Pioneer FS51

Can the technology of an AU$100K speaker package be re-engineered to hit an entry-level price point? Pioneer thinks so, and the result is its FS51 home theatre surround sound system.

Pam Carroll

Pam Carroll

Former editor of CNET Australia, Pam loves being in the thick of the ever-growing love affair (well addiction, really) that Australians have with their phones, digital cameras, flat screen TVs, and all things tech.

See full bio

The chief speaker engineer at Pioneer USA, Andrew Jones, has a reputation built on designing TAD reference speakers valued at US$100,000. The company threw down the challenge of incorporating that TAD expertise into an entry level-priced speaker package.

The result is the upcoming Pioneer FS51, which includes two bookshelf speakers and two floor-standing speakers, a centre channel speaker and a subwoofer.

They feature radio frequency-bonded, curved cabinets that provide a stiff structure to enhance sound reproduction through reduced cabinet resonance. The design utilises flush mounted grilles for each driver, instead of a single grille for the entire front of the cabinet, and the grilles themselves are made out of metal instead of cloth. All speakers in the line also feature gold-plated 5-way binding posts for better conductivity.

On the engineering front, the FS51 speaker series uses a multi-component internal crossover network that splits the full range audio signal into separate frequency bands, and sends them to the individual drivers optimised for those bands. Pioneer contends that this improves performance through a more accurate frequency division and a more precise re-creation of sound.

The FS51 home theatre speaker pack will be released in Australia in September 2011.