Soundbars have been around for some time now, but that hasn't stopped Arcam from entering the market with what it claims is "something better".
The premium £800 Arcam Solo Bar promises to deliver an excellent performance with music, as well as offering the goods when it comes to blockbuster movies, playing on the traditional strength of Arcam's AV products. It sports aptX Bluetooth for wireless streaming, too.
A mic is provided so you can calibrate the soundbar just as you would an AV receiver and speaker package, while there are three DSP modes: stereo, movie and concert, with Arcam saying it deliberately isn't offering too much by the way of digital sound processing, preferring to stick to the pure sound of the source.
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On to connections, there are four HDMI inputs and one HDMI output - all support ARC (Audio Return Channel) and 4K upscaling/pass-through, as well as the high-definition soundtracks on Blu-rays, the Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD audio formats.
Single optical and coaxial inputs are also available for non-HDMI sources, and you can plug in various music players using the 3.5mm auxiliary input. The USB port is for service and updates only.
AptX Bluetooth is on board, promising higher-quality wireless streams. The Arcam Solo Bar also has a Bluetooth transmitter as well as a receiver, meaning you can stream songs to the Solo Bar from a smartphone, and then beam it back to your wireless Bluetooth headphones for night-time listening. Fancy.
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More after the break
Rather than opt for conventional plastics, Arcam has constructed the Solo Bar from aluminium in an effort to prevent resonance. The rigid housing plays host to six drive units: two bass, two mid-range and two tweeters. The tweeters are angled outwards by 5 degrees to aid with sound dispersion. The six drive units offer a total of 100 watts RMS.
The Arcam Solo Bar measures 13 x 100 x 11cm (HWD) and weighs 6kg.
If you want more oomph, the Solo Subwoofer is available as an extra option for £500. This 300W sub features a 10in downward-firing long-throw drive unit. It can be connected to other Arcam AV equipment, too.
Control of the soundbar comes in one of two ways: either with the supplied remote control or with a free app for Android and iOS devices.
The Arcam Solo Bar costs £800, and will be available at the end of November.