Marantz SR7009 Review


Marantz SR7009 Test

With the Marantz SR7009 (1), the Japanese hi-fi manufacturer Marantz supplies us with a 9.2 (9 speakers + 2 subwoofers) (2) (5) AV receiver (4). The optionally black or silver-gold amplifier is equipped for some multimedia functions (3) such as DLNA streaming with its nine power amplifiers (6) with 200 watts (7) each, four DSP processors (8) and the HDAM technology typical of Marantz (9), also for Dolby Atmos (11). Apart from that, there has also been an upgrade that can be purchased and downloaded online for 149 dollars available in 2021 (10), making the Marantz SR7009 ready for the new Atmos competitor (12) Auro 3D (13).

marantz sr7009


Pros And Cons

Pros Of The Marantz SR7009

+ Dolby Atmos and, for a surcharge, also Auro-3D on board
+ Very good multimedia equipment and very easy to setup with a wizard
+ Powerful, dynamic power amplifiers
+ Lively and precise sound
+ Good operating concept

Cons

  • It becomes a bit sharp at a very high level in the high frequency range
  • Currently it is no match for something like a Denon AVC-X3700H, that you can purchase, however, at a much higher price
marantz sr7009

From the outside, the SR7009 shows itself in an (in our case black) aluminum housing, which is foiled at the front and leaves an elegant impression in the editorial office. With its slightly rounded edges and the slightly curved course towards the rear, the Marantz looks a bit more dynamic on the shelf and can score with a chic look.

And we find more typical Marantz details, because the round display looks towards us in the middle, similar to a fish eye. If this is too small for you, you can also open the flap underneath, where there is a classic display, which is of course larger. 

There are also several operating elements such as a headphone connection or a navigation cross for the menu. As usual, left and right above the flap are two easy-to-use rotary controls for input selection and volume. The volume control is a bit stiff, but we prefer it compared to a smooth control because it looks a bit higher quality (however, many of our readers disagree with us in this point). 

Nevertheless, it runs minimally out of round. But this is not something for which you would have to count minus points in processing. There are also four large feet below for stability. The inside looks very neatly wired and the individual boards are arranged in an orderly manner. 

In general, the Marantz weighs 13.8 kg (30,4 pounds) and is 44 cm (17,3 inches) wide, 18.5 cm (7,3 inches) high and 41.1 cm (16,1 inches) deep. 

There are also four large feet below for stability. The inside looks very neatly wired and the individual boards are arranged in an orderly manner. 

The Marantz with an open front flap

marantz sr7009

The controls and the display behind the front flap

Marantz SR7009 Display

The round “fish eye” at the front

marantz sr7009

Input controls and various other controls on the left

Volume control, navigation buttons and composite connector on the front right

marantz sr7009

Nice look and good workmanship on the side

marantz sr7009

Complete picture of the interior

Ordered board layout

Solid cable management

Transformer

On the back we also find two wireless antennas for a strong Wi-Fi connection. Bluetooth is also included in this model. The Marantz SR7009 supports several classic and modern multimedia functions, has an FM tuner for the conservative clientele and Apple Airplay and Spotify Connect for modern users.

Choice of services, such as: vTuner Internet Radio, media server and FLAC playback

Of course, DLNA streaming is not missing either, the format selection (which, by the way, can also be played back from a USB stick) is contemporary. MP3, WMA or AAC streaming are part of the program anyway, but the 7009 also streams 24-bit / 192 kHz FLAC, WAV and AIFF as well as 24-bit / 96 kHz ALAC, also gapless. 

DSD streaming, i.e. the format contained on SACDs, is also played. DSD is establishing itself more and more alongside FLAC as a carrier format for HiRes audio files. 

Internet radio based on vTuner completes the equipment. Marantz offers good, class-standard standards, the support for Spotify Connect is gratifying.

Rear with connections

marantz sr7009

Two Wi-Fi antennas in the back

marantz sr7009

Speaker cable connections and analog audio connections

marantz sr7009

Analog video connections

marantz sr7009

Seven HDMI inputs and three outputs

Inputs:

Front:
1 x Audyssey Microphone for Calibration
1 x USB
1 x HDMI
1 x Composite

Back:
7 x HDMI
1 x Ethernet
2 x Coaxial
1 x Remote Control In
3 x Composite Video In
6 x Composite Audio In (5 x assignable)
3 x Component Video In
1 x 7.1 Cinch In
1 x IR In

Outputs:

Front:
headphones

Back part of the device:
2 x 12V DC Out
3 x HDMI Out (2 main + 1 zone)
2 x Composite Video Out
1 x Component Video Out
1 x Remote Control Out
2 x Cinch Out (Zone 2 + 3 Preout)
11.2 Channel connection
13.2 Preouts

We are very satisfied with the connections on the Marantz. Actually everything that you need is supported here and 13.2 channel outputs for the prepress configuration are not seen every day. At most we miss an MHL-capable HDMI connection for image transmission from a cell phone, but we still find enough connections in the digital and analog area to be able to use the SR7009 in a variety of ways.

