The Marantz NR1508 is a 5.2-channel AV receiver with a power output of 50 watts per channel when paired with 8-ohm speakers, which is underpowered compared to similarly priced models. However, it has six HDMI inputs, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, AirPlay and a variety of legacy inputs, so its connectivity is excellent. In addition, it has two subwoofer pre-outs, though combining two subwoofers with five underpowered speakers is not a good idea unless you want your audio system to be extremely bass heavy.
The NR1508’s biggest weakness is its amplifier. It only outputs 100 watts per channel to a 6-ohm speaker and 50 watts to an 8-ohm speaker. While this is plenty of power to create excellent surround sound in a small living room, it isn’t enough for the AV receiver to be the hub of a dedicated home theater room. Most receivers in its price range can send twice as much amplification to more speakers.
On the other hand, its primary strength is its wide variety of ports. It has six HDMI inputs, so you can connect six components, such as Blu-ray players, gaming systems and computers, to the receiver and then use its HDMI output to send video to your TV. This keeps you from having to switch inputs on your television.
The NR1508 is also compatible with AirPlay and DLNA, which are wireless protocols for audio and other data transmissions for Apple and Android devices. In addition, it has Wi-Fi connectivity and Bluetooth, so there’s no shortage of wireless options.
At only 4 inches tall, this is one of the slimmest receivers we reviewed, so it can fit in a small space in an entertainment center. For comparison, most receivers are about 6 inches tall, and the additional height can make a big difference when you don’t have much space to work with. This receiver also has a USB port in front you can use to charge your smartphone or tablet. You can download an iPhone or Android app to control the settings on the receiver if the supplied remote control gets lost or stops working.
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Marantz offers a three-year warranty on this receiver, which is above the industry average. You can contact the company’s knowledgeable support staff by phone, email and live chat. Marantz has the best warranty and support options of all the brands we evaluated.
The Marantz NR1508 is an average AV receiver with only five channels of audio and an underpowered amplifier compared to other models in its price range. However, the slim design and many connectivity options, including both wireless and legacy ports, are an excellent touch. Also, if you prefer bass, the two subwoofer pre-outs mean you can turn it up loud enough to make your neighbor’s windows rattle.