The new Pioneer VSX-934 7.2-Channel Network AV Receiver will be one of the first to feature Apple AirPlay 2 via firmware upgrade by spring 2019. The $580 receiver also supports a host of innovative Dolby Atmos and DTS:X technologies that produce captivating audio, even without dedicated speakers.
Apple AirPlay 2
Integration of Apple AirPlay 2 allows Apple devices the ability to send and sync audio to different devices throughout the house. It also enables owners to control audio from multiple AirPlay 2 compatible devices and improves buffering for AirPlay 2 compatible speakers to eliminate drops.
Dolby Atmos and DTS:X Support
Dolby Atmos and DTS:X playback is supported, via a 5.2.2-channel speaker layout. With the addition of Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers, movie lovers can experience 3D sound without installing speakers in the ceiling. Similarly, DTS:X allows for the flexible placement of speakers to enable optimized playback in a variety of layouts. Even without Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers, the VSX-934’s support for Dolby Atmos Height Virtualizer and DTS Virtual:X, means you can enjoy object-based audio despite the absence of dedicated additional speakers.
Dolby Surround and DTS Neural:X Up-Mixing Solutions
By exploiting the 5.2.2-ch environment, DTS Neural:X and Dolby Surround technologies up-mix legacy “2D” soundtrack formats to reproduce surround-sound with a “wrap-around” feeling. Both solutions are designed to create immersive 3D sound for movie soundtracks encoded on DVD, Blu-ray Disc, or selected video streaming services.
Premium High-Class Amplification Design
The VSX-934 delivers 165 W/Ch (6 ohms, 1 kHz, THD 10%, 1-ch driven) for convincing and responsive surround-sound, and can easily support 4 ohm speakers. The company’s Direct Energy Amplification delivers wide-band frequency reproduction with excellent spatial organization with multichannel and stereo sources. With a deep reservoir of power smoothly delivered through all channels and a selection of inputs for High-Res Audio and pure analog sources, the VSX-934 vastly improves the audio playback quality of music, movies, TV programs, and games.
HDMI Support for HDR, 4K/60p, and BT.2020 Video Formats
All HDMI terminals support 4K/60p, 4:4:4, 24-bit video pass-through, and the HDCP 2.2 digital copy-protection standard for playback of premium content. Video with HDR (High Dynamic Range) in HDR10, HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma), or Dolby Vision™ formats is passed through to a compatible display. Further, video with BT.2020 color is supported, while Super Resolution, a 4K upscaling technology suited to HD sources, is also on board.
Dedicated ZONE 2 Speaker Outputs and Zone 2 Line Output/Zone B Pre-Output
Connect stereo speakers to dedicated ZONE 2 speaker outputs to distribute sources via analog inputs, network, USB, and Bluetooth to another room. Play audio in Zone 1 (Main) or Zone 2 only; synchronized pre-out as Zone B which is good for connecting wireless headphones; or play a unique source in each zone simultaneously. Users can enjoy a 5.2-ch setup in Zone 1 with powered ZONE 2 distribution enabled, or retain a 5.2.2-ch layout and use Zone 2 line-output to share audio to an existing hi-fi system, powered speakers, or power amp and stereo speakers featuring a line input.
Advanced Streaming Options
The VSX-934 ships with easy-to-use. multi-room audio platforms that sync with supported audio systems and speakers of any brand over 5 GHz/2.4 GHz Wi-Fi, creating a seamless house-wide entertainment environment managed from smartphone and tablet. These include Bluetooth, Chromecast built-in, DTS Play-Fi technology, FlareConnect and Works with SONOS for wireless audio distribution.
MCACC with Phase Control Technology
The MCACC (Multi-Channel Acoustic Calibration System) automatically compensates for differences in speaker size, level, and distance, and equalizes response. Simultaneously, Phase Control technology eliminates phase-lag caused by the low-pass filter between main channels and subwoofer to create clearer mid- and high-range sound while adding dynamic impact to LFEs.
When using Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers, high-directivity sound reflects off the ceiling, while low-directivity sound reaches the ears directly. This subtle difference causes a phase shift, making sound feel uncomfortable. Reflex Optimizer technology resolves this phase-lag and optimizes the performance of Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers for clear sound imaging at the viewing position.
Online Music and Internet Radio
Online music services including Amazon Music, Pandora, Spotify, TIDAL, and Deezer are all available to explore. Furthermore, users can enjoy a near limitless flow of music, sports, podcasts, and news entertainment courtesy of onboard TuneIn internet radio. Note, some require a paid subscription.
Dual-band 5 GHz/2.4 GHz Wi-Fi
High-fidelity sound sources can be played wirelessly over a Wi-Fi connection offering 5 GHz (11a/n) and 2.4 GHz (11b/g/n) bands. In busy households with many devices contributing to congestion on the 2.4 GHz band, the 5 GHz channel offers smoother transmission of audio files without radio-wave interference.
GUI with Easy Initial Setup
Pioneer’s intuitive Graphical User Interface (GUI) over HDMI makes for stress-free operation. The on-screen GUI displays System Setup, MCACC, and Network/Bluetooth, with quick access to each menu. A simple graphical display detailing receiver functions improves ease of use as do the Personal Presets, while Setup Guidance makes initial network setup a snap. Pioneer’s new On-Screen Display (OSD) shows detailed audio and video information during playback.
Price and Availability
The Pioneer VSX-934 will be available February 2019 for $579.99 US / $799.99 CAD.
Don’t need AirPlay 2? Consider the previous model, VSX-933.