Artison Backpack P5 processor amplifier review

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posted on Tuesday, 15th January 2019 by David Slater

home cinema  Smart home  Media Rooms 


If you look back to the days when Pioneer ruled the roost with its plasma screens, you’ll probably remember those speaker out terminals that allowed you to feed better quality speakers. Getting improved TV audio was straightforward.

The majority of modern screens have lost this connection, so if you want better sound you’ll need to wrestle with a variety of hardware options, many of which won’t suit the project at hand.

One elegant solution to consider the Artison Nano Backpack P5. This doen't just provide superior TV audio, but opens the door to a discrete surround sound system. This diminutive processor/amplifier could be the answer to many AV installation prayers.

The unit is certainly tiny, measuring just 190 x 203 x 228mm (w/h/d), yet delivers 5:1 surround. Inside CI got its hands on one, to test out on a live install.

Amp In Black

Rear Panel (10)

Artison Nano Backpack P5: Design and installation
For our evaluation, we attached the Aritison Backpack P5 to the rear of a Sony 55-inch OLED, using the supplied bracket that comes as an extra. However it’s smart enough to sit on a shelf or AV furniture if that’s preferable. We then connected the amplifier to an Artison Studio soundbar, which has a custom-made speaker grille that cosmetically matches the TV.

I have to say that with the Artison in place, the minimalist Sony TV took on a slick look that reminded me of a B&O design - not too shabby at all. To deliver low-end bass, we added an Artison RCC Nano 1 subwoofer, and then took control of the system with a Control4 EA3.

The entire process took no longer than five minutes; the menus are simple, with not many bells and whistles - perfect for this type of living room installation.

Connectivity is good. Designed to accept most common AV sources sources, the Backpack P5's array of inputs includes a trio of HDMIs, Bluetooth 4.0, digital optical audio, 3.5mm stereo minijack, and RJ-45 Ethernet.

Screen And Soundbar

Sony With Soundbar

Artison Nano Backpack P5: Performance
Despite its small size, the P5 really has genuine punch, and coupled with the Artison speaker array delivered an amazing sound. Even though the amplifier is physically small it provides 100 watts per channel to front L/C/R speaker channels, and 50 watts to the LR/RR channels. 

The high-performance processor/amp utilizes five internal Class D amplifiers for the entire surround soundstage, using Continuous Sigma technology to give a Class A-level performance. There’s support for Dolby Digital, DTS, and Dolby ProLogic II/IIx decoding. It’s probably worth stressing that there’s no Dolby Atmos or DTS:X support, but then the P5 isn't intended for a that level of home theatre install. If you’re outfitting a 5.1 media room, though, it’s perfect for the job.

Also included are internal 2.4/5.8 GHz antennas for stable connectivity to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices. The HDMI output supports ARC and has 3D and 4k passthrough, which makes the Backpack P5 easy to integrate into a single-room system. The Backpack P5 uses a universal high-power internal switch mode power supply, and an IR remote control. It's also IP-controllable via RJ-45/Wi-Fi. We're told Control4 drivers will be available soon.

Artison Nano Backpack P5: Verdict
Slick and convenient, we are really impressed by this little pocket rocket. It’s a great choice for a single room TV install: it has power, runs cool, and is super small. It’s also easy to control with your preferred control system.

The Backpack with Artison speaker package that we installed, was perfectly paired; the soundstage was crisp, with quality bass from the matching subwoofer. With its compact form factor and punchy performance, we suspect the CI community is going to love the P5!

The Artison Backpack P5 processor amplifier is available from Redline and RGB communications
Price: £995 (plus vat)

David Slater

David Slater started his writing career with SVI writing a popular column, he has also guested on publications like Home Cinema Choice and
Living North

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