MARANTZ AND POLK DEBUT NEW MODELS
Since acquiring the D&M Holdings portfolio of brands that include Marantz, Denon, HEOS, Polk, Boom and Boston as reported exclusively by StereoNET earlier this year, the Sound United Group hasn’t been idle.
It has just announced Polk Audio’s first soundbar and a flurry of new Marantz AV Receivers at the group’s first recent media event since the takeover.
Held in the Big Apple, New York, the event showcased the US$599 MagniFI MAX SR soundbar sold with wireless surround speakers that sync with the soundbar the moment it’s powered on.
Consumers can buy the package or opt to snare just the soundbar for US$499 or the surround speakers for US$149.
While local pricing is yet to be confirmed, the new soundbar and speakers will arrive in US stores in August.
The MagniFI MAX SR comes equipped with Polk’s unique Stereo Dimensional Array, a digital circuitry that yields a huge soundstage and pinpoint imaging, according to Polk.
Polk has given its inaugural soundbar Google’s Home Technology so it can link seamlessly with all Chromecast equipped smart devices. Cleverly, this also allows users to operate the soundbar’s features with their voice and chose a variety of apps to stream music wirelessly.
Connection to mobile streaming devices including smartphones and tablets is via the soundbar’s Bluetooth circuitry.
The new Polk model is crammed with features, some useful others mere baubles. It has presentable equalisation modes for Sports, Movies and Music sources and a handy Night Effect EQ setting that diminishes the amount of bass but boosts dialogue.
This may be enough to provide your nightly fix of movie action without creating a ruckus with your significant other or others if you’re into harems.
The new soundbar has three 4K HDMI input with HDCP 2.2, and one HDMI ARC output and support for High Dynamic Range Pass thru.
And yes, the MAX SR soundbar carries Polk’s popular Voice Adjust feature that allows users to enhance dialogue.
The event showcased a pair of new Marantz receivers; both are slimline models with networking features.
The NR1608 (US$749) is a 7.2 channel unit while the NR1508 (US$549) does 5.2 channels. Either model generates 50-watts per channel and both will go on sale in the US this month.
The NR1608 looks ahead to hi-res display screens and supports 4K/60p video and HDR and is compatible with Dolby Vision and Hybrid Log Gamma pass thru with a firmware update available by the end of this year.
Connections comprise eight HDMI inputs along with decoders for Dolby Atmos and DTX:X 3D surround formats. This model upscales legacy video sources to 4K.
The NR1608 streams audio via local network storage or the Internet. It includes TuneIn, Pandora, Spotify, Amazon Prime Music, iHeart Radio, Sirius XM, TIDAL and Napster.
The NR1508 supports 4K video via its compliment of six HDMI inputs. Both new receivers handily support HEOS integration technology and can be used as the centres of total wireless multi-room music systems.
StereoNET understands that there are no plans by Sound United to merge or phase out any of the brands in the portfolio at this stage, instead they are "focused on leveraging the best possible elements of the various brands". It is believed that a new range of products from Sound United will be showcased at CES 2018 in Las Vegas.
StereoNET's Founder & Publisher and still buried deep in the review room auditioning everything from docks to soundbars, amplifiers and headphones. Marc is also the founder of the annual International HiFi Show.
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