Remote control

marantz sr7009 remote control

Solidly made remote control for the Marantz SR7009. It does not look or feel “cheap”.

The supplied remote control is neatly made and fits comfortably in the hand. Admittedly, it is long but relatively narrow, so some keys are perhaps a little too small for some hands.

 In return, however, the keys are illuminated if necessary and the keys are well arranged for balancing purposes. In the middle the four easily accessible navigation keys with Enter in the middle and option keys in the immediate vicinity. Above the volume control and in the upper area again the source buttons. In terms of material, the remote control with its aluminum coating on top and the plastic housing looks appropriately processed, so overall we are satisfied.

Step by Step Setup Assistant

Language selection in the Marantz SR7009

EASY TO UNDERSTAND WITH ILLUSTRATIONS: SPEAKER CALIBRATION BECOMES VERY SIMPLE WITH THIS FEATURE

Very good – such explanations are really helpful and also go beyond the usual

IT IS EASY TO MOVE THROUGH THE STEP BY STEP EXPLANATIONS

The operation of the menu is quite easy. Marantz SR7009 offers a clearly designed menu with enough options to customize the amp to your liking. In addition, the menu with its white and gold look also exudes a touch of pleasant aesthetics. 

When the Marantz SR7009 is started for the first time, the setup wizard is started, which guides the user through setting up the speakers and then carrying out the calibration. Network test and network connection, control via network are further points that the setup wizard deals with. The explanatory texts are helpful and are supported by clear graphics. 

Now let’s look at a few basic menu items. In the “Video” item, for example, we can, as usual, select a picture mode and find the HDMI output settings (PassThrough, Auto Lip Sync, etc.). In the extra point “Inputs” we assign the different inputs and can also rename the sources or set the input level. 

In addition, the Marantz SR7009 has Wi-Fi, so we can connect it wirelessly to our home network under “Network”, which is very quick. The “General” item offers very basic settings such as language, front display settings, renaming the zones, or firmware updates. 

Update Of The Marantz SR7009 via Firmwire

Here we can also carry out the Auro 3D upgrade, which is available for 149 EUR, for the Marantz SR7009 by selecting “Firmware” and “Add features”. Before doing this, however, we have to register our device with the product number and upgrade ID on the Marantz Auro 3D upgrade website, after which the SR7009 is immediately activated for the upgrade, and we can download it.

In our case, the download and installation took about an hour. Incidentally, the upgrade and firmware update cannot be carried out via USB, but must be carried out directly from the receiver via the Internet.

Control Via App

The “Marantz Remote App” is also available for iOs and Android, with which various Marantz devices can be controlled if you prefer smartphone control to the sometimes small buttons on classic remote controls. 

The Marantz SR7009 also supports this app and the controls are pleasing on the first impression, especially since you can set the buttons on the main screen yourself and everything is designed quite simply and transparently. Below are some screenshots of the app to get a better idea of ​​the operation.

DLNA streaming controllable through the app, unfortunately you cannot rewind

Audyssey MultEQ XT32 Calibration System

So let’s move on to the calibration and select the item “Loudspeakers” in the setup and then “Audyssey calibration”. 

Since we want to use the SR7009 with Dolby Atmos first, we are using a 5.1.2 setup today, consisting of the two column speakers Definitive BP-8060ST, the ProCenter 2000 and the SM45 as surrounds. We deactivated the two subwoofers of the BP-8060ST and instead used the small but powerful Dali P-10 DSS. 

Our “Front High” speakers, which we use in the form of the Definitive A60, are now important for the configuration. These are two “Dolby Enabled Elevation Modules” that are mounted on the BP-8060ST and emit their sound towards the ceiling, which is then reflected back from the ceiling to the listener. 

This is important for the point “Output stage assignment” before the calibration. There we can specify the number of speakers and then modify the layout of the speakers (combination with zone 2 or 3, bi-amping, etc.), among other things, Auro 3D can also be selected here after the upgrade.

