Overview of the ARCAM Solo Bar

ARCAM Solo Bar and Solo Sub. Images provided by ARCAM

U.K. based Arcam is well known for their high-end audio products, such as the FMJ-AVR450 home theater receiver I reviewed in 2014. However, they have expanded their product offerings in other audio areas, with the latest being the announcement of their Solo Bar Sound Bar/Subwoofer System.

Of course, coming from ARCAM, the Solo Bar is definitely not one of those "off-the-shelf" sound bars you typically find at your local Big-Box retailer. ARCAM has incorporated the same build quality and technologies they use in their higher-end AV products into both the Solo Bar and Solo Sub in order to provide significant improvement over those built-in TV speakers that you would get from an external amplifier and good set of standalone speakers.

What You Get

The Solo Bar features a two-channel configuration with two 4-inch mid-bass drivers and a 1-inch tweeter for each channel, supported by a 100-watt (50 watts x 2) amplifier. ARCAM states the frequency response of the mid-bass drivers to be 170Hz to 20kHz (+ - 3db) and the frequency response of the tweeters to be 3.8kHz to 14kHz (+ - 3db). Somehow that doesn't sound quite right - it would make more sense that mid-bass drivers would cut off about 14kHz and the tweeters would extend out to 20kHz.

Connectivity includes 4 HDMI inputs (4K pass-through and HDMI-CEC compatible), one HDMI output (Audio Return Channel compatible), one digital optical, one digital coaxial, and one 3.5mm analog audio input.

Also, the Solo Bar is also Bluetooth-equipped (AptX compatible), which allows direct wireless streaming from compatible portable devices, such as many smartphones and tablet.

As an added connection bonus, the Solo Bar provides both wired or wireless subwoofer connectivity.

Audio Decoding is provided for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio (via HDMI - mixed down to two channels), as well as Dolby Digital/Plus and DTS via either HDMI or digital optical/coaxial audio connection options. A USB port is included, however, it is just for installing firmware updates.

Also, to get optimal performance from the Solo Bar, it also includes an auto-setup system that adjusts the speaker levels, subwoofer crossover frequency (if the subwoofer is connected), and any need filtering to get the best sonic fit to your room environment whether the Solo Bar is table/shelf or wall mounted (setup microphone is included).

Control options include provided onboard controls, a provided remote control, or you can control using a compatible iOS or Android phone.

Moving on the Solo Sub, it houses a 10-inch downfiring driver supported by a 300-watt amplifier. ARCAM states the frequency response of the sub as 20Hz to 250Hz with adjustable crossover point depending on room requirements. Controls are provided for Volume, Crossover (freq and Q), as well as Phase. All controls are continuously adjustable.

For full operational details, you can down the user guides for both the Solo Bar and Solo Sub.

The ARCAM Solo Bar and Solo Sub are available via Authorized ARCAM Dealers