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Arcam Solo Neo

FM/CD/Internet radio receiver with Wi-Fi®

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  • Arcam Solo Neo

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  • Arcam Solo Neo

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  • Arcam Solo Neo

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  • Arcam Solo Neo

    Interior, rear

Item #: 776SOLONEO
 
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Our take on the Arcam Solo Neo

by Marshall Chase
Arcam

The sound solution for the less-is-more movement

On one hand, you want something that sounds much better than an iPod® or Bluetooth® speaker. On the other hand, you want something less complex than a surround sound system. You'll find your sweet spot in a stereo receiver. In addition to being easy to set up and use, many now offer Internet radio and other network music options. Add your music source and two speakers, and you're ready to relax and enjoy your tunes. You might even connect your TV for improved sound with movies and shows.

Solo Neo guts shot

Solo Neo's hand-picked internal components include toroidal power transformers and noise-killing materials for clean, muscular performance.

Oh, Solo Neo!

If you've been on a quest for a system that impresses with sound, not size, your journey ends here. With 35 years of distinguished audio component design and manufacturing, Arcam reveals the Solo Neo.


Plenty to sing about

The Solo Neo is bursting with capabilities. Its built-in CD player performs marvelously whether you're playing a store-bought disc, home-burned CD-R, or a disc loaded with your digital favorites. The rear USB port shares the Solo Neo's 24-bit Wolfson® studio-quality digital-to-analog converter to ensure clean, detailed sound. And with Arcam's reputation for top-quality tuners, your favorite radio stations will consistently hit their mark in the spotlight.

Read more


Plenty of inputs for all your music, plus Ethernet, WiFi and iPod® options.

Taking the world on Solo

A boundless selection of entertainment unfolds when you connect the Solo Neo to your home network. Both wired Ethernet and built-in Wi-Fi deliver Internet radio and podcasts galore, available at the push of a few buttons. Just add Arcam's irDock and you'll also have full control of your iPod's music and video capabilities via the receiver's remote.


Putting the "pow" in power

The Solo Neo has twin toroidal transformers under the hood to provide 50 watts of power per channel, but it sounds like much more. The Neo won't flinch under the weight of demanding speakers or music. Pristine sound quality is ensured with special damping to quash electronic resonance so even the silence between the notes sounds pure. And with an independently powered preamplifier section, music from most any source is clear and robust.


What we heard

A recent demo of the Solo Neo at Crutchfield headquarters included a cut of electronic music that had our PSB Imagine T speakers placing sounds with pinpoint accuracy all around the room, and had them pumping out deeper bass than we'd ever heard them produce. We also heard a cover of Behind Blue Eyes performed by Limp Bizkit. The Solo Neo performed like a champ, with an emphasis on detail and clarity. We were struck by how the PSB Imagine T speakers eliminated the need for a subwoofer. They're 4-ohm, 200-watt-rated speakers and the Solo Neo never broke a sweat.


Highlights:

  • 50 watts x 2 into 8 ohms (1 kHz) at 0.01% THD
  • Internet-ready with Wi-Fi® — wireless access to music from Internet radio stations (broadband service required)
  • iPod® integration with optional Arcam Solo irDock)
  • FM radio with 30 station presets
  • 5 analog audio inputs (including front-panel minijack), 1 optical digital output
  • no phono input — to connect a turntable you'll need to add a phono preamp
  • Ethernet port for a high-speed connection to a home network
  • built-in CD player plays CDs, CD-R/RW, MP3, WMA and FLAC files
  • 24-bit Wolfson digital-to-analog converter
  • rear-panel USB port for flash and NAS drive playback
  • front-mounted controls for power, volume source selection, and CD playback
  • binding post speaker connectors
  • headphone mini jack
  • IR input for remote repeater system
  • RS-232 port
  • sleep timer
  • remote control
  • detachable power cord
  • 16-15/16"W x 3-1/8"H x 13-15/16"D
  • weight: 17 lbs.
  • warranty: 2 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Features and Specs
General
Stereo RMS Power (watts) 50
THD in Stereo 0.011%
Frequency Bandwidth (stereo) 1kHz Hz
FM Sensitivity Not Given
Signal To Noise Ratio 105dB
Phono Signal to Noise Ratio Not Given
iPod Controls ---
iPod DAC Bypass ---
AirPlay Compatible No
Internet Ready Internet Radio
Wired or Wireless Network Both
DLNA Certified No
HD Radio Tuner No
Satellite Radio Ready No
Multi-Room Yes
Total Number of Zones 2
Audio Dubbing Yes
Multibrand Remote Control No
Learning Remote No
On-Screen Display No
Width (inches) 16-15/16
Height (inches) 3-1/8
Depth (inches) 13-15/16
Weight (pounds) 16.5
Parts Warranty 2 Years
Labor Warranty 2 Years
Inputs & Outputs
Headphone Output 3.5mm
USB Connections Yes
Phono Input No
Video Inputs None
Total Audio Inputs 5
Digital Audio Inputs None
Preamp Outputs 4
Speaker Output Pairs 1
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Integrated CD Player/Network Receiver
  • 6.5' AC power cord
  • CR50 remote control
  • 2 "AAA" batteries
  • WiFi antenna
  • FM dipole antenna
  • Handbook (Eng/Fre/Ger/Dut)
  • Thank You/Online Product Registration sheet

