Pioneer's Newest Receivers Further Embrace the Apple Lifestyle

Pioneer's Newest Receivers Further Embrace the Apple Lifestyle

Pioneer Introduces New iPad, iPhone and iPod-certified A/V Receivers

Just a few years ago, we saw the “Made for iPod” certification making its way to home theater gear such as A/V receivers (AVR). At that time, it was all about music consumption. But with the successes of the iPhone and iPad (Apple has just reported cumulative unit sales of iOS devices of 220 million), the number of AVRs that would support such devices can only increase.

Pioneer has long been a supporter of Apple; and we have had the opportunity yesterday to witness just how its latest receivers integrate with Apple’s latest devices and technologies. A total of four new 5.1 and 7.1-channel AVRs were announced – VSX-521, VSX-821, VSX-921 and VSX-1021 – and with the exception of the VSX-521, they're certified to work with the iPad, iPhone, and iPod. The three receivers also come with a cable (with video support) for these iDevices.

One end of the supplied adapter cable goes to your iDevice, the other end goes to the USB port on the front of the AVR.

But Pioneer doesn’t stop there. The VSX-921 and VSX-1021 support Pioneer’s free Air Jam app designed for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. With Air Jam, up to four iDevices can come together to create a group playlist, and stream the songs directly to the receiver over Bluetooth (an optional adapter - AS-BT200 - is available). It transmits metadata too, such as album art, track and artist names. Furthermore, you can purchase songs from the iTunes Store by referring to the playback history.

With Air Jam, your friends and you can submit your own favorite tracks to make a common playlist via Bluetooth. (Credit: Pioneer)

The VSX-921 and VSX-1021 also support Apple’s AirPlay protocol, so you can stream music from your iTunes library (10.1 and above) over your home network (wired or wireless). If you’ve an iOS device running iOS 4.2 or later, you can stream songs directly from the device to the receiver. For wireless streaming, an optional wireless adapter (AS-WL300) is available, and it can be used for DLNA and Internet Radio functions too.

iControlAV2 is another free app that users can find in the Apple App Store. With it, you can use your iOS device as a remote to control various functions of the receiver. Imagine drawing the EQ curve with your finger, it can be a lot of fun. Just recently, Pioneer has also released the app in the Android Market.

You can control a compatible Pioneer AVR or Blu-ray Disc player with iControlAV2. (Credit: Pioneer)

 All four AVRs are available at authorized retail outlets from end June 2011.

Model Key Features & Price


  • 160W x 7ch
  • 6 x HDMI inputs, 1 x LAN input
  • PQLS with HDMI (Bit-stream, Multi, 2ch)
  • 1080p upscaling
  • iControlAV2 Ready, AirPlay, Air Jam, DLNA Certified (1.5), Internet Radio
  • Price: S$1,099


  • 160W x 7ch
  • 4 x HDMI inputs, 1 x LAN input
  • PQLS with HDMI (Multi, 2ch)
  • 1080p upscaling
  • iControlAV2 Ready, AirPlay, Air Jam, DLNA Certified (1.5), Internet Radio
  • Price: S$899



  • 150W x 5ch
  • 4 x HDMI inputs
  • iPod digital transmission
  • Price: S$599



  • 150W x 5ch
  • 4 x HDMI inputs
  • Price: S$399


Sound Wing Speakers & X-SMC1 Slim AV Micro System

Pioneer Electronics AsiaCentre also took the opportunity to announce the Sound Wing speakers and the Slim AV Micro System X-SMC1.

The Sound Wing speakers utilize the Horizontal Vertical Transforming (HVT) technology, which enables for a wider sound dispersion compared to conventional speakers. The Sound Wing comes in two form factors – bar-type and satellite-type, both of which are slim and small enough for placement in tight spaces. The Pioneer HTZ-HW919BD Blu-ray Surround System is the first to include the bar-type Sound Wing speakers, and is going for S$1,199 at authorized retail outlets from August 2011. Availability of the satellite-type Sound Wing speakers is yet to be confirmed.

Bar-type Sound Wing speakers (top) and satellite-type Sound Wing speakers (bottom).

The X-SMC1 is a speaker system certified for the iPod and iPhone. It has a push-to-open dock that also charges your device. For non-Apple devices, there’s an auxiliary port. The X-SMC1 plays CD and DVD (it has an HDMI port and does 1080-pixel up-scaling), has an integrated FM tuner, and doubles up as an alarm clock. It's also able to play video content from an iPhone or iPod on a TV. The silver colored X-SMC1 is available at authorized retail outlets from August 2011, and can be had for S$399.

The X-SMC1 is one sleek-looking A/V micro system.

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