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Marantz M-CR510 and M-CR610 Network Stereo Receivers Preview

Marantz M-CR510 and M-CR610 Wireless Network Stereo Receivers Preview

Marantz M-CR510 and M-CR610 Wireless Network Stereo Receivers Preview


  • Product Name: C-CR610; M-CR510
  • Manufacturer: Marantz
  • Review Date: July 22, 2013 07:20
  • MSRP: $699; $599
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool


  • Rated output 60 W+60 W (6 ohms, 1 kHz, 10% T.H.D.)
  • Rated output (Bi-amping mode) 30 W x 4 channels (6 ohms, 1 kHz, 10% T.H.D.)
  • Power consumption 55 W (Standby: 0.3 W)
  • Dimensions (W x H x D) 11.5” x 4.4” x 11.9”
  • Weight 7.5 lbs
  • Connections
  • Analog inputs 2
  • Digital optical input 1
  • Mono output (Subwoofer) 1
  • Analog output 1
  • USB ports (Front / Rear) 2
  • Headphones 1
  • Network (Ethernet) 1
  • Speaker terminal 2 pairs
  • AM antenna terminal 1
  • FM antenna terminal 1



  • Rated output 60 W+60 W (6 ohms, 1 kHz, 10% T.H.D.)
  • Power consumption 55 W (Standby: 0.3 W)
  • Dimensions (W x H x D) 11.5” x 3.1” x 11.9”
  • Weight 6 lbs
  • Connections
  • Analog input 1
  • Digital optical input 1
  • Mono output (Subwoofer) 1
  • USB port (Front / Rear) 2
  • Headphones 1
  • Network (Ethernet) 1
  • Speaker terminal 1 pair


Highlights shared by both

  • Wi-Fi Built-in with WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup)
  • WMM (Wi-Fi Multimedia) for reliable wireless audio streaming
  • iOS Wi-Fi sharing for simple configuration
  • An unparalleled and beautiful design that is easily featured in home décor
  • Optical digital input for connection to televisions or other devices
  • Apple AirPlay* wireless music streaming
  • Spotify**, Pandora, and  SiriusXM** streaming
  • Windows 8/RT compatible and DLNA 1.5 certification.
  • Full support of most digital audio files: MP3, WMA, AAC, 192/24 FLAC, ALAC and WAV.
  • Mobile App Control

Do you remember the giant stacks of equipment that used to be required to access and play all of the different media available? Maybe you had a fancy new Compact Disc, so you needed a CD player. How about a few old songs on A-track or vinyl? Two more devices there. You would obviously still be rocking cassette tapes, so another piece of gear on the rack there. Of course, you needed a high-quality external AM/FM tuner to hook into your integrated amp. So, what, now you’re at 6 pieces of gear that weighs a combined 110 pounds and looks like the leaning tower of Pisa. The Marantz M-CR610 and M-CR510 network stereo receivers are the antithesis of that gargantuan system.


Update: We now have a full review of the M-CR610

The M-CR610 is compatible with and can connect to basically every digital storage device on the market. Think of it as the Swiss army knife of network music players, an expensive $699 Swiss army knife. It can connect to your home network via Ethernet or WiFi. Once connected, it works with AirPlay, dlna, and Windows 8/7. Thanks to dlna certification, it can pull music off of basically any networked device, including computers and NAS drives.

Maybe you want a faster, non-wireless way to playback music, not a problem. Dual USB inputs (one front mounted, one rear) work with large format external hard drives and iOS devices. It’s probably safe to assume that if you have a large digital music collection, you understand the benefits of lossless file formats like WAV and FLAC. Luckily, the M-CR610 is compatible with both, plus ALAC, WMA, MP3, and MPEG-4 AAC. For those who still use CDs, the M-CR610 has a CD drive as well. It also supports gapless playback.

Marantz M-CR610  Front

Marantz M-CR610  Front Panel

Beyond music physically stored in your home, it also supports streaming services. Arguably the two most important services for music streaming, Pandora and Spotify, are both supported, as is SiriusXM. Turning back the clock a bit to the original music streaming technology, the M-CR610 also has an AM/FM tuner.

For a unit that’s only 11.5”W x 4.4”H x 11.9”D and weighs in at 7.5 lbs, Marantz managed to fit in quite a lot of inputs and outputs. For starters, it has two stereo analog and one digital optical input. The most obvious use of these inputs is for receiving sound from the audio out jack on a TV.  There are 4 sets of binding posts, two for Speakers A and two for Speakers B. We’d imagine most people will use the M-CR610 with small bookshelf speakers, so the included RCA subwoofer output is a must-have. A little less expected, though still welcome, is the inclusion of stereo audio outputs for use with an external amp. The rear panel is rounded out with the AC power jack, AM/FM antenna inputs, and aforementioned USB and Ethernet jacks. The front panel has basic controls, 3-line OLED display, 1/8” heaphone jack, and USB port. I actually like that Marantz chose to use a USB port instead of a dedicated iDevice dock. This way, people with 30-pin or Lightning port devices can both use the system to listen to and charge their gear. Control options consist of the included IR remote, front panel buttons, web browser, and tat Marantz Remote App for iOS and Android.

