SE-CL34, SE-CL521 and SE-CL531: Pioneer brightens up the headphone market

Pioneer is continuing its foray into the headphone market with three new models designed to be used with portable media players.

Anyone who’s tired of seeing the ubiquitous white earphones – whether they’re made by Apple or not – will be glad that Pioneer has decided to put a bit of colour back into the music business.


The SE-CL34 has been designed for the fashion-conscious apparently, and comes in a choice of blue or bright red (and matte white!).

The SE-CL521 is aimed at those who prefer a somewhat more classic look, and comes in black, dark blue and red – oh, and white as well! They also offer excellent noise cancellation, says Pioneer.

The top model in the range is the SE-CL531, which comes in black or red and has an ear holder designed to keep the earphone in place. It also features a 9mm speaker unit for more powerful bass delivery.

All of the models have a gold-plated 3.5mm stereo mini plug, cords measuring more than a metre in length, and 9mm drivers. They are all designed to be lightweight and ship with a choice of soft ergonomic tips in different sizes, so you should be able to get a perfect fit. The bullet-shaped earpiece is designed to enhance noise-isolation,

And the price? The SE-CL521s and SE-CL34s come in at £29.99, and you can expect to pay £39.99 for the SE-CL351s.

Pioneer have been quite inventive this year – their SE-CL24 earphones came in an appealing cherry shape, while the SE-CL24s were leather-belt shaped!

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Pioneer HTP series: Compatibility, connectivity and flexibility

Pioneer’s latest audio home cinema launch promises the best in technology and design to bring ‘movies to life’.

The audio-visual company launched three new receiver subwoofer home movie systems with a focus on digital sound and compatibility. The systems pass 3D video signals over JDMI, and include the latest HDMI inputs. They are also 3D TV broadcast receiver, Blu-ray Disc player and game console-friendly.


Happily, the speakers allow high definition audio to be processed in the system, combined with digital transfer of both HD video and audio through a single cable, reducing wire clutter. And perhaps in recognition of the fate of the traditional home sound system, the products also enable USB plug-in for MP3 players.

The stylish, glossy black finish means these systems will also be compatible with most living environments.

The ‘HTP’ series has a main subwoofer unit, with a home cinema receiver and three speaker set variations.

The new range features the HTP-610 5.1 channel, the 3.1 channel HTP-SB510 bar-style and the 2.1 channel HTP-FS510 front speaker system.

The 5.1-channel system is targeted at the ultimate film buff; for those that want the premium audio effects to match their already perfect visual display. It features four slim speakers and a powerful output of 6 x 100W.


The 3.1 bar style system is suitable for those that want quality sound but don’t want to invest in the full home cinema package, or for the many of us short of space. The bar can be conveniently attached to the wall, and provides power output of 4x 100W. However, unlike the comparative Samsung and LG varieties, this one comes without a built in Blu-ray drive.


The 2.1 series delivers impressive surround sound at a more modest price, with two slim speakers to subtly complement your flat screen TV. The speakers are height adjustable and offer 3 x 100W in power output.

The speakers feature decoders for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, and monitor the sound field with a built in microphone. The systems come with an intuitive preset remote, which can also be used with other Pioneer equipment.

The range is due out in December with these prices: The HTP-610 at £599, the HTP-SB510 at £599 and the HTP-FS510 at £499.

Pioneer XW-NAC3 review: Twice as nice

Latest Gadgets had a chance to test Pioneer’s latest addition to the KODO range, the Pioneer XW-NAC3. It packs a lot of nifty features in, which makes it stand out in a very, very crowded market. The most notable feature is the dual docks enabling you to charge an iPhone and an iPod at the same time. So for households with multiple iPhones this speaker dock will be useful. Using the shuffle feature you can playback music from both devices and share libraries – great for DJ-ing at parties.


For all the music lovers, the sound quality is impressive with its full spectrum audio speakers and passive radiators. It offers powerful bass, almost enough to deafen your neighbours. You can connect using the built-in bluetooth so you have no need for an adaptor. What is also impressive is that it uses sound retriever AIR to restore sound quality after bluetooth transmission providing a full, deep sound.

