miniDSP announced its latest Flex HT home theater processor, a compact multichannel processor with HDMI ARC/eARC capabilities and WiSA wireless audio. The miniDSP team was able to cram a full eight channels of DSP power, with eight-channel audio input via linear PCM over USB Audio or HDMI eARC, with an additional stereo input supported over SPDIF and TOSLINK optical. Output is available in 8 analog channels and 24-bit/48kHz fixed latency wireless for WiSA-compatible speakers.
The miniDSP Flex series is the 3rd generation of miniDSP’s popular line of compact audio processors (not that anyone needs these to be so compact, they are just cheaper to manufacture and particularly to ship, given that miniDSP handles orders from Hong Kong to all over the globe). The Flex series currently includes the standard 2×4 Flex model ($495 USD) and the 2×8 Flex Eight ($599 USD), both featuring a 32-bit floating-point 400MHz Analog Devices SHARC DSP audio processor, toolbox for subwoofer or multiway speaker tuning, optional Dirac Live license for room correction, Bluetooth LDAC/aptX/AAC streaming, and flexible unbalanced/balanced/digital connectivity options.
All models in the Flex series include a set of digital inputs: USB audio, S/PDIF (RCA/optical). An OLED front panel display and volume control/encoder knob provides easy control. And as always, the Flex series offers miniDSP’s tried and proven audio processing functionality. As miniDSP always advises, the Flex series processors don’t do the Dolby/DTS bitstream decoding. Users need to connect a source – normally a TV – that outputs the decoded content in PCM mode.
The new Flex HT is miniDSP’s answer to its customers looking for a multichannel processor with HDMI ARC/eARC capabilities, ready to support a full eight channels of DSP power and a wide range of I/O for surround sound formats. In the case of the simpler new model, eight-channel audio inputs are available via eARC linear PCM over HDMI, or USB Audio. Additional stereo input is supported over SPDIF and TOSLINK optical.
Internally, as with other models in the Flex series, we can find a full suite of miniDSP flexible’s routing and audio processing features: bass management, parametric EQ, crossovers, advanced biquad programming and delay/gain adjustments. In addition, the miniDSP Flex HT is software-upgradable with full-frequency Dirac Live room correction system.
In the best miniDSP tradition, the eight-channel analog RCA outputs feature low noise and distortion figures. More importantly for many users who are looking for a convenient home theater solution with wireless speakers, the Flex HT is miniDSP’s first product to include WiSA (Wireless Speaker and Audio Association) capability. WiSA is designed specifically for low-latency multichannel audio – a perfect match for the Flex HT. The WiSA HT transmitter built into each Flex HT can transmit eight lossless 24-bit/48kHz output channels to WiSA-compatible speakers and subwoofers. All running on dedicated 5GHz channels, immune to interference from Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. And with no complicated setups – after a simple pairing procedure, the system is good to go!
“The miniDSP Flex HT is the perfect solution for a modern compact processor for home theater and multichannel sound. You just need to let your creativity do the rest!,” states miniDSP. And with HDMI eARC/ARC, control of the whole audio and video system from the TV remote has never been easier thanks to CEC integration.
The new miniDSP Flex HT is scheduled to become available in Q2 2023. Price is not yet confirmed at the time of announcement.