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Marantz vs. Denon Receivers: Which One Is Your Best Choice?

Marantz vs. Denon Receivers: Which One Is Your Best Choice?

If you are looking for the best at-home sound experience, an excellent audio receiver is necessary. But choosing the one that will provide you with the best value for money is not easy. This Marantz vs. Denon receivers comparison will help you decide if any of these two might be your best choice.

No home theatre is complete without a great audio receiver. But how do you choose the one that will make you truly happy?

Both Marantz and Denon receivers indeed have a lot to offer, so you cannot make a mistake with either of them. But still, each of these brands is suitable for a slightly different type of user. In this article, I’ll explain this in detail.

My Bottom Line Up Front

Marantz and Denon produce great audio receivers with a wide range of features and qualities. Where the brands differ, though, is their characteristic sound. Marantz is subtle, perfectly balanced, and articulated – perfect for music. On the other hand, Denon comes with an aggressively robust sound, which makes it ideal for immersive film watching.

Let’s start with a summary of the main differences between these two brands.

Main Differences Between Marantz vs. Denon receivers

The main differences between Marantz vs. Denon receivers are:

  • Marantz receiver has a very balanced bass, whereas Denon receiver boasts a stronger and more dynamic bass.
  • Marantz receivers have a softer sound, whereas Denon receivers are renowned for a warmer sound with well-defined effects.
  • Marantz receivers are great for an authentic musical experience, whereas Denon receivers are more suitable for movies.
  • Marantz receivers are slightly more affordable, whereas Denon receivers are generally more expensive.

Most Popular Models of Marantz Receivers

Model name Main highlights Price
Marantz SR6011
  • 9.1 Channels and frequency ranging from 20 Hz to 20 kHz
  • 3D sound experience with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X
  • Eco mode for power saving without compromised quality
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Marantz SR5011
  • Android, iOS, Kindle, and more apps for remote control
  • Current Feedback Topology for an excellent sound transparency
  • Marantz’ exclusive Hyper Dynamic Amplifier Module
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Marantz SR7012
  • Robust video support including 4K/UHD
  • Rich streaming options (multi-room, AirPlay, DTS, etc.)
  • Built-in Amazon Alexa support
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Most Popular Models of Denon Receivers

Model name Main highlights Price
Denon AVR-S760H
  • Upgraded sound with Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization Technology
  • 7.2 channel pre-amp outs for surrounding sound
  • 8K UHD resolution for the best video definition
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Denon AVR-S540BT
  • Bestselling 5.2 channel budget receiver
  • Supports Pandora, TIDAL, and Spotify services
  • Simple on-screen setup assistant
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Denon AVR-X6700H
  • State-of-art 11.2 channel receiver (140Watt x 11)
  • 3D audio & video with IMAX Enhanced
  • Specifically fine tuned for gaming
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Exploring Marantz vs. Denon Features

Now let’s explore these two brands in detail to see what are their greatest strengths and potential weaknesses:

Marantz

Marantz

Marantz, a renowned American-Japanese brand established in 1951, focuses primarily on home theater audio gear and Hi-Fi equipment. Its products are widely praised for their superior sound quality, durability, and fantastic design.

Marantz audio products are also very straightforward and user-friendly when it comes to their connectivity and use. In combination with their reasonable prices, it is a number one choice for those looking for the best possible value for their money.

Is Marantz receiver your best option too? Let’s explore its main characteristics and features in detail.

Video Support

Various types of Marantz receivers might slightly differ from each other in the level of video support they’re offering. Nevertheless, even some of the most basic and budget-friendly options from this brand should provide you with all you need for a great home theatre experience.

Some of the basic models will support standardly great 4K (120Hz) UHD definition, while the latest and most advanced Marantz receivers can also process 8K (60Hz) resolution for an even more immersive experience.

All currently sold Marantz receivers support Dolby Vision, HDR, and HLG pass-through as a standard. Expect bottomless darks, glowing lights, vivid colors, impressive contrast, and delicate details.

