Tag: Pioneer SMA-1 wireless speaker

The Pioneer SMA series wireless speakers can now become Internet radios

Articles – From the horse’s mouth

Pioneer upgrades SMA wireless speaker systems with vTuner Internet radio

Firmware Download Site

My Comments

I have previously written an article about the Pioneer XW-SMA series of Wi-Fi-capable wireless speakers which can play music from your mobile device or laptop using either AirPlay or DLNA technologies. These can work as their own access points if you don’t have access to a Wi-Fi segment that can work across many devices like a home network.

But Pioneer has extended the functionality of all of these speakers by integrating vTuner internet radio functionality. You can add this functionality on to these speakers by performing a firmware upgrade.

Here, you have to download the latest firmware file from Pioneer’s Web site and upload it to the speaker via its management Web page that you discover through the Bonjour device list in Safari or the Network option in Windows Explorer. Here you have an option to open the device Webpage for each of the devices.

But how do you select the Internet-radio stations where the speakers don’t have a display? Here, you have to install the Pioneer ControlApp program on your iOS or Android mobile device and select the stations using that app. This is in a similar manner to what Sony are doing for their wireless speakers where they use a remote-control app on a mobile-computing device to control the speakers.

Of course, you would need to have the speaker connected to a network that has access to the Internet without the need for a login page when you want to listen to Internet radio. For best results on the road with a wireless-broadband connection, I would recommend using a “Mi-Fi” device.

Pioneer SMA wireless speakers put AirPlay, HTC Connect in one happy family — Engadget


Pioneer SMA wireless speakers put AirPlay, HTC Connect in one happy family — Engadget

My Comments

Pioneer have released a range of single-enclosure wireless speakers for use with smartphones, tablets and laptops. But they are not the typical Bluetooth wireless speakers that one would ordinarily think of.

Here, they can either work with a small network whether by Wi-Fi wireless or an Ethernet connection; or they can become their own Wi-Fi access points. They implement Apple AirPlay or the common DLNA 1.5 Digital Media Renderer protocols which makes them work with Apple or industry-standard portable-media playback setups. 

They also have a USB connection for directly connecting one of those high-capacity iPod Classics that is full to the brim with music or other iPod / iPhone devices; as well as having a line-in jack for other media players or tuners; or simply serving as extension speakers to an existing sound system.

The difference among the models is the ability to work on battery power or the speaker setup used in the units. The cheapest model, the XW-SMA1 uses a 3” speaker for each channel and a 3/4”  tweeter for both the channels and doesn’t have battery power. The step-up model, the XW-SMA3 uses the same speaker configuration but can run on its own lithium-ion battery for 4 hours at maximum volume. The top-of-the-line model, the XW-SMA4 has the battery power but can yield better bass through the use of a 3” speaker and 3/4” tweeter per channel and a 4” bass speaker (subwoofer) shared by both channels.

What Pioneer has done is to achieve a highly-compatible wireless speaker set that can work with the standard DLNA-compliant home network which could be based around Windows computers and Android smartphones as well as being able to please the Apple fanbois. This is able to be done without having to resort to Bluetooth technology.

If I was choosing one of these for summer outdoor fun, I would go for the XW-SMA3 or the XW-SMA4 if you value that bassline in the music. The battery-power ability can come in to its own when you are near the pool or on the deck without needing to run extension cords everywhere.