About the Arcam AVR550
Home theater for audiophiles
Home theater for audiophiles
Designed in the UK, Arcam's new line of A/V receivers is a breath of fresh air. With a big emphasis on sound quality, the AVR550 isn't a receiver with a lot of wireless features — though it does have an Ethernet connection for streaming music, and it can be controlled with an iOS® app. This receiver delivers powerful sound with realism and clarity, from high-impact surround sound to two-channel music.
Dial in the sound with Dirac Live®
We've seen a lot of different speaker calibration and room correction systems — they really are important if you want the best possible sound from your system, but different systems do vary in terms of what they have to offer. For the AVR550, Arcam chose to include the latest room correction technology from Dirac Research. Dirac Live has been touted as being one of the most powerful and sophisticated systems out there, so I was excited to get to see it at work in a recent training at Crutchfield HQ.
You'll always hear some degree of difference in the sound before and after running calibration, but the Dirac Live demo we got from Arcam was undeniably impressive. Our trainer chose a Dolby Atmos rainforest demo that I've seen many times. So I closed my eyes and listened, and the difference was huge. With Dirac Live the sound of the rain from above was just a lot more natural and believable. Without, it sounded a bit more exaggerated and special effects-y.
To run Dirac Live room correction, you'll need to download the Dirac software to your Windows® or Mac® laptop and connect the supplied microphone. The system lets you take acoustic measurements from up to nine different seating positions. Then it creates a correction curve to fine-tune the output from your speakers and subwoofers based on the unique characteristics of your room. The resulting sound is more realistic and transparent, with tighter bass and reduced room effects.
3D sound the way it was meant to be heard
Dolby Atmos and DTS:X soundtracks sound absolutely amazing when played through a system with an Arcam receiver at the center. A well-calibrated AVR550 can place each sound effect with pinpoint accuracy, all around you and above your head, bringing your music, movies, TV, and video games to life with high-impact, realistic sound. This receiver's built-in amplifier supports a 5.1.2 Dolby Atmos system. With an additional power amplifier, it will support up to a 7.1.4 Atmos system.
Multi-room audio and video
You can set up the AVR550 in various configurations to create the system you want. Plenty of preamp outputs mean you can go all out with a 7.1.4 Atmos system and a second zone for stereo music. But if you won't be adding extra power amps right away and you're not planning to use all seven amplifier channels in your home theater, you can use the receiver's surround back channels to hook up a pair of speakers for stereo music in another room.
Two HDMI outputs for your main zone let you connect a projector and a TV in the same room. And there's also a Zone 2 HDMI out so you can play different video content in different rooms.
Power and Processing:
- 7-channel amplifier
- 110 watts per channel into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.02% THD with 2 channels driven
- Dolby® and DTS® surround sound decoding
- Dolby Atmos and DTS:X for more enveloping home theater sound
- supports a 7.1.4 Atmos setup with an additional 4-channel amplifier (or two 2-channel power amplifiers)
- IMAX Enhanced certification for improved performance with IMAX Enhanced content (via future firmware update)
- Dirac Live® for Arcam room correction for smooth, well-balanced sound (calibration microphone included)
- Dirac Live software requires a Windows® or Mac® laptop
Digital and Streaming Music Options:
- streaming requires hardwired connection between the receiver and your home network
- includes support for vTuner and Spotify® Connect (subscription required for some services)
- plays high-resolution digital music files via USB storage device or a networked computer
- supports PCM files up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution
- dual-room/dual-source output
- powered and line-level stereo outputs for 2nd room
- Zone 2 HDMI output for watching video content from different sources in two rooms simultaneously
Audio Performance Features:
- Cirrus Logic CS42528 8-channel 24-bit/192kHz audiophile digital-to-analog converter for clear sound from stereo and surround sources
- Stereo Direct mode switches off all surround processing and DSP circuits for the best sound quality with analog sources
- HDMI 2.0a audio/video switching: 6 in, 3 out (plus 1 MHL-ready input for a total of 7 inputs)
- HDCP 2.2 technology ensures compatibility with 4K Ultra HD sources and TVs (6 non-MHL HDMI inputs and all 3 outputs)
- HDR-compatible for extended picture contrast and brightness with compatible 4K TVs and HDR-encoded content
- supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision™
- digital audio inputs: 2 optical and 4 coaxial
- 6 analog RCA stereo audio inputs, plus front-panel 3.5mm minijack input
- 7.1.4-channel preamp outputs include output for powered subwoofer
- no phono input to connect a turntable you'll need to add a phono preamp
- rear-panel USB port for audio playback from USB storage devices
- Ethernet port for network connection
- RS-232, IR in, and 12-volt trigger connections for use with external controllers
- front-panel 3.5mm mini headphone output
- detachable power cord
- 4K and 3D video pass-through
- free Arcam MusicLife UPnP and control app lets you use your iOS® device as a wireless remote
- built-in FM tuner with 50 presets
- backlit universal learning remote control
- designed in the UK
- 17-1/16"W x 6-3/4"H x 16-3/4"D
- weight: 34.2 lbs.
