Marantz NA7004 review: Marantz NA7004 network audio player

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CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent

Average User Rating

4 stars 1 user review
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good High-quality sound. Feature packed. AirPlay makes wireless iPhone connection easy. DAB+ tuner. 24-bit FLAC support. Stand-alone DAC with USB.

The Bad No video output. Navigating media lists is slow. Ethernet only. No network support for Apple Lossless.

The Bottom Line If you're looking for a network music player packed with features and sparkling audio, then the Marantz NA7004 is a one-stop shop.

CNET Editors' Choice Feb '11

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Hi-fi manufacturer Marantz has experimented with home media streaming for several years, but until now it has been mostly proprietary. The NA7004 Network Audio Player is perhaps the company's first attempt at creating an open digital entertainment hub, which not only incorporates DLNA and AirPlay media streaming but DAB+ radio and a DAC.

Design

The NA7004 maintains the look Marantz debuted in 2009 with its '003 range of components. The rounded edges feature a resin construction, while the front of the unit is brushed aluminium. The unit features a blue, three-line OLED display that is visible from across a room, which is handy because the unit doesn't feature any sort of on-screen display (OSD) for your television.

The display is surrounded by a smattering of handy controls including Play/Pause and so on, as well as a Menu and direction pad. At the bottom of the unit you also get a headphone output and corresponding volume control.

The remote control is well laid out and features direct selection of all inputs. If you have a Marantz receiver it will also provide limited control of that too.

Features

If you're looking for a music player that will spin anything short of a physical disc, then the NA7004 is essentially a one-stop shop. It offers internet radio with thousands of stations at your fingertips, digital radio in the form of DAB+ (for the city slickers), in addition to AM/FM, a high-quality DAC with USB, direct iPod/MP3 player connection, DLNA media streaming from computers and compatible devices, and Apple's AirPlay standard. Just be aware that registering for AirPlay costs an additional US$50.

airplay marantz upgrade

Upgrading the NA7004 to include AirPlay via the three-line OLED display (Credit: CBS Interactive)

The Marantz features support for a number of different audio formats including MP3, WMA, AAC and FLAC up to 24-bit/96MHz. While the player will relay the sound of video content via AirPlay, the player doesn't support picture or video files.

Marantz offers its M-DAX system on the NA7004, which is designed to "put back what compression takes out", but most people will find this needless. The switch simply adds extra treble to the mix and given the likely quality of the target market's audio files it's redundant.

As the unit can be used as a stand-alone DAC, you'd expect it to feature some cutting-edge digital processing, and, according to Marantz, it does. The player uses the Cirrus CS4398 chipset, which may not be the household names that the Burr-Browns and the Wolfsons are in the audiophile community, but Marantz also uses the DAC in its AU$2500 flagship CD player.

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Where to Buy

Marantz NA7004

Part Number: NA7004

Typical Price: $1,499.00

See manufacturer website for availability.