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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Pioneer VSX-1021-K

AirJam

AirJam interface

iControlAV2: Change AV receiver settings with your iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch

iPad-optimized

Finger EQ

MCACC visualization

The Pioneer VSX-1021-K is the first AV receiver we've seen with built-in AirPlay and it also features the redesigned front panel Pioneer is using this year on its AV receivers.
Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET
In addition to traditional AirPlay functionality, Pioneer is also offering its own app called AirJam. The idea is that up to three people with an iOS device can add songs to a communal playlist.
Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET
While AirJam worked in our demo and it's a nice bonus feature, we doubt many people will go through the trouble of downloading the app just to make song requests.
Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET
Pioneer has also announced its latest AV receiver app, iControlAV2. The idea is that you can use your iOS device to control settings on your AV receiver, rather than navigating onscreen menus.
Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET
While we had our criticisms of last year's iControlAV app, the iPad version of the app is optimized to use the extra screen space.
Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET
Finger EQ is a good example of what we didn't like from last year's iControlAV app. While it looks neat to draw your own EQ curve with your finger, we didn't feel that it offered more functionality than just being able to move faders up and down.
Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET
That being said, there's definitely a lot of geek appeal to being able to visualize Pioneer's MCACC automatic speaker calibration results. We're looking forward to getting our hands on a review sample of the VSX-1021-K and giving iControlAV2 a full workout.
Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET
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