- warranty: 5 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- MFR # ARC-AVR550BK-US
What's in the box:
- 7.2ch AV receiver
- 5' AC power cord
- Remote control
- 2 "AAA" batteries
- Auto calibration microphone
- 6.5' miniUSB-to-USB cable
- FM wire antenna
- "Thank You" letter
- Registration Instructions
- Spotify brochure
Arcam AVR550 reviews
Various reviews have portrayed the ARCAM AV products as difficult to set-up. Not so; everything went as promised and worked extremely well. The Dirac process was exceptionally smooth when compared to some earlier, less effective convolution programs. And the relatively short time it took to sample the acoustics was well worth it: the soundstage is remarkably good and the surround effect is believable rather than struggling to emulate an old quadraphonic system by smearing its way around the room. Sound is the principal reason I chose the ARCAM and I'm not disappointed. TV and Theatre audio have always, to my ear, been way, way too artificial; like adding multiple packets of sugar to an already too-sweet Cinnabon roll and then smothering it all in more frosting. The ARCAM doesn't play along, instead, it handles the individual components of ambiance, voice, music, and effects with presence, detail, balance, and, importantly, great articulation. Plenty of headroom too: the power ratings are conservative. Finally, the front panel presentation of controls are rationally arranged, very functional and frankly soothing to use when compared with the often over-anxious and design-by-engineers scattered assortment of knobs, buttons, ins and outs so typical of most consumer AV receivers that scream "FEATURES" while whispering "nonsense". You could certainly spend way, way more than this, but you really shouldn't spend less.
Pros: Great design Very very good audio Pleasure to use
4 of 7 found this helpful
More details on the Arcam AVR550
Features & specs
Configurable 7-Channel Amplifier: The Arcam AVR550 is equipped with a 7-channel Class AB amplifier that is rated at 110 watts (2-channels driven into 8-ohm, at 20-20kHz, with 0.02% THD) or 90 watts (7-channels driven into 8-ohm, at 1kHz, with 0.2% THD). The AV receiver's amplifier will power up to seven speakers and can be configured in a variety of ways to meet your application and setup.
- 7.1ch Surround Back: The AV receiver's amplifier channels can be configured for 7.1ch playback in the Main Zone with Surround Back speakers, so you can enjoy Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD movie soundtracks. In this configuration there are no Zone 2 or Height speakers.
- 5.1.2ch Dolby Atmos: This amplifier configuration provides 5.1.2ch playback in the Main Zone using either top front, top middle, Dolby Atmos enabled front, or Dolby Atmos enabled surround speakers for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X movie soundtracks. In this configuration there are Surround Back or Zone 2 speakers.
- 5.1ch Biamp: You can configure the amplifier for front bi-amp operation to achieve a higher-quality sound by connecting the receiver's front and surround back channels to your main front speakers (if compatible). The receiver will be limited to 5.1ch surround. In this configuration there are no Surround, Height, or Zone 2 speakers.
- 5.1ch + Zone 2: The amplifier can be configured for 5.1ch playback in the Main Zone for Dolby Digital & DTS movie soundtracks and 2ch stereo playback in Zone 2. In this configuration there are no Surround Back or Height speakers.
- 7.1.2ch or 7.1.4ch Dolby Atmos (Requires Additional Power Amplifier): The AV receiver can be configured for 7.1.4ch or 7.1.2ch playback with the receiver's amplifier powering seven channels (Front / Center / Surround / Surround Back) and an external amplifier(s) powering four Height channels (Height 1 / Height 2). In this configuration there are no Zone 2 speakers.
Cirrus CS42528 Audiophile DAC: The Arcam AVR550 AV receiver utilizes a Cirrus CS42528 DAC (digital-to-analog) converter that supports up to 24-bit/192kHz multichannel audio (up to 8-channels) for audiophile-grade sound quality.
Dirac Live for Arcam: There is a proprietary automatic loudspeaker setup function, known as Dirac Live, built into the AV receiver. Using a computer application (for Windows & Mac), Dirac Live attempts to set all the essential speaker settings for all the speakers in your system. It also calculates room equalization (Room EQ) filter values to remove some of the worst effects of resonant frequencies in the listening room. Th receiver comes with a calibration microphone which should be inserted into the microphone input of the supplied USB sound card and then into a USB socket on a Windows PC or Mac computer that connected to the same network as the Arcam receiver and positioned at the main listening position. This microphone picks up the special calibration tones generated by the speakers when Dirac Live is run. The Receiver then analyses the signal and computes - Speaker Type, Speaker Distance, Speaker Level, and Room EQ. To download the Dirac Live for Arcam application (for Windows & Mac), please visit www.arcam.co.uk.
