Unveiling the Powerhouse Marantz SR7015: A Comprehensive Review
Looking for a powerful and feature-packed AV receiver? Read our in-depth review of the Marantz SR7015 to discover its strengths and weaknesses, and find out if it's the right fit for your home theater setup.
Table of Contents
Passthrough at 4K/120Hz, compatibility for Virtual Reality (VR), Advanced Lighting and Motion (ALLM), and Quad Frame Transfer are all features that will appeal to gamers (QFT). The most significant change this year is arguably the addition of an HDMI input and two HDMI outputs that support 8K at 60 fps.
In addition, it is controlled by not one, but three separate voice assistants: Amazon Alexa, Apple's Siri, and Google's Assistant. It is also compatible with the HEOS multi-room system and can play high-resolution audio at up to 24-bit/192kHz. It also features AirPlay 2 and has been Roon Tested.
Design And Build
The Marantz SR7015 follows in the footsteps of the company's other products in terms of design, including rounded, matte sides and a center piece that is constructed of brushed aluminum. On the left side of the device is where you'll find the power button as well as the large input dial. On the right, you'll find the large volume dial.
This amplifier is dependable and of high quality despite having a design that is somewhat conventional. A stunning circular display is located in the space between the two dials, and it is lit up by a ring of light in blue that may be turned off if that is your preference. The display of the SR7015 oozes elegance and unmistakably demonstrates that it is a product of the Marantz brand, despite the fact that it simply displays the data that is absolutely necessary.
The fact that the round display is small and only contains the barest minimum of information is basically irrelevant because, one, there is an outstanding on-screen display, and, two, there is a separate display that is larger and more informative that is hidden beneath a flap that can be lowered. Both of these displays can be accessed by lowering the flap.
The array of buttons and ports includes a composite video input, an HDMI input, a USB port, a headphone connection, a stereo analogue input, and a socket for the setup microphone. In addition, there is a headphone connector.
The sound system is rugged and well-engineered, and the audio gadget has superb build quality. The SR7015 is available in either black or silver-gold and is 440 millimeters in height, 185 millimeters in width, and 411 millimeters in depth (WxHxD). It comes in at 14.2 kg.
Connections And Control
The Marantz SR7015's plethora of ports on the back is remarkable, if not a little intimidating. Component video, composite video, analog audio, digital audio, and even a phono (MM) jack for vinyl fans are all supported.
We count three HDMI outputs and eight HDMI inputs (seven on the back and one on the front). Up to 40GBps of data can be sent between the three HDMI ports at once, with 8K resolution at 60 fps and 4K resolution at 120 fps (combined) supported by two of the HDMI outputs and one of the HDMI inputs, respectively (enhanced audio return channel).
Newer gaming source devices boasting 4K/120Hz output may not be fully compatible with Marantz 8K AVRs. If your gadgets have HDMI ports but use different chipsets, you may encounter this issue. If the source system is connected through 8K HDMI and the AVR is configured to output at 4K/120Hz, but the 4K Signal Format option is set to "8K Enhanced," the user may not be able to view the source video on the display or hear the source audio. This problem arises if you're not using a display that supports 4K at 120 fps.
With the use of the display's ARC/eARC features, the system's native audio may be sent back to the AVR through the same HDMI cable that links the two devices together. In this manner, listeners can recover the raw audio data transmitted by the original source. This method requires both the CEC/ARC setting on the display and the AVR's HDMI Control and/or ARC options to be enabled. The "Video - HDMI Setup" option in the AVR's graphical user interface (GUI) provides access to this function.
In the meanwhile, you can either leave the source's video output at 4K/60Hz or switch it to 4K/60Hz temporarily. This will provide seamless communication between the source, AVR, and display. Since 4K/60Hz is the default output setting of the source, no other adjustments need to be performed before use.
All of the HDMI inputs support HDCP 2.3, which means that you may stream content in 4K at 60 frames per second in 3D, BT.2020, HDR (HDR10, hybrid log-gamma, HDR10+, and Dolby Vision), auto low latency mode, variable refresh rate, quick media switching, and quick frame transfer (quick frame transport). Also, the HDMI inputs rename themselves based on the source data (when available).
Some people may end up purchasing both of the next-gen consoles, thus having two HDMI inputs that support 8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz would be ideal. But, you could simply connect it to your TV and have the lossless audio played back via eARC.
