Marantz’s new sleek and slim A/V receivers keep Alexa in the loop

marantz nr1609 nr1509 slim av receivers

A lot of A/V receivers are second only to your TV in terms of how much of your viewing space they take up. Most people may not notice, but for aesthetically minded viewers — or those with limited console space — a more compact receiver may be a better fit. We’ve long been a fan of Marantz’s smaller-footprint models, and are happy to announce they are getting even better, with two new Alexa-powered receivers hitting store shelves.

Following up on last year’s NR1608 and NR1508, the new NR1609 and NR1509 models keep the same feature set and audio quality, adding voice control on top. Both models are ready for hi-res audio, with support for ALAC, FLAC, and WAV lossless files up to 24-bit / 192-kHz, as well as DSD 2.8MHz and 5.6MHz formats. They can also act as the hub of a wireless multiroom audio system, with Bluetooth, AirPlay, and Denon’s HEOS supported. Pass-through of the latest video formats — including 4K and high dynamic range (HDR) in HDR10, Dolby Vision, and Hybrid Log Gamma — is also offered by both new units.

This isn’t the first Marantz A/V receiver to come with Amazon Alexa integration — models like last year’s SR8012 offered Amazon’s voice control service on board. To use it, just download the HEOS Home Entertainment Alexa skill, which will then allow you to control volume, playback, switch inputs, and more.

In terms of differences, the NR1509 is the more minimalist of the two receivers. It offers fewer features and channels, and is for those looking for a simple, easy to use 5.1 or 5.2-channel setup. That isn’t to say it won’t be a great audio centerpiece: This model has 50 watts per channel of power, six HDMI inputs, and even a dedicated phono channel to hook up your turntable. It also features built-in streaming service integration, with Spotify, Pandora, TuneIn, and Deezer support built-in.

You’ll find all these features in the NR1609, but the larger receiver bumps up the channel count to 7.2 and a total of eight HDMI inputs. Some things you’ll find here that you won’t find in the NR1509 are support for Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and DTS Virtual:X object-based surround sound, 1080p to 4K upscaling, and built-in Audyssey MultEQ automatic room calibration, which makes setup a breeze.

If you’re looking to grab a compact receiver for your viewing space, you won’t have to wait: Both models are available now via physical retailers or the Marantz website. The Marantz NR1609 is priced at $750, while the NR1509 retails for $550.

Home Theater

There isn’t a single good reason to buy Apple’s new AirPods

After nearly a three-year wait, Apple has finally announced a new version of its popular true wireless headphones, the AirPods. We had high hopes for vast improvements, but that's not what we got.
Deals

Walmart drops prices on Google Home Hub and Lenovo smart displays

Walmart slashed the prices of Google Home smart displays for two highly regarded Lenovo models and the original Google Home Hub. We can't think of a better way to improve your smart home setup and these deals can help you save up to $100.
Cars

Protect yourself and your ride with our favorite dash cams

Dashboard cameras can assist drivers in car accident claims, settle speeding ticket disputes, and even catch glimpses of incoming meteors, among other things. Here, we've compiled a list of the most noteworthy offerings available.
Gaming

The best of the last generation: Our 50 favorite Xbox 360 games

The Xbox 360 thrived during a generation where games were plentiful. Here's our list of the best Xbox 360 games of all time, including all game genres and even a few special indie hits.
Deals

Building a 4K home theater? Grab a discounted Denon A/V receiver from Amazon

Denon makes some of the best 4K A/V receivers on the market, and a handful of Denon’s latest models are on sale on Amazon now. If you’ve been thinking about building a home theater and are looking for a 4K receiver that doesn’t cost…
Deals

Amazon slashes prices on UE Boom and MegaBoom 3 Bluetooth speakers

With just the right combination of great sound, a rugged design, and an overall sleek aesthetic, the UE MegaBoom 3 is our favorite Bluetooth speaker. And Amazon is offering a rare discount on it right now.
Home Theater

Tipping point? Streaming subscribers outnumbered cable in 2018 for first time

2018 was a very good year for the entertainment business as a whole, but it was especially good for streaming companies like Netflix and Amazon, says a new report by the Motion Picture Association of America.
Movies & TV

Stranger Things season 3 is coming! Here’s everything we know so far

With a sophomore season as strong as its first, Stranger Things is now moving on to season 3. Here's everything we've learned so far about the Netflix series' upcoming third season, premiering in July 2019.
Home Theater

Here’s what’s new on HBO and what’s leaving in April 2019

Whether you're a cable lifer or a staunch cord cutter, there's never been a better time to get down with premium TV. April 2019 brings Game of Thrones season 8, BlacKkKlansman, and Crazy Rich Asians to HBO.
Home Theater

TCL drops the price of its 75-inch 6-Series 4K Roku TV to $1,500

March is a great time for TV deals, and we've got a whopper: TCL has taken $300 off the price of its superb 75-inch 6-Series 4K HDR Roku TV, making it $1,500. That's the lowest price ever on this affordable TV.
Movies & TV

Comcast launches Xfinity Flex, a $5-a-month service aimed at cord cutters

For $5 a month, Xfinity Flex gives existing Xfinity internet subscribers a 4K- and HDR-ready set-top box that can stream video from YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, as well as free TV from apps like Cheddar and ESPN3.
Home Theater

Here’s how to watch Apple’s March 25 product reveal event live

It's almost here: Apple's much anticipated March 25 event, where it is widely expected to announce several streaming services, including on-demand and live TV with original programming. Here's how to watch it live.
Movies & TV

HBO’s Deadwood movie rustles up a trailer and a release date

This spring, HBO's long-awaited Deadwood movie will explore what happened 10 years after the events of HBO's award-winning drama, giving the series a finale 13 years after the show was canceled.
Movies & TV

Apple’s next big event is set for March 25: Here’s what you can expect

Apple's next big event takes place on March 25 in Cupertino, California. The company is expected to make several announcements related to its services, including Apple TV, so follow our guide to get ready for the big event.