You can also take advantage of a wide range of video functions with this receiver, including conversion from analog to HDMI, analog to HDMI scaling, and HDMI to HDMI scaling.

Audio Quality and Processing

Looking at the technical specifications of some of the newest Marantz receivers, these units genuinely don’t leave much to be desired. Regardless of your preferred audio processing technology, some of these machines undoubtedly have what you’re looking for.

The long list of supported technologies includes DTS: X (or DTS Virtual X), an object-based audio codec creating a multi-dimensional sound that moves right around you just like it would in real life. The illusion is breathtaking.

Other supported technologies include IMAX, Dolby Atmos, or Audyssey room correction. All are designed to provide you with an immersive, multi-dimensional sound. Sum that up with seven, nine, or even eleven amplified channels and multiple subwoofer outlets, and you’ll get a perfect blend.

Of course, a good audio receiver adds its own value to these integrated third-party products, which ultimately shapes the character and quality of the sound you’ll be hearing. Marantz’s signature sound is modeled by its exclusive proprietary HDAM circuit boards, Current Feedback circuitry, AKM AK4458 32-bit D/A converters, and Hybrid PLL Clock Jitter Reducer.

How does it all work in practice, and what can you expect? Marantz’s sound is, in general, very harmonic and smoothly balanced, which is a good thing if you prefer the soft, natural sound. It is particularly great for listening to music when you need authenticity, clarity, and definition above anything else.

On the other hand, some users might object that these receivers could be more dynamic and punchy. You might miss some power here, especially if you watch movies in large rooms, where you need robust and active basses for the immersive experience.

In this case, though, you’ll need at least some of the upper-shelf Marantz receivers.

Streaming Options

Today, a great home theatre experience heavily relies on streaming services. The more options your receiver offers, the better, since it gives you the freedom to search, explore, and enjoy all the different types of content without any complicated installation or setting.

Marantz certainly knows how important this is. Its modern audio receivers are all equipped with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, allowing seamless streaming of the content directly from your other smart devices or a smooth multi-room experience.

Moreover, these receivers are equipped with various in-built audio streaming services, including Spotify, Amazon Music HD, Pandora, Tidal, and some others. One way or the other, you’ll be able to access all your favorite content with these receivers perfectly effortlessly.

Design and Controls

Marantz

Marantz is renowned for its sleek, stylish, and timeless design. If you’re looking for a receiver that you won’t have to hide somewhere on a shelf, this is a good option. The latest models usually come in a beautiful jet black finish, which is also easy to maintain and looks good in all interiors.

Marantz receivers won’t overwhelm you with dozens of switches and knobs. Their interface is very simplistic, so you’ll be able to familiarize yourself with the controls intuitively and fast.

Of course, you don’t have to touch the mechanical controls on the receiver at all. These receivers can be easily controlled directly through a dedicated app on your iOS, Android, or even a Kindle Fire device.

Moreover, some models (i.e., SR7012) can even be controlled by voice commands through Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, or Google Assistant.

Reliability

Marantz is considered to be a reliable brand, and its products are not particularly prone to any severe factory faults or durability issues. Nevertheless, some users report being worried about how hot their receiver units get during operation.

Although it usually isn’t anything you should worry about too much, overheating can, in the long run, shorten the unit’s lifespan.

Price

Marantz audio receivers are not the cheapest product on the market, but they are slightly more affordable than some other comparable receivers from the same class. If you’re looking for good value for your money, these receivers should be on your radar.

Denon

Denon

​​Just like Marantz, Denon is a well-established brand widely known for its state-of-the-art home audio systems. Their exceptional sound and construction qualities set the bar really high. Although their prices are slightly higher than the competition, the investment is well justified.

The company established in 1910 can also pride itself on various revolutionary innovations. It was, for example, the first consumer audio manufacturer to sell gramophones and the first one to produce PCM recorders.

Is the Denon receiver the best one you can get? Let’s take a look at its qualities and features in detail.

Video Support

A good receiver is a good receiver regardless of how you intend to use it. Nevertheless, each brand or type of this equipment is more suitable for a certain kind of application. As I’ll explain in more detail shortly, I honestly think that Denon receivers reach their full potential when used in home theatres.

