Pioneer VSX-1021-K 7.1 Receiver

Pioneer is releasing a whole new line of receivers that I'll be looking at here over the next couple days.

The new Pioneer VSX-1021-K receiver is the answer to a home theater enthusiast's prayers.  If you are wireless, smart-phone or Apple user this product would definitely be awesome.  Delivering futureproof performance at an excellent price.  These receivers are some of the best values seen.  This is the top of the new line they are releasing.

The VSX-1021-K features an Ethernet port on the back panel.  Connected to your home network you can use a feature unheard of in this price range "Airplay".  This makes this receiver an absolute wet dream to those Apple fans out there as you can wirelessly stream media throughout your home.  If you don't have Ethernet in your living room, you can also purchase the AS-WL300 Wi-Fi adapter ($150 list price). In additional to AirPlay network connectivity, the VSX-1021-K is also DLNA compatible and has built-in Internet radio support via vTuner.
The rest of the Pioneer VSX-1021-K's feature set is solid, too. There are five HDMI inputs, all of which support advanced HDMI features such as standby pass-through, 3D video pass-through, and audio return channel. The front-panel USB port is iPhone/iPod compatible, so, in addition to AirPlay, you can connect your device directly via USB without the need for a pricey USB dock. Like last year's VSX-1020-K, the new Pioneer will have a color graphical user interface capable of displaying album art for your digital music.

Technical Specifications
  • Apple AirPlay
  • 7.1 channel
  • USB/video cables
  • Audio Multi-Channel Acoustic Calibration for speaker setup and optimization
  • Dobly ProLogic IIz Decoding including Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Sound Retriever technology for compressed audio formats
  • 3D technology compatible with HDMI 1.4a & HDMI 1.4a audio return channel
  • DLNA 1.5
  • Auto level volume control
  • HDMI Standby
  • vTuner Internet Radio
  • AVNavigator software setup application
  • iControlAV application for iOS devices
  • Bluetooth audio streaming with optional adaptor
Made for your iPad, iPhone and iPod
Unlike other receiver lines, thanks to Apple® compatibility for iPod, iPhone, and now iPad, most generations of Apple portable devices are easily connected with the included USB/video cable – so there’s no need to buy a separate dock to access all your music, videos, streaming content, and photos stored on your Apple portable devices.
Plus, since your iPhone iPod and now your iPad charges automatically when connected, it’s the ultimate plug-and-play integration with your home theater. You can enjoy music with iTunes® album art, share videos and movies, downloaded TV shows from iTunes, photos, web content such as YouTube and much more. And because the iPhone device’s network features remain fully functional, you can still take that call. Music and movies simply mute and you’re good to go. And you’ve got lots of control options–use the iPhone directly, or push a single button on the VSX-1021-K’s front panel to switch control to the included preset remote and an intuitive, full-color GUI.
The Pioneer VSX-1021-K Receiver Control App
iControlAV2 -turn your Apple into a remote
Your Apple Device as a Remote Control?
Communicating with the VSX-1021-K wirelessly through your home network, Pioneer’s free app turns your iPhone, iPod touch and now your iPad into a powerful remote control for your receiver. The all new iControlAV2 app is fully redesigned and incorporates everything from basic volume and input selection to advanced features like EQ adjustments and Internet Radio control. iControlAV2 for iPad includes enhanced features like vertical and horizontal orientation, intuitive control of music from networked PCs as well as internet radio control, and a super-cool finger EQ adjust screen; simply draw the EQ curve to your desired sound preference.
BlueTooth Connectivity
The VSX-1021-K is fully ready for wireless connectivity with Bluetooth audio from your iPhone, Blackberry, or Android smartphone or other Bluetooth-enabled sources like laptops. With the Pioneer AS-BT200 Bluetooth adapter, you can untether yourself from headphones, cables and inputs. And you’ll enjoy near cd-quality with Sound Retriever AIR technology, created specifically to enhance Bluetooth audio.
Air Jam connectivity
Available as a free download for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices, Pioneer’s exclusive Air Jam application is revolutionizing the way you share your music. Used in conjunction with the VSX-1021-K receiver (optional AS-BT200 Bluetooth adapter required), up to 4 Apple devices can be paired via Bluetooth to share music and create playlists.
Once connected wirelessly, you can choose songs from your device to add to a group playlist to play back on the VSX-1021-K. You can view the playlist on each device. Like the songs one of your friends added to the playlist? Select it and you’ve got the option to purchase it from iTunes or watch the music video on YouTube.
Connect to your PC Music Files or Internet Radio
The VSX-1021-K’s networking ability opens up an entirely new world of possibilities. A rear panel Ethernet port allows full integration into your home network. With DLNA 1.5 certification, a whole new level of entertainment options are at your fingertips. Stream your MP3, AAC, WMA, WAV, or even FLAC music files from your PC, laptop or smartphone to your home theater system.