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Overview: The Arcam Solo Neo is an audiophile-grade all-in-one music system (minus speakers). The Solo Neo features a two-channel amplifier, CD player, FM tuner, and network audio player all inside one chassis. The Solo Neo also supports iPod/iPhone playback (via optional add-on dock, sold separately). The Solo Neo all-in-one music system features a full dot-matrix display with east-to-read text, front-panel push-button controls, and a wireless remote control for simple, easy-to-use operation.

Amplifier Section
FM Tuner
CD Player
Audio Connections
USB/Network Functions
Remote Control

Amplifier Section

Two-Channel Amplifier: The Arcam Solo Neo all-in-one music system features an integrated two-channel amplifier designed to drive a single pair of speakers, rated between 4-8 ohms.

  • 8-Ohm Rating: 50 watts x 2 channels
  • 4-Ohm Rating: 75 watts x 2 channels

Twin Toroidal Transformers: The Arcam Solo Neo features twin toroidal transformers with an oversize power amply supply for greater reliability.

Independent Regulated Power Supplies: The Solo Neo is equipped with 9 independently regulated power supplies for audiophile-grade sound quality.

Bass & Treble Controls: The Arcam Solo Neo features independent Bass & Treble controls.

  • Bass: This setting changes the relative volume of the lower frequency components of your music.
  • Treble: This setting changes the relative volume of the higher frequency component of your music.

Note: The bass and treble controls are inactive when headphones are connected.

Bass Correction: Bass Correction may be used if the Solo Neo is connected to reduced-frequency-range ('small') speakers, that cannot reproduce very low frequency sounds. Increasing this setting causes very low frequency sounds to be progressively attenuated (since these cannot be reproduced by the small speaker), while the volume of slightly higher-frequency sounds is increases. This means the overall bass produced by the speaker sounds the same as a full-range 'Large' speaker.

Balance: This setting allows you to increase the volume of one channel (left or right) relative to the other channel.

Cooling System: The Solo Neo utilizes a passive fanless cooling system to keep the all-in-one music system operating at a normal temperature.

Sleep Timer: This timer allows you to specify a listening period, after which the Solo Neo will switch automatically into stand-by mode. The timer can be set in 5-minute intervals, up to 120 minutes (2-hours).

FM Tuner

Built-in FM Tuner: The Solo Neo is equipped with a built-in FM tuner with manual, seek, and preset tuning. RF tuning range of 89.5-108MHz.

Preset Tuning: The Solo Neo provides up to 30 preset FM radio stations. Your presets are retained even if the Solo Neo is disconnected from the power supply.

Mono Mode: In some weak signal areas it can be beneficial to force the FM tuner to mono output, as mono requires a much lower signal strength to produce acceptable results.

F-type Screw Connector: The Solo Neo features an F-type screw connector to connect the supplied FM antenna or an upgraded FM antenna (sold separately).

FM Antenna: The Solo Neo comes with a dipole FM-wire antenna.

CD Player

Disc Compatibility: The Arcam Solo Neo's built-in CD player supports playback of CD-Audio and CD-Text discs, as well as finalized CD-R/RW discs with MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV, and FLAC music files.

24-Bit Wolfson DAC: The Solo Neo's built-in CD player features a Wolfson 24-bit multilevel Delta-Sigma DAC (digital-to-analog converter) for audiophile-grade sound from your CD collection.

Low Jitter Clock: The built-in CD player features a low-jitter Colpitss crystal clock to improve timing accuracy and eliminate jitter.

Display Modes: The Solo Neo provides four different display modes when listening to a CD.

  • Current Track Time: Display of track number with track time.
  • Remaining Track Time: Display of track number with the track time remaining.
  • CD Text: Song title and Artist name from a CD-Text disc is displayed.
  • Large Character Display: This mode is a double-height display, showing just the current track number and the volume.

Search Modes: The unit's built-in CD player offer various search functions to find your music.

  • Fast-Forward/Reverse: You can scan forward or backwards within a track.
  • Skip (Next/Previous): You can skip to the next or previous track on a disc.
  • Direct Search: Direct access may be gained to tracks on a disc by using the numeric keys on the included IR remote control.

Playback Modes: The built-in CD player offer Repeat, Random, and Program playback modes.

  • Repeat: An entire disc can be repeated or a single track can be played back repeatedly.
  • Random: The tracks on a disc are played back in random order (can be combined with repeat function).
  • Programming: The order in which tracks on a CD are played can be programmed.

Audio Connections

Auxiliary Input: The Solo Neo is equipped with a front-panel 3.5mm auxiliary input for quick, temporary connection of your portable digital audio player.

