• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required. There are many reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Emotiva XMC-2 AVP Review (Sample 2)

Rate This AV Processor

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 143 77.7%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 30 16.3%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 5 2.7%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 6 3.3%

  • Total voters
    184

DonH56

Master Contributor
Technical Expert
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 15, 2016
Messages
7,952
Likes
16,821
Location
Monument, CO
Hope it helps! Only took what, three years? Really hope all the owners can get to fully-functioning units now.

Still no DLBC...
 

Buckeye

Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2022
Messages
13
Likes
18
Location
Ohio
I have. Seems to work better. Still has some hiccups. Hopefully they can resolve these issues quickly but they have been pretty slow to fix these issues in the past.
 

Dougey_Jones

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
May 27, 2020
Messages
554
Likes
467

BJL

Active Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2022
Messages
193
Likes
193
I noticed that the XMC-2 is now about $2500, and the RMC-1L is about $3200. I've read many of the comments in the relevant threads, primarily negative but with some dissenting positive. I understand that the audio quality (as indicated by objective testing) is somewhat lacking.

My first question is, what are the alternatives for a 9.1.6 processor with Dirac Live? From what I have seen, it would cost multiples of what Emotiva is charging to get equivalent features.

My second question is subjective. How is the audio quality as perceived, compared with common AVRs (Denon, Onkyo family etc.)? I have noticed that there are instances where the electronics tested quality is mediocre, but in use (with processing engaged), many folks are happy with the way music (or movies, TV) sound.
 

Dj7675

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 12, 2019
Messages
2,148
Likes
2,832
I noticed that the XMC-2 is now about $2500, and the RMC-1L is about $3200. I've read many of the comments in the relevant threads, primarily negative but with some dissenting positive. I understand that the audio quality (as indicated by objective testing) is somewhat lacking.

My first question is, what are the alternatives for a 9.1.6 processor with Dirac Live? From what I have seen, it would cost multiples of what Emotiva is charging to get equivalent features.

My second question is subjective. How is the audio quality as perceived, compared with common AVRs (Denon, Onkyo family etc.)? I have noticed that there are instances where the electronics tested quality is mediocre, but in use (with processing engaged), many folks are happy with the way music (or movies, TV) sound.
Closest you will come is Monoprice HTP1 or JBL SDP 55/58. But Emotiva does not have DLBC which remove it from consideration. IMO, handling bass frequencies, blending subs/mains, improving seat to seat variation is a must have. While not Dirac another option may be Anthem AVM70 if ARCg is to your liking.
 

BJL

Active Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2022
Messages
193
Likes
193
But Emotiva does not have DLBC which remove it from consideration. IMO,
Lacking DLBC is less of a consideration for me, because I use the sub for the LFE (.1) channel only, and have my other speakers full range. I mainly listen to music, by the way, film/TV is collateral for my purposes. But very much appreciate the observation.
 

Dwander

Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2020
Messages
23
Likes
11
I noticed that the XMC-2 is now about $2500, and the RMC-1L is about $3200. I've read many of the comments in the relevant threads, primarily negative but with some dissenting positive. I understand that the audio quality (as indicated by objective testing) is somewhat lacking.

My first question is, what are the alternatives for a 9.1.6 processor with Dirac Live? From what I have seen, it would cost multiples of what Emotiva is charging to get equivalent features.

My second question is subjective. How is the audio quality as perceived, compared with common AVRs (Denon, Onkyo family etc.)? I have noticed that there are instances where the electronics tested quality is mediocre, but in use (with processing engaged), many folks are happy with the way music (or movies, TV) sound.
It is your cheapest way in to a 16 channel Dirac processor but it does have issues. Emotiva cut the price bc they are planning to release their plus models in the summer which is suppose to add a bunch of features: hdmi 2.1, DLBC, imax enhanced. The current units can be sent in for an upgrade at a reasonable cost. However, with Emotiva you cannot take them at their word on anything so if you buy the unit now you should buy it bc of the features it has currently. It does sound really good though. I found it to be a significant upgrade in sound quality from my Marantz receiver. However, it can be very finicky and buggy. I personally couldn’t take it and sent it back. If I had to buy a processor now with budget in mind then I’d probably opt for the Anthem. If I could spend a little extra then definitely the JBL. The Monolith is what I have and absolutely love it but Monoprice has had them out of stock for so long and no one knows if they are going to sell more or not. Its unfortunately a limited processor market right now with no hands down choice.
 
