Sound processor review: Emotiva RMC-1

Process up to 16 channels of the highest quality home theater audio with Emotiva RMC-1 surround sound processor.

Sound processor meaning

A sound processor is a device that processes audio signals in order to improve the quality or manipulate the sound in some way. There are many different types of sound processors, including those that are used for audio recording, sound reinforcement, and audio playback. Some common examples of sound processors include equalizers, compressors, and reverb units. These devices are used to adjust the levels of different frequency ranges within an audio signal, apply effects such as echo or delay, or to limit the dynamic range of the sound. In general, the term “sound processor” can refer to any device or software that is used to manipulate audio signals in some way.

Designed to grow with you
For maximum flexibility, the RMC-1 is Emotiva’s most flexible and configurable AV processor. In addition to the already impressive standard specifications, the RMC-1 has three hardware accessory housings. These handle everything from an optional MM / MC phonostage to additional output channels (12), bringing the total number of outputs to a mind-blowing 28.

Processing up to 16 channels
With 16 output channels, RMC-1 has the processing power for the most sophisticated home theater systems. Add suitable power amplifiers and you’ll be able to decode Dolby Atmos and DTS:X signals, up to Dolby Atmos 9.1.6, enough for larger home theaters. For best results, combine them with XPA Gen3 Emotiva power amplifiers.Emotiva RMC-1High quality sound
Emotiva RMC-1 is designed to provide reference quality sound in stereo or multichannel. The fully balanced stereo reference path combines with the stereo reference mode to make this option impressive for stereo sound. Audiophile grade, Akm4490 truth DAC (Digital to Analog converters) operate in fully balanced mode on all 16 output channels, making it equally impressive in home theater mode.

Balanced XLR outputs
For the highest quality signal transfer, Emotiva RMC-1 uses 16 XLR outputs. XLR balanced sockets offer excellent noise resistance and a “locked” connection for the lowest distortion and safest connection.

Selectable operating mode
Five selectable modes offer the best balance between sound quality and control. Stereo mode and Surround mode use the dedicated room correction and bass management settings to optimize the sound. Direct mode minimizes processing, but maintains bass handling. The reference stereo mode is the purest stereo mode without bass management.

The Reference Stereo mode of the Emotiva RMC-1 is claimed to contribute to a two-channel listening experience that is unmatched at the pricing point. A full 192 kHz sample rate on all 16 channels of Dirac LiveTM automatic room correction creates the ideal harmony between the RMC-1, the listening environment, and the rest of the system. Both single-rate and double-rate DSD digital audio signals, which can come from HDMI or USB sources, are supported for native audio decoding. (An optional license that supports Auro 3DTM is available.)

Dirac Live, for the best sound in your room
For the best sound in your room, RMC-1 includes Dirac Research’s powerful room correction technology. This uses a microphone and dedicated software to take multiple readings around your room and feed the information to the amplifier for a fully tailored response (professional setup recommended).Emotiva RMC-1

Enjoy fully immersive sound with Dolby Atmos and DTS: X
Dolby Atmos and DTS:X decoders deliver truly immersive sound through ceiling or overhead speakers. Emotiva RMC-1 offers both systems, offering Dolby Atmos up to 9.1.6 and DTS: X up to 7.1.4. Photo: Emotiva

Powerful connectivity
With eight HDMI inputs and two outputs, Emotiva RMC-1 handles the most complex AV systems. HDMI2. 0B plugs are HDCP2.2 compatible, which makes it suitable for use with the latest TV and 4K HDR and Dolby Vision sources. Nine digital and 3 + 1 analog inputs are wide for a wide range of audio components such as CDs, streamers and turntables equipped with preamplifiers. There are also digital and analog optical outputs, ideal for recording or immersing sound through the processor.Emotiva RMC-1

It is very amazing that Emotiva is offering a 16 channel processor at this price point with fully differential circuitry from input to output, and the rest of the high end processor market should take note. We are excited to find out more about this product’s capabilities, particularly the channel assignments and how they may expand immersive home theater setups beyond the conventional 7.1.4 Atmos/DTS:X speaker configuration used today. The only thing an audio or videophile could possibly want from the Emotiva RMC-1 is to wait for its unspecified shipment date.

Create a real home theater, with the Emotiva RMC-1.

Emotiva RMC-1 specs

Surround Sound Processing Support:

  • Dolby Atmos (up to 9.1.6).
  • Dolby TrueHD (up to 7.2).
  • Dolby Digital Plus.
  • Dolby Digital.
  • DTS:X (up to 7.1.4)
  • DTS-HD Master Audio.
  • DTS-HD High Resolution Audio.
  • DTS 5.1.
  • Multi-Channel PCM.

Analog Audio Inputs:

  • (1) pair; stereo: Reference quality analog audio (balanced XLR).
  • (3) pairs; stereo: Reference quality analog audio (unbalanced; machined gold-plated RCA connectors).

Analog Audio Outputs:

  • (1) set; 16 channels: Main analog audio outputs (balanced XLR).
  • (1) pair; stereo: analog line level Zone 2 output (unbalanced).
  • (1) high quality 1/8” stereo headphone output.

Digital Video Inputs and Outputs:

  • (8): HDMI digital video inputs: HDMI 2.0b with HDCP 2.2 (all inputs support HDMI 2.0b and HDR, including dynamic HDR and Dolby Vision).
  • (2): HDMI digital video outputs: HDMI 2.0b with HDCP 2.2 (one with CEC and ARC). (both outputs support HDMI 2.0b and HDR – including dynamic HDR and Dolby Vision).

Digital Audio Inputs:

  • Internal high-performance AM/FM tuner.
  • (4): Toslink optical S/PDIF digital audio (up to 24/192).
  • (4): Coax (RCA) electrical S/PDIF digital audio (up to 24/192).
  • (1): AES/EBU (XLR) digital audio.
  • (1): USB Type B digital audio (UAC2 USB audio up to 24/192k)
  • Digital PCM and DSD audio supported on all HDMI inputs and USB input

Main System Processor:

  • The RMC-1 is controlled by our own proprietary Linux-based operating system, and by several powerful DSP engines, each running custom software code.
  • The main control functions on the RMC-1 are handled by a Texas Instruments AM-1808 Sitara Arm9 32 bit 375MHz processor.

Video Processing:

  • The RMC-1 is a pure video switch; video inputs are switched directly to the appropriate output without any unnecessary processing. Video switching on the RMC-1 is handled by three Panasonic MN864788 High Speed LSI 4k UHD Video Switches.

Audio Processing:

  • All audio decoding and post processing is handled by twin Analog Devices, dual-core, 450 MHz DSP engines.
  • Audio digital-to-analog conversion for each of the 16 main audio outputs is performed by an individual AKM4490 Verita DAC operating in fully balanced Mono mode.

Power Requirements

  • 115 VAC or 230 VAC @ 50 / 60 Hz (automatically detected).
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