Marantz introduces NR1609 and NR1509 slimline AV amps

Marantz is to introduce two new 'slimline' AV receivers this year: the NR1609 and NR1509, which should replace the existing NR1608 and NR1607 models.

While you might expect them to have a half-width chassis, the 'slimline' refers to the height of the machine – they’re half the height of traditional AV receivers, closer in styling to the company’s budget CD players and stereo amps.

And while they aren’t necessarily better for you than traditionally-sized models, they make sensible options for those short on rack room.

The NR1609 has the higher specifications, with 7.2 channels and support for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. That means it will support a 5.2.2 speaker set-up (with the last ‘.2’ representing two height channels).

There’s also support for DTS’s Virtual:X post-processing technology, which aims to virtually create the effect of a 7.1.4 surround set up from a 5.1 or 7.1 speaker configuration, for example.

The 50W-per-channel NR1609 has eight HDMI inputs (including one on the front panel), all of which support HDCP 2.2 and BT.2020, and allow for HDR 10, Dolby Vision and Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) pass-through.

It supports the HEOS wireless multi-room platform, which lets you access your networked files as well as streaming services, such as Spotify, Tidal, Deezer and TuneIn, via the HEOS app.

File support reaches 24-bit/192kHz FLAC and WAV, and DSD 2.8MHz and 5.6MHz. Bluetooth and Apple AirPlay also allow music streaming from a device.

With Amazon’s Alexa built-in, the NR1609’s playback can be controlled via the HEOS platform, allowing users to play or pause music, adjust volume and switch inputs with their voice. The NR1609 also features a phono input for connecting a turntable.

Meanwhile, the NR1509 matches its sibling for specs – including power output, HEOS network streaming and phono input – but has 5.2 channels, six HDMI inputs and doesn’t support Atmos or DTS:X. Instead, it has Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding.

The NR1609 and NR1509 appear on Marantz’s US website, priced $749 (£561) and $549 (£411) respectively. We expect to hear more details on UK pricing and availability at Denon and Marantz’s Europen conference next month.


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Becky Roberts

Becky is the managing editor of What Hi-Fi? and, since her recent move to Melbourne, also the editor of Australian Hi-Fi magazine. During her 10 years in the hi-fi industry, she has been fortunate enough to travel the world to report on the biggest and most exciting brands in hi-fi and consumer tech (and has had the jetlag and hangovers to remember them by). In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching Liverpool FC and horror movies, and hunting for gluten-free cake.