Although my opinion mainly reflects specific audio qualities of these receivers, their video features only support it.

Depending on your needs and preferences, you can choose between the newest HDMI video technologies – 4K/120Hz (Ultra HD) and a whopping 8K/60Hz resolution for the best possible theatrical experience.

The receivers support all the video enhancement features such as Dolby Vision HDR10, HDR10 +, Dynamic HDR, HLG, or an 8K upscaling. In this regard, Denon is a perfect competitor to Marantz, offering all the industry standards that can make your visual experience perfectly enjoyable.

Audio Quality and Processing

Denon keeps up with the latest trends and packs its receivers with the latest sound processing technologies and features. As a result, these receivers are capable of great audio qualities that can consistently comply with the highest standards.

Count with all the standard additions, including Dolby Atmos, DTS: X, DTS: X Pro, IMAX Enhanced, and Auro-3D. These receivers also support all the popular hi-res audio formats like WAV, FLAC, ALAC, and DSD 2,8/5,6 MHz.

While the basic entry-level models usually come with a standard 5.1-channels configuration, the most advanced Denon receivers can provide you with up to an 11.2-channels set up for a genuinely exclusive experience.

Compared to Marantz audio receivers, Denon units are known for their great dynamic and punchy sound. They have, by default, massive and aggressive basses which create a fabulous presence. You will take full advantage of this quality mainly when watching movies or other audiovisual content.

On the other hand, not everyone will enjoy this robustness and power when listening to their favorite music. In that case, you might miss a tiny bit more clarity, finesse, and articulation in Denon’s signature sound.

Streaming Options

Modern Denon receivers are equipped with Wi-Fi and perfectly compatible with all the popular streaming resources. From Spotify, TuneIn Internet Radio, or Amazon Music HD, to TIDAL and many more.

Additionally, you can also connect these units to AirPlay 2 via Bluetooth and stream your favorite content this way. Thanks to the in-built HEOS technology by Denon, you can also integrate the receiver into your multi-room wireless sound system and enjoy your audio wherever you go.

Design and Controls

Denon

Like Marantz, Denon is a popular choice for those who want their equipment to be equally beautiful and powerful. These minimalistic black receivers with sharp edges and a symmetrical layout of control elements look very elegant.

They will mostly fit into contemporary-style interiors, but they certainly won’t spoil your vintage-designed living room either.

The control panel is located on the front of the receiver. Depending on the model of your choice, the receiver will have a limited set of control elements, including dominant control knobs and control display.

Denon receivers come with a standard remote controller, but modern users will probably appreciate the possibility of controlling the unit through smart devices more. Denon remote apps are available for both Apple and Android users. However, users report they often crash or fail to pair with the receiver.

An alternative option is to control your receiver with voice commands. The advanced Denon receivers (i.e., AVR-S760H) are compatible with all the popular AI systems, including Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, and Google Assistant.

Reliability

Denon receivers look and also feel very sturdy and durable, so you certainly don’t have to worry about their constructional qualities too much. Users also usually agree that these unis work flawlessly even after many years of use.

What you should be aware of, though, is that some of their components and features are more prone to malfunction. That includes the display, which sometimes needs to be replaced long before the unit itself, and the connectivity features, which sometimes fail to pair with the service of your choice.

Price

Denon receivers range from simple, low-cost devices to audiophile units with exclusive features – and rocket-high prices. Though these receivers are, in general, slightly more expensive than the comparable models by Marantz, I believe that the difference is too small to matter.