The Pioneer VSX-1021-K receiver also supports Internet Radio with vTuner, so you can enjoy 1000′s of internet radio stations from around the world .Controlled by Pioneer’s iControlAv2 app, it accesses tens of thousands of web-based radio stations worldwide, making it easy for you to find the ones you want and listen to them directly on your receiver – no antenna required.
With up to 192kHz / 24-bit LPCM and even FLAC file compatibility, Network streaming audio playback is now ready for the true audiophile. An optional AS-WL300 wireless adapter is also available for wireless network convenience. For on-the-go easy access, a front USB port lets you connect your portable media player to display a slideshow of JPEG photos on your HDTV, or play music files with album art support. And your options don’t stop with your portable devices. The Pioneer VSX-1021-K is your portal for SIRIUS satellite radio (subscription required) and thousands of free Internet radio stations –all just a few clicks of the remote.

Of course all the latest Pioneer receivers support the high-definition audio formats, Dolby® TrueHD and DTS-HD® Master Audio to give your Blu-ray Disc® soundtracks unsurpassed audio quality. But Pioneer also includes all of the Dolby and DTS surround formats best suited for the wide variety of entertainment sources, including the newest Dolby Pro Logic IIz height channel.

Pioneer’s exclusive Multi-Channel Acoustic Calibration system (MCACC) provides a near studio-quality, multi-channel listening experience customized specifically to your listening environment. An included microphone measures every speaker’s connection, and notes its size, distance from the listening point, sound levels and timbre to calibrate and maximize performance. Just sit back and let MCACC do the work.
Even compressed audio such as WMA, MP3 and AAC is enhanced with another Pioneer exclusive, Advanced Sound Retriever, by filling in areas where minute details were left out during the compression process.
An industry-first, Pioneer’s AV Navigator truly is an interactive owners manual that takes all the guesswork out of setting up your receiver. AV Navigator uses your iPad or networked PC to communicate directly with the VSX-1021-K, walking you through speaker set-up, MCACC room calibration, sound optimization, firmware updates and more.
3D Compatible
All of Pioneer’s newest receivers support the latest HDMI 1.4a specification. (For more information on HDMI 1.4a click here) So not only do you get the most out of your existing movies and music, with the VSX-1021-K you’re prepared for the next generation of 3D video content. With 5 HDMI inputs, you’ve got plenty of connectivity options for the growing number of high-definition sources available. All Pioneer receivers also offer advanced HDMI conveniences like Audio Return Channel and Power Save HDMI Standby Through.

The VSX-1021-K also provides video conversion from composite and component video to HDMI for a single-wire high-definition audio and video solution as well as up to 1080p video scaling for an exceptional high definition picture, regardless of the source.
Full on Screen GUI
All of the VSX-1021-K’s advanced control and connectivity options are made even better with a full-color user interface on your connected TV. Effortlessly navigate through the VSX-1021-K’s menu and enjoy iTunes album art from a connected Apple device. This is one well-rounded AV receiver.

As you can see, Pioneer has packed this mid-ranged receiver full of features.  I think currently, as a mid-ranged receiver there is no competitor with the features this possesses at around $550.  It possesses everything required for a futureproof product that you could have use for the rest of your life.  This product hasn't been released yet as it is going to be later this month  (March 2011) .  You can buy it here directly from an Amazon link here and be the first to get it though.  I've also included a link for the Wireless Bluetooth Adapter below.  (As explained before, just a convenience.  you can use a usb connection if you don't want pay for the the Bluetooth connection)

Check out the whole new Pioneer VSX Line of Receivers HERE