Note: You can also choose to manually enter Speaker Sizes, Speaker Distances, and Speaker Levels.
Compatible Digital Audio Formats: The Arcam AV receiver supports the following stereo & multichannel digital audio formats through its HDMI jacks and optical/coax digital inputs.
|Digital Audio Connector||Audio Signal Type||Audio Signal Format|
|HDMI (7 Inputs/3 Outputs)||High Definition Audio Bitstream||Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD |
DTS:X, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS-HD High Resolution
|Bitstream||Dolby Digital, DTS, DTS ES, DTS 96/24|
|PCM||2ch to 8ch (32-192kHz, 16/20/24-bit)|
|Optical/Coaxial (2 Optical Inputs/4 Coaxial Inputs)||Bitstream||Dolby Digital, DTS, DTS ES, DTS 96/24|
|PCM||2ch to 6ch, (32-96kHz, 16/20/24-bit)|
Dolby Atmos & DTS:X Decoding: Dolby Atmos & DTS:X deliver captivating sound that places and moves audio anywhere in the room, including overhead, to bring entertainment alive all around the audience. Whether you are listening to music, movies, television shows or playing your favorite video games, Dolby Atmos & DTS:X deliver the full impact of the entertainment experience. The Arcam AVR550 can power up to a 5.1.2ch Dolby Atmos/DTS:X system or up to a 7.1.4ch Dolby Atmos/DTS:X system using additional power amplifiers. It also supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X upmixing using Dolby Surround, DTS Neural:X and DTS Virtual:X -
- Dolby Surround: Dolby Surround offers an enhanced cinema experience to your 2ch or multichannel movie soundtracks using your existing 5.1ch, 7.1ch, or Dolby Atmos speaker setup. Dolby Surround enhances audio definition by improving the spatial dimension and overall audio definition of movie soundtracks. It does this by using four distinct surround zones that provide greater control over the exact placement of each detail in a movie sound track, so audio can be matched more accurately to the video on screen; this means more depth and greater realism for your movies. As a result, individual sounds are clearer and more distinct. It also improves the surround sound experience across the entire theater by widening the listening "sweet spot".
- DTS Neural:X: DTS:X incorporates Neural:X, the latest spatial remapping technology from DTS, which provides a fully immersive output for all types of source content; this includes DTS bitstreams and non-encoded (PCM) data. Neural:X delivers a thrilling sense of immersive sound to your speaker layout regardless of the original source format.
- DTS Virtual:X (Firmware Update Available): DTS Virtual:X bridges the gap between DTS:X and the reality of so many consumers' homes, allowing you to enjoy multi-dimensional sound regardless of room size, layout, or speaker configuration. DTS Virtual:X can be used with any content (from 2ch to 5.1ch soundtracks), while delivering virtual height & virtual surround processing based on psychoacoustics (not reflective surfaces).
IMAX Enhanced Technology (Firmware Update Available): Get the most premium at-home entertainment experience with IMAX Enhanced; the latest technology program from IMAX that sets a new standard for image, sound, scale and content quality. This new certification and licensing program combines IMAX digitally re-mastered 4K HDR content and DTS audio technologies to offer a new level of quality in immersive sight and sound experiences in the home. IMAX Enhanced lets you experience premium content digitally remastered by IMAX, so you can watch the highest-quality 4K movies with immersive audio delivered by DTS. Not only will IMAX Enhanced content look and sound amazing, but other audio/video content will also look and sound great too.
- Remastered 4K/HDR Video: It utilizes a sophisticated, advanced algorithm designed to produce the highest-quality, sharpest 4K HDR images. This advanced process accurately reduces noise and grain under the filmmaker's guidance to best optimize the content for a much higher quality, higher brightness 4K HDR display format. Select IMAX Enhanced titles that were shot with IMAX cameras or specially formatted for IMAX theaters will also include an expanded aspect ratio for the film's home release to show you more picture on your TV. IMAX Enhanced certified TVs must be at least 65" with support for HDR10 and dynamic, as well as specific calibration, resolution, color, brightness, contrast, and scale of image capabilities.