Analog Inputs: The Solo Neo provides four rear-panel analog audio inputs (AV In, TV, Game, iPod) for permanent connection of an external audio source, such as your Satellite/Cable box, Blu-ray/DVD player, Game System, and iPod/iPhone.

Note: The Solo Neo is not equipped with a phono pre-amplifier. If you wish to connect a turntable, then you will need an external pre-amplifier.

Pre Out: To improve the sound quality, or if you require more than 50W/channel, you can connect the Solo Neo to an external power amplifier. The Unit's Pre Out can also be used to connect a powered subwoofer.

Digital Out: The Solo Neo's Optical Digital Out carries the audio digital output from the unit's CD player, FM tuner, Network Play, and USB interface to a compatible digital recording device. When a CD is being played, this output carries a signal with a sample rate of 44.1kHz; with FM radio, USB interface, and Network sources, the signal sample rate is 48kHz.

Tape Out: The unit's stereo RCA-type Tape Output can be connected a cassette recorder (or other recording device). The source being listened to is routed directly to the Tape Out, before the volume control.

Note: Under no circumstances should this output be connected to a power amplifier.

Zone 2 Output: The unit's Zone 2 Out is used to output the same audio to a second room. It needs to be connected to a separate amplifier in the second room. The Solo Neo offers independent volume control of the second zone.

Note: The unit's Zone 2 Output is always muted when first switched on.

5-Way Binding Posts: The Neo Solo is fitted with four 5-way binding post speaker terminals that can accept either bare wire, pin-connectors, spade terminals, and banana plugs (single/dual).  The speaker terminals are clearly marked left or right and positive or negative.

Headphone Output: The Solo Neo is equipped with a front-panel 3.5mm headphone output for connecting a set of headphones. When headphones are plugged into the unit's headphone jack, the main speaker output and the pre-amp output are muted automatically (Zone 2 output remains active). The headphone jack is always active, except when the Solo Neo is muted.

Note: The unit's headphone jack accepts headphones with an impedance rating between 8-2,000 ohm, fitted with a 3.5mm stereo connector.

USB/Network Functions

USB Port: The Solo Neo is equipped with a rear-panel USB (type-A) port to connect a USB flash memory device or MP3 player (that appears as a single 'Removable Disk" when connected). USB hard disk drives can also be connected, but must have a separate power supply. The connected USB device must be formatted in FAT32. Once your USB is properly connected, you can playback stored music files (MP3/WMA/AAC/WAV/FLAC). The Solo Neo will display song title and artist name.

Ethernet Port: The Solo Neo can receive Internet radio or stream music from your networked computer and hard-drives via it's Ethernet 10/100 (LAN) connection. The use of Cat5 Ethernet cable is recommended.

Wireless Network: The Solo Neo is equipped with wireless LAN antenna (WiFi), if you wish to connect the unit to your wireless network for  computer audio and internet radio wireless streaming. The Solo Neo supports 802.11b/g WiFi networks and is WEP/WPA security enabled.

Internet Radio: The Solo Neo uses the online vTuner service to allow easy browsing of internet radio stations and podcasts. vTuner enables access to web-based radio stations and  podcasts via an extremely reliable online database with a wide variety of content. You can browse content by Genre, Location, Language, and Favorites. The Solo Neo will display station name and program-related information.

Computer Streaming: Once connected to your Network (via Ethernet or WiFi), the Solo Neo can stream music stored on your networked computer and/or hard-drive. The Solo Neo supports streaming of WAV, MP3, AAC, WMA, and FLAC audio files. The Solo Neo will also display song title and artist name.

Optional iPod Dock: The Arcam irDock (776IRDOCK, sold separately) is an external add-on iPod dock which can be connected the Arcam Solo NEO via its RCA input (labeled iPod) and RS-232 Port. The irDock supports audio playback, video output, metadata display, remote control, and charging of your docked iPod/iPhone.

Remote Control

Wireless Remote Control: The Arcam Solo Neo comes with an IR remote control (CR50) for wireless operation of the all-in-on music system. The remote operates off of two "AAA" batteries (included).

Remote Input: This 3.5mm input allows remote control signals to be received by the Sol Neo if the unit's remote sensor is covered (or otherwise not visible to the remote control). An external IR sensor (sold separately) is used to receive the signals from the remote control, which are fed to the Solo Neo through this input.

Remote Zone 2: This 3.5mm input is used when you have a second room system that has a remote sensor. The external sensor (sold separately) is used to receive the signals from the remote control, which are then fed to the Solo Neo (into this input).

Remote Output: This 3.5mm output carries all signals from the front-panel remote control receiver, plus commands received through the two external sensor inputs (Remote/Zone2) to other connected components. This can be used to route remote-control commands to other equipment (potentially in different locations).

12V Trigger: This 3.5mm output provides a 12V signal whenever the unit is switched on (not off or in stand-by). This signal can be used to automatically switch on connected power amplifiers (or other compatible equipment).

RS-232 Port: The Solo Neo is equipped with a RS-232 serial port that allows remote control from a PC, or similar device.

 
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