Pioneer is debuting a trio of new audio products for CES 2016

As we head into 2016, it’s a year of brand names you may recognize, but under new ownership. The Sharp brand name is now used by Hisense in the U.S., for example, and while the Pioneer name appears on audio products, the company’s A/V division was sold to Onkyo in 2014. Now the Pioneer name seems reserved for higher-end audio products, like the trio being shown this week at CES.

Elite SX-N30 Network Stereo Receiver


The first announcement is perhaps the most familiar to those who have been aware of the Pioneer brand for some time, the Elite SX-N30 Network Stereo Receiver. Retailing for $600, the unit features Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Apple Airplay connectivity, and can play almost anything you throw at it. The receiver is DLNA capable and supports WAV, FLAC, Apple Lossless, MP3 and a wide variety of other formats. Streaming services like Spotify and Pandora are supported as well, in addition to built-in Internet radio.

The receiver’s amplifiers pump out 80 watts per channel, with the transformers and capacitors optimized for a high signal to noise ratio. The chassis is designed to reduce vibration, and features four digital inputs and six analog inputs — all gold-plated — including a dedicated phono jack for those who prefer turntables.

SE-Master1 reference-grade headphones

Up next is a pair of headphones for the audiophile set in the SE-Master1 reference-grade headphones. The headphones are hand-crafted and feature 50mm drivers and a Parker Ceramic Coating over the aluminum diaphragm that Pioneer says allows the headphones to product up to 85,000 Hz. By comparison, most high-res headphones top out at 40,000 Hz.

The SE-Master1 headphones use a floating structure to minimize distortion, with rubber inserted between the base, housing, and hanger to help prevent vibrations and create better separation between the left and right channels for improved soundstage. Pioneer describes the headphones as “ideal for discerning listeners and are more than suitable for recording, mixing and mastering in a professional studio environment.” The suggested retail price for the SE-Master1 is $2,500.

XDP-100R Digital Audio Player

Finally, confirming Pioneer’s commitment to high-res audio is its new XDP-100R Digital Audio Player. The Android-powered digital audio player features a 4.7-inch display and is the first on the market to support playback of the MQA lossless format. 32GB of storage is built in, while dual MicroSD slots allow for a total of 432GB of storage.

Last year the merger between Onkyo and Pioneer was completed that saw the latter’s home audio business folded into the former. The XDP-100R takes advantage of this, using OnkyoMusic to download songs directly to the player without needing to connect to a PC. The headphone jack supports high-res audio up to 24bit/192kHz, while Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a line-out jack are all supplied to connect to other equipment. The XDP-100R retails for $700.

Each of these products is now available in North America, according to Pioneer, and will all be on display this week at CES. For more information, visit the company’s website.

Product Review

Sennheiser brings audio perfection to wireless earbuds like no one else can

Sennheiser took its time entering the true wireless earbud market, and the results are what you’d expect from the storied audio brand. The new Momentum offer seamless operation, best-in-class sound, and a high price tag to match.
Home Theater

Wireless headphones are finally awesome, and these are our favorites

Between sleek form factors, prime audio quality, and the freedom of untethered listening, there has never been a better time to pick up a pair of wireless headphones. These are the best ones currently available.
Emerging Tech

Hear the sounds of wind on Mars from InSight’s latest audio recording

NASA's InSight craft has captured the sound of the wind blowing on the surface of Mars. The audio file was picked up by the air pressure sensor and the seismometer which detected vibrations from the 10 to 15 mph winds in the area.

Stop your PC's vow of silence with these tips on how to fix audio problems

Sound problems got you down? Don't worry, with a few tweaks and tricks we'll get your sound card functioning as it should, and you listening to your favorite tunes and in-game audio in no time.
Movies & TV

Our first look at 'The Punisher' season 2 hints at January 2019 premiere

The Punisher is getting a second season on Netflix, with Jon Bernthal returning to play Marvel Comics' gun-toting antihero, Frank Castle. Here's everything we know about season 2 of The Punisher so far.
Home Theater

Vizio is still rocking the Black Friday spirit with these TV and soundbar deals

If you missed out on all the great TV deals this past Black Friday and Cyber Monday, don't worry, Vizio has you covered. The company has some great discounts on its most popular 4K TVs and sounbar systems. But don't delay -- some of these…
Product Review

Step aside, Sonos: Riva's Concert is the best smart speaker you can buy

The Riva Concert series speaker is a fantastic, small-profile smart speaker with Alexa integration, truly excellent sound, and great looks, making it the perfect addition to your kitchen, living room, or bedroom.
Home Theater

Common AirPods problems, and how to fix them

Apple’s AirPods are among the best fully wireless earbuds we’ve seen, but they’re not perfect. If you’re having trouble, take a look at our guide to the most common problems and what you can do to fix them.
Home Theater

Anker’s micro projectors get an equally small price in time for the holidays

Looking for a great deal on a tiny video projector? Anker has some tiny prices on three of their smallest devices. With features like Android 7.1 and designs as small as a can of soda, these projectors make the perfect travel companions.

Spotify is the best streaming service, but its competitors aren’t far behind

It can be hard to decide which music streaming service is for you, so we've picked out the individual strengths of the most popular services, aiming to make your decision a little easier.
Home Theater

‘Star Trek: Discovery’ season 2 gets a new, Spock-heavy trailer

CBS has released a new trailer for Star Trek: Discovery season 2, which premieres January 17 on CBS All Access. The new trailer features series newcomers Spock and Christopher Pike prominently.
Home Theater

From soundbars to headphones, here are the best audio deals this holiday season

Whether you're looking for a great new pair of headphones or a fantastic new soundbar to bolster the sound of your brand-new television, these are the best audio deals to be found this holiday season.
Home Theater

Radiohead, The Cure, and more to join Rock Hall of Fame. Listen to their hits

Radiohead, The Cure, Janet Jackson, Stevie Nicks, and more have been selected to join the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2019. Here are our favorite songs from the four artists' hit-filled careers.

LG’s most affordable OLED TVs now come with $170 to $260 in gift cards

Trusted electronics retailer ABT is offering LG's most affordable OLED TV, the B8 series with $170 and $260 gift cards for the 55- and 65-inch models, respectively. While the OLED TVs don't often go on sale gift cards like this are…