“Let our rigorous testing and reviews be your guidelines to A/V equipment – not marketing slogans”
Facebook Youtube Twitter instagram pinterest

Acurus Updates ACT 4 Atmos/DTS:X AV Processor to 20 Channels

By
Acurus ACT 4 Processor

Acurus ACT 4 Processor

Summary

  • Product Name: ACT 4 20 Channel Processor
  • Manufacturer: Acurus
  • Review Date: February 19, 2018 00:00
  • MSRP: $9,500 est.
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool
  • Buy Now
  • Modern Ultra-HD HDMI 2.0 interface with HDCP 2.2 support
  •  7” Full-color touch-sensitive front panel interface !   8x2 HDMI with 4K and 3-D pass-thru
  • Decoding for Dolby Atmos 9.1.6-channel layouts
  • High-end 2-channel audio performance
  • Quad TI DSP processors decode the latest HD Audio Formats including Dolby Atmos and DTS:X
  •  Hi-res Audio DACs support 192kHz/24bit on all digital inputs
  • Integrates multiple ways with automation systems
  • Installation and setup simplified with built-in web app! Modern HDMI interface supports Ultra-HD formats
  • Ethernet, RS-232 and 12V trigger control automation
  • Hardware and Firmware upgradeable enables future format and standards support
  • Ethernet, RS-232, 12V trigger in and out!   2 USB charging ports
  • Mobile device control with built-in web apps
  • Remote monitoring ready!
  • Brushed aluminum finish with laser-engraved print!
  • US-made helps ensure quality and reliability!   5 year warranty!

Acurus RackIndy Audio Labs, LLC, owners of the high-performance American-made audio brands, Acurus and Aragon, announced an upgrade to their ACT 4 13.3 processor to 20 channels with up to four additional configurable channels for maximum layouts of 9.5.6 or 9.7.4, .  The original ACT 4 released in 2015 and upgraded in March of 2017 embodied Acurus revolutionary approach to home theater. At its introduction, the ACT 4 was virtually the only option under $20K to break the 12-channel native decoding barrier. The ACT 4 changed the game by delivering bigger layouts AND ultimate sound quality from an affordable, reliable, easy-to-install package. Now the ACT 4 is touted as the only processor with 20 channels of immersive audio for under $10,000.

Its high-end sonic performance is said to convey the best audio experience from both classic analog and ultra-modern digital sources. With a 65,000 color touch-sensitive display, the ACT 4 is more than a small step forward from other home theater processors. The ACT 4 was one of the first processors to speak directly to common mobile phones and tablets via the home network enabling a more reliable and intuitive control experience than traditional remotes have to offer.

The ACT-4 hardware platform from Indy Audio Labs features a powerful array of Digital Signal Processors that constantly monitor incoming signal formats. With its unique SMART AUTO mode, the ACT 4 applies the best possible processing for the source signal, maximizing use of all available loudspeakers including any immersive surround units overhead. The usage of four (one pair for Atmos the other pair for DTS:X parallel configured) allows for instantaneous switching between formats with no audio delays or drop outs. Indy Audio Labs’ web control technology is also built-in, simplifying remote audio adjustments, configuration and setup on modern mobile devices, tablet PCs and 3rd-party control systems. A rich, full-color 7” touch sensitive front panel interface greatly reduces setup time and headaches versus traditional character displays or on-screen menus. There is even a built-in sensor that automatically adjusts display brightness for ambient lighting conditions.   The end result is a powerful, simple to use AV processing platform just like the original Acurus ACT 4 and Aragon Soundstage pre/pros predecessors.

 "Acurus continues to remain first to market with the latest immersive cinema processor technology. We were the first sub-$10k wholly designed American immersive audio processor, first with both 7.3.6 Dolby Atmos and 7.1.4 DTS:X native decoding, first with full support of HDMI 2.0b with HDCP 2.2, and now first to expand into the 20-channel realm with 15.1 Dolby Atmos native decoding plus four extra configurable channels. Couple this layout expansion with the ACT 4's superb implementation of the latest Dolby and DTS upmixers, and you have a listening experience that's as phenomenal as it is flexible. You just won't find any other immersive processor with the features, capabilities, and installer-friendly focus that the ACT 4 has to offer."

Indy Audio Labs Co-founder and CTO Ted Moore

If you already have the ACT 4, Indy Audio Labs, the company behind the Acurus ACT 4 says that it is offering a hardware/firmware upgrade kit that adds the 20-channel capability to existing ACT-4 models.  The price will be determined soon.

Acurus ACT-4 Back View

Acurus ACT-4 AV Processor Backpanel View

Some might say $9,500 is NOT quite a "Budget Friendly" option for a pre/pro, but let's break it down to see what you are getting:

  • 20 channels for: 9.1.6 (wides supported) or 7.3.6 Dolby Atmos and 7.1.4 DTS:X native decoding and 4 additional configurable outputs
  • balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA outputs
  • USB charging
  • Higher resolution DACs (32bit, 192kHz)
  • Added Microcontroller processing (was 3 MCUs now is 4 MCUs)
  • HDMI 1.4a to HDMI 2.0b (now delivers 3D and 4K, 60Hz pass thru) and HDCP 2.2 Support
  • Increased integration and modularity in the hardware architecture
  • New ASPEQT PEQ Tool

Additional web-control features and system upgrades to support the upcoming Acurus automatic room correction tool, ASPEQT (Acurus Speaker Parameter EQ Tool), are included in the new system, as well. Adding up all the above results in a more expensive but much more capable processor.  By making it modular and by over-designing several aspects of the hardware including the DSP engine, Acurus now has a unique design that will enjoy several years of life even in light of ever-changing standards.  Best of all the ACT-4 is engineered and built in the  USA right at their corporate headquarters in Indianapolis.

The Acurus ACT 4 with 20 channels will be available for order by April 2018 through authorized Acurus dealers and distributors around the world. Expected US retail price is around $9,499.

About Acurus and Indy Audio Labs

The Acurus and Aragon brands have a combined 50-year history of delivering high-performance, high-value electronics. Indy Audio Labs, LLC designs and manufactures all Aragon and Acurus electronics in Indiana, USA. Aragon and Acurus products are sold through resellers around the world. For US sales inquiries, contact [email protected] or call tel: 866-559-5113. For international inquiries, contact Indy Audio Labs’ exclusive international representatives, American Tradco, at [email protected] or call tel: 317-485-7088.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
author portrait

Gene manages this organization, establishes relations with manufacturers and keeps Audioholics a well oiled machine. His goal is to educate about home theater and develop more standards in the industry to eliminate consumer confusion clouded by industry snake oil.

View full profile