The SR7015 supports 8K 60p streaming through HDMI, which is great, however more inputs would have been nice. This gadget has several connectivity options, including WiFi, Bluetooth, a LAN port, two 12V triggers, an infrared flasher, and a serial control RS232 port. If you'd like to connect the SR7015 to an external amplifier, you can do so via its 7.1-channel inputs, eleven-channel pre-outs, or dual subwoofer outputs. The SR7015 is not a receiver but rather an AV amplifier because it does not have any internal tuners.
Even though there are only nine individual channels, the eleven different sets of binding posts are all neatly lined up in a single column. These terminals are of sufficient quality to accept bare wire, spade connectors, and banana plugs.
The SR7015's default remote is black with silver highlights and a brushed metal design. The amp's controls are large and conveniently located, making it simple to operate with one thumb, and the built-in lighting makes it convenient for use in dim environments.
Features and Specs
The Marantz SR7015 is a nine-channel AV amplifier that uses separate high-current power amplifiers on each channel to deliver the 200W of power it claims to deliver per channel. It is expected that low-impedance drivers will be more dependable and produce more consistent results.
The SR7015's cutting-edge reference-class 32-bit AKM AK4458 D/A converters on all channels, along with its custom-designed HDAM (Hyper Dynamic Amplifier Module) circuit boards and Current Feedback Topology technology, allow for a richer soundstage, wider dynamic range, and lower distortion.
The amplifier is compatible with an analog turntable, as well as high-resolution audio formats such as ALAC, FLAC, and WAV lossless files up to 24-bit/192-kHz and DSD 2.8MHz and 5.6MHz tracks.
Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and Auro-3D have been joined by the newest formats, IMAX Enhanced DTS:X. In addition to IMAX Enhanced DTS:X, we also support Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, as well as the upcoming Auro-3D format. Even though there are only nine channels of amplification, there are eleven and a half channels of processing, so a full seven and a half channel system can be operated by just adding two more channels.
Streaming audio and video over Bluetooth and Wi-Fi is stable even in high-traffic urban areas thanks to the Wi-Fi functionality, which supports both 2.4GHz (11b/g/n) and 5GHz (11a/n) networks and uses the device's dual diversity antennas. Streaming from Apple devices via AirPlay 2 is also possible with the SR7015.
The HEOS multiroom system is compatible with a wide range of music streaming providers, and it also comes with a handy app for controlling the system remotely. Services like these include Spotify, Tidal, Amazon Prime Music, TuneIn, SoundCloud, Pandora, Napster, Deezer, iHeartRadio, Rhapsody, and SiriusXM.
The SR7015 works with not just Alexa and Google Assistant, but also Siri on the iPhone thanks to AirPlay 2. Your favourite voice assistant can then be used to play music, set the volume, skip to the next track, switch inputs, and much more.
This amplifier supports HEOS multiroom and Airplay 2, and it is Roon Certified.
In its pre-amplifier mode, the SR7015 functions as a pre-processor, and it also has the Marantz AVR remote software, smart choice features, a quick start guide, and handy setup support. It has TV audio in every room, multiple zone outputs, and is compatible with smart TVs.
By supporting external RS232 and IP control, the SR7015 is compatible with Control4 and other third-party integration solutions, allowing you to get the most out of your digital music library. It is also Roon Certified.
The Marantz is equipped with a suite of Audyssey room-correction tools, including Audyssey LFC (Low Frequency Containment), Audyssey Dynamic Volume, and Audyssey Dynamic EQ, in addition to Audyssey MultEQ XT32. It includes Audyssey Sub EQ HT, which allows you to run two subwoofers in perfect sync, and it can save two different Audyssey settings. Also, for more in-depth sound tweaking and personalization, the Audyssey MultEQ Editor App is available for free download.
Setup And Installation
The Setup Assistant on the Marantz SR7015 makes installation a snap. The Setup Assistant makes the Marantz much more approachable for individuals unfamiliar with multi-channel AV amplifiers by providing an easy graphical user interface with clear and succinct instructions.
The Setup Assistant will help you with everything from positioning your speakers to setting up inputs, outputs, and additional zones. After checking speaker polarity and subwoofer volume, it will lead you through the Audyssey MultEQ XT32 room equalization process using the built-in microphone (s).
