Potential customers will need very little else for a system since the Marantz NR1200 features built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth connectivity, a very good D to A converter, a phono stage for a turntable, and an AM/FM tuner. The Marantz NR1200 also has outputs for an external amp and subwoofers.
The Marantz NR1200 receiver was designed to take advantage of high-resolution digital music streaming. When driving high-performance speakers like the B&W CM 6, the Marantz NR1200 provided an immersive, musical experience. The Marantz NR1200 also proved to be fun and easy to use. I enjoyed my time with the Marantz NR1200 receiver.
Marantz NR 1200
- Slim profile chassis
- Two-channel discrete power amp with 2 x75watts per channel
- High performance, high resolution digital audio playback
- Smart TV connectivity
- Built-in Wi-Fi with 2.4GHZ/5GHZ dual-band support
- Phono-preamp, vinyl playback capability
- HEOS streaming
- Versatile HDMI ARC connectivity
- AM/FM tuner
- Hi-Fi construction and performance
Number of Power amps:
Power Output (8 ohm, 20 Hz -20 kHz, 0.08% 2ch Drive):
Power Consumption in W:
Standby Consumption in W:
0.2 (with CEC 0.5)
Maximum Dimensions Antenna: Horizontal:(W x D x H) in mm:
17.3 x 14.9 x 4.1
Antenna: Vertical:(W x D x H) in mm:
17.3 x 14.9 x 6.9
As a teen, I just melted at the sight of the Marantz receivers of the 1970s. Many would argue that the Marantz receiver of that era was the best you could buy (in my mind, they were). They were also more expensive than their competitors, but the construction and the sound was a step above. Alas, I could not afford such beautiful Marantz receivers then. Today I see that used Marantz receivers of the 1970s are very collectible, and some shops will rebuild the old Marantz receivers and restore them to their former glory (many collectors will pay a handsome price to get this done).
So now comes a new generation of Marantz receivers, designed for today’s market. Much has changed from the 1970s, but the commitment to excellence by the Marantz company has not changed. Marantz touts the attention to detail. Will this feature-laden 2 channel receiver revive memories of past Marantz glory? My heart says, “I hope so”. My ears and mind will need to search for the answer.
The Marantz NR1200 is designed for easy integration into any audio/video system. For video, the Marantz NR1200 has five HDMI inputs and 1 HDMI monitor output with ARC capability. The HDMI for the Marantz NR1200 will support HDCP 2.3, 4K UHD 60hz video, 4:4:4 Pure Color sub-sampling, HLG, HDR10, 21:9 video, 3D and BT.2020 pass-through. As a plus, the HDMI inputs automatically re-name themselves on the Marantz display with the information provided by the source. Gamers with Xbox players will be able to use the ALLM feature with TV’s that support ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode) If you have a Smart TV, you can set up the TV remote to control the Marantz NR1200, too.
For digital audio streaming, the Marantz NR1200 offers built-in Wi-Fi with 2.4GHz/5GHz dual band support (the unit has dual antennae on the rear panel). The Marantz NR1200 can connect to digital audio sources via Bluetooth technology, AirPlay 2, and the HEOS built-in app.
The built-in DAC of the Marantz NR1200 will decode ALAC, FLAC, and WAV lossless digital files up to a rate of 24bit/192 kHz. DSD in 2.8 MHz and 5.6MHz recordings can also be used with the Marantz NR1200. The Marantz even has a USB port on its front panel. Voice control is supported by leading agents and streaming services like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple Siri. Digital inputs on the back panel include Coaxial and Optical, as well as a network jack.
If you own Bluetooth headphones, the Marantz NR1200 will transmit to the device for a wireless listening experience. Bluetooth is also available for mobile devices to take advantage of steaming wireless content from providers like Spotify, Pandora, Tidal, etc. The Marantz NR1200 also features built-in HEOS for music streaming, too.
If you want to take advantage of legacy analog sources, the Marantz NR1200 has a full feature AM/FM tuner section. The Marantz NR1200 also has a phono input that will accept a moving magnet cartridge. Three audio RCA inputs are available on the back panel, along with a Zone output, pre-amp output, and dual subwoofer output. The Marantz NR1200 has speaker A and B outputs.
During the review period, I received word that the legendary Marantz audio engineer, Ken Ishiwata, had passed away. He was mourned by the Audio Industry for his dedication to audio excellence. His guidance and passion are seen and heard in all Marantz products. The Marantz NR1200, like the higher priced Marantz products, is designed for highly musical performance through careful listening and selection of the circuit design and individual components. Ken Ishiwata’s influence, like that of Saul Marantz decades ago, makes the Marantz NR1200 less of an audio appliance and more like a musical instrument that transports the listener closer to the source.
I installed the Marantz NR1200 in my audio/video system in my living room area. This is a decent-sized room and I have a wall-mounted 55” LED TV for viewing video. My primary source has been by Amazon Prime through the Amazon Fire Stick I installed over a year ago. The sound system is a 2.1 system comprising the B&W CM6 monitors on their dedicated stands (filled with kitty litter) and a Golden Ear Super Sub X for the extreme bottom.
Set up was easy as the Marantz has outputs for a subwoofer and a Toslink digital input for source from the TV. The Marantz NR 1200 has ethernet input for direct connection to a modem or router, as well as wi-fi, and Bluetooth connectivity for the user as mentioned before. I also connected the HDMI cable to the Marantz NR 1200 (the ARC input on your TV can also be used to send an audio signal) and followed the onscreen prompting to set the Marantz receiver up to the system. I recommend using the Marantz installation set up menu because not only is it well done, but it will ensure that your speakers (and sub, if you have one) will be set up properly and it takes you through your Wi-Fi set up.
