Seattle's AudioControl recently announced retail availability of its new Atmos-enabled 7.1.4 channel Concert AVR-7 and Concert AVR-9 AV receivers. Aside from carrying attractively unique physical styling, the AVR-7 and AVR-9 are loaded with enough current tech to keep them relevant for years to come.
Both models ship 4K ready with HDMI 2.0a and HDCP 2.2 compatibility. This means they can handle frames rates of 60 fps, High Dynamic Range, and wide color gamut, putting 4K UHD Blu-ray completely in play. Both models also possess the ability to scale to any resolution standard or high definition source when required. Video connectivity options include a whopping seven HDMI 2.0a inputs, making multi-source connections more than easy to accommodate.
The audio side is well covered with support for both Dolby Atmos and DTS-X (firmware update required, no date issued), in addition to the following legacy codecs: Dolby True HD, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Digital EX, Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Pro Logic IIx, and DTS-HD Master Audio. Beyond seven HDMI inputs, AudioControl provides both receivers with Toslink digital audio inputs (two), stereo analog inputs (six), and a USB input. Second-zone HDMI outputs (ARC compatible) are also available.
Hi-Res audio is also adequately addressed with support for MP3, WMA, WAV, FLAC, and MPEG-4 AAC file playback.
The backside of the Concert AVR-9.
For the first time ever, AudioControl owners can tap into the powerful room correction capabilities of DiracLive. The company says that all AudioControl products (going forward) will have this feature. Using a PC/Mac based application, DiracLive determines essential settings for speakers and automatically calculates room equalization filter values to tame resonate frequencies. This is great news and a welcomed addition to the company’s offerings.
The primary difference between the AVR-7 and AVR-9 models can be found in the amplification section. The AVR-9 features powerful 7 x 200 Watts per channel performance (8 ohms), while the AVR-7 only offers 100 Watts of power across seven channels. Owners can opt for a 5.1.2 Atmos speaker configuration using the AVR's available onboard Class H amplification sections, but full 7.1.4 channel performance requires the use of external amplification. While any brand of external amplifier will work, AudioControl does offer two high-power 2-channel amps: the Bijou 600 and Rialto 600. The lack of 9 channels of internal amplification is a curiosity, as most Flagship models in the industry offer at least 7.1.2 standalone power.
Priced at $4,200 for the AVR-7 and $6,200 for the AVR-9, both models are only available through authorized custom installation professionals and authorized dealers of AudioControl products. AudioControl includes a reasonable 5-year warranty with purchase.
Image Credits: AudioControl