What is the Marantz SR7010?
Connections & Control
Marantz have wisely used HDMI 2.0a connections with support for HDCP 2.2 copy protection, which affords the SR7010 an excellent level of future-proofing. Other useful connections include a LAN port, sockets for the AM and FM tuners, two 12V triggers, an IR Flasher and an RS232 port for serial control; as well as twin antennas which provide both built-in WiFi and Bluetooth. There are 11-channel pre-outs covering various speaker configurations, as well as two subwoofer outputs and multiple zones. Finally Marantz has sensibly laid out the speaker terminals to make them easier to access and also clearly marked and colour-coded them.
Marantz SR7010 Unboxing Video
Features & Specs
The SR7010 uses Audyssey MultEQ XT32 for the room equalisation and then adds a host of other features such as Audyssey DSX for additional height or width speakers. There’s also Audyssey LFC (Low Frequency Containment) which dynamically monitors the audio content and removes low frequencies that pass through walls, floors and ceilings, which can be useful if you live in an apartment or don't want to wake the family. There's Audyssey Dynamic Volume which smoothes out annoying jumps in volume and Audyssey Dynamic EQ which provides tonal balancing at any volume level. There’s also the option for discrete subwoofers and the level and delay can be adjusted for each one separately. Audyssey Sub EQ HT is designed to make the integration of the two subwoofers seamless by compensating for any level and delay differences and applying EQ to both for better bass response.
There's built-in WiFi and Bluetooth, both of which were quick and easy to setup, whilst the SR7010 also supports AirPlay, Spotify and playback of DSD (2.8 MHz) and FLAC 192 kHz files over connected networks or via USB. There are AM and FM tuners built-in, along with Internet Radio, DLNA 1.5 certification and a media player that, along with DSD and FLAC, also supports WMA, MP3, WAV, AA, ALAC and AIFF. There are speaker connections for a second stereo zone, and pre-amp outputs for a third stereo zone. Finally the SR7010 includes a fan on the left hand side, although it will have no rotation during normal use. This means that the the fan will usually only start under maximum load or measurement of maximum output power with all channels driven by the same signal. As this will rarely happen in normal use, Marantz don't think users should notice the fan starting, we certainly never heard it during any of our testing.
Sound Quality - Movies
We also found ourselves being impressed by the incredible soundtrack on Tomorrowland, which made full use of all seven channels to create a truly exceptional sound design. The sound effects were rendered with precision and there was a musical quality to the score. However the centre channel remained perfectly defined, resulting in dialogue that was clear despite the chaos surrounding it. The bass was also very well integrated and those low frequency effects punctuated the action precisely, providing an effective foundation for the sound. However we also had a chance to experience the subtlety of the SR7010 when watching a less bombastic film like Mr. Holmes, where the Marantz was able to render the carefully layered soundtrack with ease.
With over twenty Dolby Atmos Blu-rays in our collection, we had no problems at all testing the SR7010's capabilities with the format and if we only used the built-in amplification, we found that we preferred using the 7.1.2 configuration, as opposed to the 5.1.4 configuration. This is because the back speakers helped fill out the entire sound field, especially when moving audio objects around the room, whereas there appeared to be little difference between having two of four speakers overhead. However regardless of which configuration we chose, the precision of the localisation of effects and the panning of sounds was quite remarkable, even with just five ear-level speakers. The amount of bass energy was also impressive and the SR7010 did an excellent job of integrating the lower frequencies with the rest of the sound field.
We also tested the SR7010 in an 11-channel configuration by adding extra amplification and running a 7.2.4 setup. As it happened our testing of the Marantz coincided with an influx of new Dolby Atmos titles, so in fairly short order we watched San Andreas, Bram Stoker's Dracula, The Fifth Element and Leon. However it was San Andreas that really stood out, with an incredibly immersive soundtrack that had enough bass energy to shake the foundations of the house. The receiver did a marvellous job of replicating what is a very complex sound design, moving sounds around the room and above you, then hitting the low frequencies as the destruction escalates. However despite all this sonic chaos, dialogue always remained clear and precisely anchored to the screen, whilst the music filled the front soundstage.
