet is common across all of them, although the 1122 has the choice of a Wi-Fi adapter to reduce clutter.
Pioneer mixer can be used as MIDI controller
Pioneer has just launched the RMX-1000 Remix Station to help DJs during live performances. There are four remixing functions, including Isolate FX, Scene FX, X-Pad FX, and Release FX. Users also get remixbox editing software bundled that lets them customize virtually all the feature set.
Pioneer ships Elite N-30, N-50 network receivers
Pioneer has just released two Elite-branded and networked home theater receivers that both get AirPlay support and DLNA 1.5 compatibility. The N-30 and N-50 otherwise share a 2.5-inch color LCD display. Using AirPlay, users can stream music from their iTunes libraries and iOS devices wirelessly, as well as use Pandora web radio, iHeartRadio and other music services. DLNA 1.5 catches a large number of other devices that can stream audio or HD video.
Car audio brand targets high-end studio market
Pioneer may be best known for its vehicle electronics, however the company has also worked to establish its presence as a high-end brand in the DJ and music-production markets. The S-DJ05 speakers epitomize the expansion, placing the Pioneer brand on a pair of active reference monitors. In our full review, we try out the new speakers and attempt to determine if the offering is worth its hefty price tag.
Pioneer tries universal voice commands with Zypr
Pioneer in an unusual break from hardware unveiled what could be a universal equivalent to Apple's Siri for natural-language voice. Zypr provides a web-based but native-friendly programming interface that lets apps take commands that usually apply to specific services, such as social networking from Facebook or Twitter, INRIX traffic, AccuWeather, Slacker Radio, and Yelp place ratings. The method allows combining services and lets data port over from service to service.
PotterNavi includes ANT+ sensor, 3G connection
Pioneer Japan has just unveiled a GPS device for cyclists, the PotterNavi. It has a 3G module and two years of service included, with access to maps, TV weather broadcast information, and other safety alerts. It's mounted in an IPX5 waterproof body and gets a 2.4-inch VGA screen.
Pioneer Steez music players meant for dancers
Pioneer has outlined three upcoming semi-portable audio players in its new Steez lineup. The STZ-D10S-L Solo, STZ-D10T-G Duo and STZ-D10Z-R Crew are unique in that they offer users the ability to change the tempo of the music, set cue points, battle with friends and build playlists. It comes through free proprietary PC software and offers tricks that are usually found on DJ turntables and mixers.
Pioneer intros Music Tap systems with AirPlay
Pioneer has unveiled two upcoming bookshelf audio systems that work with Apple's AirPlay media sharing. The X-SMC3-S Music Tap and the X-SMC4-Elite Music Tap share a Wi-Fi connection and Ethernet port. The former, other than getting Pioneer's more exclusive Elite treatment, also adds Bluetooth.
Rdio offers multi-user streaming plans
Rdio tried an experiment with Internet music streaming Monday by testing out family plans. Listeners can pay $18 per month for two accounts or $23 for three and save more than they would if they got separate accounts. The approach gives each account its own separate history, playlists, and cached music, giving them an advantage over just sharing one account.
Pioneer Elite receivers carry AirPlay, Air Jam
Pioneer wrapped up the week by adding two new Elite receivers with a heavy emphasis on their iOS links. The 7.1-channel SC-55 and 9.1-channel SC-57 hubs revolve chiefly around their new, Class-D3 amps. The two have quicker response times and reduced total harmonic distortion even as they consume less power and generate less heat.
Sharp Elite TVs pack intelligent contrast, refresh
Sharp took advantage of its rights to Pioneer's Elite name by launching its own range of Elite TVs. Now using LCDs, the 60-inch Pro-60X5FD and 70-inch Pro-70X5FD both have a unique scanning backlight effect that goes beyond 240Hz; the company claims an equivalent to about 720Hz. Both have an Intelligent Variable Contrast system that purportedly goes beyond usual dynamic contrast to tune the brightness and the backlight for maximum effect.