- Remastered DTS:X Audio: IMAX and DTS will also partner with award-winning Hollywood sound mixers to use a special variant of its DTS:X codec technology integrated in home audio equipment to deliver an IMAX signature sound experience that is dynamic, immersive, theatrical, and powerful. IMAX Enhanced supports both 5.1 and 11.1 formats, but the recommended speaker layout for an IMAX Enhanced system is 7.2.4 with seven horizontal speakers, two subwoofers and four height speakers; 5.1.4 is the minimum layout for IMAX Enhanced. However, due to various constraints you may opt to install only a 5.1ch speaker system. In such cases, DTS Virtual:X is required to properly render and remap audio to the available speakers.
- Available IMAX Content: IMAX is working with its global studio and other content partners to build a steady stream of IMAX Enhanced versions of movies and other programming using the newest, proprietary post-production process developed by IMAX. IMAX will be announcing and releasing IMAX Enhanced versions of a wide range of films both for 4K/HDR streaming and Ultra HD Blu-ray Discs.
- To take full advantage of IMAX Enhanced, you need an IMAX Enhanced certified 4K/HDR TV (65"-up) or Projector and an IMAX Enhanced certified DTS:X enabled AV receiver or soundbar.
- IMAX and DTS developed the IMAX Enhanced program out of their decades of combined expertise in image and sound science to make it easier for consumers to select the products and content that will deliver the highest-quality, sharpest 4K HDR images and powerful, immersive sound at home.
- To qualify and carry the IMAX Enhanced logo, the highest-end TVs, AV receivers, projectors, sound bars, and must meet stringent performance standards established by IMAX, DTS and Hollywood's leading colorists in order to create a consistent and higher bar for image and sound performance on premium devices.
Stereo Modes: In Stereo mode, the Arcam AVR550 works as a high-quality 2ch amplifier for stereo playback from the two connected front left and right loudspeakers. In Multichannel Stereo mode (5ch or 7ch), the AVR550 produces an output from all speakers by copying the left output to all left speakers and the right output to all right speakers. The center speaker outputs a mix of left and right. The powered subwoofer can be enabled or disabled in Stereo or Multichannel Stereo modes.
Direct Modes: The Stereo Direct mode automatically bypasses all of the receiver's processing and any surround functions. In Stereo Direct mode, digital processing is shut down to improve the sound quality and reduces digital noise with the receiver to an absolute minimum. When Stereo Direct mode is selected, no digital output is available and no bass management is performed (no audio will be output from a connected powered subwoofer). CD Direct turns off the compressed audio detection mute delay and should only be used for sources that will only transmit PCM audio (such as a CD player).
Dolby Audio Settings: The Arcam AVR550 AV receiver offers the following Dolby Audio settings to manage volume and loudness levels, as well as create a phantom center channel.
- Dolby Volume & Leveler: Dolby Volume is an intelligent system that improves the perceived audio frequency response at lower listening levels and corrects for volume inconsistencies between sources. Dolby Leveler is setting within Dolby Volume that controls how closely quiet and loud sources and program content are matched to each other, based on the ear's perception of loudness. Dolby Volume can be applied to any analog or digital stereo source or any digital multichannel source. It is not available in Stereo Direct or if height speakers are connected.
- Dolby Center Spread: Dolby Center Spread controls the center image width. With Dolby Surround decoding, dominant center signals come only from the center speaker. If no center speaker is present, the decoder splits the center signal equally to the left and right speakers to create a "phantom" center image. The Center Spread control allows variable adjustment of the center image so it may be heard only from the center speaker, only from the left/right speakers as a phantom image, or from all three front speakers to varying degrees.
Level Controls: The Arcam AVR550 allows you to adjust the receivers Bass & Treble, Input Trim, Maximum Volume levels to your desired preference.
- Bass & Treble: The Arcam AV receiver offers independent Bass & Treble tone control for all connected speakers and for each individual source input, allowing you to set up different Bass & Treble tone setting for different source content. The Bass & Treble settings range is -12 to +12 dB. There is also a Balance control to adjust the left and right balance between the front and left speakers.
- Input Trim: Input Trim allows you to set the maximum analog input signal level (sensitivity) for each analog input before the ADC (analog-to-digital converter) signal path clips. This helps maximize signal-to-noise performance of the receiver and also helps keep the various analog sources sounding about the same level for any given receiver volume control setting. The Input Trim can be set to 1, 2, or 4 volts.
- Maximum Volume: You can limit the maximum volume setting the system can be turned up to in the Main Zone and Zone 2. This is a useful feature to prevent accidental overdriving of low power-handling speakers. It is stored in memory and recalled each time the unit is powered up. You can also limit the maximum volume the system operates in the main zone when it is switched on or comes out of Standby. The system comes on at this stored volume setting if the last used volume exceeds this value. It is stored in memory and recalled each time the unit is powered up. The volume range of this receiver is 0-99dB.
