Manufacturer: Pioneer Part number: VSX-1021-K
Where to buy
|store||customer rating||inventory||tax & shipping||price|
| || In stock || |
Enter zip code to get total price:
as of 05/21/2013
CNET editors' review
price range: $589.99
- Reviewed by: Matthew Moskovciak
- Edited by: David Katzmaier
- Reviewed on: 05/12/2011
- Released on: 05/01/2011
The good: The Pioneer VSX-1021-K's feature set is one of the best, with built-in AirPlay, five HDMI inputs, and DLNA compatibility. It can be networked via its Ethernet port or an optional Wi-Fi dongle, as well as controlled by Pioneer's iControlAV2 app for Apple iOS devices. The GUI, while not great, is better than Denon's. And, most importantly, its sound quality is excellent.
The bad: Pioneer only offers a one-year warranty, while competitors offer two. Many competitors also have one more HDMI port in a handy front-panel location. The VSX-1021-K has little built-in support for streaming music services compared with other models, so it's really geared toward owners of iOS devices that can use AirPlay. And while we like the option to add Wi-Fi, the dongle costs an unreasonable $150.
The bottom line: Pioneer's VSX-1012-K is an excellent AV receiver with built-in AirPlay and top-notch sound quality, but Denon's AVR-1912 is just a little better.
Great Receiver, Great Price!
by HallockH2 on November 16, 2011
Pros: + Setup was easy
+ Sound and video quality are great
+ Airplay is an amazing
+ Features abound
Cons: - When changing from SD to HD channels, it sometimes takes several seconds to decode the video signal
Summary: I had been trying to decide between the VSX-1021-K and the Onkyo TX-NR609. Depending on the review, I had found reasons for and against both. I upgraded from a Sony ...
Summary: I had been trying to decide between the VSX-1021-K and the Onkyo TX-NR609. Depending on the review, I had found reasons for and against both. I upgraded from a Sony DA3ES, which even though it's 10+ years old, is still a great unit, but was built well before HDMI and the new HD sound formats.
Finally I decided on the Pioneer. It arrived solidly packed, and setup was easy. I plugged into my router and grabbed an IP address with no problem. Speaker connections are all binding posts that also accomodate banana plugs (no spring-loaded jacks here.)
Inputs can be renamed from either the receiver menu or the iPad control app. You can also turn off inputs you don't use so they won't appear when turning the input knob.
After making my speaker and input connections, I connected the included setup microphone, and started the full-auto MDACC setup. It proceeded to run a series of test tones to test each speaker. It came back and told me I had a speaker out of phase, and sure enough, I had connected one set of wires backwards. After correcting, it continued on and set the levels, balance and distance on all speakers. I've used Video Essentials and a sound level meter in the past, and I have to say that the auto-setup did a great job.
Sound and video quality are great. The 1021-K is 90 watts per channel compared to my Sony's 100, but it puts out good clean sound at all volumes and I haven't noticed any loss of power. Previously all my sources were plugged directly into the TV's HDMI inputs, but the additional video processing the receiver performs definitely gives HD images a pop and clarity they didn't have before. I have it set to upscale everything to 1080, and while it makes things look a little better, it's never going to look as good as a true HD image.
One negative I do have about the video processing: When changing sources or changing from SD to HD channels, it sometimes takes several seconds to decode the video signal. For example, when turning on my XBox360, it takes long enough that I miss most of the startup screen. Not a huge deal I suppose, but it's something that I wasn't used to before. I also have a DirecTV DVR and have had a couple of cases where the picture just flashes off and on repeatedly, until I turn the DVR off and back on. I suppose it could be an issue with upscaling, so I may turn off that feature to see if the issue goes away.
I have an iPad, and I do like the remote control app, though I do agree with those that have said certain aspects of the app are gimmicky. Airplay works well, and though the 1021-K doesn't support Pandora natively, that can also be streamed using Airplay.
The included remote is not laid out the greatest, there are a lot of buttons and most are the same shape and size, so working it in the dark isn't the easiest. A backlit remote would've helped quite a bit. I've had limited success with programming codes for other devices into the remote, but the learning feature (putting remotes face to face) works just fine.
All in all, I'm very satisfied with this unit. I feel I definitely got my money's worth and would recommend it to others ( but before you will buy the Pioneer VSX-1021-K I suggest you have to compare prices before you decide at: lowest-pricing.info/VSX-1021-K ).
