Marantz SR7012 Review: Everything You Need To Know
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The Marantz SR7012 was released less than a year ago, at the time of this publication. It contains all of the latest and greatest streaming, audio, video, and smart home connectivity, which is perfect for those who like to be on the up and up when it comes to technology.
It costs considerably less than $1000, but it can compete side by side with receivers that cost double that. The SR7012 is a 9.2-channel receiver with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X support. It also has Auro-3D audio setups, which is something we felt was lacking on the Marantz 5011.
- 1 Setup
- 2 Features
- 3 Marantz SR7012 Pros and Cons
- 4 Marantz SR7012 Alternatives
- 5 FAQs
- 6 The Verdict
Marantz provides a comprehensive user’s manual that includes detailed setup instructions for speaker installation, TV connections, and all other playback functions. You’ll find everything you need to get setup and moving with your integrations.
The on-screen guide will also walk you through setting everything up, but it helps to read the manual so you can set it up correctly and in detail the first time. Everything is editable if you need to change it later.
Much like all other Marantz receivers, the SR7012 is sleek and beautiful. The design doesn’t vary much from other Marantz products, but it also never gets old. No sense in changing if it seems to be working.
The box is smooth and black. It fits in nicely with any audio or video set up. It’s large, but once set up and in place, you shouldn’t need to move it. On the front, you’ll see a pleasing symmetrical design with a small digital display and several inputs.
For convenience, Marantz has included several inputs, hidden by a cover that flips down for easy access. This is much improved over Marantz’s previous designs where all of the inputs on the front were open and visible all the time.
If you need the front inputs, simply flip the cover down to reveal plenty of other buttons and controls that would be obtrusive and ugly if they weren’t covered up. While the digital display could be larger, there’s a large digital display under this front cover.
All in all, it’s an incredibly attractive design with a lot of functionality.
The Marantz SR7012 has a few tricks up its sleeve that you may be excited about if you don’t already know.
Robust Video Support
With support for 4K/UHD video and 4K full-rate pass-through at 60Hz, HDR10, 4:4:4 color resolution, HLG pass-through, Dolby Vision, and BT.2020 color gamut support. The inclusion of Dolby Vision and HLG pass-through is an important one because most other receiver manufacturers now include it as well.
Marantz also offers firmware support for their HDR going back a full three years, even on older versions and previous formats. Not only do you get quality support for your expensive electronics, but it will stay up to date for far longer in a world where technology is ever-changing.
Because HLG HDR is the new standard for 4K/UHD TV broadcasts, your video quality will appear to you as it was intended when the broadcasts were filmed. And because HDR uses metadata, Dolby Vision HDR is graded on a basis as small as frame-by-frame, you’ll get the best video quality possible, all the time.
There are eight HDMI inputs and three HDMI outputs. Everything is on the back of the unit with the exception wQof one HDMI input on the front. You’ll also get support for Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC) with future firmware updates.
Rich Streaming Audio and Lossless Support
Our review would be way too long if we included all of the ways the SR7012 supports audio. However, some of the highlights include multi-room streaming, AirPlay, and DTS Virtual:X.
HEOS comes standard on the Marantz SR7012. You get streaming throughout your entire home as long as you have HEOS-enabled speakers installed in the room. You don’t have to install Marantz speakers, either. There are plenty of manufacturers who make HEOS-enabled speakers and will work just fine with the SR7012.
This allows you to group speakers into zones and then use independent source and volume controls in each zone. You could be watching a DVD in the living room, streaming Pandora in the kitchen, and talking to Alexa in your bathroom.
Not only that, but you could hook up your old record player to the SR7012, put on your favorite vinyl album, and then stream it throughout the entire house, wirelessly. How cool is that?
With the SR7012, you get support for almost a dozen streaming services including Pandora, Spotify, Deezer, Tidal, Napster, and SoundCloud. It will also connect to any DLNA server, which is something else we found missing on the SR5011.
The HEOS support will handle all major audio formats like ALAC, WAV, FLAC, and DSD 2.8 and 5.6.
With the HEOS app, you can stream nearly anything from any digital library, including Twonky or Plex servers. The app is fast, unlike a lot of others. The HEOS app can also improve the functionality of your DLNA server if the server will support it. Full search capability and enhanced hierarchical navigation are just a couple of those improvements.
If you own one or more iOS devices, you may be used to Apple’s AirPlay. AirPlay 2, which was also released last year, supports whole-home streaming, Siri integration, improved buffering, multi-device control, and the HomePod speaker, also made by Apple.
The Marantz SR7012 supports AirPlay 2, which means you can control your home audio via the AirPlay 2 app on your iOS device. The Control Center gives you quick access to what’s on every speaker in every room.
You can ask Siri to play anything from your Apple Music library and tell her where to play them. Siri can play music on many mainstream speakers including Bose, Bluesound, Denon, Marantz, Marshall, and Pioneer.
- DTS Virtual:X
The SR7012 was one of the first receivers on the market with DTS Virtual:X technology support. With this kind of technology, you can turn your floor setup into full surround sound. Now, even if you don’t have the perfect room or the perfect setup, you’ll still get magical acoustics everywhere.
As a side note, you can bump your Dolby Atmos/DTS:X support from 7.1.2 to 7.1.4 and your Auro-3D support from 9.1 to 10.1 if you just add a two-channel amplifier. It’s a nifty little secret that not everyone knows.