The KODO XW-NAC3 includes built-in internet radio and it is DLNA compliant to enable you to play music stored on your computer. It also has a composite video output enabling content to be played back on your TV. For convenience, it has a credit card sized remote control. You can change the playlist and album playing with a click on the button on the remote. The LCD display is bright and clear and will show the artist name and song name while playing. The display shows a LED clock with a wake-up and sleep function.

Comparing the Pioneer KODO XW-NAC3 to its competitors, it has some unique features. The only thing it is missing is Wi-Fi. For wireless streaming, you might consider the Revo IKON, although it only has a single dock.

The newest addition complements the KODO range and joins it sister dock, the wall-mounted Pioneer XW-NAW1. The Pioneer KODO XW-NAC3 is a high-end dock with lots of features to provide convenient access to your music library. It is available from Amazon from £294

Versatile and stylish – Pioneer’s KODO XW-NAW1 iPod wall mounted speaker system

As we mentioned in our feature on the best iPod docks due to high consumer demand, competition to produce the very highest of quality iPod speaker systems is hastily gathering speed. Born from this surge in spiritedness Pioneer GB has launched an exciting new addition to its KODO range of iPod speaker systems – the KODO XW-NAW1.


In the same way TV wall brackets deliver the luxury of being able to hang a flat screen television on the wall, the KODO XW-NAW1 is a wall-mounted iPod speaker system; ensuring quality sound can be pumped out in any room without requiring precious shelf space.

Being just 83mm thick, black and elegant, by either mounting the KODO XW-NAW1 to the wall or transporting it with you and resting it on its own stand, it the will add a touch of glamour to wherever this speaker system is positioned. In keeping with its attractive exterior, the KODO XW-NAW1 is controlled by several blue illuminated touch sensors. Although if having to wearily reach up to crank the volume up a notch or two sounds like too much of a burden, an infra red remote is provided so users can control their digital music collection at their leisure.

Analogous to its elegant appearance, the quality of the sound the KODO XW-NAW1 produces will not disappoint – according to Pioneer. With a two-way 30W stereo speaker with neodymium tweetermagnets, Pioneer claim its latest iPod speaker system delivers “rich, powerful and outstanding” sound. For the less audio-technological-terminology-minded among us, we ask ourselves what the hell are neodymium tweetermagnets? After a few minutes research on Google, I learn that neodymium tweetermagnets are compact high efficiency dome tweeters with extended frequency response. Although this sheds little light and I am still a little confused of their function, I am later informed there is nothing new or revolutionary about neodymium technology and it is a common material for producing magnets.

Despite the fact the impressive techno terminology Pioneer uses to describe its new product is slated by some for being unoriginal and incapable of ‘razing a building’, I am reassured that neodymium tweetermagnets and the KODO XW-NAW1 produces high-quality sound. Although producing premium sounding music is not the only trait of this speaker system. A component video output is also at hand for outputting video from an iPod or iPhone to a television. An additional asset of the XW-NAW1 is that can charge any docked iPhone or iPod.

From September onwards you’ll be able to see whether this versatile and stylish iPod docking device, which uses neodymium tweetermagnets and can conveniently accommodate any living space, is worth its hefty £199 price tag.

Pioneer CDJ-850: Bedroom DJ kit goes pro

Pioneers have always been ubiquitous with DJ culture; from the early years of the digital mixing with their first CDJ 1000 and have been at the forefront of the CD mixing phenomenon since the death of Vinyl mixing over the last few years.

They are now ready to release a new line of CDJ that will bridge the divide between the bedroom DJ and a true professional.


Pioneer CDJ’s are common place in every club in the land and Pioneer aren’t resting on their laurels as they about to unload the rekordbox TM enabled CDJ 850 – it will incorporate many of the most exciting features from the CDJ-2000 and 900, offering major enhancements over the outgoing CDJ-800MK2.

No matter which CDJ you play on, the browsing logic is always the same and all the work put into customising rekordboxTM collections will be available on every player in the range. So wherever DJs play, it will always feel like home.

