The AV receiver market continued to expand this week, with new introductions from high-end component brands Marantz and Integra.

Marantz unveiled a pair of slimmed down receivers hitting retail shelves this month in its [amazon_textlink asin=’B06XY7F6MJ’ text=’NR1608 ($749 suggested retail) ‘ template=’ProductLink’ store=’hc005-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’13c772a3-3b2b-11e7-bc03-3f216903d34a’]and [amazon_textlink asin=’B071F7L2DY’ text=’NR1508′ template=’ProductLink’ store=’hc005-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’00f9e933-3b2b-11e7-bc1a-b31dc7643145′] ($549) models, each of which combines advanced home theater surround sound support with multi-room music distribution.

Rival Integra, meanwhile, introduced a pair of 7.2-channel network AV receivers targeting the custom installation market in the DRX-3.1 ($1,000 suggested retail) and the DRX-2.1 ($800). Both models also support advanced home theater surround sound, and multi-room audio distribution.

The receivers from both brands include support for some of the latest 4K Ultra HDTV technologies, including, (either out-of-the-box or via a future firmware update), Dolby Vision and hybrid log-gamma (HLG) high dynamic range (HDR), in addition to the generic HDR10 system.

Read more about the new Marantz and Integra audio video receivers after the jump:

The new Marantz models both offer compact designs (measuring 4.1 inches tall) for easy system and cabinet integration.

Both the NR1608 (pictured at top) and NR1508 will handle the latest 4K Ultra HD video standards over HDMI 2.0a/HCDP 2.2 inputs. In addition to the three HDR profiles (HDR10, Dolby Vision and HLG), the receivers will pass through 3840x21604K video at up to 60fps, with 4:4:4 chroma sub-sampling and BT.2020 wide color gamut. Other features include support for the Dolby Atmos and DTS:X object-based audio formats, network streaming, Bluetooth and Airplay connectivity and wireless multi-room audio using the Denon/Marantz HEOS platform.

The [amazon_textlink asin=’B06XY7F6MJ’ text=’Marantz NR1608′ template=’ProductLink’ store=’hc005-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’ee3671ac-3b2a-11e7-987f-c73538127728′] will decode both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X 3D surround sound, offers 8 HDMI inputs, and has 7x50W (8 ohms, 20 Hz~20 kHz, 0.08% THD) of power output. The receiver also supports legacy surround formats including Dolby Surround and Neural:X in addition to news Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD soundtracks.

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In also includes Audyssey MultEQ auto room calibration and will accept the optional Audyssey MultEQ Editor App to further refine the set-up to personal preference. The Audyssey Dynamic EQ retains clarity and impact at low sound levels, while Dynamic Volume levels out volume level jumps between television programming and commercials.

The NR1608 streams music from local network storage or the Internet using either wired or Wi-Fi connections, as well as TuneIn Internet Radio and music streaming services including: Pandora, Spotify, Amazon Prime Music, iHeart Radio, Sirius XM, Sound Cloud, Tidal, Napster, and Deezer (where available; subscriptions may be required).

The receiver will also stream high-resolution audio formats from a computer or NAS drive at up to 192kHz/24bit and DSD5.6MHz, in addition to supporting the most popular digital formats like MP3. A front-panel USB port will also accept high-resolution music formats, or users can stream music from a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth or Airplay.

For multi-room audio support, the NR1608 is equipped to use the HEOS system that will allow adding HEOS wireless speakers in room to control sending music from the receiver to the remote room using and easy to use HEOS app. Users will be able to stream music around the house from network or Internet sources, or even from a smartphone. The system will support playing different music in every room, or sending one song to every speaker.

Other features include: a simple on-screen Setup Assistant; Intelligent ECO mode; and ISF-certified video calibration controls along with ISF Day/Night video modes.

The Marantz NR1508 is a scaled-down 5.2-channel compact AVR with five discrete 50W channels (8 ohms, 20 Hz~20 kHz, 0.08% THD), the same 4K video support on six HDMI 2.0a/HDCP 2.2 inputs, and has decoding for Dolby True HD and DTS-HD for conventional surround setups. The receiver employs the same Audyssey MultEQ set-up and functionality and can be controlled via the Marantz 2016 AVR app.

The NR1508 also supports network and wireless music streaming via Bluetooth, Airplay and Ethernet/Wi-Fi with access to Internet radio, streaming services, and locally stored content at up to 192kHz/24bit and DSD5.6MHz. It will also support HEOS wireless multiroom audio integration, allowing it to be used with the HEOS app, available for iOS, Android and Fire devices.

Integra, meanwhile, is adding the DRX-3.1 (pictured above) and DRX-2.1 models tailored for advanced home entertainment installations. Both models will accept the aforementioned latest 4K Ultra HD/HDR video standards over HDMI 2.0a/ HDCP-2.2 inputs.

For audio, both models will support high-resolution audio formats including: DSD 5.6 MHz / 2.8 MHz and 192 / 24 PCM, and DSD, Dolby TrueHD, FLAC, WAV, ALAC, AIFF, WMA Lossless, MP3 and AAC via network and USB input.

Both Integra units also add Google Chromecast enabling music casting from  smartphones or tablets through the receivers while controlling multiple functions via voice when an optional Google Home speaker is connected to the same home network.

Other features supported in both models include: FireConnect by Blackfire that takes an analog audio signal from any source component plugged into an Integra AVR, as well as content from Internet radio, and sends it to multiple zones via wired or wireless connections.

The Integra DRX-3.1 and DRX-2.1 receivers both support Apple Airplay and DTS Play-Fi, which will be coming via a future firmware update. Both receivers will also access popular music streaming services including: Tidal, Deezer, Pandora, Spotify, and TuneIn Radio.

The DRX-3.1 outputs 100W per channel at 8 ohms while the DRX-2.1 ouputs 80W per channel at 8 ohms. Both units feature 4 ohm-capable, low-impedance amplification systems in addition to Dolby Atmos and DTS:X object-based audio surround sound formats (up to 5.2.2 channels in addition to traditional 7.2 channel setups).

Other features in the Integra models include: bi-directional RS232 and Ethernet control ports; Zone 2 pre / line out for distributed audio playback in another room; Zone 2 DAC for S/PDIF, NET and analog sources (SPDIF for DRX-3.1 only); independent Zone 2 bass, treble, and balance control; dealer settings memory store and recall with lock / unlock and PC software support; 2 IR inputs and 1 output; and 3 programmable 12V triggers (100 mA, 25 mA x2, with adjustable delay).


By Greg Tarr


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