Last edited:

Sal1950

Grand Contributor
The Chicago Crusher
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 1, 2016
Messages
14,344
Likes
17,197
Location
Central Fl
I found it to be a significant upgrade in sound quality from my Marantz receiver. However, it can be very finicky and buggy. I personally couldn’t take it and sent it back. If I had to buy a processor now with budget in mind then I’d probably opt for the Anthem.
I could ask how you determined the Emo a SQ improvement over the Marantz in a bias controlled manner
but since you sent it back it doesn't really matter. That's the constant issue with the Emo AV gear "finicky and buggy".
A real shame, it surprises me they haven't cured these issues, the word on them is very thick on the internet. They could
probably sell twice as many if they'd improve their reputation. They're priced right and IMO a very handsome design..
After the recent death of my Marantz 7703 pre/pro due to a lightning strike, the only good option I could find
in my budget was a Denon X4700H, used as a complete pre/pro mated to the 5 outboard amps I already had.
 

Dwander

Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2020
Messages
23
Likes
11
I could ask how you determined the Emo a SQ improvement over the Marantz in a bias controlled manner
but since you sent it back it doesn't really matter. That's the constant issue with the Emo AV gear "finicky and buggy".
A real shame, it surprises me they haven't cured these issues, the word on them is very thick on the internet. They could
probably sell twice as many if they'd improve their reputation. They're priced right and IMO a very handsome design..
After the recent death of my Marantz 7703 pre/pro due to a lightning strike, the only good option I could find
in my budget was a Denon X4700H, used as a complete pre/pro mated to the 5 outboard amps I already had.
I’m pretty confident in my assessment. Marantz is known for a specific sound signature which I found to be accurate description. I guess it a bit warm. Emotiva just seemed have clearer highs with a bit of that perceived sparkle. Honestly never knew what that meant until switching. Anyway, the difference was quite striking, and I kinda preferred it for the most part. Now, the LFE was a different story. I could never put my finger on it but I never thought the Emotiva sounded as good as the Marantz in that department. Im not sure what that was about, and I can’t be too confident about what I felt I was hearing there.

I really have a soar spot with Emotiva though. I try not to trash them like I used to when it was all fresh, but they know exactly what the customer wants to hear from them and they will say it whether it’s true or not. What they are doing with the new plus series is so typical of them. They never fully delivered on the current processors, but they try and keep you on the hook with the plus series which will include all the features you were told you were getting originally, and fix all the problems they couldnt fix for 5 years. IMO, they straight up stole $1000 from every one who purchased an RMC-1. Anyone who chose the RMC-1 over the RMC-1L chose it because it was upgradable. And turns out it’s not.
 

Sal1950

Grand Contributor
The Chicago Crusher
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 1, 2016
Messages
14,344
Likes
17,197
Location
Central Fl
I’m pretty confident in my assessment. Marantz is known for a specific sound signature which I found to be accurate description. I guess it a bit warm. Emotiva just seemed have clearer highs with a bit of that perceived sparkle. Honestly never knew what that meant until switching. Anyway, the difference was quite striking, and I kinda preferred it for the most part. Now, the LFE was a different story. I could never put my finger on it but I never thought the Emotiva sounded as good as the Marantz in that department. Im not sure what that was about, and I can’t be too confident about what I felt I was hearing there.
If you found the difference "quite striking", I would tend to believe there was one of two things involved.
You were listening to one or both with the DRC engaged. Then you'd be easily hearing the difference in the correction curves determined by the DRC involved.
You were the victim of normal human bias after reading so much about the effect of the Marantz DAC's filter choice.. Yes there is a very minor
and measurable difference but it would be extremely subtle and very hard to pinpoint, not a "striking" difference.
 

BJL

Active Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2022
Messages
193
Likes
193
It is your cheapest way in to a 16 channel Dirac processor but it does have issues. Emotiva cut the price bc they are planning to release their plus models in the summer which is suppose to add a bunch of features: hdmi 2.1, DLBC, imax enhanced. The current units can be sent in for an upgrade at a reasonable cost. However, with Emotiva you cannot take them at their word on anything so if you buy the unit now you should buy it bc of the features it has currently. It does sound really good though. I found it to be a significant upgrade in sound quality from my Marantz receiver. However, it can be very finicky and buggy. I personally couldn’t take it and sent it back. If I had to buy a processor now with budget in mind then I’d probably opt for the Anthem. If I could spend a little extra then definitely the JBL. The Monolith is what I have and absolutely love it but Monoprice has had them out of stock for so long and no one knows if they are going to sell more or not. Its unfortunately a limited processor market right now with no hands down choice.
Your comment is very clear and helpful. I'm bummed about all the negative experiences reported, because the XMC-2/RMC-1L have precisely the features that I want. I'm not sure if the Anthem does, because I haven't found a complete list of processing modes (even in the manual) and I am unsure about the Anthem's room correction vs. Dirac. Maybe I just have to purchase one of the Emotiva's and if I get a lemon, send it back, but what a hassle! The JBL models (at least the ones I noticed) are way over my budget, so I didn't spend time looking at them. Thanks again for your great explanation.
 