Analog & Digital Audio Inputs: The Arcam AVR550 is equipped with analog & digital audio inputs. There are four coaxial (RCA) digital inputs, two optical (toslink) digital inputs, and six stereo line-level (RCA) inputs. There is a also a front-panel 3.5mm Aux input for temporary connection of an external audio source, such as a portable MP3 player.
Note: This receiver is not equipped with a Phono input to connect a turntable. To connect a turntable, you'll need an external phono preamp or a turntable with a built-in phono preamp. See Accessories Tab for phono preamps (sold separately).
Audio Outputs: The Arcam AVR550 AV receiver is outfitted with binding-post speaker terminals and 7.2.4ch RCA preouts, along with a front-panel headphone jack.
- Binding-Post Speaker Outputs: The AVR550 AV receiver is outfitted with binding-post terminals for all of its speaker outputs. The binding-post terminals accept bare wire (up to 10AWG), pin-connectors, and banana plugs (single only); you'll need to remove the plastic caps to use banana plugs. Speaker outputs include Front Left, Front Right, Center, Surround Left, Surround Right, Surround Back/Height 1/Zone 2 Left, and Surround Back/Height 1/Zone 2 Right. Only connect loudspeakers with an 8-ohm impedance.
- 7.2.4ch Preamp Outputs: The Arcam receiver is equipped with 7.2.4ch preamp outputs to connect external amplifier(s) to power your loudspeakers and two connect connect up to two powered subwoofers. The 7.2.4ch preamp outputs consists of Front Left/Front Right, Center, Surround Left/Surround Right, Surround Back Left/Surround Back Right, Height Left 1/Height Right 1, Height Left 2/Height Right 2, and Subwoofer 1/Subwoofer 2.
- Headphone Jack: The Arcam AVR550 features a front-panel 3.5mm headphone jack for connecting a set of headphones (impedance rating between 32-ohm and 600-ohm. The headphone jack is always active, except when receiver is muted. When a set of headphones is connected to the headphone jack, the receiver's speaker outputs and preamp outputs are automatically muted.
7 HDMI Inputs/3 HDMI Outputs: The Arcam AVR550 is equipped with seven HDMI inputs and three HDMI outputs. Six of the seven HDMI inputs and all three HDMI outputs are HDMI 2.0a/HDCP 2.2 compatible with support for 4K/HDR video, while the HDMI input labeled "STB/MHL" is HDMI 1.4 compatible with support for 1080p and MHL. The main HDMI monitor output also supports ARC (audio return channel).
Note: This receiver is not equipped with analog composite or component video inputs/outputs.
HDMI 2.0a Specification + HDCP 2.2 Compliant: Six out of the seven HDMI inputs and all three HDMI outputs feature the HDMI 2.0a specification; including support for 4K/60Hz Ultra-HD video, BT.2020 Wide Color Gamut, High Dynamic Range (HDR), and 4:4:4 Pure Color sub-sampling. Six out of the seven HDMI inputs and all three HDMI outputs also support HDCP 2.2, which fully complies with the latest copyright protection standard for 4K video transmission.
- 4K/60Hz: The AVR550 supports up to 4K (3840x2160 pixels) video @ 60 frames per second on six out of seven HDMI inputs and all three HDMI outputs. The HDMI input labeled "STB/MHL" is HDMI 1.4 compatible and only supports up to 1080p video. The receiver will also pass a 480i, 480p, 720p, or 1080i video signals via HDMI.
- 4:4:4 Color Subsampling: Six of the seven HDMI inputs and all three HDMI outputs support RGB, YCbCr 4:4:4, YCbCr 4:2:2, and YCbCr 4:2:0 color subsampling (4K 60Hz/50Hz). With 4:4:4 color subsampling, luminance (brightness) and chroma (color) are sampled at the same rate; resulting in an RGB color palette as big as the video sampling rate for a video image with more colors, plus greater color accuracy and detail. The MHL compatible HDMI input only supports 1080p using either 4:4:4, 4:2:2, or 4:2:0.
- Wide Color Gamut (BT.2020): The BT.2020 color standard delivers a much wider color gamut and represents about 75% of the total visual color spectrum, while the current Rec. 709 color standard selected as the color space for HDTVs and early generation 4K Ultra HDTVs covers only 35% of the total visual color spectrum. BT.2020 is support on six out of seven HDMI inputs and all three HDMI outputs.
Note: The HDMI input labeled "STB/MHL" is not HDMI 2.0a or HDCP 2.2 compatible and does not support 4K or HDR video.
