December 18, 2012
| by Rachel Cericola
Audiophile quality doesn’t come cheap. That basically means that when you hear a high-end company release something that’s entry-level, it still may be a little pricey. It’s also not a junky piece that you’ll considering resting your drinks on.
Emotiva just announced the UMC-200. It’s a 7.1-channel home theater preamplifier and surround sound processor that’s being billed as an entry-level product. However, it can crank out reference-quality performance for that reduced price.
For an easy setup, the UMC-200 has Emotiva’s new EmoQ Gen 2 enhanced multi-channel automatic room correction system, which can tweak the setup using the included calibration microphone. Other features include four Xpressview-capable HDMI inputs, a Video-On-Standby feature, and outputs for both balanced and unbalanced subwoofers.
The UMC-200 also has 7.1 multichannel surround sound decoder capabilities for DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS Neo:6, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Pro Logic IIx, and Pro Logic IIz. Last, but certainly not least, the component has a ton of audio connection options. Look for four pairs of stereo analog inputs and a separate 7.1-channel set of pure analog direct inputs, as well as two Toslink, two coax S/PDIF inputs and 24-bit/192-kHz decoding. The component is also compatible with an optional Bluetooth module, if you want wireless streaming in this mix.
“The UMC-200 has everything you could ask for in a state-of-the-art audiophile-quality home theater processor and preamp,” said Dan Laufman, Emotiva’s president. “Beyond offering reference quality video and audio performance, we’ve included the widest variety of audio connectivity and surround sound decoder compatibility imaginable. We’ve even included a high quality AM/FM tuner, and the EmoQ Gen 2 calibration process is completely automatic, so just about anyone can enjoy perfectly balanced surround sound without a fuss.”
Emotiva has priced the UMC-200 at $699. It’s available now on the company’s website—and with a special holiday price of $599.
Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at www.rachelcericola.com.