(Pocket-lint) - Arcam has poured its audio expertise into the Solo Bar, which the Cambridge-based company is claiming to be a soundbar fit for audiophiles.
It's designed not just to bring audio enhancements to your TV, but to do much of the work that an AV receiver would do. As such, it offers four HDMI inputs to make the job of switching sources that much easier.
That means you can plug your PS4, Xbox One, Blu-ray player, Sky box or other HDMI-equipped kit into the Arcam Solo Bar, rather than connecting it all to your TV and having to bring the audio back to your sound system.
If you do need direct connections there are still optical and coaxial audio inputs, as well as 3.5mm for your aging iPod Classic.
The 100W Solo Bar, unveiled today in London, offers six drivers, with four 4-inch drivers and two 1-inch tweeters. The four main drivers are split between low and mid range, with the tweeters angled out slightly to widen the sound stage.
Bolstering the low notes is the Arcam Solo Sub. This 300W wireless subwoofer is an optional extra and can be used with other Arcam AV systems. It features a down-firing 10-inch woofer that will literally make the earth move, if you want it to.
The body of the Solo Bar is aluminium, so it has a build that's solid and feels lusciously premium. We love the cool feel of the metal: it's a cut above the plastic bodies that you might normally find.
Not that the feel of your soundbar is a primary concern, as once it's installed, either standing or via the wall mounting fixings, you'll probably never have to touch it again.
The solid build however stands behind the robust delivery. Arcam told us that it was primarily referenced against music and the music delivery is very good. There's a richness and bags of detail, with distortion free music up to antisocial levels.
The Arcam Solo offers full support for HD audio, with on-board decoding of all current formats. It supports Dolby True-HD and DTS-HD, as well as offering Bluetooth streaming with aptX.
The tracks we listened to sounded fantastic and the sample movie scenes we watched were delivered with detailed dialogue, yet robust effects when it came to the action.
Not only will the Arcam Solo Bar play Bluetooth music from your mobile device, it also includes a CSR Bluetooth transmitter, meaning you can slip into private listening using Bluetooth headphones, with minimal fuss. The support for aptX means this is high fidelity Bluetooth.
Designed to be futureproof, the Arcam Solo Bar offers 4K passthrough, so if you have an UHD source device, you'll be able to get that on your TV. Switching inputs is incredibly easy, making this a complete home cinema system.
There's a conventional remote control, but there's also a control app for Android and iOS, replicating the front information on your smartphone so you can see exactly what you're doing and change anything you need to change.
We're particularly taken with the four HDMI inputs, as that makes it really convenient to set-up multiple devices and the sound quality, from what we've heard so far, is fantastic.
But convenience and quality come at a price, with the Arcam Solo Bar costing £800. The Arcam Solo Sub is available for £500. Both will be available in Q4 2014.