By Chris Nicholls

MELBOURNE: Pioneer has released a new minimalist HD audio-capable surround sound system, the HTP-LX70, with only four speakers but capable of putting out eight-channel HD surround sound.

The system, which sells for $2,999, is an integrated receiver capable of outputting in both Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD but achieves its eight-channel sound by using two dedicated channels per speaker.

The speakers also use Pioneer’s proprietary ‘Dodec’ speaker technology to create a 3D sound field.

The technology uses a dodecahedron speaker concept (a dodecahedron is a geometric shape with 12 sides) in the speakers to deliver the ‘Omni-directional’ sound.

The HTP-LX70 also uses Pioneer’s ‘Front Stage Surround Sound’ system, which enables users to achieve surround sound in the living room with the speakers placed at the front of the room. This feature makes use of the difference between the sound pressures sensed at the left and right ears, to create a natural surround sound atmosphere.

Unlike many HD-capable home theatre systems, the HTP-LX70 can also be used with an iPod

The system comes with an HDMI port, and can transfer the 1080p video signal to the television from the Blu-Ray player. The amplifier is 400 watt, while the down-firing sub-woofer uses dual-drive subwoofers.

New owners can use the system’s Advanced Multi-Channel Acoustic Calibration system to help calibrate the system automatically to suit the living room.

The Advanced MCACC applies what Pioneer calls ‘Time Axis’, to measure the listening environment’s acoustic characteristics and apply frequency response compensation.

The HTP-LX70 comes with a large LCD touch-screen remote control, giving direct access to all the system’s functions.                            

The HTP-LX70 sells for $2,999 and is available now.