HDR (High Dynamic Range): HDR (High Dynamic Range) video provides enhanced picture quality by simultaneously enabling greater detail for both the dark and bright parts of an image. HDR reproduces a greater dynamic range of luminosity or brightness levels, creating greater contrast. This increased contrast reveals the subtle nuances of the image, from detailed blacks and shadows to the brightest whites and colors, plus greater depth. This receiver supports HDR10, Dolby Vision (available firmware update), and HLG (available firmware update).
- HDR 10: HDR 10 is an open standard and currently the most popular HDR format on the market. It uses static metadata at the start of a movie to tell the receiver and your TV that the video content is encoded using HDR.
- Hybrid-Log Gamma: HLG (Hybrid-Log Gamma) is primarily designed for live video feed and over-the-air broadcasts. It uses no pre-encoded metadata and is backwards compatible with SDR. HLG's native compatibility allows much of today's existing SDR infrastructure to be re-used for HDR in the future.
- Dolby Vision: Unlike HDR 10 which contains static metadata and HLG which uses no metadata, Dolby Vision uses dynamic metadata technology which sets individual color and brightness levels for each and every scene. Dolby works directly with filmmakers at major Hollywood studios to create superior HDR video masters of blockbuster movies.
Note: HDR is supported on six out of seven HDMI inputs and all three HDMI outputs. Not supported on the HDMI input labeled "STB/MHL".
HDMI-to-HDMI Upscaling (4k): 1080p HDMI input video signals can be upscaled to 4K through the Arcam receiver's main HDMI monitor output. Other video resolutions cannot be upscaled. HDMI-to-HDMI upscaling is not supported on the HDMI sub output or HDMI Zone 2 output.
Triple HDMI Outputs: The Arcam AVR550 is equipped with three HDMI outputs - a Main HDMI output, a Sub HDMI output, and a Zone 2 HDMI output. The Main and Sub HDMI outputs are parallel and distribute the same HDMI input signal simultaneously to two separate displays. The Zone 2 HDMI output is discrete and can be used to play the same or different HDMI input source on a separate display.
Other HDMI Features: The Arcam AV receiver's HDMI connectivity also offers ARC (Audio Return Channel), HDMI Standby Passthrough, Lip Sync function, and 3D video pass-through,.
- ARC (Audio Return Channel): This feature of the AVR550's main HDMI monitor output allows audio to be sent from your compatible TV to the receiver through the same HDMI cable already being used to send audio and video to your TV. This eliminates the need for extra cables connected to your television.
- HDMI Standby Passthrough: When the AVR550 is in standby mode (power off), the HDMI Standby Passthrough feature allows HDMI source signals to pass through the receiver to the TV. The HDMI input can be changed using the remote control. So, there's no need to turn on the AV receiver in order to switch HDMI sources.
- Lyp Sync: Each input can have its own setting to add a time delay between the audio and video signals to compensate for the sound and picture not being synchronized. This is normally required when video processing is used in the system for scaling or de-interlacing video. The range of lip sync delay is 0 to 250 milliseconds.
- 3D Ready: The Arcam AV receiver supports 3D video pass-through (1080p only) from connected 3D-compatible Blu-ray, games and broadcast devices to 3D-compatible HDTVs (all 3D components must be connected via HDMI). Special eyewear will be required for viewing 3D content.
HDMI/MHL Input: One of the receiver's rear-panel HDMI inputs (labeled "STB/MHL") is MHL compatible, which provides direct connection of MHL compatible Android smartphones, like your Android smartphone. Playback of up to 1080p video and multichannel audio from the phone is supported. The receiver will also charge (5V/1A) your connected phone. Play, Stop, and other basic operations can be controlled from the AV receiver's remote control.
Ethernet Port: The Arcam AVR550 AV receiver is equipped with a rear-panel Ethernet (RJ45) LAN jack to directly connect to a wireless WiFi network router in your home. This hardwired network connection provides access to audio content stored on UPnP music servers (such as your computer) and Apple iOS devices (through the MusicLife App). It also offers support for Internet Radio (vTuner) and Spotify Connect, so you can listen to some of your favorite online music radio stations and playlists.
Internet Radio (vTuner): You can also listen to Internet radio stations using the vTuner Internet Radio Station database service particularly customized for this receiver, providing a database of numerous radio stations around the world. You can search for Internet Radio stations by Location, Genre, New, Popular, or Podcast. You can store internet radio stations in a "Favorites" folder for easy access later.
Spotify Connect: If you subscribe to Spotify Premium and have the Spotify App on your Apple iOS or Android mobile device, you can stream Spotify to the Arcam AV receiver. Spotify is a digital music service that gives you on-demand access to one of the largest music libraries in the world (over 15 million tracks and counting). Spotify makes it easier than ever to discover, manage, and share music with your friends. You can browse music by artist, album, track, or most popular; and create your own music library with customized playlists.
