Pioneer presents a new range of lifestyle-focused headphones along with two ‘reference’ av receivers, the SC-LX904 and SC-LX704, plus the PD-50AE sacd player, at IFA 2019.
The new S-series currently comprises two wireless models, the S6 with noise cancelling (SE-S6BN) and the S3.
The S6 is a compact, wireless on-ear type headphone, equipped with extra-large 40mm drivers as well as Active Noise Cancelling. A continuous playback time of up to 30 hours means you won’t constantly be looking for a charging opportunity. Even better, when you do need to charge the headphones in a hurry, the S6’s in-built ‘Fast Charge’ function means that you can get up to three hours of playback time after just 10 minutes of charging. Pick from four colours – Black, Grey, Blue and Red.
The S3 (SE-S3BT) is a simplified version of the S6 - minus its Active Noise Cancelling - delivering up to 25 hours of continuous music playback from a full charge, more than enough for a few days of commuting.
Pioneer is also adding a model to its C-series of value for money wireless in-ear headphones. The new IPX-5 rated C5 (SE-C5TW) is available in no fewer than 3 different colours. Equipped with 6mm rare-earth magnet drivers, it delivers up to 5 hours of continuous playback while the supplied carrying case/charger can fully recharge the headphones two times (when away from mains power), for up to 15 hours of use. An Ambient Awareness mode uses in-built microphones to automatically lower the volume when you want to hear what’s going on in the outside world, but don’t want to interrupt your music or taking out your earphones.
Last but not least, Pioneer has a new E-series wireless model, designed for exercise and fitness fans, the E9 (SE-E9TW).
Like the C5, the E9 is equipped with Ambient Awareness Mode but also includes earphone tips with in-built slits that allow external sounds in, for better ambient awareness when jogging or performing other outdoor training activities. An IPX5/IPX7 water resistance rating also means the E9 can ithstand any rain or sweat it might encounter while being used. They offers up to 5 hours of continuous playback time. The included carrying case contains its own rechargeable battery which can, in turn, fully recharge the headphones up to three times when away from a mains power supply, giving up to 20 hours of use.
Onkyo & Pioneer provide details of the new network AV receivers, the SC-LX904 and SC-LX704, aimed at those looking for top class home theatre, plus a new SACD Player & D/A Converter, the PD-50AE.
The SC-LX904 and SC-LX704 have the latest version of Pioneer’s “Direct Energy HD Amplifier”, an implementation of Class D Amplifier technology that delivers powerful multi-channel amplification of 215W x 11 ch (LX904) and 205W x 9 ch (LX704).
The Direct Energy HD Amplifier, which drives all channels equally, is the ultimate embodiment of Pioneer's "Multi-Channel Stereophonic Philosophy", one that is applied from the beginning to end of the audio signal processing.
The SC-LX904 and SC-LX704 employ two ESS9026 384 kHz/32-bit high quality DACs, to equalise all channel signal processing from the outset. These AV receivers integrate the IMAX Enhanced technology. Thanks to their Direct Energy HD Amplifier technology, the SC-LX904 and SC-LX704 make the very most of the latest surround formats such as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.
Both models also incorporate a host of Pioneer audio technologies designed to ensure easy set-up and reference-grade sound. During initial set-up, the company’s famed “MCACC (Multi-Channel Acoustic Calibration System) PRO” helps tune the receivers’ output for your room (via the supplied custom microphone), the system automatically compensating for differences in speaker size, level and distance. What’s more, “Full-band Phase Control” in MCACC PRO achieves even more precise sonic tailoring by adjusting the group delay occurring at each speaker. Since MCACC PRO correction is effective for speakers installed high-up, it creates a seamless surround sound field, from floor to ceiling.
The LX904 and LX704 feature 7 HDMI Inputs / 3 Outputs and support Ultra HD pass-through with HDCP 2.3, 4K / 60 Hz, Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma), WCG (Wide Color Gamut) and Ultra HD upscaling (1080p to 4K). When connected via HDMI to one of Pioneer’s latest Universal Disc Players (UDP-LX800 and UDP-LX500), the SC-LX904 and SC-LX704 minimise the adverse effects of jitter in HDMI transmission and enable accurate D/A conversion. Pioneer calls this state-of-the-art Pioneer audio technology PQLS (Precision Quartz Lock System).