Marantz M-CR610  Rear

Marantz M-CR610 Rear Panel

The final basic, but very useful, features are sleep timer, everyday alarm and one time alarm. These allow the system to pull quadruple duty in a bedroom as: alarm clock, music system, supplemental TV speaker system, and phone charger (charges though USB even when in standby).

One bit of info we haven’t covered yet is how much power the M-CR610 packs. Marantz rates it at 60 W+60 W (6 ohms, 1 kHz, 10% T.H.D.). Those numbers should immediately pop out to any AV aficionado. By taking measurements at 6 ohms instead of 8, 1kHz instead of 20Hz-20kHz, and an extremely high 10%THD instead of the standard 1% or less, Marantz likely managed to inflate the wattage ratings by a hefty amount. Many manufacturers are guilty of adjusting all of those variables to increase output, but 10%THD is a pretty egregious jump. We suspect the real world wattage of the amp section would be more around 40 watts/ch into an 8 ohm load below clipping. When both Speakers A and Speakers B are in use (for driving two pairs of speakers, or as Marantz suggests, bi-amping a single pair) the power is cut to 30 W x 4 channels (6 ohms, 1 kHz, 10% T.H.D.). I don’t want to jump on them too hard for the tricky ratings because, in reality, how much power could they really pack into a unit this size with everything already in there? Additionally, with a pair of efficient speakers a true 20 or 30 watts can be sufficient, and the stereo pre-outs mean you could always add an external amp. Still, this unit is my no means a power house, but should suffice fine for most people on the market for a device like this. It would be interesting to compare the M-CR610 to Denon’s similar DRA-N5 Ceol Piccolo receiver, which is rated at 65 W+65 W (4 ohms, 1 kHz, 0.7 T.H.D.). Marantz the M-CR610 utilizes class D amplification for these products which helps to keep them a small form factor, lightweight and energy efficient.

It’s obvious that the M-CR610 does a lot, but there are some things it’s missing. There is no Ogg Vorbis or DSD support. While both products support vTuner, they also lack a few streaming services, like Slacker, and Last fm, but those can be streamed from a smart phone. For streaming services that aren’t supported – if the customer uses an iOS device, they can download the streaming service’s app and airplay the streaming service over or connect the iOS device via USB and do the same. There’s also no digital coax input, which I think is so low on the list I wasn’t even going to mention it except that Onkyo’s  CS-N755 has one. However, a glaring omission is Bluetooth and no optional adapter is available either.




The M-CR510 is identical to the M-CR610, with a few key differences. It does away with the CD drive, one of the RCA analog inputs and the stereo pre-outs (still has a subwoofer pre-out), the second speaker connections, and the AM/FM tuner. Those omissions allowed Marantz to bring the height down to 3.1” from 4.4” on the M-CR610. Everything else remains the same, including the amp section and network capabilities. Well, everything except the MSRP, that is, which drops to $599. While I do really like the slimmer form factor of the M-CR510, you lose quite a pit of functionality in that $100 savings. 

Marantz M-CR510  Front         Marantz M-CR510  Rear

Marantz M-CR510


I’m a real sucker for these sorts of systems and a lot of solid AV companies are starting to make them (or at least refresh their current offerings, as is the case here). I already mentioned Denon and Onkyo, but Yamaha has their TSX and MCR lineups as well. I like this product category because it really fills a niche. Once you are used to a nice two-channel music system, it’s hard to listen to tracks on anything else. At the same time, you can’t have a big stereo rig in every room in the home (or suffer the relational consequences if you do). One of these mini network receivers can take what used to be a stack of equipment and cram it into a tiny box that blends in to the decor, or could even be hidden out of site and controlled via a mobile device. All you need to do is hook up a solid (and easy to drive) pair of bookshelf speakers and a nice little sub and you could have a great system. Thanks to the multiple inputs on both of these units, that system could replace soundbar. Thanks to the network/USB connectivity, it could also replace an iPod dock. In a bedroom, you could even do away with an alarm clock. All that gushing aside, the price is a little steep and it is missing built-in Bluetooth. You get a lot, but factor in the price of a nice pair of speakers and sub and you’re looking at a total bill of well over a grand.

What do you think, is this type of product you would consider for a secondary system in the home, dorm, or office?

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
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Cliff, like many of us, has always loved home theater equipment. In high school he landed a job at Best Buy that started his path towards actual high quality audio. His first surround sound was a Klipsch 5.1 system. After that he was hooked, moving from Klipsch to Polk to Definitive Technology, and so on. Eventually, Cliff ended up doing custom installation work for Best Buy and then for a "Ma & Pa" shop in Mankato, MN.

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