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Podcast #722: Marantz SR6010 Review

It was a couple of years ago that we heard our first demo of immersive surround sound. It was at CES that the then SRS Laboratories made sounds dangle in mid air. Then we heard about Dolby Atmos which did the same thing first in the cinema and now in the home. Speaker manufacturers quickly jumped on board and created upfiring speakers that bounce sounds off the ceiling to create a dome of sound and receiver manufacturers developed products that made the speakers work.

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Marantz SR6010 Review

It was a couple of years ago that we heard our first demo of immersive surround sound. It was at CES that the then SRS Laboratories made sounds dangle in mid air. Then we heard about Dolby Atmos which did the same thing first in the cinema and now in the home. Speaker manufacturers quickly jumped on board and created upfiring speakers that bounce sounds off the ceiling to create a dome of sound and receiver manufacturers developed products that made the speakers work.

One such receiver is the Marantz SR6010 (Buy Now $1399). The SR6010 is loaded with features and specifically is Atmos capable. The major features are listed below:


  • Dolby Atmos Built-In; DTS:X Ready - Supports 5.1.4 or 7.1.2 channel Atmos experience provided that you add an external stereo amplifier. Support for DTSX is provided with a firmware upgrade.
  • High Grade Audio Components
  • Built-in Bluetooth & Wi-Fi; Music Streaming; AirPlay
  • Latest HDMI 2.0a Connectivity; HDCP 2.2 Compatible; ISF-Certified - The SR6010 is about as future proof as you can get right now. It supports 4K Ultra HD 60Hz video, 4:4:4 Pure Color sub-sampling, High Dynamic Range (HDR) and 21:9 video, 3D, and BT.2020 pass-through so you can buy your new Ultra HD player and connect it to this receiver with confidence. Certified by the Imaging Science Foundation and comes with a full suite of video calibration controls (for use by an ISF technician), along with ISF Day and ISF Night video modes. The SR6010 will upconvert standard definition and high definition analog and digital video content to 4K Ultra HD
  • Powerful 7 Channel Discrete Amplifier with ECO Mode - Each channel is rated at 110 watts (8 ohms, 20Hz~20kHz, .08%THD), and all channels can drive 4 ohm speakers with no issues. The receiver adjusts power consumption according to signal level and the power reduction is displayed on your screen in real time.
  • Audyssey Platinum DSP Suite - With the supplied measurement microphone, MultEQ XT32 analyzes each speaker's output (including the subwoofers) at up to 8 measurement locations and generates precision digital filters that optimize each channel for the correct frequency and time domain response.
  • Multi-Source/Multi-Room
  • Dual Subwoofer Outputs
  • External Control Capabilities - The SR6010 can also be set up and operated by a home computer on the network via IP control, either via wired LAN connection or via Wi-Fi wireless connection. The SR6010 also features Control4 SDDP (Simple Device Detection Protocol) and Crestron Connected certification for quick and easy integration with Control4 and Crestron home automation equipment.



Setup was like just about every other receiver with the following notable points. In order to use the Atmos speakers you need an external amp. In Ara’s case that meant disconnecting the rear surround speakers from the Emotiva amp and connecting them to the Marantz. The Kef Atmos speakers were connected to the Emotiva amp and the Atmos pre-outs connected the Marantz to the Emotiva. Setting up the receiver was really easy because of the cool setup wizard that Marantz developed. You simply respond to the questions on the screen and then listen to make sure the speaker is sup up correctly.  This eliminates the need to determine which mode you need to put the receiver in to get your Atmos setup right. To be honest Ara doesn’t even know what the speaker settings have been set to, but he knows it works!

Next up was to run the Audyssey calibration. Marantz includes a cardboard mic stand which makes placing the mic in 8 locations easy. Give yourself some time for this step. The sequence is run for each speaker times eight spots. The onscreen guide tells you where to place the mic so you get a proper calibration. Albeit a long process.



