Stereocheck Reviews:

Marantz Model M1: Compact amplifier with HEOS streaming functionality

The latest Marantz product is the Model M1 wireless streaming amplifier, a compact and versatile...

MARANTZ MODEL M1
MARANTZ MODEL M1

Marantz has launched the compact streaming amplifier Model M1. The Model M1 can receive a wireless music signal, but is also equipped with wired inputs, including an HDMI input. The flexible design and extensive functionality makes the Model M1 a unique wireless streaming amplifier that should appeal to both novice hi-fi buyers and experienced audio enthusiasts.

Marantz Model M1: compact and versatile

Marantz has been making audio products according to its own company philosophy since 1953. The latest product is the Model M1 wireless streaming amplifier, a compact and versatile device that aims to form the heart of a hi-fi system for both music and television sound.

The relatively small housing contains an amplifier that can deliver 100 Watts per channel of stereo sound. This makes the Model M1 suitable for a wide range of speakers ranging from floor standing models to ceiling or wall mounted speakers. The specified distortion is only 0.005% THD via the digital inputs. An active subwoofer can also be connected if necessary. The high- and low-pass cut-off frequencies are also fully adjustable and the subwoofer signal can be amplified or attenuated by 15 dB.

The Model M1 can play PCM music signal up to a resolution of 24-bit/192kHz and also DSD. To optimally deliver these high-resolution signals, Model M1 works completely digitally. This simplifies the signal flow and prevents errors that would occur when using cheap DA converters that are sometimes used in traditional hi-fi equipment. All sound sources benefit from the powerful built-in DSP technologies. One of these is Marantz Music Digital Filtering (MMDF) which was initially developed for Marantz reference CD players. It guarantees the characteristic warmth and musicality of Marantz products.

Streaming according to HEOS

The Model M1 supports sister brand Denon’s HEOS platform. The HEOS app provides access to all music services available on the HEOS platform as well as the upcoming updates for TIDAL and RoonReady support. Connection to a network can be made wirelessly via Wi-Fi 2.4 GHz, 5.6 GHz and 6 GHz or via the RJ45 Gigabit connection.

In addition to HEOS, the Model M1 supports Bluetooth, Spotify Connect and AirPlay2, allowing the user to stream virtually any music content they want wirelessly from virtually any device. The user can also connect a USB storage device and browse the music library stored on it.

Stereo cinch input and optical input

The stereo cinch input offers the option of connecting an analog source. This could also be a record player, provided it is equipped with an internal or external phono amplifier.

The optical input can be used to connect a CD drive or any other device with an optical output.

The Model M1 is not limited to music. It is also a perfect alternative to a soundbar and, together with a pair of passive speakers, offers a high-quality TV experience. The volume of the television can easily be adjusted via the eARC HDMI input. The built-in Dolby Digital+ decoding supports the latest common audio codecs for TV broadcasts and streamed TV services in high quality, and the many useful setting functions optimize your viewing experience, no matter what or when you watch. Examples of these functions are the optional Dialogue Enhancer, which makes voices easier to understand at low volume, and the virtual mode based on Dolby processing, which converts content that is only offered in stereo into a large three-dimensional sound field. This is ideal for a home where a larger full surround sound system is simply not an option or not desired.

Control with HEOS app

The inclusion in the HEOS platform also offers multi-room functionality and connection to other HEOS devices. This makes Marantz quality sound everywhere in the house (max. 32 separate zones) unprecedentedly easy.

The Model M1 does not necessarily have to be in plain view. Placement in a 19-inch rack is possible, possibly with two Model M1s next to each other. The effective passive heat management prevents disturbing fan noise (no fans in the Model M1!) or problems with heat development in a cabinet. There is also a mounting point with a thread on the bottom of the amplifier for mounting the device on a wall bracket. Through the HEOS app, the user has full control over all functions of the Model M1, even when the amplifier is placed out of sight.

For even more extensive integration within custom installations, the Model M1 is also compatible with all kinds of control systems from other brands, including well-known brands such as Crestron, Control4 and URC. HEOS also offers the option to use IR remote controls from other brands.

Price

The Marantz Model M1 is only available in a black version and has a recommended retail price of $1.000