 Theoretically, you could also select “Dolby Atmos” here, but our A60 would then be automatically recognized as a top speaker. As a result, we use the standard configuration “9.1 channel” and then define the A60 as a so-called “Front Dolby” speaker, ie “Dolby Enabled” speakers that rest on the front speakers and radiate towards the ceiling. With “Channel selection” we also deactivate the surround back and define a single subwoofer, which is checked for level before the calibration. If it is too loud or too low, you will be asked to set it to approx. 75 dB, then the Marantz starts measuring up to eight listening positions. The measurement itself and the calculation were done very quickly, especially since the results are accurate and we didn’t have to make any significant corrections.

Keyword improvement: In the “Audio” point of the setup we can find some sound improvements that can be activated as required. The offer ranges from the usual level adjustment of the subwoofer to the dialog level adjustment from the center to “M-DAX” technology, with which lost signal components can be restored if the audio source only has weak highs, for example. And of course we have the Audyssey sound improvements, such as the Dynamic Equalizer to modify the frequencies of the speakers depending on the volume, which should result in smoother transitions between the speakers. Dynamic Volume, on the other hand, regulates the volume of too loud or soft signals, so that, for example, certain sounds do not suddenly become too high. Audyssey LFC proves to be particularly useful with close neighbors, as it dampens the bass output so that no bass is spread through walls, i.e. through droning or the like. are perceptible. So all in all no features that are too complicated, but you still have a solid selection of adjustment options.

Sound

We’ll start now with the sound test. As already mentioned, we have the Definitive Atmos Set with the A60 modules as Atmos speakers and the Dali P-10 DSS as equipment. We first play the Dolby Atmos soundtrack from the latest “Transformers: Era of Extinction” to the Marantz. As soon as the stars of the Paramount logo fly in and then the Transformers float towards Earth in space, we notice how powerful the SR7009’s output stages are. Of course – the Dali subwoofer, which we prefer to the subs built into the Definitive because of its even more power and precision, is already very powerful in itself – but a good sub also needs a good player. Especially with the flying stars and the waterfall in the first shot, we also notice the surrounding noises, which flow into one another.

The atmosphere becomes even clearer with some effects in the third chapter, when the mini drones of the SWAT team become active. The transition when one of the drones flies from front to back is almost seamless, as if we had speakers all over the wall. It’s also great how the incoming helicopters and explosions are integrated into the action above the ship. Overall, we can at least state that there is more sound coming from above. Admittedly, we can’t pinpoint individual sound effects, but the overall picture looks more enveloping than you know from the usual TrueHD. We don’t even have “real” height speakers, but Dolby Enabled Modules and we are surprisingly well served when it comes to “enveloping sound experience” – so that is what “immersive sound” means.

Well, we have already been able to collect these Atmos impressions with other AV receivers, what distinguishes the SR7009? He acts extremely dynamically – that used to be entirely Marantz’s domain. Pleasant, but a little sluggish, that was the Marantz feeling. Are you kidding me? Are you serious when you say that. The SR7009 takes off as if a former Pioneer developer had changed fronts. The power of its highly resilient power amplifiers is even available, the SR7009 only gets a bit sharp in the high frequency range when it gets really loud. Loudspeakers should be used here that can handle this without overstraining 

Let’s move on to Dolby’s own Atmos Demonstration Disc. The chirping of the crickets appears everywhere, it can also be heard above us, and it seems to us as if a bird is flapping around us. The “360 degrees” lettering that was displayed was not promised too much. The powerful thunder is also shown again with the appropriate emphasis, with the rain sounding exemplary in terms of atmosphere and, in combination with the thunder, presenting us with an extremely realistic “thunderstorm ambience”. The SR7009 scores again with its equally quick and energetic start and the well-balanced overall space.

With the “Leaf” trailer we follow a falling leaf to the ground. The gusts of wind sound strong again and we get a very nice surround feeling when the leaf turns its circles, especially since we hear a few leaves rustle above us every now and then (especially at the beginning). In the Red Bull F1 Racing Trailer with the four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, we notice a dense spatial representation again, especially when he drives his racing car through the city and, for example, the ringing of the train is inserted in the back right, or at the beginning the tires various mechanical sounds can be attached.

We also really like the surrounding clapping in Enrique Iglesias’ music video “Bailando”. This creates an atmospheric sound experience, which is supported by the strong lows and the melodious singing. So far a very good performance from the SR7009. Admittedly, we know it a little more surrounding the Atmos Demonstration Disc, but this can also simply be done on 5.1.2. Setup with front Dolby modules. Nevertheless, we had a nice surround feeling and can therefore tick the Atmos point.

Now it’s time to get down to business, now we’re testing the new Auro 3D. Since we need at least a 9.1 setup for this, we first set up our tried and tested Teufel System 10. For the particularly important height speakers, two front and two surround, four M 620 FCR, also from Teufel, are used. 

