Pioneer’s 2014 VSX-series A/V receivers pack HDMI 2.0, primo DACs, reasonable prices

When it comes to top-notch HD audio and video, it’s a rapidly evolving world out there. A big industry push toward 4K video, hi-res audio that’s redefining digital music, and a growing demand for multi-source entertainment all demand a smarter way to manage your home theater system. Pioneer hopes to fill that need, today unveiling five new, state-of-the-art  A/V receivers.

Pioneer’s new VSX series includes the Elite 7.2 channel VSX-44 and VSX-80, as well as the 5.2 channel VSX-824 and VSX-1024, and the 7.2 channel VSX-1124. Let’s take a quick look at the new lineup below and see what Pioneer has in store.

HD enhancements

Claiming to be the first receivers to offer HDMI 2.0 pass-through, all of the new models are ready for top-level 4K/Ultra HD video, able to deliver the bit-rate-intensive media at 60 frames per second with 4:4:4 color support, meaning you’ll see every sparkling pixel as intended – so long as your 4K TV is also capable.

The new models are also Roku Ready Certified, offering full control of a Roku device through the receiver’s remote control. And if you’re still rocking the older Roku Streaming stick, you can connect it via the available MHL connection. Both also offer 4K2K Ultra HD 60p Video Up-Scaling, taking normal HD signal and enhancing it to the highest video resolution available.

In addition, all of the receivers in the new lineup include some serious audio enhancements, such as the ESS Sabre Premier Audio DAC, a premium digital to analog converter that can handle file resolutions up to 192kHz/24bit, for stereo channel playback. The receivers can play back virtually any type of digital audio file, and if you’re looking for ridiculous resolution for surround sound, they can also handle 96kHz 5.0 and 5.1 channel playback from FLAC and WAV files.

Finally, the units all boast some added enhancements to Pioneer’s iControlAV5 app, and a slew of other features, from ARC HDMI connection, to Airplay and DLNA certification.

Elite series

Unique to Pioneer’s Elite series, which includes the $500 VSX-44, and the $700 VSX-80, is  Multi-zone network routing, which allows the receivers to route sources for the entire home with up to three individual zones and multiple configurations. The system allows for a separate analog signal from the VSX-44, a separate digital signal from the VSX-80, and a third option for sending HDMI video from both, allowing you to send sources for an entirely different entertainment system from your control room. You’ll also get Pioneer’s Advanced MCACC acoustic calibration, which uses a mic to optimize your listening environment.

The VSX-80 also adds some extra incentives to go big, including seriously advanced settings for custom installation and control of your entire IP network, and a separate subwoofer EQ system to dial in that low-end for optimal bass control.

Both the Elite VSX-80 and the top-tier standard VSX-1124 also incorporate Pioneer’s built-in A/V navigator, which adds an easy walkthrough manual for system setup, and come with a 2-year warranty instead of the standard 1-year warranty.

While these receivers may be a bit of an overkill for those still rocking 1080p TVs and a bevy of MP3s as their sound source, those looking to stand on the forefront of the HD audio and video revolution can get in fairly painlessly with any of these new models. The VSX-824, VSX-1024, and VSX-1124 will be priced at $400, $500, and $600 respectively, while the Elite VSX-44 and VSX-80 will run you $500 and $700 respectively.

All of Pioneers spanking new lineup will be available for purchase by the end of the month.

Home Theater

March Madness deal alert: Get a 43-inch LG 4K HDR TV for just $270

March is a great time to find a deal on a new TV, and this one is worth every penny: Walmart is selling LG's 43-inch 43UK6300PUE, a very capable 4K HDR Smart TV, for almost 50 percent off the regular price, at $270.
Home Theater

Still listening on tinny, muffled TV speakers? Try one of our favorite soundbars

You no longer have to sacrifice sound for size when selecting home audio equipment. Check out our picks for the best soundbars, whether you're looking for budget options, pure power, smarts, or tons of features.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Deals

Building a 4K home theater? Grab a discounted Denon A/V receiver from Amazon

Denon makes some of the best 4K A/V receivers on the market, and a handful of Denon’s latest models are on sale on Amazon now. If you’ve been thinking about building a home theater and are looking for a 4K receiver that doesn’t cost…
Home Theater

Banish the bunny ears (and monthly bills) with these excellent HD antennas

When transitioning away from cable and satellite, finding the best HDTV antenna for your area can be tricky. To aid in your cord-cutting quest, we've compiled our picks of the best indoor HDTV antennas you can buy.
Home Theater

Any night can be a night at the movies with the best home theater projectors

Are you sick and tired of those cumbersome big screen TVs? Don’t want to spend big for a huge TV? These home theater projectors will bring you that big screen experience without breaking the bank.
Home Theater

Yesterday’s Apple event was a whiplash-inducing parade of copycat services

Apple showed off a massive barrage of news, streaming, and gaming bundles at its Showtime event aimed at boosting its services and adding more revenue. But while the services are big on celebrities, they appear short on innovation.
Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods -- we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our favorites, with all the features you want.
Home Theater

5 gorgeous turntables that spin stacks of wax in style for less than $500

Vinyl records are awesome, but they're also finicky. To get the best out of your stacks of wax, it's best to play them on a quality turntable. Here are the best turntables to be had for under $500.
Home Theater

Apple’s show time event: A whiplash-inducing bundle of copycat services

Apple unleashed a barrage of news, streaming, and gaming bundles at its latest event aimed at boosting its services and adding more revenue. But while the services are big on celebrities, they appear short on innovation.
Home Theater

All three of LG’s new soundbars will be available before summer

LG finally announced pricing and availability to the three soundbars it announced at CES 2019. They will come out in April or May of this year (depending on the model) and will retail between $400 and $1,300.
Home Theater

IKEA reveals new photos of its Symfonisk Sonos speakers

Ahead of the official launch scheduled for April 9, IKEA has released two new photos of its upcoming Symfonisk line of wireless home speakers, which the Swedish furniture company has created in cooperation with Sonos.
Home Theater

Samsung’s new soundbars adjust settings to onscreen content in real time

Home theater soundbars may be a dime a dozen these days, but that doesn't mean they can't add something new to the experience. Samsung's new HW-Q70R and Q60R can automatically change settings to match what's happening onscreen.
Home Theater

Need true wireless earbuds? Apple’s last-gen AirPods are discounted on Amazon

Just as anticipated, Apple's last-generation AirPods, which feature much of the same technology as the recently announced model, are getting discounted on Amazon. If you've been looking for a pair, now is the time to buy.