Check out our review of the Pioneer VSX-70 AV receiver.
Pioneer has launched two new AV receivers under its Elite brand with the VSX-43 and VSX-70, both of which have been designed to include 4K/Ultra HD compatibility and expanded multi-zone and high-resolution file format playback, among other features.
The VSX-43, available now for $525, is a 7.1-channel receiver, while the VSX-70, also available for $750, is a 7.2-channel model – . Both have multi-zone capabilities wherein the VSX-43 can be set up in 5.1-channel, leaving the extra two channels for playing music in another room. The VSX-70 takes this further, by enabling playback in three zones simultaneously. Under this scenario, the main zone could play a movie, while Zone 2 plays music and the third, or HDZone, acts as an additional HDMI source for a third room.
The VSX-70 also adds another layer of custom installation with full two-way RS-232-over-IP control to work with custom remote control systems like Crestron and Control4, for example.
Both receivers can handle 4K/Ultra HD resolution, with the more expensive of the two also offering upscaling for analog and HDMI video to 4K. Both receivers will upscale standard definition content to 1080p.
Music file format support has been expanded to include AIFF and Apple Lossless, as well as Gapless playback for AIFF, Apple Lossless, WAV and FLAC files. This is in addition to existing support for WAV, MP3, WMA, AAC and FLAC files stored on a networked computer or an external drive plugged into the front USB port. Both support Internet radio services, like Pandora and vTuner, and are DLNA-enabled. A wired Ethernet connection is required to access these features, though an optional Wi-Fi adapter (AS-WL300) is compatible with the VSX-70.
Smartphones also feature prominently with both units in that users can control them via Pioneer’s ControlApp and iControlAV2013 apps for iOS and Android. The former is meant for the VSX-43, while the latter is a new app designed to accommodate the VSX-70 and its added feature set. Both apps now have something called “Push Player”, where users can access music stored on their devices, create playlists and stream them wirelessly to the receiver.
Music playback from an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to the receiver via AirPlay also pushes metadata over, so that album artwork and song details are displayed on the TV. AirPlay streaming can also work from a Mac or PC. Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) 2.0 connectivity is also built-in through the front HDMI input, allowing users to use an MHL-enabled Android device to play audio or video — including 3D — straight to the TV. An added bonus is that the phone or tablet will charge faster. HTC users with HTC Connect pre-loaded on their handsets can also stream music directly to both receivers.
Pioneer also threw in an eco-management function to reduce consumption when on, and power drain when on stand-by. There’s a dedicated button for it on the front panel of either receiver to toggle it on, but it can also be managed from the included remote control or iControlAV2013 app.
Both receivers are available now at authorized retailers.