Pioneer outs head unit/GPS for electric vehicles
Pioneer is the first company to introduce a vehicle navigation head unit meant for use in electric vehicles (EVs) such as the Mitsubishi i-MiEV. The AVIC-ZH09-MEV sports a fold-out seven-inch touchscreen and proprietary technology that is said to be capable of estimating the power consumption needed for particular routes and where EVs can regenerate their batteries using onboard systems such as regenerative brakes. The system finds the most efficient such routes for EVs during navigation mode by default, so they aren't always the shortest or fastest.
Pioneer AppRadio arrives in stores
Pioneer shipped and priced its AppRadio car head-end unit. The iOS-aware AV equipment is now in stock immediately at Amazon and other outlets. Pricing is better than Pioneer's original sub-$500 goal and sees it sell officially for $399, although a handful of stores are selling it for slightly less.
Pioneer AppRadio confirmed with iPhone hooks
Pioneer showed its hand following earlier leaks and unveiled the AppRadio on Wednesday. The in-car system centers on a hinted-at 6.1-inch capacitive touchscreen as its interface, the first of its kind in a car, but is now known to lean almost exclusively on iOS apps for its real strength. Both an official AppRadio app and third-party apps with the relevant code can share the Internet connection, pipe music or video, or navigate the car using Google Maps.
Pioneer shows in-car GPS with Augmented Reality
Pioneer Japan has just introduced four new in-car navigation systems that use a dash-mounted camera to display live images on their screens and superimpose digital images on it to help drivers navigate. The so-called Augmented Reality GPS systems include the AVIC-VH09CS, AVIC-VH09, AVIC-ZH09CS and AVIC-ZH09. The systems can gauge distances between cars or points of interest.
Pioneer HDJ-500T adds smartphone remote
Pioneer on Wednesday upgraded its entry DJ headphones to adapt to those with iPhones and other smartphones. The HDJ-500T has both the original, extra-long coiled cord intended for DJs and living room listening but also a shorter, straight cord with an in-line mic and remote for phone calls. Its design is intentionally kept simple and has just a single button, but no visible volume.
Pioneer AppRadio hits FCC, leaks out
A new Pioneer double-DIN car audio system has been met with both an official FCC filing and a matching leak that reveal it will have both its own app system and tie in with iOS devices. The AppRadio would load specialized apps and rely on a 6.1-inch touchscreen, along with an iOS-style home button, as its sole interface. Its system, though like Apple's on the surface would use microSD cards for a distinct app platform, CrunchGear understood from its tip, but it would talk to iPhones and iPod touch players using USB for contacts, music, and most likely Internet-aware apps.
Panasonic near shipping 100GB BDXL writable disc
Panasonic claimed the distinction on Monday of being the first company to ship a BDXL rewritable disc. The three-layer, 100GB disc gives users as much as eight hours and 40 minutes of full-quality, 24Mbps 1080p video they can write many times. It should theoretically be tougher than most discs with a coating to guard against fingerprints and scratches.
Pioneer active noise-cancelling earbuds shipping
Pioneer has released a set of in-ear headphones that have active noise-cancelling. The SE-NC31C-k headphones are said to eliminate 90 percent of all external noise and features 14.3mm drivers. The active noise cancellation feature is powered by one AAA battery that can power the device for 120 hours.
Pioneer to ship thin Sound Wing speakers in Japan
Pioneer Japan on Thursday said it will soon ship its so-called Sound Wing home speakers. Based on the company's HVT (Horizontal-Vertical Transforming) technology, they are ultra-thin at 100mm and minimize vibrations. Quality is not sacrificed, the company claims.
Strategic partnership designed to boost presence
Sharp has announced that it will license Pioneer’s Elite brand for use on its new line of high-end Quattron LCD TVs to be introduced in North America this year. The Twice.com report states that Sharp hopes to enter the high-end specialty AV dealerships, boosting its distribution. Pioneer also feels that the partnership could help boost the sales of its home theater product line as each line will complement the other.
Sony, Kenwood and Pioneer's flagship 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.