After two years of absence, the Japanese manufacturer Pioneer has finally made its comeback in France. A return that signals the arrival of new 8K A/V receivers, in addition to the previous hi-fi and home theater models still in the catalog of the brand.
Pioneer: a valued partner
A major player in the market for more than 70 years, Pioneer suddenly disappeared in 2020 due to financial pressures and a backlog caused by component shortages. In June 2021, the brand changed ownership and a licensing and distribution agreement was reached to relaunch the brand internationally. A deal involving Premium Audio Company, who also owns Klipsch, Jamo and Magnat, as well as the brands Onkyo and Integra which have also returned to the French market.
Pioneer: new A/V receivers
For its return to France, Pioneer is launching a new range of A/V receivers that includes the Pioneer VSX-935, Pioneer VSX-LX305 and Pioneer VSX-LX505. These latest generation models are all HDMI 2.1 compatible and shake up the home theater market, which has been dominated by Marantz, Denon and Yamaha for the past two years.
Pioneer VSX-935: 7.2 channels
The Pioneer VSX-935 A/V receiver is the entry ticket to the new Pioneer range. It is 7.2 channel compatible, with the ability to play Dolby Atmos and DTS:X tracks over 5.2.2 channels. Replacing the Pioneer VSX-934, this new model brings enhanced HDMI connectivity, with three HDMI 2.1 inputs that support UHD 8K at 60 fps and UHD 4K at 120 fps. It supports HDR 10 and Dolby Vision, as well as VRR, QFT and ALLM technologies to optimize the experience with video games. Features that are also found on the new Denon receivers and Marantz Cinema range.
Like its predecessor, the Pioneer VSX-935 receiver is compatible with AirPlay 2 streaming, Chromecast, Bluetooth and can access many online music services with DTS Play:Fi technology. This new model is already available for pre-order at a price of €999, and the first units are announced for the end of the year.
Pioneer VSX-LX305: 9.2 channels
The heart of the range, the Pioneer VSX-LX305 receiver adds two additional channels to play 9.2-channel tracks, allowing you to enjoy a 5.2.4 or 7.2.2 system with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X tracks. All HDMI inputs and outputs on the back of the receiver are now HDMI 2.1 certified, allowing you to enjoy 8K UHD streams and gaming technologies. The IMAX Enhanced certification has also been introduced to provide DTS:X sound that is consistent with the original mix desired by the film’s director.
Pre-orders for the new Pioneer VSX-LX305 amplifier are also open. With a price tag of €1599, it ranks alongside the Marantz SR-6015 and Denon AVC-X3800H, 9.2 and 9.4 channel models that are also UHD 8K, Dolby Atmos and DTS:X compatible.
Pioneer VSX-LX505: the most complete
Flagship of the brand, the Pioneer VSX-LX505 retains 9.2 amplified channels, but features a higher amplification and an 11.2 channel pre-out section. It is therefore possible to associate it with one or more power amplifiers to create an even more complete home theater system. Like the Pioneer VSX-LX305, the 6 inputs and 2 HDMI 2.1 outputs on the back of the receiver are compatible with 8K UHD streams at 60 fps and 4K UHD at 120 fps, as well as VRR, QFT and ALLM gaming technologies. The HDMI port on the front panel remains in version 2.0, ensuring 4K UHD, HDR10 and Dolby Vision compatibility.
Like its predecessor (the Pioneer VSX-LX504), the Pioneer VSX-LX505 receiver incorporates a removable front panel cover that hides an extensive interface. The latter makes the device easier to control, as does its compatibility with Amazon Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant. Like the other models in the range, it can also be controlled from its own remote control or with remote control of the associated TV thanks to the CEC protocol.
The new Pioneer VSX-LX505 A/V receiver is available for pre-order at a price of €1799. The first units are also expected to arrive before the end of the year.
Pioneer: the return of hi-fi amplifiers
The return of Pionnier also marks the restocking of the Japanese specialist’s flagship hi-fi amplifiers. Therefore, we find the popular Pioneer SX-10AE, awarded in 2019 by the Sound+Image Awards magazine for its excellent quality/price ratio. This model is capable of developing 100 watts per channel into 8 ohms and offers 4 RCA inputs to be associated with a turntable, a CD player or a network player, for example. It has a dual AM and FM tuner, with 30 programmable stations, as well as a Bluetooth receiver for streaming music from a smartphone, tablet or computer. For small rooms, this amp is available in a 2 x 30 watt version under the reference Pioneer A-10AE.
The very versatile Pioneer SX-N30AE connected amplifier is also returning. This feature-packed model is compatible with DLNA and USB playback, can access many online music services and receive music via Chromecast or Bluetooth. The connectors include several analog inputs, including a phono input. The DAC associated with the optical and coaxial input allows you to play digital streams up to 24-bit/192kHz, as well as DSD128 files. Finally, the amplification delivers up to 2x85W into 8 ohms, which can power the majority of bookshelf speakers and small floorstanding speakers.
Pioneer: DTS Play:Fi multi-room
All Pioneer A/V receivers and connected hi-fi amplifiers take advantage of the DTS Play:Fi ecosystem for DLNA music playback and access to streaming services like Amazon Music, Spotify, Deezer and Tidal. All DTS Play:Fi devices can work in multi-room mode to enjoy music in any room of the house. This can also be done with AirPlay 2 compatible devices.
The return of Pioneer to France is excellent news for enthusiasts who will be able to enjoy an even wider range of products, especially since the takeover of the brand also marks the comeback ofOnkyo and its premium Integra branch.