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Pioneer Readies First Elite-Series Soundbar

Targeted to ship in January at under $1,000.

Pioneer plans to offer its first Elite-series soundbar, targeted to ship in January to complement the company’s single $399 Pioneer-series soundbar, the company said during the CEDIA EXPO.

The higher power, higher performance bar, still under development, is targeted to retail from $800 to $1,000. A preliminary version was displayed at the CEDIA EXPO here.

The company cited demand for high-end soundbars from Elite dealers and a need to deliver a “competent music-listening experience,” a spokesman said.
The 2.1-channel soundbar will feature Dolby Digital 5.1 decoding, proprietary technology to widen the soundstage to a listener’s sides, six amplifiers, one 4.5-inch aluminum midrange with concentrically mounted 1-inch soft-dome tweeter per channel, 4-inch aluminum midwoofers (one passive, one active) per channel, and an 8-inch 100-watt wireless subwoofer. The drivers are derived from those used in Pioneer’s new Dolby Atmos speakers.

Switching inputs include analog, optical, coaxial and Bluetooth with AptX. A learning function learns the commands of TV and cable-box remotes’ volume and on/off functions, and the remotes can be used to select movie and dialog-expansion modes.

The cabinet is made of vinyl-covered MDF.

Key differences compared with the Pioneer-series soundbar include higher power, aluminum-cone drivers, an LED display, concentric drivers, the addition of coaxial inputs, and a USB port for firmware updates.

Preliminary specs reveal a power rating of 6×40 watts plus the 100-watt subwoofer compared with the existing bar’s 6×28-watt output with 50-watt sub.