Hope this review helps.
10 out of 10 users found this user opinion helpful.
BEST RECEIVER ON THE MARKET UNDER $600.00
by justin borden on May 22, 2011
Pros: lots of power,air play built-in, wireless ready, bluetooth ready, excellent room callibration, and very user freindly.
Cons: none at all
Summary: i work for an audio company and i just got this receiver in. i carry yamaha, onkyo, denon, and now pioneer. this receiver has the most bells and wistles for ...
Summary: i work for an audio company and i just got this receiver in. i carry yamaha, onkyo, denon, and now pioneer. this receiver has the most bells and wistles for the buck hands down over the other brands in its price range. also the ipad controls for audio adjustments are insane. for the record denon makes a good receiver but its not very user freindly at all.
4 out of 4 users found this user opinion helpful.
Easy, intuitive, sounds great, perfect sized remote!
by vaderwasframed on July 4, 2011
Pros: Ease of use, set-up, connectivity and sound quality. Using with Mission speakers (bi-amplified). 6 HDMIs with plenty of inputs. Airplay and internet capable. Runs quiet and cool, especially for its power supplies.
Cons: State of the art machine (so therefore no legacy connections such as S-VHS and only 2 optical inputs and coaxial inputs, no 75 OHM cable connector on the back for the tuner, just the lame unibal style coupled with a so-so tuner).
Summary: I am very pleased so far. This is the perfect unit for HDTV-DVD-PS3-Bluray set up. It sounds as good as Pioneer's ELITE line amplifiers at half the cost. I'...
Summary: I am very pleased so far. This is the perfect unit for HDTV-DVD-PS3-Bluray set up. It sounds as good as Pioneer's ELITE line amplifiers at half the cost. I've owned Pioneer a/v equip for 30 years, pleased with everything I've owned from them and this unit is no exception. Consider strongly between this unit and Denon's equivalent if you're in the market for TOTL consumer grade Home Theatre.
2 out of 2 users found this user opinion helpful.
Superb sound quality, intuitively designed
by Ezrasgold on May 19, 2011
Pros: Mac OS friendly
Broad array of applications and capabilities
Cons: Remote is unnecessarily complex
Lacks built in WiFi network capability
Summary: An extraordinary A/V receiver that reflects Pioneer's outstanding ability to produce leading edge electronics. With that said, Pioneer could have built in the WiFi network adapter instead of ...
Summary: An extraordinary A/V receiver that reflects Pioneer's outstanding ability to produce leading edge electronics. With that said, Pioneer could have built in the WiFi network adapter instead of charging an additional $150 for it...if you can get it. (AS-WL300). Retailers are still without it and it has to be ordered direct from Pioneer. The adapter then requires a WPS-enabled router, so get ready to trade in your perfectly good, but older router for one that has an on/off switch for WPS. All of this is required unless of course your 1021 K is situated next to your computer or modem whereby an Ethernet connection will eliminate the need for a WiFi connection. Plan on spending an additional $200-$250 above the $549 price for the 1021 K for a completely wireless experience.
2 out of 2 users found this user opinion helpful.
Only AirPlay Receiver With WiFi Option!
by benjimen on May 15, 2011
Pros: WiFi connectivity option to home network
Cons: No AirPlay video passthru :(
Summary: Yes, the WiFi dongle is pricey, $50 would be more appropriate -- but at least there is the option. The Denon AVR-1912, preferred by the reviewer, must be cable-connected to ...
Summary: Yes, the WiFi dongle is pricey, $50 would be more appropriate -- but at least there is the option. The Denon AVR-1912, preferred by the reviewer, must be cable-connected to your network -- there are many environments where wireless is the only network connectivity option for home entertainment gear.
Without an option for WiFi, I'm surprised the reviewer considered the Denon receiver comparable.
2 out of 2 users found this user opinion helpful.
Ease of Setup AMAZING! Full of features
by The8x10 on February 23, 2012
Pros: System sets itself up.
iOS app easy for non-techies.
PC CD config tool!
A configuration OSD displays on tv set & is very easy to work.
System does what it is supposed to do.
Jumped on network no trouble.
Cons: I have only owned this for less than 24 hours. Also have small home theater setup. Haven't had time to find the one or two design flaws that make you shake your head and ***? yet but I am sure they are there.
Right now any CONS are super minor.
