Pioneer’s latest Elite receiver packs brains and brawn at a nice price

Pioneer has officially announced its CEDIA 2017 lineup, and if you’re in the market for a new A/V receiver, you’ll want to pay close attention. The Elite SC-LX502 is a 7.2-channel network receiver with a boatload of goodies to set up just about any home theater configuration you’ve got.

The LX502 offers plenty of power, including a claimed 120 watts per channel of Class D amplification at 8 ohms. Hi-fi digital conversion is accomplished via a sticker-shocking 32-bit/768kH AKM AK4458 DAC, claimed to utilize a unique output filter to convert audio signals with incredible clarity and excellent signal-to-noise performance. The unit supports numerous high-resolution audio formats, including DSD files (via PCM conversion) and multiple PCM files, including FLAC, ALAC, WAV, and AIFF at a max 24-bit/192kHz resolution.

Along with support for both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X object-based surround sound, the SC-LX502 features Dolby Surround and DTS Neural:X, which allows up-mixing of video content through speakers with height channels to take regular surround sound signals up a notch — literally.

As for Wi-Fi connection, DTS Play-Fi technology enables wireless multiroom audio streaming to a wide array of supported Play-Fi speakers to disperse sound throughout your home, though you’ll first need to download a firmware update.

The receiver also supports Blackfire’s FireConnect, a different multiroom protocol that offers network and analog audio distribution. FireConnect isn’t as prevalent as Play-Fi, but it’s nice to know that the LX502 plays nicely with lots of other devices, and it does include several built-in streaming services (including Spotify, Deezer, Tidal, and Pandora). Perhaps unsurprisingly, AirPlay is also included, with support for both 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi bands. Built-in Google Chromecast technology supports a litany of popular music streaming services, and the SC-LX502 interfaces with Google Assistant for voice control functionality via built-in speakers and microphone.

And of course, the LX502 also allows you to make up for frequency holes in your listening room with calibration software in the form of MCACC and phase control technology.

From the video side, every HDMI input save the front one supports 4K at 60 frames per second, as well as HDCP 2.2 copy protection. HDR10, Dolby Vision, and Hybrid-Log Gamma (HLG) HDR signals are supported as well (along BT.2020 wide color gamut) — as long as you’ve got a compatible 4K HDR display, of course.

The SC-LX502 will be available for purchase later this month with a relatively affordable suggested $1,099 price tag.

Pioneer’s CEDIA lineup also features several products from its Elite line, which first premiered at IFA in Berlin, including the following:

Also on hand at CEDIA this year are several speakers designed by acclaimed audio engineer Andrew Jones:

You can see it all on the show floor, and stay tuned to Digital Trends as we bring in some of this cool new gear for review.

Home Theater

Amazon’s Fire TV Recast promises over-the-air shows, DVR for all your screens

Amazon has set its sights on the cord-cutting crowd with a new over-the-air HD receiver and DVR called the Fire TV Recast. The box, which starts at $229, can record two programs at the same time and stream live content to Fire TV devices.

To post or not to post? Here's when you should put up a picture on the 'Gram

Let's be honest, the majority of us care about the popularity of our Instagram posts. There is a sweet spot, however, if you're looking to boost the number of likes and comments you receive. Here's what you need to know.
Virtual Reality

Walmart stocks its stores with VR training for its employees

Walmart will begin rolling out virtual reality training experiences to all of its stores this year with the power of Oculus Go. More than 6,300 stores will receive the new technology, helping the company train its employees.
Smart Home

Amazon reportedly will introduce an Alexa-enabled microwave, amp, and more

Amazon's Fall 2018 Alexa device rollout is about to begin, sources say. Look for an Alexa microwave, an amplifier, receiver, and subwoofer, and an Alexa voice-responsive device for your car. Amazon is maximizing its voice-command presence.
Movies & TV

September brings 'The Dragon Prince,' an animated war series, to Netflix

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Movies & TV

Out of movies to binge? Our staff picks the best flicks on Hulu right now

From classics to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Click-to-brew beer, comfy headlamps, and more

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the Web this week. You can't buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Movies & TV

Stay inside this summer with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Castle Rock'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we've put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: ‘Captain Marvel,’ ‘Nigerian Prince,’ and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. To simplify things, we round up the best ones each week. On tap this week: The first trailer for superhero movie Captain Marvel, and other fascinating film previews.
Product Review

It's only $100, but this soundbar loses its balance to bring the bass

Anker has expanded into audio in a big way in recent years, the latest example being the SoundCore Infini soundbar. At just $99, it makes for a very affordable add-on to your entertainment setup, but is it worth it?
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (September 2018)

Prime Video gives subscribers access to a host of great movies, but sifting through the massive library isn't easy. Lucky for you, we've sorted the wheat from the chaff. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Movies & TV

Best new shows and movies to stream: ‘The Shape of Water,’ ‘Forever,’ and more

Need something to watch this weekend? Check out our list of the best new shows and movies to stream right now. On the list this week: The Shape of Water, Maniac, and more.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

Amazon Prime brings more perks than just free two-day shipping. Subscribers get access to a huge library of TV shows to stream at no extra cost. Here are our favorite TV shows currently available on Amazon Prime.
Home Theater

SiriusXM’s $3.5 billion purchase of Pandora just might be music to our ears

SiriusXM is aiming to expand its customer base beyond those listening in the car through a $3.5 billion deal that will see it acquiring streaming service Pandora, in which it already owns a 16 percent stake.