They have aimed the new CDJ 850 cleverly, by trying to get CDJ-850 to resemble the CDJ-2000 in as many ways as possible, so that the transition between using both is as smooth as possible. They have certainly achieved this, while still bringing the system in at an more affordable price of £799.99.

Notable inclusions in the so-called budget ranged of CDJ are Wave display, which all you to see peaks and drops of the music. An intuitive Tag List feature allows DJs to think ahead 10, 20 or many more tracks by arranging temporary set lists on the fly. They can save this as a playlist and recall it later in rekordboxTM or use it again at the next gig.
Adapting to all ways of working, the CDJ-850 plays music from CD, USB and PC. Despite the price point, it’s capable of playing professional 24-bit Wav and Aiff, along with MP3 and AAC music files. It can be used as a Midi controller and 24-bit soundcard for music software, and with HID capability.

So if you looking to become a DJ or you have dreams of being the next Tiesto, then you can’t go wrong with the CDJ 850 – but remember you’ll need two CDJ’s and mixer, which is going to cost you at least £2000, which in anyone’s world is not a cheap for any bedroom DJ.

But Pioneer have set the industry standard for CDJ’s and we think that they will become more renowned than its predecessor the Technics MK 3’s – which will be discontinued by the end of the year according to reports circulating the internet. Rip Vinyl.

So if wondering whether to go for the so-called budget option you might want to see it’s main features and spec list below to make the right choice.

• Retains most of the principal functions from the industry club-standard CDJ-2000, such as the 206mm jog dial and large screen for visual information.??
• Able to play all types of digital files, such as WAV, AIFF, MP3 etc.?
• Incorporates rekordboxTM, allowing the creation and editing of playlists pre-gig, and recalling cue and loop settings for more inventive DJing.??
• On-screen display allows for quick and easy music selection, and the wave display allows greater grasp of the dynamics of a track.??
• By connecting via the CDJ-850’s special interface (USB HID), more complex DJ software can be used without using a control disk.??
• Tag list allows registering and itemising of tracks at the touch of a button.??
• Auto beat loop function, tempo variation, CD ‘resume’ function and vibration-resistance are just some of the other additional features.

Main Specifications?
Compatible Media: Music CDs, CD-R/RW, USB storage devices (such as flash memory, HDD, etc.)?
Compatible Files: MP3/AAC/WAV/AIFF?
USB storage compatible File Systems: FAT16, FAT32, HFS+ ?
Frequency Performance: 4 Hz – 20 kHz?
S/N Ratio: 115 dB or higher
Total Harmonic Distortion: 0.003% or less
USB Ports: USB A Port × 1, USB B Port × 1?
Audio Output Terminals: AUDIO OUT (RCA)
Other Terminals: CONTROL (3.5 mm dia. mini-plug)
Audio Output Voltage: 2.0 V?Power Supply: 220-240V 50/60 HZ
Power Consumption: 21 W?Max External Dimensions: 305 mm (W) × 364.4 mm (D) × 105.5 mm (H)
Unit Weight: 3.3 kg?Included Music Management Software rekordboxTM
Compatible OS: ?Mac OS X (10.4.6 and later)?Windows® 7 Home Premium/Professional/Ultimate?Windows Vista® Home Basic/Home Premium/Ultimate/Business?Windows® XP Home Edition/Professional (SP2&later)?(Note: Is not compatible with Windows® XP Professional x64 edition)?Playable Files: MP3/AAC/WAV/AIFF

The Pioneer ICE car – triumph of the Technobrains

Since the late 70s, an epic battle has been fought between Petrolheads and Technobrains – the former hoping to keep computer-controls out of cars, with the latter championing the digital cause.

And the Technobrains won.

Today, high-tech electronics have taken over most of the monitoring systems under the bonnet (you should really check your own oil, though – use the long stick bit). Commanding the engine isn’t enough for some, however, including the designers at Pioneer and Smart – they’re striving to digitalise everything underneath the sunroof.


The latest weapon in the electronic onslaught is the smart fortwo ICE edition – a car pimped out with enough interior electronics to make even Westwood cringe. The electronics, provided by Pioneer, have two priorities: big sound and big driving aids.

