An inside look at Marantz's new SR8012 AVR
(September 7, 2017) Marantz has officially announced three new high-end models, rounding out its 2017 class of AV receivers and processors. The new SR7012 ($2,199), SR8012 ($2,999), and AV7704 ($2,199) are on display at CEDIA 2017.
SR7012 is a refresh of last year’s flagship SR7011 model, featuring 11.2-channel processing capability with onboard amplifier support for native 9.2-channel playback. If you’re looking to run a full 7.2.4 Atmos speaker array, then you’ll need to pair the SR7012 with a standalone external two-channel amplifier. Internally, Marantz says it has “re-tuned” the SR7012 with upgraded parts and features. Performance-wise, each of its nine amplifier stages are capable of providing 125 Watts of power. The company’s new flagship standard-bearer, the SR8012, is natively capable of driving a full 11.2-channel audio show. This model trumps the SR7012’s output capabilities, delivering a potent 140 Watts per channel.
Both models ship with onboard decoding of all three immersive sound codecs. Yes, that includes Auro-3D (previously a paid upgrade option on the SR7011), which is rather big news for the European-based sound technology. I had an opportunity to speak with Auro-3D’s founder, Wilfred Van Baelen, and he’s confident this will help to bring Auro-3D encoded movies to the US disc market.
The models also deliver streaming performance using the HEOS app, Bluethooth, and AirPlay, and sound calibration using Audyssey MultEQ XT32.
On the video front, the SR7012 and SR8012 are fully compatible with the latest HDMI and HDCP 2.2 specifications on each of their eight HDMI ports. Buyers can expect to enjoy 4K Ultra HD 60 Hz video passthrough with 4:4:4 color sub-sampling, and support for HDR, 21:9 video, BT. 2020 color, and Dolby Vision. Marantz says the receivers’ triple HDMI outputs allow the models to deliver video performance to several different displays simultaneously.
Another big announcement concerning Marantz’s new top AV Receivers is support and integration of Amazon Home Entertainment Skill. This enables voice command capabilities through Alexa, allowing owners to initiate basic commands such as power on/off, altering volume, and skipping tracks. In addition, the AVRs will support Alexa Multi-room functionality, which allows users to tap the power of Alexa’s streaming services.
The backside of the SR8012 is loaded with connectivity and outputsThe new AV7704 processor is a powerful preamplifier unit, matching many of the performance specifications offered by the SR8012 (minus the amplifier stages) with 11.2 channel XLR and RCA outputs. It carries full unlocked support for Auro-3D, in addition to Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, and houses high-performance 192kHz/32bit D/A converters integrated on all channels. Sound is further enhanced by Audyssey’s MultEQ XT32 room correction suite.
While the AV7704 isn’t designed to play friendly with Amazon’s Alexa, it does offer Marantz’s built-in HEOS technology for wireless streaming, along with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth functionality.
Marantz says the SR7012 and AV7704 will begin shipping in September, while SR8012 should be available in November 2017.