Built-in Amazon Alexa support means you can control your Marantz SR7012 with your voice. Volume, power, and input switching are at your beck and call. You can also request songs from any streaming service you have connected.
You won’t need to reach for a remote, and using the remote after using Alexa with your receiver may feel like you’ve traveled back in time. While syntax issues can frustrate many people, if you’re used to using a smart home assistant, it shouldn’t be too much of a leap for you to be able to use Alexa.
To make Alexa work, you need an Alexa-enabled speaker, but they’re cheap enough and well worth making those extra voice controls work. Alexa’s support isn’t automatic, but the setup process is fairly straightforward.
Audyssey Mobile App Support
Setting up your room correction technology is so much easier with the Audyssey mobile app than it is with the on-screen commands. It’s worth downloading, but it’ll cost you over and above everything else you’ve already purchased.
However, with this app, you can select your speaker layouts to set them up, turn them on or off, and control all sweeps and exchanges of data between your speakers and your receiver. It displays easy to read graphs of the before and after statistics so you can see how your audio network is performing.
Clear the graphs in the app to edit your correction curve – something you can’t do with the on-screen commands. You can set your maximum EQ frequency, too. The app can save measurements for you to call up later, so you don’t have to remember each room’s correction curve or EQ frequency.
While there are always improvements to be made, the Marantz support of Audyssey is functional. Save your measurements to your mobile device, upload settings to your AVR when you need them, and do it all in about 90 seconds.
Marantz SR7012 Pros and Cons
Marantz SR7012 Pros
- HEOS multi-room streaming support
- Alexa voice control
- AirPlay 2 support
- Plenty of HDMI inputs and outputs
- eARC and DTS Virtual:X support
- Hi-res audio file format support
- Audyssey MultEQ support with the Audyssey MultEQ Editor app
Marantz SR7012 Cons
- External amplifier required for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X setup
- Audyssey MultEQ Editor is not free
- No integration with Google Home
Marantz SR7012 Alternatives
Here are some other receivers to consider if you’re looking at the Marantz SR7012.
Marantz and Denon are both owned by the same parent company, but Denon seems to charge a bit more for the same features. The Denon AVR-X4500H is at a slightly higher price point than the SR7012, but what you’ll find is that the Denon performs better when it comes to audio and video features, multizone options, connectivity, radio, and amplifier specifications.
If what you’re looking for over and above features is the ability to control your device and get higher quality video and sound, then the Denon is the way to go, assuming you can afford it. The Denon is also more widely available at common retailers, so you have more opportunities to find sale prices and other incentives.
The Yamaha RX-A3070 offers a few advantages over the Marantz SR7012 like 150-watt output and MusicCast support. However, it only offers AirPlay support, not AirPlay 2 like the Marantz. It’s also not Auro 3D capable.
Yamaha’s performance in certain areas tends to be better. You’ll enjoy better audio and video as well as connectivity, multizone options, and amplifier specifications. You’ll also pay quite a bit more for it, too.
When it comes to integrations, choose the Marantz. If you’re looking for performance, go with the Yamaha. If you want the best value, the Marantz has that covered, hands down.
The Marantz SR7012 isn’t the most recent receiver product Marantz offers. The SR7013 is newer, but is it worth it? It scores slightly higher in performance than the SR7012 and it’s available at most retailers, but it’s also more expensive. By a lot.
However, because the SR7013 is newer, it’s much easier to find new rather than used. Plus, it has a few upgraded features you may not want to live without, like enhance IMAX and web control.
There are always burning questions about technology, so here are a few to ease your mind.
No. Marantz receivers are compatible with many other brands of speakers and amplifiers. You’ve probably heard of many of them. They include manufacturers like Bose, Pioneer, Denon, and Marshall, among others.
You should always leave any repairs to a professional. There’s a lot of moving parts and components that go into each receiver, and they’re complicated devices that can be difficult to understand or repair without the right tools.
You can do a quick online search for Marantz retailers near you and they can either repair it for you or help you find someone else who can.
Marantz is a brand that some people have never heard of, but lucky for you, that means you’ll get a great quality receiver at a great price. You’re not paying top dollar for a huge brand name with a ton of marketing.
Marantz is in line with the quality of Yamaha and Sony. Sometimes Marantz is even better. Other great brands that aren’t as well-known include Denon and Onkyo. They’re widely available and easy to find.
You can trust Marantz with Hi-Fi products because of their long history of making them. Your Marantz device will likely work very well for a very long time.
When you’re upgrading to a new receiver, there are plenty of things you can do with your old one. Resell your receiver on the internet or at a local pawn shop. A lot of people are looking for an affordable used device that they can try before they buy brand new.
Donate your working stereo receiver to a charity or a church. They’re always in need of quality devices for their services but they can rarely afford them. If your stereo receiver no longer works, think about recycling it. Most cities have safe and free electronic waste recycling. All you have to do is set up an appointment to drop it off and prove you live there with a driver’s license or utility bill.
When it comes to quality stereo receivers with plenty of features and options, you simply can’t beat the Marantz SR7012 for value. There are some higher quality devices out there, but they cost a lot more.
The Marantz SR7012 has all of the features, compatibility, and integrations you could want at a price that beats pretty much everyone else. If you want a quality device that will last for a long time, this is the perfect option.