Marantz SR7010 Review
THE VERDICT
The Marantz SR7010 is a perfect blend of superb sound quality and excellent features. Is it pricey? Yes, but it's well worth it.

See Price on Amazon

Design10
Features10
Value9
Sound Quality10
The Good
  • The SR7010 has amazing sound quality. HDCP 2.2, Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and Auro-3D make it one of the most future proof av receivers money can buy.
The Bad
  • The Marantz SR7010 has a high price tag.
9.8Overall Score

Marantz SR7010 Review

Marantz SR7010 Review

Marantz has been one of the top AV makers for years. Their receivers have a reputation for finesse, precision and power. The Marantz SR7010 has all of these attributes plus it supports 4K video in all its glory and decodes the latest audio formats Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. Because of this, the term “flagship” is a well deserved moniker you can use with the SR7010.

 

Marantz SR7010 Design

The Marantz is a 30lb behemoth. It’s big and bulky and yet, the front face of the SR7010 slightly curves on the outer edges which softens its overall appearance. On the left side you have an input select knob and on the right a volume control knob. Sandwiched in the middle of both is Marantz’s signature circular display window which gives the Marantz SR7010 a little more flare than we’re accustomed to seeing on av receivers. Flipping open a trap door on the front reveals a second display as well as HDMI, USB, Headphone and RCA inputs.

 

Marantz SR7010 RemoteThe Marantz is a complicated amp with tons of features, but the remote is surprisingly simple and functional. It’s one of the easier remotes to use that I’ve come across. Not a lot of button clutter on this thing. Across the top it has a little LCD screen that displays which device you’re currently controlling which is rather handy. The buttons on the remote are back-lit. Clicking a button on the remote’s right side turns the light on/off. A nice feature for when you’re watching a late night movie.

Marantz also supplies an app for iOS and Android devices which is pretty solid. It mimics many of the functions of the remote and gives you another option to interface with the receiver.

 

9 Channels of Power and Oodles of Connections

The Marantz SR7010 is rated at about 125 watts per channel at 8-ohms which is more than enough power for most applications. The rear of the 7010 is a smorgasbord of connection options. Analog audio inputs, including a phono input, are present in mass on the 7010’s rear. Along with these you also get multiple digital coaxial and optical inputs as well as component. RS-232, 12V triggers and IR inputs are included with professional home theater installers in mind.

 

All of the aforementioned connections are appetizers for the main course which happens to be the 4K-ready 8 HDMI inputs. All 8 HDMIs support HDCP 2.2 copy protected video. High Dynamic Range (HDR) and 21:9 video, 4:4:4 Pure Color sub-sampling, and BT.2020 pass-through are also on the list. The SR7010 is also ISF certified and includes a full suite of video calibration controls for certified ISF technicians. Since 4K material is a little sparse at the moment, the SR7010 is capable of upscaling  video to UHD levels.

 

Three outputs on the Marantz SR7010 are setup for multi-room output. Separate speaker terminals and preamp outputs on the back  can be used to pump stereo sound to a 2nd and 3rd zone. Two of its HDMI inputs can be used in the main zone and the 3rd can be used to route audio and video to a 2nd zone.

 

WiFi and Bluetooth Built-in

Marantz SR7010 Connections

Marantz SR7010 Rear Connectors

Once you get out of the entry level receiver category, I don’t know of any new receiver that doesn’t include WiFi and Bluetooth on board. The SR7010 is no different. It includes both and it also supports Apple AirPlay. Getting the 7010 on your WiFi network is incredibly easy. Like Denon’s amps if you have a newer Apple device, the Marantz SR7010 can simply copy your WiFi settings from it thus eliminating the need to manually setup your WiFi connection. As far as streaming apps, the 7010 can tackle all of the standards you would expect such as Pandora, SiriusXM and Spotify.

 

Marantz SR7010 – Hi-Res Music Ready

Marantz advertises that the SR7010 has a conveniently located USB port. For some reason I can’t help but think that this is a subtle dig at Onkyo who decided to move their USB inputs to the back on the majority of their receivers. True to their word, the USB input is conveniently located under the front flap on the Marantz SR7010. If you attach a USB drive you can stream a wide variety of hi-res and compressed audio files including; FLAC (192/24), ALAC (96/24), WAV (192/24), DSD, AIFF, MP3, WMA and AAC. Being a networked DLNA certified amp you can also stream audio files from a connected NAS (network attached storage device).

