TopTenREVIEWS - Bronze Award - Awarded for excellence in design, usability and feature set

Marantz is famous for its iconic AV receivers. The NR1603, which represents the NR Series, is no exception. This receiver is a strong performer with a slim form factor compared to other products in this category. These attributes qualify it for the TopTenREVIEWS Bronze Award and make it one of the best AV receivers on the market today.

Performance
Compare
9.4/10
Yamaha RX-V
Sony STR-DN
Marantz NR
Yamaha Aventage
Yamaha HTR
Pioneer VSX
Harman Kardon AVR
Sony STR-DH
Pioneer Elite
NAD T
10
9.4
9.4
8.8
9.4
8.8
8.1
9.4
8.1
9.4

The sound quality of the Marantz NR1603 is on par with the best receivers. The fresh sound comes from a combination of factors: a high signal-to-noise ratio of 98 dB, a broad frequency response of 10Hz–100kHz and a total harmonic distortion of 0.08 percent. These features create an audio experience that minimizes noise and distortion, which can ruin a music session or a movie. The seven-channel surround sound and single-channel subwoofer give you a riveting home theater experience.

A SHARC processor provides digital-to-analog conversion that breathes new life into your digital music library. The input sensitivity and impedance of the amplifier are more than adequate to power your surround sound system. The NR1603 possesses a peak power output and continuous power output of 50 watts per channel. While this number may seem low, a 100-watt system is only three decibels louder, a minor difference in loudness as far as your ears are concerned.

I/O Ports
Compare
8.8/10
Yamaha RX-V
Sony STR-DN
Marantz NR
Yamaha Aventage
Yamaha HTR
Pioneer VSX
Harman Kardon AVR
Sony STR-DH
Pioneer Elite
NAD T
10
9.4
8.8
9.4
8.8
9.4
8.8
8.1
7.5
6.9

The Marantz NR1603 is home to an outstanding variety of ports. The six HDMI inputs ensure that you'll be able to connect a myriad of devices to your home theater. The HDMI output to the TV also has audio return functionality to bring audio from the TV back to your receiver. The NR1603 has no Wi-Fi connection, but it does have an Ethernet port for your network connection. The front USB port connects the receiver to MP3 players and flash media to access your music and photo library.

This receiver has multi-zone support that allows you to put speakers in multiple rooms. There is a wide assortment of other ports: component, composite, optical and coaxial audio. The unit also includes a headphone jack, an FM radio and a setup microphone used for speaker calibration.

Features
Compare
10/10
Yamaha RX-V
Sony STR-DN
Marantz NR
Yamaha Aventage
Yamaha HTR
Pioneer VSX
Harman Kardon AVR
Sony STR-DH
Pioneer Elite
NAD T
10
10
10
9.4
7.5
7.5
8.8
6.3
8.1
6.3

The NR1603 has a high quality set of features. The receiver is fully compatible with 3D video and includes 1080p video scaling, but no 4K video support. The network media server can access the music and photos stored on the computers connected to your home network. This digital receiver supports internet radio and Apple AirPlay. A downloadable Android or iOS app lets you use a tablet or smartphone as a remote control for the NR1603.

This home theater component also supports direct USB connectivity with your iPod. An optional Bluetooth adaptor is available for the NR1603. Dynamic volume by Audyssey gives you excellent audio quality and fidelity even when the volume is low.

Help & Support
Compare
10/10
Yamaha RX-V
Sony STR-DN
Marantz NR
Yamaha Aventage
Yamaha HTR
Pioneer VSX
Harman Kardon AVR
Sony STR-DH
Pioneer Elite
NAD T
10
10
10
10
8.8
7.5
7.5
7.5
8.8
8.8

The manufacturer's warranty provided by Marantz is three years. This is the longest warranty we saw in this product category. Marantz also has phone and email support, online FAQs and a user guide that comes with the NR1603. Marantz responded within a couple days to our email regarding the receiver.

 

 

Marantz NR Summary:
9.4/10

The Marantz NR1603 is a wonderful little receiver. The performance and sound quality are phenomenal. Even without Wi-Fi, this receiver has enough ports to accommodate all of the devices in your home theater. The features are a nice bonus on a solid receiver. The technical support shines with an outstanding three-year warranty. This is an attractive receiver with enough style to match its attitude in the home theater.

 
 
 

Marantz NR 1603

Pros
Low distortion and a high signal-to-noise ratio give this receiver a superior sound quality.

Cons
There is no Wi-Fi connectivity.

The Verdict
: 9.38/10

The Marantz NR1603 AV receiver provides high-quality sound and easy controls in your home theater.