Marantz Unveils Advanced Stereo AVR With HEOS
Marantz has added its latest 2-channel stereo receiver featuring a slim, compact design and sound optimized for high-fidelity music playback.
In addition to offering exception musical performance, the AVR model NR1200, from Sound United’s high-end Marantz line, incorporates a number of modern connectivity features bridging the best of analog and digital formats and technologies.
The Marantz NR1200 (hitting retail stores August 15th at a $599 suggested retail) is engineered to provide stable 75-watt per channel (8-ohm, 20Hz – 20kHz, 0.08% THD) power output, the company said. The receiver is constructed using carefully selected audio component parts suited for two-channel Hi-Fi performance, including “custom-designed power capacitors and dual DACs all extensively tuned by Marantz sound masters,” the company said.
Why all the attention on 2-channel stereo? Emmanuel Millot, senior director brand management at Sound United said: “We have seen a resurgence in demand for a high-performance two-channel receiver that enables people to enjoy a superior entertainment experience versus a traditional sound bar without making the leap to a multichannel AVR. The NR1200 delivers Marantz’s sonic signature with all of the power and connectivity options consumers and integrators need to get started. Its slim, sophisticated design makes it the perfect bragging piece for any entertaining space.”
The amplifier circuit design allows for separate, symmetrical left and right power amplifier blocks. The power transformer is wired independently to the circuits of the amplifier, preamplifier, tuner and front display, which is said to improve channel separation, reduce crosstalk and preserve purity of audio.
Additionally, the stereo receiver features a double differential DAC design, increasing the dynamic range and improving signal to noise ratio.
For connectivity, the Marantz NR1200 offers 5 HDMI inputs (one of which supports Audio Return Channel) with support for HDCP 2.3 content protection, 4K Ultra HD 60Hz video, 4:4:4 Pure Color sub-sampling, HLG and HDR10 high dynamic range (HDR) profiles , 21:9 video, 3D and BT.2020 wide color gamut pass-through.
The NR1200 also supports Sound United’s built-in HEOS wireless multi-room audio digital platform to send music to HEOS wireless speakers placed around the house using a HEOS control app in a mobile device. The HEOS app allows connection with favorite music streaming apps, including Amazon, Spotify, Pandora, and Tidal, and personal digital music libraries stored on network attached storage devices and PC hard drives.
In addition, HEOS now supports Spotify Connect streaming for users with free accounts, so listeners can stream music from a mobile device or a computer directly from the Spotify app. Streaming content can be accessed via all popular providers using Bluetooth, Apple AirPlay 2 or the built-in HEOS app.
With HEOS and a connected HEOS wireless speaker, users can play the same song in every room or select a different song for each connected room.
For analog music lovers, the Marantz NR1200 includes an integrated phono input with HDAM EQ stage for connection of a turntable. Marantz said the advanced phono stage “outperforms inferior op-amp solutions, delivering the clarity and detail discerning listeners demand.”
Another modern feature in this stereo receiver is intuitive voice control using most of the leading digital voice assistants including Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant or Apple Siri. When paired with compatible Amazon, Apple and Google products, the listener can use verbal commands to initiate music playback, turn the volume up or down, skip to the next track, input selection and more. Users can switch between voice agents or use just a favorite one. The extent of functionality will vary between the differnt voice agent platforms.
For custom installers, the Marantz NR1200 offers both IP and IR control, a web user interface and support for major remote room monitoring and management services, including OvrC, ihiji Invision and Domotz Pro. The receiver also features L/R main and zone 2 preamp outputs, remote in/out terminals.
Additional feature support includes: Hi-Res Audio playbay from the ALAC, FLAC and WAV lossless file formats, up to 24-bit/192-kHz, as well as DSD 2.8MHz and 5.6MHz tracks; fron-panel tone control fine-tuning; speaker A/B selection with high-grade, gold-plated speaker terminals to connect 2 pairs of stereo speakers, or to bi-wire a pair; easy set up assistant; simple smart select buttons on the remote to instantly configure a source device to pre-selected parameters; dual subwoofer outputs; HDMI CEC one-remote control functionality; Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) support for use with Xbox One gaming consoles and supporting TV; and a Marantz AVR Remote app for iOS and Android.
By Greg Tarr
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