Any purpose, and in this case we are talking about creating a system using DC soundbar can be achieved in several ways. The first is to connect all of the sources and to the television signal to send it via one soundbar digital cable. The second approach, pioneered the market by Arcam, implements Solo bar. Using his years of experience in building equipment for DC, the British company has transferred some functions and processing modules of the AV-receiver into the soundbar.
So, Solo boasts several features that we used to see at the AV-receiver; In addition, it has four HDMI-input with support for 4K. HDMI-out is equipped with Audio Return Channel that allows for sound with a compatible TV.
In the menu, you can find Arcam select “Auto Calibration.” Like some AV-receiver, Solo bar equipped with a microphone and a corresponding program. Press «OK» on the remote control and the soundbar, published several test tones, adjust the speaker volume. The same actions it can perform wireless subwoofer Play.
Screen interface for TV in Solo bar is not provided; all operations are performed by using the display device itself. He is quite large and can accommodate a considerable amount of data, but the pale blue letters seem too faint in comparison with dark green in the other components of Arcam.
After calibration, the soundbar you may want to disable the equalizer. We think that with him Arcam sounds more open and easily; when you turn off the sound loses some volume, but the bass become denser.
There are three modes soundbar sound: “Cinema”, “Concerto” and “Stereo”. In the “Cinema” soundstage becomes wider, the other two differently arranged focus. It is necessary to play music through a Bluetooth-receiver Arcam, and the system will automatically switch to “Stereo”.
Subwoofer Arcam Solo cost $ 1,100 a closed structure; it is equipped with 10-inch speaker and a 300-watt amplifier. The most convenient way to connect it wirelessly, but it is possible and a cable connection.
By the way, Bluetooth, there is another interesting feature. Not only can you send music Solo bar in a conventional manner, but also to transmit a signal from it to Bluetooth-headset. This possibility seems obvious, but so far its implementation is not met. Our compliments Arcam for such an unusual approach.
Strong aluminum body soundbar looks solid and weighty. In fact, a pair of speakers with the amplifier output of 50 watts per channel. Tweeters at the ends of the soundbar deployed by 5 degrees each to increase the width of the sound field. The kit includes a bracket for wall mounting. After sending the first batch of stores in the soundbar company Arcam, has also added a wedge stand; It allows you to reject the soundbar back if it is set well below the position of the viewer.
Another advantage of this Arcam addition to a thoughtful use of Bluetooth – the ability to decode high-quality soundtracks formats Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio with Blu-ray-discs. Most soundbar able to decode only those basic formats like DTS and Dolby; Solo bar theoretically capable of extracting records from more information than its competitors.
Movie soundtracks by Arcam sound loud and clear; it is worth noting also high transparency. The soundtrack for the film “After Earth” in the format of DTS-HD Master Audio emphasizes the tonal balance of the soundbar. Voice and delivers clear calls. A bitter dispute between the characters Jaden and Will Smith before the first jumps with waterfall, full of details. Episode in which the young hero tries not to fall into the clutches of a giant bird of prey, admire the vigor and precision sound; the bird and the boy sharply dive down, collide with each other.
In detail – Soundbar Arcam Solo
1 In the bottom of the Arcam are two 3.5-mm connector: left is to connect the analog input source, right – Microphone settings Solo bar. Do not confuse!
2 Optical and coaxial digital inputs are located next to the preamp output for a subwoofer; it is useful for those who prefer a wired connection.
3 Four HDMI-input allows you to connect all components – set-top box, game console, Blu-ray-player. In a case of problems with synchronization of picture and sound, you can manually set the time delay in the menu Arcam.
The remote control that comes with the Solo bar, very similar to the base, attached to many components Arcam: small, simple and rather cheap looking. He suffers from a split personality: sometimes when you press the soundbar reacts instantly, sometimes the same button (most often – the volume control) have to press three or four times. This problem can be solved if you download the firmware application for devices running iOS and Android. It connects via Bluetooth, displaying a copy of the display on the screen of your smartphone, and provides access to the same buttons using the touch screen. Solo bar quickly responds to commands from the application.
However, I must say that the soundbar Arcam not fully able to convey the dynamism and strength of the film, resulting in the fewer captures the viewer. In the episode, when the camera flies over a waterfall, other soundbar (eg, DALI Kubik One or Focal Dimension) more fully recreate the feeling falls upon the top of the water and allows to convey to the audience the power of natural forces. In addition, they have a rich and elaborated sound, dialogs – a little more natural and emotional.
Stevie Wonder Concert Live at Last on Blu-ray-disc demonstrates the accuracy and steadiness Arcam. Front and attenuation of each note in percussion composition Superstition spelled perfectly; expressive voice of the saxophone does not seem too hard or sharp. Pleasant to listen to a song, and it is easy to distinguish the individual elements. But the sound is not the most exciting; invigorating funk this classic composition not so warmly in the soul, as we used to. In the strongest competitors – richer and weighty bass and more pronounced dynamic power.
The same applies to broadcast music through Bluetooth. Complex rhythms do not constitute a problem for Arcam, and organization of the music fabric is quite adequate, but the listener wants more sophistication and more studio-made sound.
The company Arcam pinned on the soundbar new type of high expectations, and Solo bar in many ways surpasses the expectations associated with this type of appliance. But the sound quality it lags behind the class leaders.
Price: $ 2000
PROS: Construction; four HDMI-input; send and receive audio over Bluetooth
CONS: lacking dynamics, weight, and refinement; remote control
VERDICT: Ambitious product took almost set height
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