A fundamental axiom in the land of Home Theater Enthusiasts is that buzz in the AV world can flip at a moment’s notice. Earlier this year HDMI 2.0 had all hands on deck standing at full attention and AVR manufacturers were racing to be the first to announce new product support for the specification. Now, just a few short months later, we find ourselves in the middle of Dolby Atmos fervor. So it only seems appropriate to preview several more Dolby Atmos ready offerings. This time the gear is coming from the D+M Group (Denon and Marantz), who is happily joining Onkyo and Pioneer in the Atmos parade. For those of you soured by Onkyo’s move to AccuEQ, pay attention because an old friend is primed to make an appearance.
The D+M Group’s announcement concerns four new AV products, two from Denon and two from Marantz. The Denon models (AVR-X4100W and AVR-X5200W) should be available some time in September, while the Marantz models (SR7009 and AV7702) are slated for September and October releases, respectively. Pricing, across the board, has yet to be revealed.
Denon says that Atmos will bring an experience that is “unmatched in the home theater today.” If true, we’re fairly confident that home theater enthusiasts will embrace it with open arms. While Atmos’ impact is still questionable, based on the response to our last news release, we’re nearly 100-percent confident that enthusiasts will love what they read next: both new Denon offerings have enough processing power to carry Audyssey MultEQ XT32. While many of the available room correction suites have proven to be satisfactory in the performance department, it’s entirely impossible to argue against the popularity of Audyssey’s flagship EQ product.
The AVR-X4100W (125W X7, 8 ohm) will be capable of powering 5.1, 7.1, 5.1.4, and 7.1.2 surround sound speaker configurations. In other words, the available Atmos configurations allow for compliments of two to four overhead speakers. The more robust AVR-X5200W (140W X9, 8 ohm) will have the ability to power an 11 channel setup, with a full 7.1.4 configuration.
Both units will be loaded with other standard goodies, including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, 4K upscaling, Hi-Res music support, and enough HDMI input/outputs (8 in, 3 out) to accommodate a small city.
Marantz is arriving to the party with a new A/V Receiver (SR7009) and a preamp (AV7702). They, too, will also offer Audyssey MultEQ XT32 giving Audyssey fans another brand to consider (aside from Denon). The SR7009 has a fairly robust amplification section (125W X 9, 8 ohms) capable of providing a 5.1.4 or 7.1.2 experience. The AV7702 is also 7.1.4 capable with 11-channel processing.
Similar to the Denon units, the Marantz offerings can scale 4K/60Hz video, play music via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth streaming, process the usual Hi-Res audio formats, and have an abundant amount of HDMI jacks (8 in, 3 out).
In most regards, standard high-end units from brand-name manufacturers are beginning to look similar on the spec sheet. However, as we’re seeing, the small differences may actually prove to be game changers. If you’re thinking along the lines of room correction, so are we. Reviewers certainly have a weighty task ahead (sorting out the Pro’s and Con’s of brands this new model season)...get your popcorn ready, this is something you won't want to miss!
Image Credit: D+M Group