Summary: For frame of reference, this is my first AV receiver upgrade in over 10 years, so I may gush about features that are commonplace now. Also I have never used ...
Summary: For frame of reference, this is my first AV receiver upgrade in over 10 years, so I may gush about features that are commonplace now. Also I have never used more than 5.1 until now, but moved to 7.1 at the same time as this purchase.
I absolutely LOVE this product. I chose it because of CNET's fair balanced review, it's strong recommendation and especially it's video review. I am writing this review as a thank you to CNET for giving me the info I needed to make a large investment fearlessly.
Now for my experience...
System is tight. Clean.
I have concentrated on the remote, and haven't really used the buttons on the faceplate, but the one or two times during the wiring and physical setting up, I just had the feeling that the buttons on the front were laid out odd. Will revisit that but, in truth, once the I started programing the remote I never even looked at the face of the unit much. (except to see what audio was being fed to the receiver from my cable) The remote is awesome. NEEDS A RECORD BUTTON in transport section though.
I went with surround left / front left high / front left / center / front right high / front right / surround right. When setting up the system, the receiver asks you to choose a picture of your system. The closest one to mine had 2 additional REAR surround speakers. Basically showing a 9.1 system and the next one down was a 5.1 system. I struggled for a minute and finally chose the picture. It wasn't until the next step, that the receiver checked the all the speakers in the picture to determine which ones I had or didn't have. After that step the picture reflected my setup accurately. Just a moment of hesitation on making the choice that could have been avoided with one more sentence in the instructions.
The system tunes itself with a microphone. Checks distance and adjusts delay, reverb, eq on each channel, etc etc. once done, the system sounded AWESOME. By that I mean the surround effect was subtle yet clear. not cartoony and overdone. Maybe adding the speakers is what makes it easy to gradiate the effect making it appear more subtle, or maybe tech has just gotten better. who cares. this thing sound crisp clean and on the money.
I broke out my old "Ultimate DVD tuning disc" DVD and showed my wife some old 5.1 samples like jet flying by, train passing by, etc but they didn't do the system justice. Why not include an audio disc with every sales to you can tweek the system? How extensive could that be? would love to have some over the top audio files to wow people with as well as it's regular solid performance
AirPlay works flawlessly. one of the main reasons I bought this unit. AirJam app requires $90 BlueTooth adapter. Bummer but I understand. Would be nice if you could use AirJam over network.
One thing I didn't see mentioned elsewhere and was overjoyed to read in the manual. This unit will stream FLAC from a DLNA server over your network. I have a ton of FLAC format music files that I don't listen to because I don't want to have to uncompress to wav or lose quality by converting to MP3. This unit streams the loss-less file format .flac if you set up a media server on your network. AWESOME.
Programming the remote----instructions are a little brief. I almost have everything working but not quite. expect there are some undocumented rules about what buttons can be reprogrammed manually.
I sort of have the power off macro programming down so I can shut all the components down at once with only two button pushes, but I haven't found out if we can power on multiple devices the same way.
Programming any remote is frustrating to say the least so why not document it better? A video would be awesome. But all the other programing, using the manufacture's 4 digit codes went great.
I am very happy with my purchase, and my wife was/is very pleased with her birthday gift.
Thanks CNET for the ACCURATE review!
Go get this before the model year ends. The guy at Best Buy said they had just blown out the stock during a sale and no one in my area has one. Told me this is the time where they change over models.
1 out of 1 users found this user opinion helpful.
Great sound and features No Visual Onscreen Controls
by monelectronics on June 12, 2011
Pros: Amazing Sound, Airplay, Beutiful ipad remote control app,Sleak Glossy Black finish
Cons: Airplay does not stream video, 1yr warranty,
No Onscreen Visual Controls
Summary: I bought the Denon 1912 returned it because the video up scaling was horrible and the audio playback in music mode was very bad. Movies and Video gaming sounds amazing. ...
