Marantz is bringing multiple technologies to its A/V receiver (AVR) selection for the first time with the launch of the $849-suggested SR5004 and $1,249-suggested SR6004.
Both AVRs are the company's first with Dolby Pro Logic IIz, Audyssey Dynamic EQ and Audyssey Dynamic Volume. The SR6004 is also the brand's first AVR with iPod/iPhone-controlling front-panel USB input.
The two AVRs, which ship by the end of August, also step up the brand's Bluetooth commitment. Both connect to the company's new RX101 Bluetooth receiver via a proprietary M-XPort (Marantz eXpansion Port) to play back stereo music streamed from Bluetooth-equipped devices, including cellphones and PCs. The company's first Bluetooth device, shipped earlier this year, was a Bluetooth-equipped handheld cradle that holds an iPod and streams music to a Bluetooth-equipped connection block that connects to any AV system via RCA outputs.
The SR5004 and SR 6004 decode all Blu-ray surround formats and feature 1080p up-scaling and HDMI up-conversion of connected video sources. They also feature Dolby Pro Logic IIz, Audyssey Dynamic EQ and Dynamic Volume, and, like their predecessors, Audyssey MultEQ room-correction technology. Dolby IIz derives front-height channels from two-, 5.1- and 7.1-channel soundtracks. Pro Logic IIz height-matrix information encoded in future surround-sound mixes can also be decoded by the AVRs.
Both models are Marantz's first with proprietary M-XPort connection, which connects to and powers the $129-suggested RX101 Bluetooth receiver. The RX101 is bundled with the step-up SR6004. The Bluetooth receiver also features an IR sensor, enabling consumers to control the AVRs even if they're hidden behind cabinet doors. Marantz is considering other add-on products that would connect to AVRs via M-XPort.
Of the two models, the SR6004 is Marantz's first AVR with a front-panel iPod/iPhone-controlling USB port, making the purchase of an iPod dock unnecessary. The receiver is Works With iPhone certified. The SR6004 also adds dual HDMI outputs, which its predecessor and two other AVRs also offer. The dual outputs let consumers switch between two connected HD displays.
The NR1501 is about half the size of traditional AVRs at 4.2 inches in height and 13 inches deep. The new AVR features four HDMI 1.3 inputs and one 1.3 output, whereas its predecessor featured two HDMI inputs that lacked version 1.3 specs. The predecessor also lacked the full complement of Blu-ray surround decoders.
For more on the two Marantz AVRs, visit www.TWICE.com.