A 10.1 configuration with a top speaker is also possible, but we are satisfied with 9.1 at this point (you would also need an external power amplifier with 10.1, since the SR7009 only has nine power amplifiers on board), measure again and start with the Auro 3D Demonstration Disc. The demo is suitable here as a very good demonstration of the Auro technology, which shows how and which sounds are distributed to the various speaker levels. 

One of the examples in this demo is a tractor driving past us in a wooded area. The heights are cut away from time to time in order to better see the comparison. And indeed: the chirping birds and above all the passing tractor sound much more lifelike and present when the top four speakers are switched on. Especially in a direct comparison, the powerful engine noises are a lot more spatial than in normal 5.1 mode. Bach’s Toccata, recorded in Auro 3D, an organ piece played by Wolfgang Sieber, has an incredibly atmospheric effect and noticeably benefits from the new audio format. The organ sounds a lot more powerful, and we feel well wrapped up in the action,

Let’s continue with the Blu-ray with Kitaro. Here, admittedly, a lot of work is done via the front speakers, while the rear is less used. Nevertheless, the strong staging of the deep gong, which Kitaro used in the Silk Road album from time to time, is positive. Good bass management on the part of the Marantz when we listened to Dire Straits.

As the last Auro example we have the “Lichtmond 3: Days of Eternity” Blu-ray and the track “Empire Of The Past”. This begins with a thunderstorm, where the lightning and thunder in the room create the right atmosphere. Incidentally, another incredibly powerful, but well-distributed use of the Marantz in the depth range. 

At this point, however, it becomes clear once again that the SR7009 definitely has the power to supply a 9.1 system, also with Auro 3D. A great presentation of the individual instruments, especially the drums, come into their own in the room and in combination with the piano and the electric guitars you feel right in the middle of the action. On the next track, “Days of Eternity” we especially like the strings at the beginning. 

The very front violins land on the front speakers, while, like in a real orchestra, the rear violins are more centered, i.e. combined with the heights. With the timpani playing at the front and back, the result is a nicely staggered sound pattern, in which we really like the Auro 3D mix.

Auro vs Atmos: Our Impression

Are we here to compare Auro vs. Atmos? Well, we notice from an acoustic point of view that we cannot compare directly both this time, for the sake of fairness. 

Two Atmos modules face four speakers for the top Auro layer. However, that will soon change, then we can make correct comparisons with four Atmos speakers. 

Ceiling speakers for Atmos will also soon find their way into the test room for comparisons. But now we cannot make a direct comparison, only state the following: Especially with cinema film soundtracks, what is already possible with two Atmos modules is fantastic. However, it must be clearly added that Dolby’s own demo disc is better suited than the James Bond movie to demonstrate the Atmos Possibilities. To be honest, we are a little disappointed here – that much more is possible, even with only 2 modules, shows the very successful mix of the demo disc. 

If we now take Auro-3D, it is striking how excellently Auro-3D can turn multi-channel music soundtracks into a dense, seamless, high-resolution experience. The Moonlight BD, an old movie from 2016, in particular impressively shows what a state-of-the-art sound format such as Auro-3D, great, atmospheric music content and an excellent AV receiver in conjunction with a very good 9.1 setup can achieve – you actually immerse yourself in a new acoustic world, because you never felt so enclosed before. 

And, hand on heart: You can clearly see how superfluous surround back speakers are. Surround low and surround height together, on the other hand, offer enormous potential. Incidentally, what you also notice with Atmos and Auro – an excellent center speaker is still of great value. You should not save money here.

At the end of our sound test we want to briefly turn to the more classic formats and give him the Eagles’ “Farewell Tour” with DTS-HD master soundtrack and the legendary “Hotel California”. After the trumpet intro, the guitars take us with them, and the cheering of the audience ensures a good concert atmosphere. It is also very commendable how beautifully detailed the guitars are preserved next to the drums and Don Henley’s pleasant, but possibly slightly restrained vocals and are pushed to the fore in the right places. 

The treble-heavy sound pattern also runs through the overall performance, but the Marantz does not forget the bass either and delivers the bass to our B&W 805 d3 appropriately (not the best option for testing, you can say, and you would be right).

But the important thing is that even with an increased concentration on high sounds and seldom hissing highs, the overall sound does not suffer, which is also not the case here, you simply have to decide for yourself whether you like it a little “deeper”. The sound coherence does not suffer from this.

Incidentally, the Marantz also outputs Auro 3D with other audio formats, if you wish. We tried it out with Diana Krall (I always test using material from Diana Krall so it is easy to compare devices later on) and you definitely feel a difference to the usual DTS-HD Master. 