Summary: I bought the Denon 1912 returned it because the video up scaling was horrible and the audio playback in music mode was very bad. Movies and Video gaming sounds amazing. I exchanged it for the Onkyo TX-NR609, i was very pleased with the Onkyo except for the fact it did not have the airplay. The sound quality wasn't as good as the Denon 1912 but the overall sound was satisfying meaning movies, gaming and music sounds great. It wasn't amazing but great. So i came back to CNet to review other receivers and i came across the Pioneer VSX-1021-K CNet raves on the amazing feature such as the iPhone remote control app, Airplay and the great sound it produces. I figured I have now found the perfect receiver. So i then take the Qnkyo Tx-NR609 Back to exchange it for the Pioneer VSX-1021-K. By this time i could tell Best Buy was getting fed up with me buying and returning so much lol. I brought it home set it up and i was blown away by the amazing sound, the technology was futuristic and state of the art. I said to myself this is the one. Until i tried turning up the volume and setting the listening modes. Then i discovered THERE ARE NOT ANY ONSCREEN VISUAL CONTROLS. i said this can't be correct. I looked at the manual just to make sure i didn't have the settings wrong BUT sure enough there are no visuals at all. Denon and Onkyo has it why not Pioneer. I was very disappointed. Some of you might say this is a petty thing to complain about. But if you knew how far my reliever was from my listening area you would understand. So i may be returning the pioneer and going back to the Onkyo . Pioneer would have been the perfect receiver if they would took the extra step and installed this very simple feature ONSCREEN VISUAL CONTROLS. I think their main focus was trying to impress us with the apple features.
Denon 1912 Best Sound for Movies and Gaming (Music's Horrible)(Poor Video Up scaling)
Onkyo TX NR609 Overall Best Mid-Range Receiver great sound after a little Tweaking great video up scaling No Airplay alternative is to Buy Apple TV $99 and your set.
Pioneer VSX-1021-K Sounds Similar to the Denon Great features Amazing Video Up scaling but no ONSCREEN VISUAL CONTROLS. It's almost like they are forcing you to purchase an IPad or an iPhone.
Here's my view on all three of the most talked about AV Receivers of 2011
Hope this helps.
1 out of 2 users found this user opinion helpful.
Not happy ... can't see my Optomo monitor
by agthorn on April 29, 2012
Pros: Airplay was attractive, but I am not as much a Apple freak as the next guy having moved on from iphone to droid but still carrying both! ;-) I loved it's 5-1 HDMI port and 7.1 speaker support. Price was good.
Cons: Did not support my Optomo projector! Can't use it!
Tried to reach Pioneer but need to wait till Monday. I found many others that were very disappointed in remote, long pause to start/stop, manual written by engineers, only 1yr warranty, etc.
Summary: Even if I get a technique to get my Optomo monitor to work on Monday, I do not know if I will be keeping this unit based on all the ...
Summary: Even if I get a technique to get my Optomo monitor to work on Monday, I do not know if I will be keeping this unit based on all the other factors discovered, read about, etc. I am just not that big of an Apple enthusist to ignore what is really important in a good Receiver just for 'air-play' ...I guess I gave that rating too many stars for it 'not working' for me ... drop one off please
I had a Yamaha RX-V871 which was perfect, but slowly started to have problems first with my ROKU and then with my Samsung BlueRay player. Service was great on the phone and if I had a local service shop for Yamaha, I would trade it for another but didn't so thank you Costco for liberal returns policy.
Looks like I will be back on the Market Monday ... wants 7.1 speaker and at least 5-1 HDMI support with internet ... Yamaha was perfect, just got a lemon there .. and was willing to take less with this Pioneer but no Optomo support? nah ...
Updated on Apr 29, 2012
Updated on Apr 29, 2012returning tomorrow
Excellent product, great sounds, easy setup and AirPlay
by nsj747 on April 8, 2012
Pros: Sound quality
ARC pass- thru
Cons: No built in wifi
Expensive AW-L300, not worth it
Summary: Upgraded to the Pioneer receiver last Christmas, using it for the last 4 months and am very happy with the purchase. Was easy to setup and make all the connections, ...
Summary: Upgraded to the Pioneer receiver last Christmas, using it for the last 4 months and am very happy with the purchase. Was easy to setup and make all the connections, ARC pass thru took a little longer but it's awesome, especially watching Hulu or Netflix content. One of the best electronics decisions I made.
One of the issues I have is with lack of built in wifi, read a couple of the past reviews and bought the Netgear wnce2001 wireless Internet adapter for $50 on Amazon. Was easy to setup with my home network and the AirPlay works well, amazing sound quality. Don't bother with AW-L300 adapter, not worth the extra cost and heard it doesn't even work most of the time.