UPnP (Universal Plug and Play): With a network connection, you'll be able to effortlessly stream music stored on your Windows PC, Mac computer, NAS drive, or other UPnP compliant device directly to the Arcam receiver. For playback from a network device, the network device needs to running a universal plug and play (UPnP) service, such as Windows Media Player 11. Other free and paid-for UPnP services are available for other computer operating systems. Some network attached storage (NAS) systems include a built-in version of a UPnP service. You'll be able to control your music from the included IR remote or the free MusicLife App (for Apple iOS 9.0+). Supported music files include MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV, and FLAC - up to 24-bit/96kHz.
USB-A Port: The rear-panel USB-A port (5V/1A) supports playback of a variety of music files store on a USB MSC (mass storage class) device, such as a thumbdrive or HDD (hard disk drive). An external HDD will require a separate AC power supply. Supported music files include MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV, and FLAC - up to 24-bit/96kHz. The USB device should be formatted in FAT 12 or FAT 32.
Note: The receiver's USB port does not support USB hubs, card readers, Apple iOS device, or Android OS devices.
Optional Bluetooth Adapters: The ARCAM rBlink and miniBlink Bluetooth DACs (sold separately) support wireless audio streaming, so you can wirelessly stream stored music, music apps, and other audio content on your Bluetooth source device to the AVR550 receiver. In addition to support for the standard SBC Bluetooth audio codec, the rBlink and miniBlink offer support for AAC and aptX codecs for higher quality audio streaming from select Apple & Android devices. By supporting AAC, the rBlink offers better audio performance of the music streamed from your Apple iPod, iPhone, or iPad. aptX audio coding technology provides even better sound quality with lossless, CD-quality streaming from aptX-compatible smartphones, like many Android smartphones with OS 4.0+.
- rBlink Bluetooth DAC: The ARCAM rBlink Bluetooth DAC (sold separately) lets you wirelessly stream audio from your Bluetooth source device to the AVR550 receiver. The rBlink utilizes high-end audio circuitry and components (including a high-end PCM 5102 DAC) to convert music to a line-level output for connection to your home audio system. You can also choose to bypass the DAC inside the ARCAM rBlink and connect the rBlink to your AV receiver or integrated amplifier via the unit's digital coaxial output.
- miniBlink Bluetooth DAC: The ARCAM miniBlink Bluetooth DAC (sold separately)lets you wirelessly stream audio from your Bluetooth source device to AVR550 receiver. The miniBlink utilizes a high-end PCM 5102 DAC to convert music to a line-level output for connection to your home audio system.
FM Tuner: The Arcam AVR550 AV receiver features a built-in FM tuner (there is no AM tuner) and comes with an FM wire antenna. You can store up to 50 FM station presets.
HDMI Zone 2: The Arcam AVR550 is equipped with three HDMI outputs - a Main HDMI output, a Sub HDMI output, and a Zone 2 HDMI output. The Main and Sub HDMI outputs are parallel and distribute the same HDMI input signal simultaneously to two separate displays. The Zone 2 HDMI output is discrete and can be used to play the same or different HDMI input source on a separate display. Each HDMI output supports up to 4K/HDR video. The main HDMI input supports up to 8-channel audio (including Dolby Atmos/DTS:X), while the Sub HDMI output and Zone 2 HDMI output only support 2ch PCM audio.
- Compatible HDMI Zone 2 Sources: HDMI Inputs (1 through 7) can be output via HDMI Zone 2.
- Incompatible HDMI Zone 2 Sources: Analog inputs, optical/coaxial digital inputs, USB input, FM tuner, and network content cannot be output in HDMI Zone 2.
- HDMI Zone 2 does not offer HDMI upscaling.
- If the receiver's Main Zone and HDMI Zone 2 are set to the same HDMI input source, the Main Zone audio will be mixed down to 2-channel audio.
Zone 2 Output: Zone 2 allows stereo audio playback of another source connected to the receiver in another room of your home via RCA line-level output or speaker-level output. Analog audio input sources, the built-in FM tuner, the USB port, and Network content (including vTuner and UPnP) can be output in Zone 2.
- Speaker-Level Output: When using the AV receiver to power a pair of speakers in a second room of your home, the Main Zone is restricted to 5.1 channels. The volume of Zone 2 will be controlled from the Arcam receiver when using the speaker-level outputs.
- Line-Level Output: When using the receiver's line-level output terminals for Zone 2, you'll need an additional amplifier to power a pair of speakers in Zone 2. The Main Zone of the receiver remains 7.1-channel. The volume of Zone 2 can be controlled by the Arcam receiver or from your add-on amplifier when using the line-level output.
