The Marantz NR1200 is a full-sized network amplifier with more connectivity and features than any other in its class, including five (!) HDMI inputs and an HDMI output with audio return. This is where you connect your TV, so you can include your stereo in your TV entertainment.
There are also a couple of digital inputs, optical and coaxial, as well as a USB input on the front, so you can stream audio files from USB memory. Analogue inputs are also available, of course, including for turntables with MM pickup.
If you want to connect an extra power amp, you can do so with the preamp output. There are also outputs for two subwoofers, and what if the amplifier also has a DAB+ receiver! And a headphone output!
Music streaming can be done with AirPlay 2, or you can download the HEOS app. Spotify is also built in.
Developed by Marantz and Denon, HEOS is a competitor to the Sonos system. It brings all your streaming services together in one app and lets you make playlists across services. Smart. If you want high-resolution sound, however, you should download BubbleUPnP or Mconnect for your mobile, as DLNA is the only option next to downloaded music files.
Another thing I miss about HEOS is the ability to sort my Tidal songs by chronology, i.e. by when they were added. But you can only get alphabetical order by song title. With a few hundred tracks, it gets a bit tedious to navigate.
The sound of the Marantz NR1200
The NR1200 has a very nice sound; just listen to Olivia Rodrigo’s voice on “Drivers License”. Really nice timbre in the voice here, while the synth bass fills out the lower register. The piano also has a big and delicious sound. Sivert Høyem’s baritone voice sounds great in the Madrugada ballad “Ecstasy”. Especially in the midrange it sounds really distinguished. All in all, Marantz has full control over the tone quality.
Pressure and dynamics, on the other hand, are not the amplifier’s strongest points. For although there is good depth in the bass, I miss some punch in the rhythms. Compared to the Bluesound Powernode, the Marantz amp is just too cautious for my taste. It doesn’t have much more to offer in the power department than the much cheaper NAD Amp1, although the tonal quality is better on the Marantz.
The Marantz NR1200 is a stereo receiver for those who want to connect a lot of audio sources and also want DAB+ radio. Connectivity-wise, no one in this class can match it, and usability is also good with HEOS streaming. Although it’s not quite at Sonos level.
The sound quality is very good, and acoustic instruments and great singing voices sound especially great. If sound quality is more important than raw power, the NR1200 is everything you could dream of in this class.