Normally when you read a review, it’s of a company’s flagship product. This is the unit that writers normally want to work with; and the unit manufacturers want to get the most publicity for. The assumption is that if the flagship product sounds good, then the less expensive models will also.
But this isn’t necessarily so. Sometimes the lesser models can sound better than their more expensive siblings! Yes, the flagship will have more power and features, but remember the old axiom, “there’s no free lunch.” Which brings us back to the Arcam AVR550.
The $3,400 (manufacturer’s list) price point is crowded with AVR offerings from every consumer AV electronics company, including all the Japanese powerhouses. Since those marques have far greater resources and advertising budgets than Arcam, is there any way that the Brits can keep up?
In many ways, I’m going to contend that they can! There’s much to like about the Arcam AVR550, including Dolby Atmos & DTS:X 7.1.4 decoding, 4K Ultra HD support, HDMI 2.0a inputs with HDCP 2.2 content protection, Dirac Live room correction, Spotify compatibility, and a Cirrus CS42528 audiophile DAC.
The pluses and minuses will all be on display in the upcoming review. So, prepare for a few surprises, and maybe save some money, after we see what the Arcam AVR550 has to offer.