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As we continue to push our technology’s capability to its limits, the possibilities for what we can do, and how easily we can do it, change.  For example, a few years ago, a small device that could dock your iPod and play music was a game changer for those of us who were getting tired of lugging our CDs around. Nowadays, through the use of things like Bluetooth, or even our own home networks, things can be done seamlessly and wirelessly without the need for docks or cables. You can carry your phone around in your pocket and answer calls while you tend to whatever you’re doing around the house. At the same time that same device can be streaming music to your sound system and speakers.

 

Many companies are developing devices to enhance the range of audio options you have in your home.  For example, Pioneer is constantly looking for ways to make your home entertainment options as easy and user friendly as possible while remaining as versatile as they’ve always been. They were the first to achieve Energy Star Efficiency ratings with their receivers, capable of using as little as 0.1 watts on standby. They have been a trusted name in Home Electronics for over 75 years, and have introduced our homes to many inventive ways to take home audio that much further.

 

Now, let’s take a look at what’s new from Pioneer that can help you have a more connected smart home. Pioneer’s speakers and receivers have support for your iOS Devices, Android Devices, your Roku television streaming devices and more!  Let’s take a look at just how they’ve made all of this possible.

Do Pioneer Products prefer WiFi or Bluetooth?

While many of the higher end wireless speaker sets we’ve seen over the past few years tend to prefer Bluetooth, you may be surprised to hear that Pioneer’s devices prefer to be connected through your WiFi network. There are a couple main reasons for this preference: signal strength and user friendliness. If you’ve read my reviews in the past, I’ve been fairly critical of Bluetooth connections in these devices. More often than not, I’ve spent almost as much time trying to sync the two devices up as I have enjoying it. It can be fairly tedious, especially to someone who just wants the easiest setup possible. I’ve tended to run into a lot of signal interference as well which is also unwelcome when I’m enjoying my favourite music.

If your preference is still Bluetooth, however, you should know that these Pioneer devices CAN support Bluetooth input with an appropriate adapter, which is sold separately. 

Once you have your device set up, it’s time to explore the different ways you can control your Pioneer receivers or speakers without possibly ever having to lay a hand on them again.

Connect Wirelessly through AirPlay

AirPlay integration is one of the biggest and seamless things Pioneer receivers offer.  With it, it can play requested music off any of your applicable iPods, iPads, iPhones, PCs or Macs on AirPlay compatible devices with the simple swap of the musical output in your device’s player. Simply press the AirPlay button while playing music, and swap the source over to whichever device you want to listen from. Best of all, if your Pioneer receiver is off, the AirPlay request will automatically turn it on and begin to play your music immediately.

 

The only catch here is that your Pioneer receiver, and any applicable devices must all be connected to the same home network for this feature to work. Many Pioneer devices come ready to support this out of the box, so there’s no additional hardware or software you need to purchase in addition to make this all work.

Here are the supported AirPlay Devices you might be interested in learning about:

VSX-824-K 5.2 Channel 3D Home Theatre Receiver

VSX-1124-K 7.2 AV Channel Receiver

VSX-1029-K 7.2 Channel 3D Receiver

XC-HM82-K Bluetooth Wi-Fi CD Receiver

XW-SMA1-K Wireless Speaker

Wireless Outdoor Speaker A3

PioneerHTCConnect.jpgConnect Wirelessly through HTC Connect

If you own an HTC Smartphone, you can also take advantage of the wireless features of selected Pioneer receivers and speakers.  With this, you get similar functionality to AirPlay. With the swipe of 3 fingers, you can simply select your Pioneer device and have your music play

 

The HTC Connect Program has been teaming with Pioneer for nearly three years now, so most phones should carry the option, but your phone must be HTC Connect Certified.  It’s also recommended that both your phone and your Pioneer device be upgraded to the most recent firmware version.

