Flagship home theater receiver models should never be the type of home theater receiver models to get unless money is no object and you need the best audio quality possible. If you can afford the high price, you will be treated with an AV receiver that is rich in both audio and video features along with a more sophisticated design that looks sleeker compared to the cheaper models. Marantz follows that tradition with their flagship Marantz SR7007 home theater receiver but if you compare the company’s flagship offering with other flagship models made by competitors, the SR7007 looks as if it lags behind in certain areas like the number of channels. Is paying $1,799 for a 7.2-channel home theater receiver a good idea if you can get another 7.2-channel Marantz model for $900 less? Keep reading to discover how the Marantz SR7007 manages to stand out.
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Marantz is known for applying outrageous designs to all of their Marantz models from the slim budget models to the mid-range and high-end models boasting a unique circular display. The SR7007 features the iconic display as well but it is even more unique than any of the other Marantz models or home theater receivers in general for that matter.
The Marantz SR7007 is massive, weighing 34 pounds and is a bit taller than other models. The top part of the home theater receiver flaunts the “Star and Circle Porthole Display” style where you can see the circular display in the middle being flanked by the two knobs that control the volume and input source. But unlike other Marantz models, everything else is covered by a large brushed-aluminum folding door. This is a style that many flagship models have to keep the look minimal. But opening the door not only reveals a set of buttons and terminals but also an additional display. The display resembles the traditional rectangular display that other home theater receivers have so you can always open the folding door if you want access to more statistics.
The bottom panel also gives you access to more buttons and controls to make it easier to use the home theater receiver without the remote. The available ports on the front remain similar to other SR models where you can find a USB and HDMI port along with the usual aux inputs. The back panel features 6 more HDMI inputs and 2 HDMI outputs plus a single discrete HDMI output. Various other terminals can be found on the back and are all gold-plated.
Below is the back panel layout. Click on image to enlarge for a clearer view.
While the SR7007 doesn’t support configurations beyond 7.2-channel setups like other competing high-end home theater receivers, the main strength of the Marantz SR7007 lies in its proprietary technologies. It uses special circuits called Hyper Dynamic Amplifier Module (HDAM) circuits that are equipped with Current Feedback technology. Combined with the 125-watt discrete amplifiers that powers each of the seven channels, the audio quality really excels.
The Audyssey technologies that are present in the cheaper Marantz SR6007 model are also present in this flagship model. This means that configuration is a breeze thanks to the Audyssey MultEQ XT technology which uses an 8-point calibration technique so your speaker setup can produce balanced sounds even if the room is oddly shaped. The Audyssey Dynamic EQ and Audyssey Dynamic Volume technologies also contribute to a balanced sound by maintaining both bass and clarity while keeping the volume level normalized across all sources. Finally, the Audyssey DSX technology is an advanced technology that adds immersion to the surround sound experience. All of these technologies require no configuration and work automatically.
The SR7007 also has the necessary technology to support 4K high-resolution visuals. 4K displays are already heading to the mainstream market although they are quite expensive. But if you manage to get one, you can use the Marantz SR7007 to upscale any content to the new high-resolution standard. 3D pass-through technology is built in as well making it possible to route any 3D signals coming from a Blu-ray player to your display.
The SR7007 also offers the best multi-zone experience out of the available Marantz home theater receivers. It is possible to hook up two audio systems to the home theater receiver so you can essentially output audio to two other rooms. Each source including the main system can play back different things so there is a lot of flexibility if you go for a multi-zone setup. Because of the presence of a discrete HDMI output, you may also output a separate video source to an HDTV in another room.
The networking features isn’t all that different from the other models in the Marantz SR family which isn’t a bad thing if you have an iOS device because the AirPlay support works beautifully by allowing you to use your iPod Touch, iPhone or iPad to stream music to the AV receiver the receiver is connected to a wireless router via Ethernet. It would have been nice, however, if the Marantz SR7007 had built-in Wi-Fi so the setup is a bit easier. Android owners are out of luck too unless you buy a Bluetooth adapter. Fortunately, both Android and iOS users have access to the free Marantz Remote app so you can control the functions of the AV receiver from your device’s touchscreen.
As far as online features go, you only have access to Pandora, SiriusXM Internet Radio and vTuner. But if you are really into listening to the radio, you may like the HD radio tuner that is built exclusively in the SR7007.
The proprietary technologies and sub-$2,000 price tag make the Marantz SR7007 a worthy home theater receiver to consider. The unique look is a nice plus as well. As long as you are contented with a 7.2-channel setup with up to 3 sources and limited network capabilities for the price, the SR7007 should serve you well because the audio technologies packed into this home theater receiver really add value. There is also no other Marantz alternative if you really need an HDMI discrete zone output.
Update: There is a newer model > Marantz SR7011