Let’s face it, most a/v receivers are built like tanks. They’re big, boxy, and heavy. At first glance, their cold metal exteriors appear to have more in common with a military humvee than with a modern audio device. This is what we’re accustomed to in the home theater world. And then Marantz comes along and shows us a different path. Marantz has always made some of the most stylish home theater receivers on the market and usually their receivers have the brawn to match their beauty. The Marantz NR 1403 Slim Line Receiver fits right in with Marantz’s design aesthetic, it’s slick and at only 4″ tall it’s about half the height of most a/v receivers. In order to the attain it’s small stature the Marantz NR 1403 did have to make some sacrifices in the form of some connectivity options and networking capabilities. However, if you’re limited on space, then the 1403 could be a great option for you.

Marantz NR 1403

Marantz NR 1403 Appearance

Like mentioned above the Marantz NR 1403 has a very sleek and sophisticated appearance which is more than you can say about most a/v receivers. The front has a slight curve to it with a minimal amount of button clutter. Size-wise it’s about 14.4 x 17.3 x 4.1 inches and weighs a meager 20lbs. Most modern a/v receivers are about 6″ to 8″ high, so the compact stature of the 1403 should enable you to easily place it in your entertainment center.



This is the one area where it gets a little dicey for the Marantz NR 1403. You see, to reduce the size there have to be some sacrifices. I have to give Marantz credit because they did a great job picking and choosing what to keep and what to dump. For starters the Marantz 1403 includes 6 HDMI ports which is a healthy amount of HDMI inputs (including one on the front). Since most modern a/v equipment has adopted the HDMI standard you can never have too many of these. You also get 3 analog audio/video inputs and 2 digital inputs (coaxial & optical). Something that you’ll notice is missing is an ethernet connection. The 1403 does not include an ethernet port and it does not have built-in WiFi. Marantz does offer an optional bluetooth adapter that goes for around $100 retail. But if bluetooth is that important to you then you’d be better off checking out the Onkyo TX NR 626 which has both built-in bluetooh and WiFi. As you can see, the connectivity options of the Marantz NR 1403 are somewhat limited. So if you have a large home theater with tons of equipment, then the 1403 isn’t for you but for the average home theater enthusiast it probably offers enough.


Marantz 1403 Features

The 1403 utilizes 5 discrete power amplifiers for each of it’s 5 channels. Each channel of the Marantz NR 1403 is rated at about 50 watts per channel which doesn’t sound like much, but for most small to mid-sized home theaters it should provide enough oomph. For calibration, the 1403 makes use of Audyssey’s MultEQ calibration software. Calibrating the Marantz 1403 is simple, once you plug the included microphone into the front jack, the 1403 automatically sets itself to calibration mode. It then sends a series of test tones to your speakers and subwoofer. Once the Marantz 1403 digests the test results you then move the microphone to another location and the process begins again. It’s recommended that you measure at least 6 different locations in your listening area for best results. Based on the measurements, the Marantz NR 1403 then calibrates itself accordingly.


Like you would expect from any modern AV receiver, the 1403 supports most HD audio formats including: DTS HD Master Audio, HD High Resolution, Neo:6, 96/24, Dolby TrueHD, Digital, Digital Plus, and Pro Logic II. The Marantz NR 1403 also offers 3D pass through, however it does not offer 4K pass through. And being that 4K has yet to go mainstream, the lack of 4K support is forgivable. The user interface of the Marantz 1403 is functional if not stylish. It’s definitely not as pretty as the one on Sony’s STRDN 1040 receiver, but it gets the job done. Like many AV receivers it utilizes a simple text based interface.


Lastly, it should be noted that Marantz offers a 3 year warranty on the 1403. While most home theater receiver manufacturers only offer a 2 year or 1 year warranty, the 3 year warranty from Marantz is one of the best in the industry.


Customer Feedback

Customer Negatives
Fortunately, most customers have had very few negative experiences with the 1403. Of the few negatives that have popped up is the lack of customization options for the receiver. The Marantz NR 1403 is a basic receiver and us such has very limited options available for customizing. A few hardware failures were also experienced, but nothing out of the ordinary.


Customer Positives
Most of the customer feedback regarding the Marantz 1403 is overwhelmingly positive. The sound quality received high praises from most. Even though it’s only rated at about 50 watts per channel most felt it had ample power. The fact that it has a small profile was a big plus for most since it offers a lot of flexibility with placement options. Unlike some AV receivers the 1403 also runs very cool as noted by some customers.


The Marantz NR 1403 is a great AV receiver if you’re tight on space. It doesn’t have the robust feature set that some of its compatriots have, but Marantz did a good job of putting in the features that most people need. Also, based on consumer feedback they didn’t skimp on the sound quality either. If you don’t need all of the bells and whistles that other AV receivers offer, but instead want a simple receiver that has a small footprint and sounds good then the Marantz 1403 may the receiver you want to look at.

Onkyo (800) 229-1687 onkyousa.com  Denon (201) 762-6665 usa.denon.com  Yamaha (800) 4-YAMAHA usa.yamaha.com

Pioneer (800) 421-1404 pioneerelectronics.comHarman Kardon (203) 328-3500 harmankardon.comSamsung 1-800-SAMSUNG samsung.com

Seiki Digital 1 (855) 697-3454 www.seiki.comSony (877) 865-SONY sony.comSharp USA 1-800-237-4277 sharpusa.com

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