By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
MAHWAH, N.J. — Marantz brought the opening price of networked A/V receivers (AVRs) down to a suggested $499 from $649 with the launch of two slim-line AVRs.
The two new models are the 5x70-watt NR1504 at a suggested $499 and the 7x70-watt NR1604 at a suggested $649. Both are shipping.
Both models feature DLNA 1.5 networking to stream audio and photos from a networked PC, and they incorporate other network features such as Apple AirPlay, Internet radio-station streaming, and the Pandora, Spotify and SiriusXM streaming services. They also steam pictures from Flickr.
With the new models, 4K up-scaling/passthrough continues to start at a suggested $649.
Both AVRs also add some easy set-up features that appear in new low-cost E-series AVRs from sister brand Denon. The features include color-coded speaker terminals and supplied matching color cable tags to ensure correct speaker-wire hookup. Also to simplify setup, the back panels of the Marantz AVRs group audio, video and speaker connections into distinct blocks, and multi-way speaker binding posts feature see-through connector barrels. A new Marantz Setup Assistant features an updated graphical user interface for system configuration.
Both models can be controlled from Marantz’s remote app for iOS and Android devices. Both also feature 192kHz/24-bit DACs and discrete high-current power-output devices, which are capable of driving lower impedance loads. Both have front USB port to play music from and charge USB-connected iPods, iPhones and iPads. The Apple devices can be charged even when the AVRs are in standby mode. The USB port also plays music from USB thumb drives and USB hard drives. Both models also connect to an optional RX-101 Bluetooth adapter.
Other features common to both models include Audyssey’s MultEQ room-error correction, Dynamic EQ loudness correction and Dynamic Volume automatic listening-level adjustment. They also have DTS HD Master, DTS HD High Resolution, Dolby TrueHD and Dolby Digital Plus surround decoding.
The NR1604 steps up to offer second-zone audio, enabling it to drive a 5.1-channel speaker system while simultaneously sending music to a pair of speakers in another room. The NR1604 also steps up to seven HDMI inputs from six and adds 4K passthrough as well as 4K up-scaling from HD sources.
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