Emotiva RMC-1 High-end Home Theatre Processor Test

We recently tested the AV home theatre processor from the US-based company Emotiva. The 16-channel RMC-1 is designed for state-of-the-art formats. It has many functions and can be further expanded thanks to the 3 expansion cards. Let’s look at the most important features:

-HDR, Dolby Vision, 4K UHD

-HDMI 2.0b, Dolby Atmos, with DTS: X support

-8 HDMI inputs, 2 outputs

-USB, IR input, 4 trigger outputs

-PCM, can also decode DSD signals

-32-bit A / D and D / A converters

-AM / FM receiver

-HDCP 2.2, ARC and CEC support

-Ethernet connection

Room EQ

The bass settings can be extended up to 3 subwoofers, the crossover point can be adjusted, and the dynamic range can also be controlled. The Room EQ Wizard feature allows you to optimse the sound to suit your room. Dirac Live software automatically performs measurements and corrects timing and frequency errors. Analog audio signals go through a premium quality circuit.

Emotiva RMC 1 review

Weighing 10 kg, it is quite solid in size, its display is blue with LED / OLED light. The processor, made in the U.S. in Tennesse, is designed to be the perfect solution for both movie fans and music lovers.

Emotiva processor testing

We tested the Emotiva RMC-1 in a cinema room of about 20 square meters. Never forget that if you want the perfect sound, be it that of a movie or music, the first and most important step should always be to improve the acoustics of your room or studio! If you buy premium audio devices, but you neglect acoustic treatment of the room where you place them, you can’t achieve a flawless sound. At the Emotiva test site, diffuser front panels on the walls and bass traps in the corners provided the ideal surround sound. Acoustic issues of glass surfaces were resolved with soundproof curtains placed in front of the windows. But that’s not all, with these curtains made of special fabric, complete dark expected in cinemas can also be achieved!

Emotiva remote control

The RMC-1 has an aesthetic look, but the remote control design is rather clumsy and bulky. Backlighting has also been omitted, which is essential to be able to use the remote control in a dark movie theatre. On the other hand, it is extremely simple to handle, very clear and practical.

X-Men -Days of Future Past movie poster

We started our tests and watched movies about the adventures of surrealistic mutants. The 2014 X-Men – Days of the Future Past is a fantasy movie full of excitement and adventures. The Emotiva produced a natural, spacious sound, although the mid-ranges were a little too unstressed at some moments. The dialogues definitely stood out from the sound effects, as did the various effects and the soundtrack. We then screened the Resident Evil 3. Extinction sci-fi horror movie. We noted precise, clear sounds and excellent dynamics. Our heart rate accelerated as we saw and heard how people turned into zombies, and the ominously roaring crows added to the suspense. After watching comic book stories and horrors, we relaxed to a musical. Escaping the wolfskin, Hugh Jackman excelled in the role of Jean Valjean in the musical Les Miserables. RMC also provided beautiful and flawless sound for the movie.

Emotiva recommends this processor not only for home theatre systems, but also for audio only contents. Adele’s highly successful hit Rolling In the Deep served as a proof to this: each frequency ranges sounded with the right intensity and quality, moreover, the vocal and musical accompaniment were clearly distinguished and separated.

Our opinion

The Emotiva RMC-1 processor has a clear, natural and dynamic sound. The exterior looks sleek and attractive, only the oversized, ugly remote didn’t win our liking. Another advantage is the expandability and the fact that it is an excellent choice for both listening to music and watching movies. Unfortunately, we found quite a few negatives. In fact, it has been developed for the most modern formats, hence it does not detect well older types. There are problems with the HDMI connection, furthermore, it does not plays flawlessly some tracks. It also loses its performance, therefore, it has to be restarted frequently, which takes time. There are plenty of setting options which additionally are a source of further errors, while communication between the remote control and the device is very cumbersome and slow.


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