 

Here are the supported HTC Connect Devices available now:

VSX-824-K 5.2 Channel 3D Home Theatre Receiver

VSX-1124-K 7.2 AV Channel Receiver

VSX-1029-K 7.2 Channel 3D Receiver

XW-SMA1-K Wireless Speaker

Wireless Outdoor Speaker A3

roku.JPGGot Roku? Got Pioneer? Get Roku Ready

RokuReady functionality is a feature of many Pioneer Receivers and Devices.  Using the onboard Mobile HighDef Link (MHL) on supported devices, you can seamlessly integrate your Roku player into your Pioneer device and gain access to all its functionality (while also playing your audio through it.)

 

Here are the supported Roku Ready devices you might want to take a look at:

VSX-824-K 5.2 Channel 3D Home Theatre Receiver

VSX-1124-K 7.2 AV Channel Receiver

VSX-1029-K 7.2 Channel 3D Receiver

Depending on the Pioneer Device you purchase, you may have an app available to you to use as well. However, before you get started, you should know that while Pioneer does have numerous apps available to support their products, choices are limited on which devices are supported. I’m going to list off a couple of the apps and will link you to Pioneer’s website afterward so you can easily find out which devices are supported where. My recommendation here would be to simply go with iControlAV5 (which I discuss in detail below).

iOS Owners can also keep control wirelessly with iControlAV

iControlAV is an app available in the iOS App Store which will allow you to control certain facets of your Pioneer Receiver through your iOS device.  The app allows you to take charge of your Pioneer Receiver and make subtle changes like volume and audio balance, and more sophisticated things like range and emphasis on what you’d like to hear the most out of your music (ie. more bass.) The app also supports RokuReady functionality and allows you to control your Roku through it.

 

The iControlAV app currently is optimized for iPhone 5 and higher devices, and you must be running iOS 7 as a minimum.

 

Selected Android Devices can take control wirelessly through Pioneer ControlApp 

Pioneer ControlApp enables certain Android Devices to get in on the fun. However, you should be aware that only a small handful of support devices have been confirmed to support this this app.  If you own a Sony Xperia (minimum OS 4.2.2), Samsung Galaxy S4 (minimum OS 4.3), HTC One S (minimum OS 4.1.1) or Google Nexus 5 (minimum OS 4.4.2), then you can download and use the free Pioneer ControlApp. This app allows you to do things like control the volume and many other functions of your device (allowing you to skip tracks or start/stop), just like a wireless remote would.

 

Functionality may be limited depending on which device you’ve purchased, and it’s best to consult Pioneer’s website to see how ControlApp works with your Pioneer device.

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Both Android and iOS users can take advantage of iControlAV5

I’ve saved the best for last here. For my money, I’d say that the iControlAV5 may be the app to go. It features the widest range of supported products (for both platforms,) iControlAV5 is a cleaned up, much slicker looking app featuring the functionalities you’ll be enjoying from the apps mentioned above, as well as a cleaner interface. Best of all, it even works with supported Pioneer BluRay players, so you can double up and use it for that as well as your receiver.  If you own an iPad, they’ve even built a special interface for it, knowing that you have much more screen size to work with.

For iOS devices, iControl AV5 is optimized for iPhone 5 and higher devices, and must be running iOS 6.1 as a minimum.  The only confirmed Android devices right now are similar to the ones I mentioned for ControlApp—Sony Xperia (minimum OS 4.2.2), Samsung Galaxy S4 (minimum OS 4.3), HTC One S (minimum OS 4.1.1) or Google Nexus 5 (minimum OS 4.4.2).

For a complete list of supported receivers and which apps can be used, please click here to visit Pioneer’s iControlAV5 Website.

 

Pioneer makes it easy to integrate your home audio options and your other devices together more than ever before. Their selection of dynamic receivers and speakers provide you with a lot of these options, along with the flexibility of multiple supported devices.  Best of all, easy setup means that you’re listening to your music more, and reading through the instructions less. Whether you’re looking for just a speaker, or something a bit more complex like a receiver, trust Pioneer to help you get the most audio versatility, not just out of your wireless devices, but as you’ve seen, even your Roku!

For more audio options from Pioneer, please visit the Pioneer Online Store on BestBuy.ca