To fine-tune the frequency and time domain response of each channel, the SR7015 can be utilized with MultEQ XT32 and its built-in microphone to evaluate the output of up to eight separate speakers (including subwoofers). If you don't have a tripod handy, Marantz helpfully provides a cardboard stand for the setup microphone.
We started with a two-channel setup, then moved on to a 5.1-channel configuration, and finally tested with a 7.1-channel system. After this, we tested the SR7015's capacity to create an immersive audio experience with several formats such as Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Auro-3D, and IMAX Enhanced DTS:X.
We have gone from a 5.1.4 setup to a 7.1.2 configuration to our present 7.2.4 design, which consists of three front channels, two side channels, two rear channels, two subwoofers, and four overhead speakers.
Several sorts of media were used, from standard stereo to surround sound formats like 5.1 and 7.1, and even some immersive audio tracks. While compact discs, super audio compact discs, dvd-audio discs, bluray discs, and ultra hd blu-ray discs were our primary media, we also heavily utilized high-resolution audio files and various streaming services like Tidal to round out our collection.
The Marantz SR7015 delivers superb results in two-channel, multi-channel, and even immersive audio settings. The amount of available headroom is immediately astonishing, and the amplifiers have no issue keeping up with the demands of active multichannel soundtracks using all the speakers.
This permits a great deal of nuance and a remarkably strong delivery that maintains its momentum even when the going gets tough. The Marantz is also capable of quickly and responsively putting that power to use, generating fast transients that ensure there is enough juice for substantial variations in volume and dynamics.
Marantz is known for producing high-quality amplifiers, and the SR7015 carries on that legacy. Sending you the best of luck, In its original two-channel form, The Waterboys' "Seeker" sounds broad and distinct. Accompanying the vocals, which are done with precision, are guitars that keep up a brisk tempo and drums that really pack a wallop.
The Marantz performs admirably with both 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound soundtracks, delivering a detailed and spacious front soundstage while maintaining a high level of accuracy in the music reproduction. The dialogue stays in the middle of the screen where it belongs, where it can be understood, but the music and effects are spread out across the three front channels in an artful manner.
A homogeneous tone fills the full stereo image, and the surround effects are expertly directed to offer a completely enveloping listening experience. The low frequencies and the LFE channels are skillfully integrated with the rest of the speakers, providing a solid musical foundation thanks to the bass.
The processing is precise, silky, and wholly engrossing, complementing the amps' power and headroom. The SR7015 does a great job of unifying otherwise disparate soundscapes with its ability to include nuance and tonal balance into carefully crafted environments. When traveling from one area to another, sound does not lose quality or become distorted; rather, it maintains the same quality throughout its journey, allowing its precise position to be pinpointed. The effects are seamlessly transferred from one speaker to another, maintaining the immersive feeling.
Dolby Atmos effects are also strategically dispersed over the wide stereo field. Everything from the roar of the T-Rex to the chest-pounding of King Kong to the flying DeLorean is skilfully combined together to create an immersive sound design for the film's opening race in Ready Player One.
The SR7015 also excels in its use of DTS:X, which it does by producing a sound hemisphere through which effects are carried with pinpoint accuracy. The newly re-mixed DTS:X audio of Jurassic Park is fantastic, but it really comes into its own during the justly legendary T-Rex attack, with its booming footsteps, deafening roars, and drenching rain.
The number of available Auro-3D discs is small, and the SR7015's speaker arrangement isn't compatible with Atmos or DTS:X, but if you're particularly committed to the format, you may still do so. The sound design in Pixels was excellent, especially in the sequence with the Caterpillar where the enemies are swarming down from the ceiling.
The IMAX-enhanced DTS:X music from Bad Boys for Life was easily decoded by the Marantz. The set features the same lively music and gunplay as the film's climactic shootout. Suddenly, shots ring out from above, ricocheting off the walls and exploding in the stained-glass ceiling, showering the crowd below with fragments.
The Marantz SR6015 could be an interesting option despite the general dearth of Auro-3D content and its extremely unconventional speaker arrangement. For those who can't afford the SR7015 but still want access to its features, this inexpensive AV amplifier is a perfect alternative.
Similar models, such as the Denon AVC-X4700H, can be used as a direct replacement for the SR7015. The SR7015 and this refined AV amplifier are virtually indistinguishable in terms of output and features. At £1,399, it's a steal, and it brings Denon's undeniable multi-channel expertise to the table, even if it isn't quite as melodious.
Pros And Cons
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