2011 is a year where various tech companies need to come up with something new in order to improve their lifestyles and home entertainment. Many living rooms have turned into digital hubs that consist of gaming consoles, HDTVs, HTPCs, speaker systems and AV receivers. An AV receiver is always a nice component to have to beef up the audio quality. The Marantz SR7005 looks to do that as well as other things at greater heights.
The SR7005 is the flagship model as of early January 2011 and it bears a distinctive design making this AV receiver look cool and interesting. The input selector is found on the left while the volume control is on the opposite end but the info display looks to be gone and replaced by a circular disc with a blue circle outline. Marantz calls this the “Star” symbol and it serves as a mini display that shows the gain setting and input selection.
Those that prefer the classic info display need to open the panel on the bottom portion of the receiver. This is not a bad thing despite the odd look because all of the controls are there as well so the panel must be open anyway. Remote control users can keep the panel closed because the SR7005 features its own on-screen interface where various options can be set. It is also the only player that has both a USB and HDMI port on the front so connectivity options are out on the open.
Five additional HDMI inputs can be found on the back along two HDMI outputs. This is just the right amount to set up a sophisticated home theater system complete with a projector or secondary display. It offers the latest 1.4a version which is necessary for 3D technologies to be usable. The Audio Return Channel and Standby Pass-Through features are 1.4a exclusives to leave behind an audio cable and allow the display speakers to be used when needed while the receiver goes on standby.
Being the top model, audio quality is excellent as it uses Hyper-Dynamic Amplifier Module circuits to preserve all the little details that come out of each source so music and other sounds can be heard fully. Combined with Current Feedback circuits and Discrete amplifiers, the SR7005 can really deliver a solid 7.1-channel experience with 125 watts to each of the seven amplifiers covering all of the audio bandwidth.
It also uses an improved version of the Marantz Dynamic Audio eXpander called M-DAX 2 where the receiver manages to recover lost high frequency information from compressed audio files in order to increase fidelity. Any portable devices like iPods and iPhones can connect to the USB port to take advantage of this enhancement so the entire music collection sounds better.
The Marantz SR7005 uses the fourth generation ABT2015 Anchor Bay 10-bit processor, which provides deinterlacing and scaling in addition to the standard transcoding, which video professionals will appreciate. It also serves as a high definition booster for older formats like VHS tapes.
No flagship model is complete without Internet connectivity and the SR7005 provides a very good package allowing streaming support from thousands of Internet radio stations popular services like Pandora, vTuner, Rhapsody, and Napster are accessible as soon as the Ethernet cable is hooked up. This Ethernet connection is DNLA compliant so it can connect to computers in the network. If the computer is running Windows 7, any music stored in these systems should be very easy to access. Some non-music services are supported as well like Flickr where users can freely share photos.
There are still other listening options outside the Internet such as HD Radio where FM sounds edge to near-CD quality. It also supports several add-ons like the Bluetooth module so other devices can wirelessly detect and the Sirius home docking station, which enables satellite radio for Sirius subscribers. The RS-232C connector allows other systems to be hooked up for custom setups.
In addition to these exclusive Internet features, the SR7005 provides the full audio and video performance that other models in the same family provide. This includes the various surround sound processing formats from Dolby and DTS along with the Audyssey technologies that make configuration simple. It is important to use all of these features so any connected surround sound system works perfectly.
Actual user review:
“This is my first amplifier I ever had and I’m not a very experienced hi-fi listener. I use KEF IQ90 speakers as fronts. The sound quality is perfect, but since this my first amplifier experience, I didn’t have the chance to compare the sound quality with the other amplifiers; so I don’t want to comment on it. I can directly say that the networking ability is perfect. You can directly retrieve your music files via your home network. It has a user friendly menu. I believe the best thing of the amplifier is the ability to listen any online radio station. The programmed feature is perfect so you can easily select any station you want. It brings lots of choices, tons of stations from anywhere in the world. Many stations are broadcasting with 128 kbps so you can listen music with the same quality of your many mp3 files. You can see and control the amplifier via your computer. In future I’m sure networking ability will be a must for all amplifiers in the market, so this amplifier will take you for years without the need of upgrading it. The last thing, the design is perfect. It is a very handsome, good looking amplifier. My guests that have no idea about amplifiers can directly say this is an expensive device!” – Yalcin (USA)
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