 

Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and Auro 3D

Object based formats are heating up the home theater world right now. So the past two years we’ve seen manufacturers jumping on board to support these emerging technologies. Dolby Atmos was first out the gate. Today you can find an impressive amount of movies that support Atmos. The 9-channel Marantz SR7010 is one of the few amps on the market that can handle a 5.1.4 Atmos arrangement without requiring an external amplifier. With this type of layout the 7010 can handle height channels for both front and rear. Pony up a few bucks for a 2-channel amp and you can run a 7.1.4 setup.

 

DTS:X has been slow getting to market and it’s playing catch-up right now. As of the writing of this review there are scant few DTS:X blu-rays on the market. However, I expect DTS:X to catch-up with Atmos and the two will probably end up slugging it out mano-a-mano for years to come.

 

Auro 3D is a format similar to DTS:X and Dolby Atmos. However, while Dolby Atmos and DTS:X are free upgrades, Auro 3D will cost you 199 bucks from Marantz. Between the three formats Auro 3D may have the least likelihood of hanging around long-term, but we’ll see. If you’re dying to have it, then the Marantz SR7010 has it.

 

Setup & Calibration

If you’re setting up an av receiver for the first, then the SR7010 may be your best friend. From start to finish it will walk you through connecting your speakers and hooking-up your components. Audyssey’s top-of-the line MultEQ XT32 system handles the calibration duties. The included calibration microphone clips on top of the cardboard tri-pod that Marantz includes in the box with the SR7010. Marantz and their sister company Denon are the only companies I know of that do this.

 

To calibrate, Audyssey will ask you to plop the tri-pod at 8 locations in your room. The amp blasts out a series of test tones that it uses to account for your room’s acoustics and dial in your speakers. Audyssey’s MultiEQ XT32 also offers up a host of handy features besides just room correction. Audyssey’s dynamic volume helps to equalize volume levels. If you’re running dual subs, Sub EQ HT allows you to apply equalization to the subwoofers in your system.  Audyessey’s Low Frequency Containment is perfect if you have nearby neighbors. It essentially adjusts the bass of your source material removing frequencies that would pass through walls and disturb nearby family or neighbors.

 

Sound Quality

I was a little giddy to see how DTS:X compared to Dolby Atmos after Marantz’s DTS:X update was released into wild. Sound Engineers have had a while to tinker with Atmos, so DTS:X does have some catching up to do. This was evident with one of the few DTS:X flicks I currently have in my possession, The Witch Hunter.

 

The Witch Hunter’s DTS:X track started off rather tame in the beginning, but picked up steam later on which let the SR7010 flex its muscles a bit. Towards the end when Vin Deisel is battling the Witch Queen, the DTS:X sound effects become more active and engaging. Sounds popped in overhead and around the listening area making the movie far more immersive. However, despite this I finished the movie thinking that more could have been done with the sound track.

 

Moving on to one of my go to Atmos movies Jupiter Ascending, the Dolby Atmos sound track was far more active. The Marantz SR7010 attacked the sound track with bravado precisely placing sounds in space. Atmos’ use of overhead effects were more advanced than DTS:X’s. If I were handing out grades to both formats, DTS:X would get a B-minus and Atmos an A-minus. With the head start that Atmos has this isn’t surprising however, I do see a lot of potential in DTS:X.

 

Going from these object based formats to the Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King’s DTS-HD Master Audio sound track, I immediately missed the additional height information that Atmos and DTS:X provided.  However, it wasn’t long before the SR7010 made me forget about these formats. The amp showed me why it’s Marantz’s flagship receiver. Battlefield combat was thunderous and unforgiving which intensified the frenetic pace of the on screen action. Despite the SR7010’s ability to show brute force when necessary, it also displayed tremendous finesse and subtlety. It’s dialogue reproduction was pristine. Every sword clang and Orc grunt was broadcast with a high degree of accuracy.

 

Music is usually the downfall of multi-channel AV receivers, but the Marantz SR7010 makes a solid case for dumping your old 2-channel amp. The SR7010’s musical performance was sublime. Smooth, refined and classy is how I would describe its musical performance. Every genre I threw at it sounded superb. The soundstage it produced was wide and expansive. If you’re a purist pure direct mode with two-channel stereo (minus the sub) may be your listening mode of choice. However, when I wanted to kick things up a notch throwing the sub in the mix was the only way to go.

 

The Verdict

The Marantz SR7010 in nearly every way deserves to be called a “flagship” receiver. Not only is it one of the best sounding AV receivers I’ve listened to in a long time, it also has a ton of features. Truth be told, it probably has more features than most people will ever use. Some may scoff at the price of the 7010, but considering its performance level, and boatload of features it’s an excellent value.


Where to Buy:

See Price at Amazon



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