The LX904 and LX704 are equipped with two new features to achieve even higher sound quality. In "Audio Exclusive Mode", the HDMI video signal is turned off in order to improve sound quality. "AV Direct Mode", meanwhile, turns off the all network functionality which benefits both audio and video playback quality.
Additional features include:
- Dialog Enhancement: makes it easy to adjust and listen to movie dialogue and vocals in music.
- Personal Preset: let’s you save and recall up to three combinations of input selector, favorite volume and surround settings.
- Reflex Optimizer: enhances object-based audio reproduction from upward firing Dolby Atmos ‘enabled’ speakers.
- Works with Alexa: lets you use your voice to control the AV receiver by speaking commands through an Alexa Built-in device. One can ask Alexa to play, pause, and skip music or control the volume. Users can enjoy music via streaming services such as Amazon Music, and make selections by song title, artist name, release year, or genre. It is also planned to support Works with Alexa Multi Room Music (MRM) mode which enables multiple devices to be play music in sync.
- Works with Google Assistant so you can turn up the volume, skip tracks, or stop the music on the receivers when using an Assistant-enabled Smart Speaker or Smart Displays, like Google Home.
- Wireless connectivity includes Chromecast built-in, Apple AirPlay 2, Bluetooth, DTS Play-Fi, Wi-Fi as well as FlareConnect, Pioneer’s wireless protocol that mirrors any audio source connected to the receiver on compatible speakers located in other rooms.
- Internet radio stations and online music services, including Amazon Music, Pandora, Spotify, TIDAL, and Deezer.
- High-resolution sound sources (192 kHz / 24-bit) in FLAC, WAV, AIFF and ALAC file formats, and DSD (2.8/5.6MHz/11.2MHz) files are also supported.
- Custom integration features include IR in, 12 V Trigger out, RS-232c and a detachable power cable.
The PD-50AE benefits from decades of Pioneer know-how and expertise with optical disc playback, and incorporates the ‘trickle-down’ audio technologies from the flagship PD-70AE SACD player. Featuring an ESS DAC and fully discrete analogue/digital power supply stage, the PD-50AE brings out the very best from your favorite SACD, CD and MQA-CD albums. What’s more, when used as D/A Converter, the PD-50AE plays MQA files via USB.
- Accurate Disc Reading from the Quiet Vibration Control Drive Mechanism
The shielded mechanism with a honeycomb-stamped metal cover is inherited from the PD-70AE reference model. In addition, Pioneer has developed a new floating mount arrangement exclusively for the PD-50AE’s mechanism.
- Discrete Analogue/Digital Power Supply Circuitry
The digital and analogue circuits each have a discrete power supply. The PD-50AE is designed with the shortest and the most optimal power supply stage, as well as audio signal path, in order to provide pure sound quality.
- Works as a Premium D/A Converter with MQA file playback
In addition to being a SACD/CD/MQA-CD player, the PD-50AE also functions as a D/A converter capable of delivering true high-fidelity sound. The circuits bring out the full potential of the high-performance ESS ES9026PRO DAC (used in a 4-ch parallel drive mode), letting you enjoy rich detail from both streaming and music files, including MQA delivered from TIDAL.
- Custom Electrolytic Capacitors for High-Quality Audio
The PD-50AE has a newly adopted upsampling technology which adds Hi-Res refinement to ‘standard’ digital audio sources. Upsampling to 384 kHz, it scales up digital audio to achieve a more natural and dynamic sound.
- Lock Range Adjust Function
This function allows you to make fine adjustments in the DAC’s lock range, in order to reduce jitter in the input signal. Adjustments can be made in six steps, with the default set at Range 6. Ranges 1 to 3 are intended for further fine-tuning by expert users.
- Digital Filter
The DAC’s digital filter lets you pick from three flavours of sonic character – ‘Slow’ for soft and warm, ‘Sharp’ for solid and tight, and ‘Short’ for quick and forward.
- Anti-Standing Wave Insulator Feet
The Anti-Standing Wave Insulator Feet have been developed through repeated listening tests, and feature a special design with no parallel interior sides, in order to prevent cavity resonance. This makes the localizing sound, tone, and scale clearer, while also enhancing transient response.