Vote 2020 graphic
Everything you need to know about and expect during
the most important election of our lifetimes

Pioneer's VSX-1020-K Is Best $550 AV Receiver and Not Only Because You Control It Via iPhone

Illustration for article titled Pioneers VSX-1020-K Is Best $550 AV Receiver and Not Only Because You Control It Via iPhone

This week Pioneer introduced five new receivers, from $230 to $750. All have HDMI 1.4 switching for 3D, and all have Pro Logic IIz surround. But one model stands out, the $550 VSX-1020-K, a worthy successor to our Battlemodo champ.

Advertisement

Receiver technology has become amazingly affordable, and to me, the sweet spot is the 1020, with crazy tech that would've cost thousands only a few years ago:
• An Anchor Bay 1080p upscaler for analog-to-digital video, making every gadget you line in available on your TV via a single HDMI cable
• Sound Retriever AIR for improving quality of MP3s and other compressed formats, a step-up from something that we found actually worked well on previous models
• Advanced microphone-enabled automatic room calibration (called MCACC) for balancing speakers
• Precision Quartz Locking System (PQLS), which provides jitter-free CD playback when combined with a compatible Pioneer Blu-ray player

Advertisement

But best of all, this thing can be controlled and adjusted by Pioneer's AVR iControl app. Anyone who's slagged through their fair share of shitty AV receiver menus—whether on screen or on the receiver itself—knows what a boon it is to have a nice GUI in the palm of your hand as you walk around the room, tweaking your settings. Trust me, this isn't just a gimmick. Here are some screens:

Not much more to say, except that if you respected our judgment call on the 1019 in our receiver Battlemodo, you have all the more reason to spend an extra $50 on its replacement when it ships in May. In the meantime, here's the basic lowdown on all the new receivers: the junior-grade VSX-520-K and VSX-820-K, and the upper deck VSX-920-K, VSX-1020-K and flagship VSX-1120-K, which for $200 more replaces the Anchor Bay upscaler with a Marvell, and has a few extra AV-nerd perks.

Illustration for article titled Pioneers VSX-1020-K Is Best $550 AV Receiver and Not Only Because You Control It Via iPhone
Illustration for article titled Pioneers VSX-1020-K Is Best $550 AV Receiver and Not Only Because You Control It Via iPhone
Advertisement

[Pioneer Electronics]

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

The 1020 and 1120 actually are interesting. I wanted to go with a Pioneer last year (or so) when I ended up buying the Yamaha because it was the only one with 7.1 pre outs in the price range. If the 1020 is like the 1019, then I doubt it will have 7.1 pre outs either.

If Emotiva doesn't get moving on the XMC-1, I may be looking for a better pre/pro for my setup. I could really use the 6 HDMI inputs, though 7 or 8 would be better. The PC Control/RS-232 control would be a nice bonus for automation.