Pioneer announces new Reference Blu-ray players

Both models benefit from Pioneer's new advanced video engine, made up of a Precise Pixel Driver image processor and a new 4K Reference Converter. This upscales discs or network content to Ultra HD 4K resolution.

MORE: Pioneer BDP-LX91 review

The BDP-LX88 features the ES9018 ESS SABRE DAC, which promises the "utmost audio quality output". The BDP-LX58 meanwhile features the ES9011 DAC chip.

The Pioneer players can support DVD audio, SACD (Super Audio CD) and most other high-resolution audio file types.

The BDP-88FD (pictured) uses all four integrated DACs at the one time, in an attempt to reduce noise. A "Direct Function Circuit" is used for analogue audio playback and shuts off all video circuits, delivering all available power to the audio components.

The 88FD claims enhanced audio performance over the 85FD thanks in part to a larger capacity power supply.

Both Pioneer Blu-ray players support DLNA, can stream content from smartphones and tablets and play high-resolution content from USB, discs and hard drives. Both models feature two USB ports, one on the front and one on the back, meaning a USB device and an optional Pioneer wi-fi adaptor can be connected at the same time.

A double-layered chassis has been used in the construction of both Elite models, for an ultra-rigid structure, and there are upgrades to the capacitors and other components. A three-chamber design has been used in the players, separating the power supply, digital processing circuitry and audio circuitry.

The Pioneer BDP-LX88 will be available from December for £1300. The BDP-LX58 meanwhile will be available from October for £600. Both will arrive in black and silver finishes.

Max is a staff writer for What Hi-Fi?'s sister site, TechRadar, in Australia. But being the wonderful English guy he is, he helps out with content across a number of Future sites, including What Hi-Fi?. It wouldn't be his first exposure to the world of all things hi-fi and home cinema, as his first role in technology journalism was with What Hi-Fi? in the UK. Clearly he pined to return after making the move to Australia and the team have welcomed him back with arms wide open.