The listener perceives more sound from above and the whole thing seems a bit more voluminous and more surrounding. The disadvantage, however, is that the singing becomes a tad quieter and the different sound levels no longer form a very dense atmosphere. Logical, after all, a 5.1 sound track is distributed over four channels more.

Video Image Quality

We also took a close look at the video section of the SR7009. Here we have the “Skyfall” Blu-ray upscaled from full HD to 4K. The SR7009 convinces with high image sharpness and a high overall plasticity. 

The image position is good, but not always perfect in every sequence. Every now and then a slight tremor, for example with slow camera pans, runs through the image, which the experienced user notices. 

The image layout that the SR7009 offers in movie image mode is very good. Another idea is the “ISF Night” picture mode, which should only be used in a completely darkened home cinema room. The picture is pleasant, easy on the eyes and very well done in terms of overall and detail contrast. 

The colors are rendered fresh and authentic, and also well nuanced. Right in the first scene when 007, played by Daniel Craig, comes to the apartment in Istanbul, whose rooms are in the semi-darkness. The Marantz SR7009 manages to get a lot of differentiation into the action. When Bond and his colleague followed the fugitive killer Patrice in the Land Rover Defender pickup, the cobblestones were shown sharp and clear even during the rapid drive. 

Details such as Bond’s tie when he reaches into the steering wheel in the passenger seat of his colleague are displayed accurately and very sharply – but without ringing. The large Caterpillar excavator, which is set in motion in the sequence on the train from 007, comes out in almost every detail and with little noise. The signs of use on the excavator bucket look authentic. In all scenes, we like the very balanced color scheme in ISF Night mode, not too saturated, 

In addition to the Movie and ISF Night image modes mentioned, there are also ISF Day, Standard, Lively, Streaming and a user-defined image setting. Here the user controls contrast, brightness, color saturation, noise suppression and contour sharpness himself.

If you set picture mode to “off”, the SR7009 does not take any measures to optimize sharpness / brightness / color / contrast, but leaves these parameters in the state in which they were delivered. 

Competition comparison

Unusual competitor – for 1,599 dollars, exactly the same purchase price – you get the Yamaha Aventage RX-A1040 and the KEF 5.1 subwoofer / satellite system E305 . So not just AVR, but also speakers. The bundle is not always available, depends on the dealer, sometimes, but what is certain is that you get a lot on offer: Great features, very good sound, very successful matching of speakers and AVR – nothing is missing. Or is it? The SR7009 including the Atmos update costs almost 1,750 dollars and therefore more, but the machine from the D&M Group simply offers everything – everything in terms of sound formats, everything in terms of multimedia, plus a modern GUI. Everything? Not quite, because the RX-A1040’s excellent DSP section is missing. 

The first-class Pioneer 9.2 multi-channel network receiver SC-LX58 with Dolby Atmos decoding costs exactly 1,599 dollars . And with the world’s best consumer calibration system, outstanding AV Navigator app for initial setup, extremely powerful digital power amplifiers and exuberant dynamics, Pioneer impressively demonstrates how to build AV receivers. The video section is again better than the SR7009. But the Marantz counterattacks well: Its remote control is clearer, the use of the entire range of functions is easier, and there is no setup app, but the setup assistant is great. There is also the option, even if it costs 149 dollars, to be able to use Auro-3D.

Is The Marantz SR7009 Worth It?

Congratulations to Marantz for packing so many features into the SR7009. If we assume a price of 1,750 dollars including the Auro-3D upgrade, then everything is simply on board and the machine is still well below the magical 2,000 dollars limit for many. 

The Marantz not only impresses with its opulent features, but also with its elegant appearance and proper workmanship. The powerful, detailed and dynamic sound of the built-in nine-channel power amplifier and the high-quality preamplifier section are also impressive. 

However, the SR7009 becomes minimally sharp in the high frequency range at high levels, so you need speakers that can handle it well. The simple setup, the good remote control, the impeccable app and the very good multimedia variety are further advantages that suggest that

All-rounder: With Dolby Atmos, Auro-3D, powerful and rousing sound and easy handling, the Marantz SR7009 AV receiver pampers up to 2,000 dollars new. However currently, you can find used models around 900 dollars.

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Chris Abrahams

I am Chris, a musician. I work as an audio engineer in mastering and arranging bridges in existing songs and the arrangement and orchestration of chorus. In Firing Squad I test gear provided by local distributors during a couple of days and write a review. I also write about AV topics, amplifiers, speakers and headphones.

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