Marantz vs. Denon Receivers – Pros and Cons

Marantz – Pros

  • A large variety of models for all budgets
  • Supports all the latest streaming services
  • Benefits of the brand’s exclusive audio technologies
  • Affordable prices
  • Fully immersive sound thanks to Dolby Atmos, Imax, and others
  • Wide range of supported video codecs and technologies
  • Sleek, timeless design
  • Well articulated, clear, and perfectly balanced sound
  • Particularly good for listening to music

Marantz – Cons

  • Some units are prone to overheating
  • Their softness won’t satisfy users preferring the dynamic and punchy sound
  • Not ideal for film watching – especially in large rooms

Denon – Pros

  • Integrates a wide range of streaming services
  • All modern video technologies are supported
  • Wide range of models from entry-level to high-end
  • Stand-by mode for more economical operation
  • Connects to all modern voice control systems
  • Quickly fills even larger rooms with sound
  • Robust sound with dynamic and aggressive basses
  • Ideal for immersive film-watching experience

Denon – Cons

  • These receivers are somewhat expensive
  • Apps for remote control are prone to crashes and faults
  • Users sometimes report issues with display and connectivity
  • Not the best choice for music listening

Are There Any Alternatives?

If you’re not convinced about either of these two receiver brands, here are some alternative options you might consider.

Anthem

Anthem

Anthem might not be as famous and renowned as the brands I have compared in this article before. Nevertheless, this manufacturer has been around for more than two decades now, and I am convinced it’s perfectly competitive even with the best.

A/V receivers by this manufacturer are packed with impressive features, and they also provide excellent connectivity. Anthem will also please you with its lovely sound – clear heights, full mids, and robust lows. Read more about this brand in our Anthem MRX-720 review!

Harman Kardon

Harman Kardon

Although you might probably recognize this brand mainly as a producer of excellent home theater speaker sets, it also makes very impressive audio receivers. Harman Kardon receivers boast powerful sound full of definition, the ability to handle a wide range of modern technologies, and sleek design.

These innovative machines also have extensive multi-room capabilities, a wide range of connectivity options, and a patented VMAx Virtual Theater audio processing, a DSP method of creating lifelike, high-fidelity, 3D surround sound audio.

Sony

Sony

Sony is a bestselling global brand that doesn’t need any special introduction. Their audio receivers, just like the rest of Sony’s portfolio, offer a perfect blend of quality, versatility, durability, and affordability.

Sony receivers have something for everyone. There are great budget-friendly choices for those who just want a decent sound for their home theater, but also state-of-art units for real audiophiles who expect flawless sound and tons of tweakable features.

Frequently Asked Questions About Marantz vs. Denon Receivers

Question: Are Marantz and Denon Receivers Made by the Same Company?

Answer: Denon and Marantz started as completely separate brands established by different people at different times and places. Nevertheless, in 2002, Denon merged with Marantz and formed a joint D&M Holdings.

Question: Are Old Marantz or Denon Receivers Still any Good Today?

Answer: Absolutely! If you can get your hands on vintage receivers by either of these brands, it will surprise you with its timeless sound and quality. Of course, don’t expect it to have modern connectivity features or support for contemporary sound enhancement technologies.

Question: Are Marantz and Denon Receivers Considered High-End?

Answer: Both brands produce a wide range of A/V receivers. They have some economic units, lots of mid-range options, and also a handful of top-quality audiophile-grade receivers that can be considered high-end.

Our Verdict: Should you Prefer Marantz or Denon Receivers?

When you’re planning to buy a new A/V receiver, and you don’t even know where to start, Marantz and Denon are definitely two brands worth looking at. They both produce a wide range of receivers for all the different types of customers and budgets, although Denon is a slightly more expensive brand.

Both brands integrate all modern audio and video technologies. They come with full connectivity for your favorite means of streaming, and their design is also comparably sleek and stylish.

The main difference between the two, however, is in their sound. While Marantz has a mellow, perfectly balanced sound with great definition and articulation, it might be a bit too soft for an immersive home theatre experience – particularly in large spaces.

Denon, on the opposite, boasts strong, dynamic, probably even somewhat aggressive basses, which can easily fill up your room with the unavoidable audio presence. This might not be the best quality when it comes to authentic musical experience, but it’s a great choice for a thrilling movie night.

If you ask me, I personally prefer Marantz receivers, as their fine sound suits my favorite music much better. But I hope that this article helps you choose your ideal receiver brand even if our opinions differ.

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