CNET First Look
Slimline Marantz NR1506 piles on features and performanceThe low profile Marantz NR1506 has a sleeker look than most AV receivers, an abundant feature set and fine sound quality.
If you're about to spend $500 on a receiver, you would have quickly noticed one thing. Most of them are both huge and kind of ugly. It seems you have to pay a lot more to get something both sleek and that performs well. But not so with the Marantz NR1506. This is a slim line receiver, which is half the height of competitive models, and still has a lot of the bells and whistles you'd expect from a modern unit. Power handling is a little down on what you'd expect. A very conservatively rated 50 Watts into each of its five channels. But it should be plenty for most home cinema speakers. As it's only a 5.1 recieverm there is no Dolby Atmos or DTS: X as it lacks height channels but I don;t think these will be missed. Unlike the last 15 or so which didn't have wireless, this model goes all out with both wi-fi and bluetooth. With this comes Spotify connect, Pandora, and streaming for DLNA. As far as connectivity goes, it has six HDMI inputs which are compatible with 4K video. Sound quality is exactly what we'd expect from Marantz with an excellent music-focused sound. But with enough guts to power a home cinema convincingly. While you can get better home cinema performance for the same money, you'd choose Marantz if you listen to both music and movies equally. At $499 there is very little else out there that can worry the feisty little NR1606, and only the most power hungry users may want something a bit better. This is Ty Pendlebury for Cnet.com. [MUSIC]