The trend of more and more discreet hi-fi and residential installations is growing, so it is good that Marantz has added a pretty AV receiver like the NR1504 to their portfolio. Let´s see what this slim piece of hardware has going for it.
Sound Quality - 79%
Features - 80%
Ease of Use - 80%
Build Quality - 80%
The slim-line Marantz NR1504 is a great AV receiver with a lot of strong points and a mature sound in a small package.
Small(-ish) in size.
May lack in power for some people.
With a 4.1" height, Marantz NR1504 doesn´t take up much real estate as the main hub in your living room or home theater. It is also quite affordable with a list price of $499, making it wallet-friendly enough to allow home theater enthusiasts to fulfill their dreams of real movie and music magic on a budget. The manufacturer has stayed true to their traditional design, so that the slim-line receiver is instantly recognizable as a Marantz product.
Under The Hood
Being of such small stature, one must wonder if the engineers at Marantz were forced to 'remove' some features and limit the performance in any way. Surely they must have considering the size and the relatively modest prize? Anyway, NR1504 uses five discrete amplifiers to do the job, which allow for a simple stereo setup or a 5.1 surround setup with an external powered subwoofer.
The NR1504 offers a network feature that allows you to stream music from your PC to receive Internet radio stations or use music streaming services like Spotify. In addition, the AV receiver can control iTunes thanks to the integrated AirPlay wireless communication as well as dealing with iOS and Android devices. Many diverse audio formats can be decoded by the Marantz, notably FLAC HD (192 kHz/24 bit) and Apple Lossless. Thanks to its “gapless” function, the Marantz can play entire albums at a stretch without any ‘forced breaks’ between individual songs, so the playback of live albums or classical recordings become even more enjoyable.
The slim-line receiver can be directly operated on the front of the unit thanks to its clear display with a symmetrical structure. From a distance the remote controller does a good job thanks to a nice design and well laid out buttons. Quick access to video cameras, gaming consoles and such is easy with the front HDMI input, and five additional HDMI inputs can be found in the rear. The HDMI output features ARC (Audio Return Channel) so that the TV sound can be played via the HDMI cable, if it´s connected to a compatible TV that is. Unfortunately, the HDMI section of the NR1504 is not capable of handling 4K Ultra HD signals.
The simple graphical user menu does a good job at guiding you through the initial installation, and even beginners should have no major difficulty with the installation and calibration of the speakers. NR1504 utilizes a microphone in conjunction with the calibration feature “Audyssey MultEQ” which measures your speakers and room acoustics. Marantz recommends to set up the microphone at up to six different measuring positions to get a more precise measurement. The recommended measurement positions are shown in detail in the well structured user manual.
Thanks to the free "Remote App" the AV receiver can be controlled easily and quickly using a smartphone or tablet.
In our listening room the Marantz NR1504 sounded confident in a plain stereo setup and was very convincing in reproducing the different qualities of different musical genres. After setting up and calibrating five speakers and a subwoofer, in this case an easily driven Klipsch RF-62 II 5.1 setup, we let it rip with some movie sound. In short, NR1504 delivers outstanding surround sound, and impress us with exact positioning of sound effects. Dialog can easily be followed, even at ‘turned-up-to-11’ volume in our fairly large listening room. Block busters like ‘Interstellar‘ and ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies‘ was, thanks to the great detail and dynamics of this little receiver, great fun to watch.
Marantz delivers with its small slimline model a great AV receiver with a lot of strong points and a mature sound in a small package. The NR1504 is also suitable for home cinema beginners and an ideal choice for the living room and home theater thanks to its price/performance/size ratio.
- IN ThE bOX
|Number of Channels||5.1 Channels|
|Audyssey||Audyssey MultEQ, Dynamic EQ, Dynamic Volume|
|DTS||DTS HD Master Audio, HD High Resolution, ES Discrete/Matrix, Neo:6, 96/24|
|Dolby||Dolby TrueHD, Digital, Digital Plus, Pro Logic II|
|Current Feedback Topology||No|
|Digital Signal Processing||Analog Devices ADSP21487|
|Video Off (Pure Direct)||Yes|
|Auto Calibration by MIC||Audyssey MultEQ|
|Lip-sync (digital audio delay)||Yes|
|Software Upgradable||Yes (via Internet)|
|HDMI In||6 (including front HDMI input)|
|Networking||AirPlay, DLNA 1.5 certified Audio/Photo Streaming, Internet Radio, Streaming service capability (Pandora/Spotify/SiriusXM/flickr)|
|SetUp Wizard||Yes (Setup Assistant)|
|D-Bus Remote (RC-5) In/Out||Yes|
|Flasher In/IR Receiver In/Emitter out||1 / - / -|
|Front Panel A/V Inputs||Front HDMI, USB|
|AC Outlets (Switched/Unswitched)||- / -|AUDIO SECTION
|Power Output||50W (0.08% @ 8 Ohm), 60W (0.7% @ 6 Ohm)|
|Freq. Response (Analog In)||10Hz - 100kHz (+/- 3 dB)|
TUNER SECTION FM
|Freq. Response (Dig In)||No|
|Frequency Range||87.5 - 107.9MHz|
TUNER SECTION AM
|S/N Ratio (Mono/Stereo)||70/67 dB|
|Frequency Range||520 - 1710kHz|
|Video Freq. Response (Component)||5Hz - 60MHz|
|Video Freq. Response (Composit, S-Video)||5Hz - 10MHz|
|Front Panel||Glass-resinforced resin|
|Power Requirement||AC120V 60Hz|
|Power Consumption||180W (Standby 0.2W)|
|Dimensions W x H x D (Inchs)||17-21/64" x 4-9/64" x 14-29/64"|
Setup and measurement microphone
Remote control unit
Receiver Power cord