Marantz has been popping out some of the best sounding compact AV receivers for a few years now. And it looks like they don’t plan on stopping in 2017.  Their newly announced NR1508 and NR1608 AV receivers stand only 4.1 inches tall, however, they bundle an excellent set of features inside of their svelte metal frames.

 

The 5.2 channel Marantz NR1508 is the least expensive of the two, despite this, it still packs in an enviable set of features. The 1508 can pump out about 50 watts of power per channel. At face value, this doesn’t sound like a lot of juice, however, if the NR1508 is anything like Marantz’s past slimline receivers, this amp may surprise us.

Marantz NR1508 Preview

Marantz NR1508

This slim receiver has a surprisingly large amount of HDMI inputs with six. All of the inputs support 4K video passthrough at 60fp and HDR in all of its many flavors. HDR10, Dolby Vision, and Hybrid Log Gamma are all supported by the receiver. However, Hybrid Log Gamma won’t be available until Marantz releases a future firmware update. As far as audio formats, the NR1508 decodes both Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio.


The amp also has Bluetooth, WiFi, AirPlay and an ethernet connection. The receiver gives you access to an impressive slate of streaming music services such as; TuneIn, Pandora, Spotify, Amazon Prime Music, iHeart Radio, Sirius XM, Sound Cloud, Tidal, Napster, and Deezer. If you prefer to listen to uncompressed audio, the NR1508 supports hi-res 24bit/192khz and DSD 5.6MHz files. In addition, if you have HEOS speakers in your home, the Marantz NR1508 can acts as a central hub by allowing you to transmit audio to these speakers.

 

The 7.2 channel Marantz NR 1608 is more expensive than the 1508, but the larger price tag results in more features. It has the same capabilities as the 1508 and then some. To begin with, it has two additional HDMI inputs at eight and it’s capable of upscaling legacy video sources to near 4K resolution. In order to give users more control over video quality, the 1608 is certified by the Imaging Science Foundation and includes an entire suite of video calibration controls.

 

The NR1608 decodes Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, plus, it can handle Dolby Atmos and DTS:X object based surround sound formats. Like the NR1508, the 1608 uses Audyssey’s MultiEQ suite of tools, but the fun doesn’t stop there. Users who like to control every aspect of their audio experience can use the Audyssey Editor app to fine-tune the sound produced by the receiver. HEOS also gets a slight upgrade on the NR 1608 with the amp being able to handle multiple audio sources simultaneously.

 

Both the NR1508 and NR1608 are available now at various retailers.

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