To win over your ears, Pioneers has included Kevlar midbass drivers and silk dome tweeters, alongside a brand new TS-WX210A active subwoofer – audio components better suited for a studio than a smart car.

The music is controlled by the AVIC-F920BT navigation and multimedia headunit, which also connects to your iPod or iPhone to display album artwork, track listings, playlists – while you DJ it all via the touchscreen.

It also includes Pioneer’s brand new MusicSphere technology, which allows you to select tracks according to your mood or journey type. Songs are automatically analysed and categorised by tempo, rhythm, vocal line and pitch, creating up to 40 different playlists from an iTunes library.

If you’re interested in giving this a go (Samsung used to make a similar product, but it never really took off), Pioneer have a philanthropy division that allows non-Smart buyers to download MusicSphere for free from the company’s website:

In addition to the multimedia elements, the system also does navigation with premium features. Most interesting of all is the ECO Graph package, which works out how economical your driving performance is. By analysing your driving style, particularly your breaking, revs and acceleration, the software can estimate your CO2 emissions and guilt you into driving more responsibly.

It also offers more standard features, such as pre-warnings about traffic jams and accidents, as well as highlighting more than six million points of interest in 44 countries, such as cash machines or petrol stations.

Oh, there are electric windows, too.

If all this technology has sold you, and you want to be a standard-bearer for the Technobrains advance into Petrolhead territory, you should consider that there are only 200 smart fortwo ICE edition models created in the UK: 140 micro hybrid drive petrol versions and 60 diesel versions, so best be quick.

Pioneer have plans on your living room: New range of iPod docks, AV receivers and Blu Ray players

Latest Gadgets went down to a Pioneer product launch and were dazzled by an array of AV receivers, speakers, Blu Ray players, iPod Docks and earphones. Here are just some of the things we saw.


AV Receivers are no-one’s idea of sexy but the entry to mid-level VSX range were feature-filled work horses. HDMI 1.4 support enables them to handle 3D Blu Ray content, they can stream audio over Bluetooth and the free iControlAV iPhone app allows you to control inputs and fiddle with the dynamic range via the accelerometer (more fun than it sounds). They can also connect to internet radio over the home network. Yours to buy from June 2010 except for the premium glossy black VSX-1025 which will be available in July.

Plugged into the AV Receivers were the BDP LX53 and BDP-330 Blu Ray players, which have built in Ethernet and optional wireless dongles. Both support support 36-bit Deep Colour, can upscale DVDs and connect to youtube. And of course they work with the iControlAC iPhone app as well.

Pioneer also had three iPod docks on display – the XW NAC3 and XW-NAC1 and the XW NAV1. The creatively named XW NAC3 and XW-NAC1 both come equipped with docking stations for two iPods or iPhones at once. Silly at first glance, the “SHUFFLE” function means music can be played back from both of the docked iPods or iPhones at random. Powerful mathematics is at work allowing for a DJ-like effect transitioning from one track to the next relatively seamlessly. It’s not quite DJ Shadow-in-a-box but it’s fine for background music and perfect for Bring-Your-Own-iPod style parties.

The top of the line XW-NAC3 model offers internet connectivity via a LAN interface and is DLNA certified. The words DLNA are normally enough to have me reaching for my wallet, as DLNA devices are awesome. The XW-NAC3 is no exception. When hooked up to the net, you can access internet radio or play back music from DLNA compliant home servers – theoretically you can playback all the music in your house. There is a USB port for connecting mass storage devices to playback a variety of formats (MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV or even FLAC). files stored on it. There is even a clock.

The XW-NAV1 goes far beyond an iPod dock as is more of a digital media player. It has an iPod dock (obviously) but also features an FM tuner, CD/DVD player and can connect to a TV via HDMI for a high quality, upscaled Audio/Visual experience. The composite video out allows you to watch video stored or streamed via the iPod on a TV and a USB port plays back most media files. A neat CD-to USB ripping function lets you copy CDs onto USB without getting a PC involved.

The XW-NAC3 and XW-NAC1 iPod speaker systems will be available as from June 2010, followed by the XW-NAV1 in July.