Today brings two new network AV receivers from Marantz: The 5.2-channel NR1508 ($549) and 7.2-channel NR1608 ($749). Both are slimline models with a low profile, yet packed with features that provide a compelling listening and viewing experience.
The NR1508 is a compact unit that keeps things simple with a 5.2 channel design. It offers 50 watts per channel of power (8 ohms, 20 Hz to 20 kHz, 0.08% THD) as well as dual subwoofer outputs. Audyssey MultEQ room correction comes as part of the package and it decodes Dolby True HD plus DTS-HD audio for cinematic surround-sound.
Marantz NR1508 AV receiver rear view.
You can connect wirelessly with Bluetooth, Airplay and Ethernet/Wi-Fi. HEOS multi-room streaming capability comes standard with the NR1508. The six HDMI ports (one in front) are fully up to date in terms of support for the latest 4K HDR video formats including HDR10, Dolby Vision and HLG (with a future update).
With the step-up NR1608, you get a ton of excellent features for the extra $200 it costs. That includes support for 7.2 channels and seven 50 watts per channel (8 ohms, 20 Hz to 20 kHz, 0.08% THD) amplifiers. This AVR supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X 3D immersive audio formats in a 5.1.2 configuration.
Rear view of the Marantz NR1608.
While only 4.1″ tall, this model offers eight HDMI ports that support the latest HDR formats. You also get compatibility with the awesome new Audyssey MultEQ Editor app ($20) that lets you fine-tune room correction; it’s a feature the NR1508 lacks. The NR1608 will also convert analog video to HDMI and upscale SD plus HD video to 4K. Like the NR1508, the NR1608 supports Bluetooth, Airplay and Ethernet/Wi-Fi. And it has HEOS for multi-room streaming.
The NR1608 also includes a remote out as well as an RS-232C port for compatibility with home automation systems.
You can control the NR1508 and NR1608 using the Marantz 2016 AVR Remote app that runs on iOS, Android and Fire devices. And with either model, thanks to HEOS multi-room networked audio you can stream music from a wide variety of sources including Soundcloud, Tidal, Amazona, SPotify, Pandora, Napster, Deezer, iHeartRadio and SiriusXM.
On both receivers, playback of locally stored music files includes support for high-res PCM up to 24-bit/192kHz and DSD up to 5.6MHz.
If one of these compact units piqued your interest, you can anticipate availability sometime this month.