2020 looks to be the year of 8K-ready AV amplifiers in the home cinema world, with Marantz the latest brand to launch 8K receivers.
Marantz’s four-strong 2020 SR-Series comprises the 7-channel SR5015, the 9-channel SR6015 and SR7015, and the flagship 11-channel SR8015 (pictured, top) – all four of which boast an HDMI input that supports 8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz video pass-through.
Every model can also upscale HD and 4K content to 8K resolution, while HDR format support spans HDR10+, Dolby Vision, Dynamic HDR, HLG and HDR10. All but the entry-level SR5015 are IMAX Enhanced certified, too.
The 8K-ready Marantz AV receiver line-up comes hot on the heels of Denon’s 8K-supporting AV amplifier, which was revealed last month.
In addition to the 8K/60Hz pass-through here, there’s also support for other features within the HDMI 2.1 specification, such as eARC, which allows the transmission of Dolby Atmos and DTS:X from TV apps or connected devices using a single HDMI cable, and Variable Refresh Rate, which promises to reduce frame tearing during gaming.
Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and Quick Frame Transport (QFT) - additional gaming features designed to reduce lag and increase response time - are also on board. A new feature called Quick Media Switching (QMS) allows a source to instantly switch frame rate to eliminate screen blackout, too.
As with Denon's 2020 AV line-up, the flagship model here (the SR8015) will support DTS:X Pro later this year, allowing owners to enjoy up to 13 channels of DTS:X decoding (through 7.2.6 or 9.2.4 speaker configurations) when the amp’s extra two processing channels are being fed by an external stereo amplifier. That's a serious system.
Dolby Atmos and DTS:X are naturally supported across the line, with the SR7015 and SR8015 adding Auro 3D to that list. Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization Technology and DTS Virtual:X modes aim to create an increased sense of height from speaker set-ups that don’t have dedicated height speakers.
Set up for network streaming, the 2020 Marantz SR-Series is founded on the HEOS multi-room, hi-res platform, supporting 24-bit/192-kHz PCM and DSD 5.6MHz playback and providing access to a number of streaming services. They sport AirPlay 2 and are Roon Tested certified, too, while traditionalists also have the option to hook up their turntable to the amplifiers’ phono inputs.
Audyssey Room Calibration is onboard in either Audyssey MultEQ XT (SR5015) and MultEQ XT32 (SR6015, SR7015 and SR8015) guises. And, last but not least, and new to Marantz models, is Dual Speaker Preset Memory, which enables owners to save and toggle between two calibrated speaker configurations stored natively on the amp.
The Marantz SR7015 (£1599/€1699) will be available in August, with the SR5015 (£899/€899), SR6015 (£1149/€1199) and SR8015 (£2799/€2999) to follow in September. Australian pricing is yet to be announced.