Marantz NR1609 surround AV receiver is a 7.2-channel AV receiver designed for users with limited space. The height is only 105mm, and the placement can be more flexible. Marantz’s thin-body AV receiver has always been very popular, and it is also a relatively rare choice for thin-body machines on the market. So what improvements are there for the new generation of models? In this post, I will do a throughout this review.
The Marantz NR1609 adopts a 7.2 channel design, with two channels that can be configured freely. It can be configured as a 7.2 surround sound system or add more a pair of sky channel speakers to act as 5.2.2.
The output of 50W per channel is sufficient for small and medium-sized spaces, and a 7-channel separate power amplifier is used to ensure sound quality. Moreover, the capacitor also uses 6800uF / 63V × 2. The power supply uses a high output of 25A, much higher than the previous 10A, which significantly affects sound quality improvement.
In terms of decoding, the AMK 32bit/8Ch AK4458VN DAC is used. In terms of sound effects, Dolby Atmos and DTS:X are also supported. What is more remarkable is that this time the DTS Virtual:X processing feature is added.
Even if there is no Atmos speaker, the existing 5.1 configurations can simulate a little sky channel effect. Marantz NR1609 supports Audyssey MultEQ automatic sound field correction. The AV receiver can be operated through Audyssey MultEQ App and Marantz 2016 AVR Remote and other mobile apps, plus its remote control. It is very convenient to use and set.
The NR1609 AV receiver is equipped with eight input and output HDMI terminals, plus AV, coaxial and other interfaces. The newly added Phono terminal, which is half thinner than a typical AV receiver. The barge interface can be said to be very comprehensive. In addition, all HDMIs are compatible with HDCP 2.2 and support 4K/60P HDR.
Of course, the network functions are pretty capable. It supports the HEOS multi-room streaming system, which is relatively easy to use. It can directly play music from platforms such as Spotify and TIDAL. Streaming from a mobile phone or NAS music can support up to 24bit/192kHz Hi-Res quality.
For convenience, Bluetooth and AirPlay connections are also available. Although Chromecast is not supported, the HEOS App already allows Android users to play songs conveniently.
The test is using the JAMO s809 floor-standing speaker as the front central speaker. It is a straightforward and high-quality surround speaker setup. Because in many small spaces, the most difficult to place is the subwoofer. The subwoofer I used is the SVS SB2000.
I also use a pair of ceiling speakers for the sky sound effects. And then, I add a pair of bookshelf speakers at the rear (ProMonitor 1000) and a pair of speakers by the side, making it a 5.2.2 channel system, and the sound effect of the Marantz NR1609 surround AV receiver is already excellent.
Watching the DTS:X movie clip of “Harry Potter: Deathly Hallows“, the sound of the rails, the noise of the surrounding details, and the sound of the waterfall are all accurately positioned and full of details, especially the sense of space is created very three-dimensional. Plus, the sound of water from above and the sound of the wind around make the entire sound field reproduced perfectly.
Then I watched the movie clip, “Tomb Raider“. The heroine escapes from the waterfall for a while. The sound quality of the sound field from the surface to the bottom is very real. However, the water sound density is slightly insufficient, and the low-frequency sense of the waterfall sound and the airplane falling is somewhat inadequate. So, of course, it’s no wonder that NR1609 is more suitable for use in spaces within 200 feet or even 150 feet.
It is worth mentioning that although the reflective A90 Atmos speaker was used this time, the aircraft sound in the air and the underwater sound image are all made quite well. The two-channel sky speaker has perfectly delivered it.
Part of the effect is worthy of mention. With the parallel five channels, the whole surround sound of NR1609 has a good sense of envelopment. As for DTS Virtual:X, although it simulates a little air channel effect, the horizontal sound effects in front, such as plane flying, bullets, and water sounds, are slightly pushed up.
But there is still some distance from the actual ceiling channel. Since the reflective speakers have achieved quite good results, it is recommended to use Atmos speakers or speaker modules to better the 3D surround sound experience.
At the price of Marantz NR1609 AV receiver, you can buy other AV receivers that have more functionality, but of course, it is a larger model. Not to mention that you may not know that the previous generation of Marantz’s NR1608 has increased sales by 1.8 times compared to the previous generation of NR1607.
In recent years, this series has indeed been continuously improved.
This time the increase in current and improved materials have enhanced the sound quality. In addition, it has a versatile connection interface with the latest audio-visual and streaming functions. Although it is expensive for those with limited space and who want to enjoy the 3D surround sound, it’s definitely worth the money.