A Home Theater setup centered around an AV receiver is the best way to get that immersive home theater sound for TV and movie viewing, but not all AV receivers provide the best music listening experience.
However, the ARCAM AVR5 is designed to do well with both at a seemingly reasonable price.
The core features of the AVR5 include the following.
- 7 built-in amplifier channels (class A/B) that support a traditional 7.1 channel speaker setup or 5.1.2 channel speaker setup for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.
- The built-in channels are rated to output 60 WPC measured running all 7 channels into an 8-ohm speaker load with a 1kHz test tone, .2% THD. Refer to our reference article on what amplifier power specifications mean.
- The AVR5 also provides expansion capability for up to 11 channels via external amplifiers. This allows for a 7.1.4 channel Dolby Atmos/DTS:X speaker setup.
- 4K UHD resolution pass-through.
- HDR (HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG) pass-through
- 7 HDMI inputs (ver 2.0b – upgradeable to ver 2.1 via update), 2 HDMI outputs.
- HDMI-ARC/eARC compatible
- Analog and digital audio-only input/output connections.
- Wi-Fi/Ethernet, RS232, and IR control (remote control provided)
- 2 ESS 9026PRO audiophile DACs (Digital-to-Analog Converters) for optimal music listening quality.
- Bluetooth aptX®HD support
Dirac Room Correction
Most AV receivers come with Room Correction software included but ARCAM is taking a slightly different approach with the AVR5.
Instead of including operational room correction as part of the AVR5 out-of-the-box, ARCAM has partnered with room correction experts Dirac to provide access to several room correction software options for an extra price that includes a license to activate Dirac Live and use the software.
To use Dirac Live Room Correction Software you need a PC or MAC, and an Omni-directional microphone. Dirac recommends the miniDSP UMIK-1.
The benefits of using Dirac Live Room Correction include:
- Improved localization of sounds.
- Better clarity for music and speech.
- Deeper/tighter bass that is free of unwanted room resonances.
The options you can choose from are:
- Limited Bandwidth (20Hz to 500Hz) – $259.
- Full Bandwidth (20Hz to 20Khz) – $349 or $99 if upgrading from limited Bandwidth
- Bass Control for Single Subwoofer – $349
- All-in-One Package (Full Bandwidth + Single Subwoofer) – $649
For full details on each option as well as, exact PC/Mac system requirements, how to purchase a license, establish an account, and use Dirac Live, refer to the Dirac/ARCAM AVR-5 online store.
Also, until Mach 31st, 2022 at 11:59 pm CEST (Central European Summer Time) AVR5 owners can get a 50% discount on Dirac Live Room Correction activation via ARCAM’s website. Use the promo code AVR5-ARCAM.
Pricing & Availability
The ARCAM AVR5 will be available at a retail price of $2,000 in November 2021 from authorized dealers. Just remember to keep in mind the extra cost of the Dirac Live Room Correction Software, even if you qualify for the 50% discount offer.
NOTE: If you forgo the Dirac Room Correction feature, the AVR5 does have a manual speaker setup option, but you have to manually determine speaker distance, set your own crossover point between the speakers and subwoofer, and use either your ears or a sound meter to determine the best speaker levels using the receiver’s test tones.