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  • Anthem MRX 720 vs Arcam AVR 550

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Anthem MRX 720 vs Arcam AVR550

Arcam AVR550

Arcam vs Anthem

Two great companies, both with a two channel legacy. Anthem ascended into higher end audio with Paradigm’s purchase of Sonic Frontiers a company with a very good reputation for building well designed and high performing audio products. For several years Anthem has continued on the tradition of Sonic Frontiers by making some of the best home theater receivers and HT processors on the market today.

Arcam or A&R Cambridge, Ltd. as it was first called when it was founded in 1976 by a group of science and engineering students at Cambridge University. Arcam was made famous by their first integrated called the A60. From that point on, Arcam has always been known as a two channel company, even producing the first standalone digital analog converter (DAC).

Fast forward today and we have two companies with two channel roots making the best home theater receivers available today.

At Choice Audio, we love them both and we have been selling both for several years. But, which one is for me, you ask? Take a look on our page below for some of the comparisons between the two. Hopefully it will help you a little.

MRX 720 Rear Panel

MRX 720 Rear Panel

AVR 550 Rear Panel

AVR 550 Rear Panel

Important things to consider before buying

If you somehow made it to this page, chances are you have already boiled down your selection to the two best brands in AV receivers on the market today. (our opinion, but we have used and installed just about every brand available.

In our experience there are a few factors to consider before choosing the Arcam or the Anthem.

  • What percentage of use will be Home Theater vs Listening to Music (by this we me really sitting and listening, not background music)

  • Do you have any analog sources? (turntable, nice CD player, DAC?)

  • Are all of your sources digital? (Cable/Sat Box, DVD, Blu-Ray, AppleTV, etc.?)

  • Is ease of set up important?

  • What brand of speakers do you have?

  • Warrantee?

  • Size of your listening room?

  • Multiple Subs?

The above are all important things to consider. We have plenty of experience with both brands and can help steer you in the right direction. Feel free to give us a call or email if you have questions. 651-217-2083 or

Arcam AVR550 Anthem MRX720
Continuous Power Output Continuous Power Output
2 channels driven into 8 Ohms, 20Hz - 20kHz, (<0.02% THD ) 110W Channels 1-5, Two Driven into 8 Ohms (1% THD) 140W
2 channels driven, 1kHz, into 8 Ohms (0.2% THD) 125W Remaining Channels, Two Driven into 8 Ohms  (1% THD)  60 Watts
7 channels driven, 1kHz, into 8 Ohms (0.2% THD) 90W Remaining Channels, Two Driven into 6 Ohms  (1% THD)  75 Watts
Stereo Line Inputs Stereo Line Inputs
Signal/noise ratio (A-wtd, stereo direct) - 110dB No Data
Frequency response - 20Hz—20kHz ± 0.1dB
Residual noise & hum (A-wtd) - <0.15mV
Video Inputs Video Inputs
HDMI - x7 (6 x HDMI2.0a, HDCP2.2, 1 x MHL compatible) 8 HDMI inputs HDMI 2.0aHDCP 2.2,  4:4:4 Subsampling at 4K60 (18.2 Gbps)
4K (UHD) HDMI2.0a with HDCP2.2, 3D High Dynamic Range (HDR), Dolby Vision™ Compatible, Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG)BT.2020 Color Gamut, On-Screen Display with 4K 50/60, 4K 50/60 Switching
xvYCC, Adobe RGB, Adobe YCC601, sYCC601, Deep color, MHL
Video Outputs Video Outputs
HDMI - Z1 x2 (out1 ARC, HDMI2.0a, HDCP2.2, out2 HDMI2.0a, HDCP2.2), Z2 x1 (HDMI2.0a, HDCP2.2) 2 HDMI (out1 ARC)
Audio Inputs Audio Inputs
HDMI - x7, Coax SPDIF - x4, Toslink - x2, RCA Phono - x6, 8 HDMI inputs (7 rear and 1 front-panel Digital Audio Inputs: 2 Coaxial +  3 Optical,  5 Stereo Analog RCA Inputs
Audio Outputs Audio Outputs
7.1.4 Pre-amp output - 12x RCA Phono 7.1.4 Pre-amp outputs, 2 sub outputs (parallel)
Zone 2 output - RCA Phono, 2 sub outputs (independent)
Radio Tuner Radio Tuner
FM / DAB / DAB+ (in appropriate markets) FM
Supported Surround Modes Include Supported Surround Modes Include
Dolby Atmos, Dolby Surround, Imax Enabled AnthemLogic – (11.2 channels with MRX 1120 and 720, DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby TrueHD
DTS:X, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS-ES 6.1 Discrete, DTS-ES 6.1 Matrix, DTS 5.1, DTS Neural:X, DTS Virtual:X, IMAX Enhanced Dolby SurroundDolby Pro Logic II on MRX 520DTS Neo:6 – Cinema, Music All-Channels – All-Speaker Stereo
Room Correction Room Correction
Dirac ARC
General General
Power consumption (max) - 1.5kW (approx. 5200 BTU/hour) Power Consumption - Typical Load 485W
Power consumption (standby) - <0.5W Standby 0.3W
Ethernet, RS232 and IR control Ethernet, RS232 and IR control
12v trigger 12v trigger
5 year Warranty 3 year Warranty
W x D (inc. speaker terminals) x H (inc. feet) - 433 x 425 x 171mm H= 6-1/2", W= 17 1/4"  4U rack spaces
Weight (net) - 15.5kg 14kg 31 lbs
Music Streaming Music Streaming
Spotify, Free MusicLife iOS UPnP and control app-Qobuz and Tidal Tidal, pandora, napster, spotify, siruisXM, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Internet Radio, KKBox, Juke!, Amazon Music, qobuz, BBC, ESPN, NPR
Alexa Ready