What's not to love about slimline receivers? They're so little! So tiny. Come here little cutie!! Look at you!
Marantz has been making half-height AV receivers for many years, and the NR1509 and NR1609 are the latest to slip off the production line. The look is familiar, and the features are more or less the same. Now that everyone is going over vinyl, however, they include the phono input needed to connect a turntable.
With 50W per channel offered on both receivers, your main decision is whether you want vanilla surround or to go the whole hog with Atmos. The NR1509 is 5.1-channel surround while the-decoding NR1609 enables enthusiasts to fill their living spaces with an immersive 5.1.2-channel setup.
The receivers include six HDMI and eight HDMI ports respectively, with HDCP 2.2 and support, as well as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi (HEOS, Apple AirPlay). With network music comes the ability to stream apps such as Spotify and Pandora around your house.
The system is also compatible with the HEOSfor control with voice command, but there is no Google Assistant capability yet.
If you've bought an NR series from recent years, there probably isn't much impetus to upgrade -- especially as a standaloneis only about $100. Now that the is over, HEOS is a nice addition, and is also very likely.
The $549 NR1509 and the $749 NR1609 are available now. UK and Australian availability are yet to be announced, but expect £550 or AU$1,100 and £750 or AU$1,500 respectively.