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ARVA Neo Pro Avalanche Transceiver Review

Summary: The ARVA Neo Pro is a three-antenna avalanche transceiver that supports the marking of transceivers during a multiple burial. It includes several advanced features, such as an easy-to-activate analog mode, the ability to scroll through transceivers during a multiple burial, and a standby mode.

ARVA releases transceivers with new names more frequently than other manufactures, which makes writing full reviews on each of the Neo transceivers challenging. This page focuses on the differences between the Neo+ and the Neo Pro. Refer to the review of the Neo+ for additional information about the Neo family of transceivers.

Neo Pro versus Neo: The Neo Pro replaced the Neo+ in mid-2020. Here are the differences between these two transceivers:

  • The Neo Pro can be quickly toggled between analog and digital modes.
  • The addition of Up and Down buttons make it easier to change the Neo Pro's custom settings.
  • You can press the new Up and Down buttons while searching for multiple victims to "scroll" between the victims. This feature is disabled by default and can be enabled by changing a custom setting.
  • The Neo Pro supports a standby mode. When in this mode you are neither transmitting (which might confuse other searchers) or receiving (which is noisy), however the Pro is ready to revert back to transmit if you are buried by a secondary avalanche. To get into standby mode, position the sliding switch in Search, press and hold the Flag button, and then move the sliding switch to Send ("Stby" will be displayed).
  • The Neo Pro has a fabric pouch harness whereas the Neo+ has a plastic, frame-style harness.

Searching: As with the Neo+, the Neo Pro has a suggested search strip width of 70 meters (this increases to 80 meters when in analog mode). As mentioned in the review of the Neo+, I find the Neo Pro to be overly sensitive and frequently see it report "false alarms" (i.e., momentarily display a distance and direction when there isn't a transmitting beacon).

As with the Neo+, if the Neo Pro senses electronic interference it will suggest a narrower search strip. This is a unique feature that is only shared by the Mammut Barryvox transceivers (at the time of this writing). Learn about this feature.

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ARVA Neo Pro

Analog Mode: You can quickly toggle the Neo Pro between analog and digital modes by pressing the up/down keys at the same time (this is easy to do with your thumbs). Being able to hear analog audio can be very helpful when searching for multiple victims. It is also helpful when listening for background interference and during the signal search.

When in analog mode, you can press the Pro's up and down keys to increase or decrease the transceiver's sensitivity. Unusual, but nifty, the Pro displays left and right arrows in the display to suggest when you should decrease or increase the sensitivity. If you increase the sensitivity to the maximum, the display will turn off to minimize interference caused by the display itself. This can be helpful during the signal search when you are trying to detect a very weak signal.

Unlike the Barryvox S, the Neo Pro does not display a direction arrow when in analog mode. That is not significant drawback, as analog is most helpful during the signal search (when you want to hear what the transceiver hears) and during the fine search (when you are trying to resolve signals from multiple transceivers).

When in analog mode, the distances displayed by the Neo Pro are affected by the sensitivity (up/down) buttons. If you have the sensitivity set too high (which is indicated by a left arrow in the display), the displayed distance will be greater than the actual distance (and vice versa). This is most noticeable during a fine search. The distance is accurate when the left and right "sensitivity" arrows are not displayed.

Using the analog mode does require a little practice, but it is worth your time.

Custom Settings: You can change the Pro's "device settings" to specify the number of minutes before the device will revert to transmit mode, how close you need to be to a transmitting beacon before the Flag button is available, whether group check is activated when the transceiver is turned on, whether the transceiver should attempt to manage electronic interference, and whether the ability to scroll between multiple victims should be enabled. The default settings are appropriate for most people. The two settings that are more commonly changed are turning off the auto-reverting (some instructors disable this feature because auto-reverting can complicate trainings) and enabling the ability to scroll through multiple victims. You can read the details on changing these settings in the user manual.

Other: ARVA recommends that you insert the Neo Pro into the harness with the screen facing outward (away from your body). Most manufactures recommend that the screen faces your body.

Summary: The ARVA Neo Pro is a solid step forward in the Neo family of transceivers. It has an intuitive display, an easy to access analog mode, an improved harness, and is mitten-friendly. It is priced aggressively compared to other transceivers that have marking and additional features.

Model:  Neo Pro
Manufacture:  ARVA
Retail Price:  $359.95
Score: 
Type:  Analog and Digital
Antennas:  3
Marking:  Yes
Updateable:  Yes
Owner's Manual:  Read It

Pros: Easy to use, mitten-friendly, analog mode, customizable.
Cons: Larger. Reports "false alarms".