Marantz Announces Two Slim-Profile Home Theater Receivers

Marantz NR1606 Slim-Profile Home Theater Receiver
Image provided by D&M Group

Normally, when you think of a home theater receiver, you imagine something big and bulky - and most cases, that perception is correct. However, Marantz has announced two slim-profile home theater receivers for 2015/16 that buck that trend, the NR-1506, and NR1606.

To start, despite the fact that both receivers are much slimmer than most home theater receivers in their price class (only 4.1-inches high - not counting the Bluetooth/WiFi antennas, which are movable), they pack in a lot of practical features that help to provide good performance and connect access flexibility.

Channels and Audio Decoding

The NR1506 provides up to a 5.2 channel configuration while the NR1606 adds two more channels to accommodate up to a 7.2 configuration. Both receivers feature the same stated power output rating per channel (50 WPC measured at 8 ohms from 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 0.08%THD).

For more details on what the above-stated power ratings mean with respect to real-world conditions, refer to my article: Understanding Amplifier Power Output Specifications.

Built-in decoding and processing of most Dolby and DTS surround sound formats is provided, including Dolby True HD and DTS-HD Master Audio, with the NR1606 also adding both Dolby Atmos (5.1.2 channel configuration) and DTS:X decoding capability (DTS:X will be added via forthcoming firmware update).

Digital Audio

Additional audio playback capability includes MP3, WAV, AAC, WMA, AIFF audio files, as well as hi-res audio files, such as DSD, ALAC, and 192KHz/24bit FLAC.

Speaker Setup

To make speaker setup easy, both receivers also incorporate the Audyssey MultEQ automatic speaker setup and room correction system, which employs a built-in test tone generator in combination with a provided microphone to determine speaker size, distance, and room characteristics (the needed microphone is provided). For added help, the on-screen "Setup Assistant" menu interface guides you the rest of what you need to get it up and running.

For additional flexibility, the NR1606 also provides Zone 2 operation, which allows users to send a second two-channel audio source to another location using wired speaker connections or the Zone 2 preamp output connected to an external amplifier and speakers. For private listening, both receivers have a front mounted 1/4-inch headphone jack.

HDMI

Physical connectivity on the NR1506 includes 6 HDMI inputs (5 rear/1 front), while the NR1606 provides 8 (7 rear/1 front). Both receivers have one HDMI output.

The HDMI connections are 3D, 4K (60Hz), HDR and Audio Return Channel, compatible. In addition, the NR1606 includes analog to HDMI video conversion and both 1080p and 4K (30Hz) upscaling.

Network Connectivity and Streaming

In addition to core and audio and video features and connections, both receivers are also network connectable via Ethernet or Wifi.

Network and streaming features include built-in Bluetooth for streaming from compatible portable devices, such as smartphones and tablets, Apple AirPlay, which allows music streaming from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch as well as from your iTunes libraries, DLNA compatibility for access to content stored on network-connected PC or Media Server, and internet access to several online content from services, such as Spotify, The receiver also provides a USB port for accessing digital media files stored on USB flash drives and other compatible devices.

Control Options

To control everything on either the NR1506 or NR1606, a remote control is provided, or you can use the Marantz free remote control app for Android or iOS devices.

Original Publish Date: 06/30/2015 - Robert Silva