Despite the fact, that a Marantz SR8012 is regarded as a receiver, it doesn't have an integrated tuner, so from a technical standpoint, it is an AV amplifier. At the same time, after checking the Marantz SR8012 specs, it is better to call the device a universal unit, which can provide a user with all the most actual functions. It supports a great number of audio formats, has 11 channels, and offers such connectivity interfaces, like a Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and IEEE 802.3. Thanks to the great possibilities it was interesting to test the Marantz SR8012.
The Marantz unit can boast a two-tone effect, matte curved sides, and a brushed metal central section. The round display has small dimensions, so I perceive it as a cosmetic feature. Behind a drop-down flap, there is an informative display with big figures and words, which are clearly visible under all conditions and from different angles. The drop-down flap not only keeps a front panel clean but hides inputs, connectors, and buttons. I had a silver-gold device, but the series includes also a classic black color. The receiver’s corpus looks very aesthetic and it was really a great pleasure to make visual Marantz SR8012 review. After touching on the surface I didn't see fingerprints, I guess that material has a special protection. Most of the connections are on the back side and works without problems. In general, the device looks presentable and may become an unusual decoration, performing very useful functions. The Marantz SR8012 comes with a high-end remote control. The detail is black but has silver trim and looks expensive. The buttons on it are located thoughtfully, as it is comfortable to control it even with the help of a thumb.
Thanks to the full support for Dolby Atmos, and Auro-3D, it is possible to run a full-fledged 7.2.4 setup just out of the box. The HEOS multi-room system presented me an access to Hi-Res Audio, Spotify Connect, and Tidal. A special attention I want to pay to the Amazon Alexa, and DTS Virtual: X voice commands. All these features work well and I really was amazed at their response because to control the receiver was possible only with the help of a few phrases. Among my favorite peculiarities there are 40 preset FM/AM stations with great signal, built-in clock, and sleep timer. After all these pleasant things I faced with a problem related to the firmware update. Upgrading became a reason for harsh sound and unbalanced channels. One more thing: I was shocked when it appeared that I couldn’t connect to the Apple AirPlay on the first try. I'm sure that performed all the setting operations right and after fifth trying I finally did it. The saddest is that I still don't know the reason for the appearance of such a strange situation.
The device allows listening to the music in a lot of formats. There were sometimes some unpredictable pauses and strange turnings off, but after resetting the problems disappeared. A Marantz app shows me the new level of controlling the receiver’s options. For example, I can provide deep settings, change volume, turn to the next song or to the next FM station only with a few touches. I use my smartphone because it is more comfortable than take the remote control and perform changes.
The detailed and smooth sound is amazing. It didn't call unwanted attention to itself. The taught bass was very relevant, especially in the movie scenes, where there were gunfire and explosions. All the effects are very realistic, so the first movie watching was a little bit stressful for me. I thought that there was something wrong in another room and I couldn't relax. Actually, such sound, which involves, is a great feature for everyone, who loves a true and "alive" sound.
On the rear panel, there are 7 HDMI inputs and 3 HDMI outputs. All of them support 4K/60p, 4:4:4, 3D, 21:9 Video, High Dynamic Range, and Wide Color Gamut. The presence of a front-panel USB port for using USB memory devices is a great advantage for me. Actually, the Marantz SR8012 specs fully respond to the reality and the creators did their utmost to take care of the connectivity. I tested almost all of the inputs and outputs; there were no problems with them at all.
The receiver's on-screen menu showed me the whole setting process, so made a mistake was almost impossible. It displayed an instruction on how to wire the dynamics made an Audyssey calibration and connect all the components. Surprisingly, but the Audyssey right identified my speakers as “small”, moreover, the cross-overs setting was also very accurate. The Marantz selects Default Reference Balance by default and such choice is entirely justifying. I have optimally working speakers in my room so I decided to experiment and change the sound mode. For me, the best one is a Front, as it perfectly fits my small room and creates all the relevant sound conditions.
Perhaps, Marantz is not a very famous brand, but the receiver SR8012 is worthy to pay attention to. The unit can offer a user Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, IEEE 802.3, 11 channels, Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Auro-3D, HEOS multi-room system, 40 preset FM/AM stations, Hi-Res Audio, Spotify Connect, and Tidal. Problems with the firmware update, unpredictable pauses in work, strange turnings off and failure with the Apple AirPlay became a little bit disappointing to me.