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.

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