Pioneer may have abandoned HDTV production, but it hasn't left the home theater entirely. In addition to continuing to churn out new Blu-ray players, the electronics company still produces A/V receivers, including three new models that are reasonably priced and certified to work with iPhones.
Support for iPods is a pretty common feature for receivers these days (and Pioneer's new models are no exception), but Works with iPhone certification is a rarer spec. For either device, the new VSX-819AH, VSX-919AH and VSX-1019AH (pictured) can display playlists and album art via Pioneer's new on-screen interface. The receivers can even auto-mute your iPhone tracks when a call comes in. Pioneer has a couple of other iPod/iPhone-related technologies up its sleeve: Advanced Sound Retriever is designed to improve the audio quality of compressed music files, while Auto Level Control keeps the same volume from track to track (reducing the variation between your downloaded tracks).
All of the new receivers are Sirius Satellite Radio-ready, support Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Pro Logic II, and DTS-HD, among other surround-sound processing modes, include multiple HDMI inputs, and support multi-room audio. The $299 VSX-819AH delivers 550 watts of power to 5.1 channels, while the $399 VSX-919AH and the $499 VSX-1019AH provide 120 watts per each of their 7 channels. The two pricier models can also deliver video to a second room, while the VSX-1019AH adds a fourth HDMI input and a 1080p upscaler for analog video sources.
If you like how these sound, you don't have to wait for them to arrive, as you often do when new home theater products are announced: All three are already on sale at Best Buy and elsewhere.