Arcam’s AVR5 Lowers Price of Entry, Not Features
Arcam's entry-level AVR5 decodes 12-channels of Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, is compatible with Dolby Vision up to 4K, as well as playing nicely with Apple AirPlay2, Bluetooth aptX HD, Chromecast, MQA, and Roon.
Arcam's AVR5 AV amplifier lowers the entry price to the company's renowned home cinema receivers without being stingy about the features. For instance, at under £2K, you still get the ability to natively decode 12 channels of Dolby Atmos audio (with upmixing from Dolby Surround), alongside DTS-X (with upmixing from DTS:Neural:X).
Under the AVR5's hood, you'll find dual ESS ES9026PRO DACs as found in the pricier AVR30. You'll also find seven channels of Class AB amplification, which are driven by a custom-designed linear supply capable of sustaining 1.5KW of total power consumption. Those needing all dozen channels in a 7.1.4 array, for instance, can simply add a separate power amp.
The HDMI ports on the Arcam ARV5 support 4K HDR passthrough, including HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision. There's also eARC support for lossless audio, although HDMI 2.1 support requires the upgrade to be offered to the rest of the HDA range by the end of 2021. However, Arcam says that not all buyers will need HDMI 2.1 and this helps keep the AVR5's price down.
While we're talking connectivity, Apple AirPlay 2, Bluetooth aptX HD, Google Chromecast, and Spotify Connect are all present and correct. Meanwhile, the updated Harman MusicLife UPnP app also enables playback and control of the AVR5 via Android and iOS devices, along with providing access to internet radio, music streaming, and podcasts.
The ARV5 also supports Roon enabling subscribers to browse Qobuz, TIDAL, networked libraries via the system's swish interface and use it for multi-room audio. Also, those on TIDAL's Masters tier get MQA unfolding, too.
Finally, rounding things off is that the AVR5 also supports Dirac Live, the professional-grade room correction system. This optional extra requires downloading the Dirac tuning tool for Mac or PC and purchasing a licence, but AVR5 owners can claim a 50% discount for a limited time.
The Arcam AVR5 will be available towards the end of Q4, 2021, priced at £1,999/ €2,199 RRP.
StereoNET UK’s Editor, bass player, and resident rock star! Jay’s passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.
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