Great Unit at $300.00
by Highlands81 on December 10, 2011
Pros: Airplay (i use wired ethrnet connection as I won't pay ANY company $150.00 for a $10.00 cost item. Poor business image building Pioneer. Try altering the price and watch the units fly for both the receiver AND the $35.00 wireless dongle.
Cons: Cost of Wireless Dongle
No video pass thru on airplay but cross fingers that someone at Pioner will spend the money for a software upgrade down the road soe.
Summary: Great unit especially if on sale. Buy it! No reservations.
Summary: Great unit especially if on sale. Buy it! No reservations.
- Manufacturer: Pioneer
- Part number: VSX-1021-K
- Description: The Pioneer VSX-1021-K receiver is the answer to a home theater enthusiast's prayers. Delivering remarkable performance in an elegant package, it's a receiver designed with advanced technology that performs exquisitely in the moment, while at the same time never taking its eyes off the future. Its state-of-the-art, forward looking features get you closer to exactly what the artist intended in a way that has never been possible.
- Product type Home Theater Network Receiver
- Dimensions (WxDxH) 17.2 in x 14.3 in x 6.6 in
- Color Black
- Surround System Class 7.1 channel
- Amplifier Output Details 120 Watt,
8 Ohm - 7 channel(s) ( Surround ),
6 Ohm - 7 channel(s) ( Surround ),
8 Ohm - 20 - 20000 Hz - THD 0.08 % - 7 channel(s) ( Surround )
- Sound Output Mode Surround Sound
- Audio D/A Converter 24bit / 192kHz
- Built-in Decoders Dolby True HD,
Dolby Digital Plus,
DTS-HD Master Audio
- THX certified No
- Surround Sound Effects Front Stage Surround Advance,
Headphone Surround (V.S.S.)
- Digital Sound Processor (DSP) Yes
- Input Impedance 47 KOhm
- Input Sensitivity 315 mV
- Signal-To-Noise Ratio 100 dB
- Apple AirPlay AirPlay compatible
- Additional Features Audio Return Channel (ARC),
Advanced Sound Retriever (ASR) technology,
Sirius satellite radio ready,
Multi-Channel Acoustic Calibration Circuit (MCACC),
Digital noise reduction,
Networking & Digital Media
- Connectivity Ethernet ,
Bluetooth ready, adapter sold separately
- Internet Streaming Services YouTube,
- DLNA Yes
- Network audio standards WAV,
- Tuner Type Radio tuner - AM/FM - Digital
- Preset Station Qty 63
- Equalizer Yes
- Equalizer type Digital graphic
- Equalizer band qty 9 bands
Inputs & Outputs
- HD connectors HDMI connection(s) on this receiver make it a great choice for your High-Def home theater. One cable carries digital audio and video data directly to your display.
- Connections 1xHeadphones-Front,
1xUSB(4 pin USB Type A)-Front,
1xComposite video/audio input(RCA phono x 3)-Front,
5xHDMI input(19 pin HDMI Type A)-Rear,
1xHDMI output(19 pin HDMI Type A)-Rear,
2xSPDIF input(RCA phono)-Rear,
1xComposite video output (multi zone)(RCA phono)-Rear,
1xMonitor output(RCA phono)-Rear,
4xComposite video input(RCA phono)-Rear,
1xComposite video output(RCA phono)-Rear,
2xComponent video input(RCA phono x 3)-Rear,
1xMonitor output(RCA phono x 3)-Rear,
3xAudio line-out(RCA phono x 2)-Rear,
6xAudio line-in(RCA phono x 2)-Rear,
1xSubwoofer output(RCA phono)-Rear,
- Headphone Jack Yes
- Upscaling via HDMI Up to 1080p
- Video Conversion/Scaling HDMI to HDMI scaling,
Analog to HDMI up conversion
- HDMI features Audio return channel (ARC) ,
Standby pass-through ,
Supports 3D video ,
Deep Color ,
- Display dimmer Yes
- Type of remote control Universal remote control - Infrared
- Features Learning
- Included accessories [Jul 2, 2008 from CDS: Miscellaneous] Auto calibration microphone,
Universal remote control
- Built-in clock Sleep timer
- Timer Sleep
- Power Device Power supply - Internal
- Power AC 120 V
- Power Consumption Operational 550 Watt
- Power Consumption Stand by / Sleep 0.2 Watt
- Service & Support 1 year warranty
- Service & Support Details Limited warranty - 1 year