- Unfortunately, you cannot select USB, FM tuner, and Network sources exclusively for each Zone. For example, if you select a network source for Zone 2 when a USB source is selected for the Main Zone, the input source in the Main Zone also switches to the same network source as Zone 2.
- HDMI & optical/coaxial digital input sources, as well as Spotify Connect cannot be output in Zone 2.
Follow Zone 1 Function (Party Mode): The Follow Zone 1 function allows you to enjoy the AV receiver's Main Zone audio source in Zone 2 simultaneously; regardless of input audio signal types (analog, digital, or network). During the Follow Zone 1 function, only the Stereo & Multichannel Stereo sound modes can be selected (multichannel surround is mixed down to 2 channels). You will have independent volume control in each zone. The Follow Zone 1 function is useful when you want to enjoy the same music at the same time in multiple rooms during a get together or party.
MusicLife App (for Apple iOS): The free MusicLife App (for Apple iOS 9.0+) allows you to wirelessly stream music stored on your computer and your compatible Apple iOS device to the Arcam AV receiver and control playback from your Apple iOS device. You'll be able to effortlessly stream music stored on your Windows PC, Mac computer, NAS drive, or other UPnP compliant device directly to the Arcam receiver and control playback from the MusicLife app on your compatible Apple device. You also get to stream content stored on your Apple iOS device to the Arcam receiver using the MusicLife app with playback control functions.
- Your music library must be stored physically on your computer or Apple iOS device, not on a Cloud service.
- The Arcam receiver's Ethernet port must be plugged into a wireless WiFi router.
- The MusicLife app is not supported by Android OS devices.
Universal Remote: The Arcam AVR550 receiver is supplied with an universal backlit remote control that can control up to eight devices. It is pre-programmed for use with this AV receiver and many other Arcam products (CD players, DVD players, etc). With its extensive built-in library of codes, it can also be used with thousands of other manufacturer's audio/video components (such as TVs, satellite/cable boxes, Blu-ray players, etc.). It is also a "learning" remote, so you can teach it almost any IR function from another component's remote control. A backlight comes on for eight seconds whenever a key is pressed on the remote, helping you use the remote control in low lighting conditions.
HDMI-CEC (Consumer Electronics Control): The Arcam AVR550 supports HDMI-CEC, which synchronizes the operation of this unit with other HDMI-CEC devices when connected via HDMI. When the AV receiver is connected to a HDMI-CEC compatible TV, they will turn ON/OFF together and you can use the TV remote to control the volume of the receiver. HDMI-CEC also provides playback functionality with other components, such as your Blu-ray player. For example, you can use the receiver's remote control to operate player functions like Play/Pause, Fast Forward/Rewind, Previous/Next Track, or Stop.
Note: Not all HDMI-CEC compatible components and functions are guaranteed to work.
IP Control: When connected to your network via Ethernet, you can control select functions of the Arcam AV receiver with the IP control screen displayed in your PC's web browser. Internet Explorer 9.x, 10.x, 11.x, or Safari 7.x is recommended for web browser. IP Control can be set to to work even when the receiver is in Standby (Off) mode).
RS232 Port: The AV receiver is equipped with an RS232 Port that can be used to connect external control devices from Crestron and AMX (sold separately).
IR Inputs: The infrared inputs (3.5mm) allow the connection of external IR receivers, either when the receiver's front-panel IR receiver is fully or partially obstructed or to allow the use of a remote control in Zone 2.
Triggers Outputs: The two 12V trigger outputs (12V/70mA) can be used to switch on and off other components in Zone 1 and Zone 2. There is also a 6V DC power connection for Arcam rSeries products.
On-Screen Menu: The Arcam AVR550 features an on-screen user interface for the setup menus. The on-screen suser interface and setup menus are only available through the main HDMI monitor output (the Sub and Zone 2 HDMI outputs do not support the on-screen menu). You can select the language for the on-screen setup menus; choose from English, French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Russian, or Chinese.
Note: The on-screen user interface is required for access to the setup menus. The front-panel display only indicates source selection, volume level, and surround mode.
Input Name Edit: You can change the name of any input to more closely match your setup and the type of audio/video component you have connected.
Firmware & Software Downloads: The firmware in the Arcam AV receiver can be updated from a USB thumbdrive containing firmware update files. You can download the latest firmware file, together with upgrading instructions, from the Arcam website (www.arcam.co.uk). Firmware & software downloads are not supported over a network connection.
Note: Updating will clear your Dirac Live setup, but it is ok to reload a project from Dirac Live application on your Windows PC or Mac computer.