Marantz recently announced two new home A/V receivers—the NR1504 and NR1604—both of which provide AirPlay compatibility for the wireless home theater enthusiast. With a plethora of connectivity options both wired and wireless, these new receivers provide you the ability to enjoy your media your way, whether you’re streaming from your computer, sharing tunes from a friend’s iPhone, or have serious cabling to deliver high quality sound from your home theater equipment.
Cut the Wire
Wireless options are front and center in these two new receivers. Both the NR1504 and NR1604 are networked devices, and both feature built-in AirPlay for streaming iTunes music from your Mac, iDevice, or even PC running iTunes. This is an especially important feature during the transition from the old 30-pin connector to Apple’s new Lightning connector, which can leave you juggling cables and connectors as you try to pair a device, connector, and your receiver. For those not toting iDevices, the prescription is clear—an upgrade to the optional Bluetooth wireless adapter (aptly called the RX-101). Between AirPlay and Bluetooth, you should be able to connect virtually any device for the forseeable future, adding some peace of mind to such a major investment.
Connections In a Digital Age
The NR1504 is the lower end device, coming in at a suggested price of $500, while the NR1604 carries a price tag of $650. Both devices feature AirPlay integration as well as multiple HDMI inputs, including one on the front for easily connecting occasional devices. The 1504 supports five channels of surround sound, while the 1604 supports seven for the ultimate home theater setup. Other than that, the major difference is the number of wired connections available.
Both devices provide access to Internet radio, as well as streaming music services like Pandora, SiriusXM, and Spotify, and both feature a front-facing USB port for charging and playing music from a USB device. With its higher pricetag, the NR1604 offers expanded options for connectivity and playback options, as well as 3D pass-thru and support for the next wave of Ultra HD 4K displays. The Marantz Remote App can be used to control either device, cutting out remote clutter on your coffee table.