Pioneer has been steadily introducing new products into its home audio line since the beginning of the year, and it isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. Last month the company introduced the LX301 and LX101 to its Elite line of receivers, and now it has two more new models on the way in its standard Pioneer line.
Today the company announced the VSX-1131 and the VSX-831 network A/V receivers. While these look very similar to last year’s VSX-830 and VSX-1130, they’ve both seen more significant upgrades than the single incremented digit hints at, including a major focus on wireless connectivity. In addition to the usual Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, both models feature support for Google Cast, Airplay, and FireConnect, which adds multi-room functionality. Streaming services Spotify and Pandora are currently enabled, with TuneIn, Tidal, and Deezer coming in a future firmware update.
Both models also benefit from the company’s Multi-Channel Acoustic Calibration System (MCACC). This uses an included custom microphone to measure the sizes of speakers and the distances between them, automatically adjusting each channel in order to offer the best possible sound. This type of feature is becoming more common in receivers from a variety of companies, but it’s always nice to see included for those who would rather spend more time listening to their home theater system instead of setting it up.
The VSX-1131 is the more feature-packed of the two models, offering 7.2 channels at a claimed 170 watts per channel. Dolby Atmos is currently supported, with DTS:X on the way in a firmware update Pioneer expects to arrive in the fall. The receiver’s Reflex Optimizer feature enables Atmos 3D sound, without the need for overhead speakers.
Looking at video, the receiver supports 4K/60p/4:4:4 24-bit video and is ready for HDR and BT.2020. On the music side, the VSX-1131 supports high-resolution audio in FLAC, WAV, AIFF and Apple lossless formats up to 192kHz/24-bit. Dolby TrueHD and DSD 2.8/5.6MHz are also supported.
The VSX-831 slims down the channel count to 5.2 at a claimed 140 watts per channel, but still uses the same DAC as the VSX-1131 and also supports 4K video. All the wireless connectivity is still here, as is the MCACC automatic calibration.
Updated on 04-20-2015 by Kristofer Wouk: Edited to add that the VSX-1131 and the VSX-831 are not just a minor revision last year’s VSX-830 and VSX-1130.