Time Further Out
Once I had the Marantz NR1200 hooked up, I did a trial run. First, I made sure the Bluetooth was operating. I paired my iPhone to the Marantz and selected a jazz favorite, Dave Brubeck’s Time Further Out album. I was just checking to see that it worked, but I listened for a song or two because the reproduction seemed very clear and crisp.
The drums had a nice percussive pop, and the bass had good snap and control. This was a very promising start I thought. I let the Marantz run in for a few days before coming back for some critical listening by using some radio background music. Fortunately, our city of San Antonio has some wonderful radio stations. One of my favorites is KRTU, a mostly Jazz oriented station located on the campus of Trinity University. I was able to get a strong signal from the Marantz NR1200 tuner and I just dialed it in and used it for background music listening.
I next tried streaming via the Amazon Fire Stick. The new Mary Poppins movie, Mary Poppins Returns, was available, and I decided this would be a fun watch with my beloved wife. When I watch movies, I am most interested in the reproduction of the voice and the clarity, since the voice carries the narrative and story. I found the reproduction very crisp and clear. Even during the scenes when the soundtrack had effects and music, we were able to listen comfortably without turning up the sound uncomfortably.
During the musical numbers, the sound swept us up in the emotion and flow of the music. The Marantz NR 1200 did a nice job of controlling the B&W CM6 speakers. At no time did it seem like the Marantz was running out of power.
I invited my audio friend Matt over for a listening session. While he was at the house, I decided to play a concert by Maggie Rogers on YouTube for him. By chance, I had happened to see Maggie Rogers on a broadcast by PBS Austin City Limits. I was so struck by the performance that I looked to see when I could see her live. Then I found out she was still in Austin for 2 more shows at the Austin City Limits stage that same weekend.
I looked for tickets, but they were sold out, darn! The concert, however, is available through clips on YouTube. I recommend the live concert as a good intro to Maggie Rogers and her music.
Matt was unaware that I had the Marantz NR1200 in the system. He had previously heard the separate amp and preamp I was using before with the B&W CM6 and Golden Ear sub. After we listened to a few of the songs on YouTube and some streamed on Amazon Music from her Heard It In A Past Life album, I let Matt know that I had the Marantz NR1200 as the power amp and digital processor in the system. He was astounded. “The music just sounds so full”, he said. Matt and I agreed that the Marantz NR1200 was not just good but really performed at a high level.
Not having a moving magnet cartridge on my current turntable, I invited my next-door neighbor Travis to help me with the review by bringing over his turntable. Travis and I have been friends for as long as I have been on the block and he is also a member of our local audio group, the RCAS. Travis has a Denon DP-29F that has a Denon moving magnet cartridge installed.
For those of you not up on turntables, the big difference between a moving magnet cartridge and a moving coil (like the one in my main system) is that the output is much lower on the moving coil. So much lower that it requires a separate phono stage that can boost the output and that is adjusted or can be adjusted for the difference in the impedance of the moving coil. Some high-end amplifiers or pre-amplifiers come with the phono option for moving coil cartridges, but there are many separate phono preamps manufactured for adding a moving coil cartridge to a system. Most receivers and amplifiers come supplied with moving magnet compatible phono inputs, as does the Marantz NR 1200. The cost involved in having the extra circuitry for the moving coil cartridge usually means that most electronic manufacturers will omit the moving coil phono stage to keep their electronics more affordable (moving coil cartridges are also much more expensive than a moving magnet, so the upgrade cost to the consumer is significant).
Styx “Styx The Mission”
As soon as Travis came over, I poured him some Jose Cuervo tequila and I connected the turntable to the Marantz. Travis is pretty much a rock music guy, so I decided to play Styx’s latest record, The Mission. From the very outset, things were very good. Shockingly good in fact. Bass was punchy there was a good body to the music. Then I began to turn up the volume and we sat through the entire side enjoying every minute.
Now, I have been spoiled by my Rega turntable with moving coil cartridge, so when I heard the modest Denon/Marantz combo on the system just rocking out, I was impressed. The soundstage was big and wide. The B&W CM6 and GoldenEar subwoofer seemed to disappear more. On certain tracks, it seemed like there were additional speakers because sounds seemed to come from other locations in the room and or another room. Detail was very good. At the end of the side, my lasting impression was that of a very musical performance from the Marantz NR 1200. I had the volume at a high level. So much so that Travis and I had to shout in order to communicate and we were sitting next to each other. Despite the high- volume level at no time did the sound become harsh or hard. The Marantz NR1200 had enough juice to keep everything under control.
The MARANTZ NR1200 is like a Swiss army knife of receivers. In one very affordable box, you get the flexibility to stream music, the ability to integrate with video, and enough power for all but the most power-hungry speakers in the largest rooms. It also has very good sound.
- Ease of use/user-friendly
- Compact size
- Very Good Sound
At the beginning of this review, I wondered if this new Marantz receiver could stand in comparison with the legendary Marantz receivers of the past. Much has changed since the 1970s when stereo receivers were king. The receivers of the past were a one-box wonder that housed the pre-amp, amp, and tuner. A potential Marantz customer would need not much more than a pair of speakers to have music at home. With all the technological advances today, the Marantz NR12000 has accomplished the same feat. It has done so and at a bargain price considering the sound quality and the many useful features.
The Marantz NR1200 came into my A/V listening room and during the last few months has performed flawlessly. It has also provided a high level of fun, and ease in operation. At its listed price the Marantz NR1200 offers a tremendous amount of performance. The system I placed it in is probably above what the average user will have. Heck, the speaker cables on the system cost as much as the Marantz. Yet, the Marantz NR1200 never seemed out of place, in fact, it performed up to the level of the speakers and system. The Marantz NR1200 is an unassuming overachiever. My highest recommendation.