Alice of Old Vincennes

Major Contributor
Joined
Apr 5, 2019
Messages
1,428
Likes
921
I’m pretty confident in my assessment. Marantz is known for a specific sound signature which I found to be accurate description. I guess it a bit warm. Emotiva just seemed have clearer highs with a bit of that perceived sparkle. Honestly never knew what that meant until switching. Anyway, the difference was quite striking, and I kinda preferred it for the most part. Now, the LFE was a different story. I could never put my finger on it but I never thought the Emotiva sounded as good as the Marantz in that department. Im not sure what that was about, and I can’t be too confident about what I felt I was hearing there.

I really have a soar spot with Emotiva though. I try not to trash them like I used to when it was all fresh, but they know exactly what the customer wants to hear from them and they will say it whether it’s true or not. What they are doing with the new plus series is so typical of them. They never fully delivered on the current processors, but they try and keep you on the hook with the plus series which will include all the features you were told you were getting originally, and fix all the problems they couldnt fix for 5 years. IMO, they straight up stole $1000 from every one who purchased an RMC-1. Anyone who chose the RMC-1 over the RMC-1L chose it because it was upgradable. And turns out it’s not.
Same with xpr amps.
 

Alice of Old Vincennes

Major Contributor
Joined
Apr 5, 2019
Messages
1,428
Likes
921
Your comment is very clear and helpful. I'm bummed about all the negative experiences reported, because the XMC-2/RMC-1L have precisely the features that I want. I'm not sure if the Anthem does, because I haven't found a complete list of processing modes (even in the manual) and I am unsure about the Anthem's room correction vs. Dirac. Maybe I just have to purchase one of the Emotiva's and if I get a lemon, send it back, but what a hassle! The JBL models (at least the ones I noticed) are way over my budget, so I didn't spend time looking at them. Thanks again for your great explanation.
Go for the Anthem. Emotiva has bad reputation for a reason.
 

Dwander

Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2020
Messages
23
Likes
11
If you found the difference "quite striking", I would tend to believe there was one of two things involved.
You were listening to one or both with the DRC engaged. Then you'd be easily hearing the difference in the correction curves determined by the DRC involved.
You were the victim of normal human bias after reading so much about the effect of the Marantz DAC's filter choice.. Yes there is a very minor
and measurable difference but it would be extremely subtle and very hard to pinpoint, not a "striking" difference.
Who knows. Rock your Denon and enjoy.
 

Lsc

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2020
Messages
410
Likes
396
Your comment is very clear and helpful. I'm bummed about all the negative experiences reported, because the XMC-2/RMC-1L have precisely the features that I want. I'm not sure if the Anthem does, because I haven't found a complete list of processing modes (even in the manual) and I am unsure about the Anthem's room correction vs. Dirac. Maybe I just have to purchase one of the Emotiva's and if I get a lemon, send it back, but what a hassle! The JBL models (at least the ones I noticed) are way over my budget, so I didn't spend time looking at them. Thanks again for your great explanation.
I have the XMC-2 and fortunately I don’t suffer from all the bugs that others have mentioned. But I have a very simple system. ATV4K, Sony 4K Blu-ray player, iMac and PS5 are connected. My one annoyance was with HDMI ARC that didn’t work properly for 3+ years but with their latest firmware, they finally fixed it.

It’s not for everyone as it’s pretty evident in this forum but especially with the upgrade to the new processor (supposed to be released this year) that’ll cost me only $600, I’m sticking with it.

As far as sound quality, it’s very good. Now I plan on getting a DAC and a preamp with HT bypass for my salon2 but in the meantime it’s good. I literally use it daily.
 

Attachments

  • AE736389-4C06-4611-9CAE-CE5642B56029.jpeg
    AE736389-4C06-4611-9CAE-CE5642B56029.jpeg
    185.1 KB · Views: 42
Last edited:

Rick@CAL

Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2023
Messages
18
Likes
6
I have the XMC-2 and fortunately I don’t suffer from all the bugs that others have mentioned. But I have a very simple system. ATV4K, Sony 4K Blu-ray player, iMac and PS5 are connected. My one annoyance was with HDMI ARC that didn’t work properly for 3+ years but with their latest firmware, they finally fixed it.

It’s not for everyone as it’s pretty evident in this forum but especially with the upgrade to the new processor (supposed to be released this year) that’ll cost me only $600, I’m sticking with it.

As far as sound quality, it’s very good. Now I plan on getting a DAC and a preamp with HT bypass for my salon2 but in the meantime it’s good. I literally use it daily.

I feel the same. The last firmware fixed a number of bugs, still not perfect, but overall I'm enjoying my XMC-2. Wasn't aware of the upcoming processor upgrade, I guess I'll have a decision to make sometime this summer. :)
 

sealman

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Sep 6, 2021
Messages
106
Likes
103
I feel the same. The last firmware fixed a number of bugs, still not perfect, but overall I'm enjoying my XMC-2. Wasn't aware of the upcoming processor upgrade, I guess I'll have a decision to make sometime this summer. :)
This is deja vu all over again though not really in a good way.
 
Top Bottom