The new Atmos mix for Bram Stoker's Dracula was also very impressive and added an entirely new layer to what was already a highly active sound design, which the Marantz replicated perfectly. In fact the SR7010 delivered a wonderful performance with all the films we watched, producing a multi-channel performance that was both subtle and powerful in equal measure. When compared to other receivers of a similar price, or even more expensive ones, we always find that the Marantz delivers a classy performance where detail and subtlety are as important as crashes and bangs. The multi-channel experience is just as good but the refinement means the SR7010 can also deliver a better two-channel performance compared to many AV receivers.
Marantz SR7010 Video Review
Sound Quality - Music
The Marantz is a classy performer and it handled the weathered vocals and country arrangements of Don Henley's Cass County with skill and subtlety. As is often the case, the most effective results were gained by running the Marantz in its Pure Direct two-channel mode without the subwoofer, although if you prefer to use your sub with music that also works very well. Aside from streaming music from our network and via Bluetooth, we also tried through USB and AirPlay and, overall, the SR7010 delivered excellent results. Where possible we try to keep the resolution of our music as high as possible but we did find that the Marantz could be surprisingly sympathetic to heavily compressed sources.
- Classy and refined sound
- Excellent surround performance
- Dolby Atmos, DTS:X & Auro-3D Support
- HDMI 2.0a/HDCP 2.2 support
- Plenty of great features
- Easy to setup
- Attractive design
- Remote app is rather basic
- Build quality could be slightly better
Marantz SR7010 AV Receiver Review
Should I buy one?
There's no doubt that once again Marantz have produced an AV receiver that delivers fantastic value, with a set of features and a level of performance far in excess of its £1,399 price tag. The SR7010 is nicely designed with an attractive finish and although the build quality isn't quite as good as some of the competition, it's still well made. There are more connections at the rear than you'll ever need and crucially the 8 HDMI inputs and 3 HDMI outputs are HDMI 2.0a/HDCP 2.2. compliant. The remote control is well designed and effective, whilst the remote app, although not as flash as some others, gets the job done. The menu system is excellent and thanks to the inclusion of an effective wizard and Audyssey MultEQ XT32, setup is very straightforward.
The Marantz has built-in WiFi and Bluetooth, along with AirPlay, Spotify, DLNA and Internet Radio. There's also an AM tuner, an FM tuner, ISF controls and a highly effective media player. The audio components have also had an upgrade and, along with Dolby Atmos, both DTS:X and Auro-3D will be added next year. The performance with multi-channel audio was superb, bringing film soundtracks to life and immersing the listener. The front sound stage is wide, dialogue is clear and central, effects are seamlessly panned around the room and bass is deep and well integrated. The result is a hugely enjoyable experience made all the better by the receiver's lovely musicality with two-channel audio. Ultimately the Marantz SR7010 is a class act that does it all and it does it well.
What are my alternatives?
There are a number of new AV receivers hitting the market, all of which have Dolby Atmos and DTS:X decoding, not to mention HDMI 2.0a/HDCP 2.2 support. However very few of them offer the winning combination of features, price and performance that the Marantz SR7010 does. Denon's AVR-X6200 offers an almost identical feature set but will cost you four hundred quid more, whilst Yamaha's RX-A2050 is also an excellent alternative and will only set you back an extra £100. For a direct alternative in terms of price, the Pioneer SC-LX59 also costs £1,399 and offers a great set of features. Although all these receivers will give the Marantz a run for its money in terms of a big multi-channel sound, in terms of pure musicality it's hard to imagine any of them out-performing the refinement and subtlety of the SR7010, which is why we have no hesitation in awarding a Highly Recommended badge.
Value For Money
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