New Gear: Emotiva Introduces the Affordable, Feature-Packed XMC-1 7.2 Channel Pre-Pro

Affordable audiophile and home-theater gear leaders Emotiva have announced the new XMC-1, the first product to emerge in a revamped lineup of digital products from the company, designed by Moog and B&K veteran digital systems wizard and Emotiva VP of Engineering Ray Dennison.

Complex systems should be well served by the smorgasboard of inputs and outputs: seven HDMI 1.4 inputs and one HDMI 1.4 output (3D and 4K compatible), along with four optical and four coaxial digital audio inputs; as well as balanced and unbalanced stereo audio inputs. Also on the digital audio front, you'll find two USB A ports for playback fo FLAC, WAV, AAC, and MP3 from attached drives, and a USB B port for lossless streaming. There's also a headphone amp, 

The XMC-1 decodes most high-rez multichannel formats, up to 7.2 channels; also on tap is "pure direct audio passthrough" (no additional processing) of stereo and multichannel digital sources, and what the company refers to as "pure direct audio processing" of DSD audio from SACD - a nice lineup of features for the surround audio enthusiast.

Setup should be made simple by the onboard TacT® TCS 3e Theater Dynamic Room Correction system. You'll also find level, distance, and EQ controls for both subwoofer channels, as well as summed LFE. Manual control is also offered for a wide range of settings: independent crossover frequencies can be set for center, front, surround, rear, and subwoofer channels; channel-independent or global multi-band parametric equalization can be applied; and variable EQ frequency and crossover slope rates by channel groupings. Advanced settings are accessible via a desktop interface via the XMC-1's back-panel Ethernet control port

The XMC should be available by summer of this year, for $1,499 direct from Emotiva. In keeping with today's accent on futureproofing, the company plans to offer firmware updates; the device will be upgradable over its network connection. Also, owners of existing Emotiva pre-pros will be able to buy the XMC-1 at a 40% discount via the Processor Upgrade Program, and new XMC-1 buyers will be able to apply that discount to future generations of Emotiva pre-pros.