For some high-end home theater systems, the on-board amplification you’ll get from your standard A/V receiver/amplifier just won’t hack it. For those situations, you’ll need a separate multi-channel amp and, perhaps, one of Marantz’s new Dolby Atmos capable AV7702 multichannel A/V preamplifiers. Part of a sprawling collection of Marantz’s new Atmos-ready gear, the AV7702 also supports hi-res audio, networking, 4K video passthrough, and more.
For those unfamiliar with the new Dolby Atmos home audio configuration recently unleashed on the public, the system adds another dimension to home theater audio in the form of 2 or 4 ceiling-mounted speakers (or floor speakers reflecting sound off the ceiling), which help to convey a more three-dimensional soundscape, for added realism. The AV7702’s 13.2 channel pre-outs can run multiple Atmos layouts, including 5.1.2, 5.1.4, 7.1.2, 7.1.4, and 9.1.2 setups.
In addition, this network-ready preamp streams audio over Wi-Fi via both Airplay and DLNA, in high resolution for just about any file you’ll come across, including FLAC, ALAC, WAV at up to 24bit/192kHz, and even DSD files. On-board Internet radio apps include Spotify Connect, Pandora, and Sirius XM, and the system also includes Bluetooth for streaming from your phone without a Wi-Fi connection.
Connection options include 7 HDMI 2.0 inputs and one in front for 4K video passthrough at 60Hz, 3 HDMI outputs for multiple zones, including 2 video and 1 audio, USB connection, and even a moving magnet phono input to rock out your vinyl collection. Other features include Dolby True HD and DTS HD Master Audio (of course), setup assistant, and compatibility with the Marantz remote app for iOS and Android.
Marantz AV7702 A/V multichannel preamplifier marquee features
- Wi-fi and Bluetooth
- Trapdoor faceplate design
- New Marantz HDAM
- Dolby Atmos
- Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master Audio
- Audyssey MultEQ XT32, LFC, Sub EQ HT, Pro ready
- Audyssey DSX; DTS Neo:X (11.1 channel)
- 13.2 channel pre-out (11.2 XLR, 13.2 RCA) and 11.2 signal processing
- HDMI 2.0 for 4K50/60Hz
- 7+1 front HDMI in/3 HDMI out (2+1 zone) ARC, 3D, Deep color
- HDMI scaling 1080p, 4K 50/60Hz
- ISF video calibration
- MP3, WAV, AAC, WMA, AIFF
- HD Audio streamin: FLAC, ALAC 24bit/192kHz, DSD
- Gapless playback
- USB port
- Spotify Connect, Pandora, Sirius XM, Flicker, Internet radio
- Phono (MM) input
- Marantz remote app
At $2,000, the AV7702 is no pauper’s audio tool, but then again, if you’re building a system this glorious, price may not be of issue. Marantz’s latest is expected to be available in October.
Updated 9/27/14: The headline of this piece was updated to correct the unit’s model number.