While we discuss how well music sounds on each receiver it's not the focus of our reviews. For completeness we’ll tell you that the SR6010 sounds quite good. We listened to music via Airplay and through an AppleTV. Classical piano sounds phenomenal! Rock and roll was tight and jazz had some great bass. To Ara’s ear the music sounded a little brighter than the Pioneer Elite that it replaced. It will play FLAC HD, ALAC, WAV192/24 and DSD.  In a nutshell, even audiophiles will find the SR6010 as a capable receiver.

From Marantz:

The SR6010 uses very high grade audio components that have been carefully selected. The whole internal circuit further enhances audio quality by delicately handling all signals via the Marantz designed HDAMs in Current Feedback topology before they reach the speakers. Marantz HDAM (Hyper Dynamic Amplifier Module) technology found on the company’s™ Reference Series components provides superior low noise wideband performance in an all-discrete configuration, compared to conventional op amp ICs. HDAM technology provides an ultra-fast slew rate for true wideband response and maximum dynamic range to deliver optimum sound quality with today's high resolution audio formats.


As stated earlier the SR6010 is as about future proof as you can get. From Atmos to 4K with HDR and the wider color gamut this receiver is made for video. We did not watch any 4K content or upconvert anything to 4K because this was installed in the projector room which is 1080p. The video was passed through without any processing and looked great. There was no noticeable change over the Pioneer that was replaced. But the main purpose of buying this receiver was to listen to Atmos movies. By the way, because we set it up in an Atmos configuration you are not able to use it with multiple zones.  Not an issue in our homes but something to consider.

First up was American Sniper. We didn’t expect too much but we figured there would be some Atmos in helicopter scenes and the big dust storm. What we got was nothing. We removed the speaker grill to see if there was any movement on the speaker cone and we didn’t see anything. This had us wondering if they were set up properly. After a quick check we determined that everything was fine and moved on to the next disc.

San Andreas was up next. In this movie we got a lot of action as buildings were falling everywhere. We saw that the Atmos speakers were getting a workout in the appropriate places. But there was so much going on it was hard to say yes, I hear the Atmos speakers. This led us to question the need for Atmos in a smallish (18X20) room. We can definitely see that in a big theater having more speakers can immerse you in the auditory experience. But we have felt that way about a 7.1 setup as well. Perhaps these examples are too bombastic but the experience in our room was not earth shattering. Maybe it's supposed to be subtle and maybe Atmos was doing exactly as it was supposed to.

Then we watched Divergent. Right from the beginning you could tell that this was what Atmos was supposed to be. There was a brief Atmos demo before the feature that showed off the technology. The demo had what sounded like footsteps running across the ceiling that highlighted the Atmos speakers. It sounded so good Ara immediately called downstairs to his wife and kids to come up and listen to the demo. Everyone agreed that the demo was truly immersive. But in this case there were no explosions or buildings falling down to drown out the Atmos speakers so Dolby was able highlight the technology well. Once the movie started you could tell that this was a very good Atmos mix. You did feel that there was a bubble of sound around you albeit subtle.

By the way, the audio in general sounded incredible! The SR6010 matched with the Kef Q series speakers and the Hsu subwoofer sounded better than most movie theaters. Dialog was crystal clear deep and rich. And effects put you in the middle of the action. The subwoofer let you feel what was going on. A definite improvement over the older Pioneer Elite that was in it's place. The upgrade was worth it for that alone. Plus I am now ready for 4K and UHD Blu-ray.



When done right an Atmos mix is more immersive even in a smaller room. Not drop everything and upgrade better, but more like if I am going to upgrade my receiver to 4K I better make sure it supports Atmos too. Atmos speakers mounted in the ceiling would be the best way to experience this technology but the upfiring speakers do a decent job as well. Expect that the change in your movie experience will be subtle but noticeable.

Download Episode #722

Reader Comments (6)

I noted the lack of "wow" factor with one of the discs you played (American Sniper). I had a similar experience watching the new Star Wars in the theater with my family over the holidays.

I specifically sought out a Dolby Atmos theater to see Star Wars in. The manager of the theater greeted everyone before the start of the feature, and even highlighted the fact that they were a Dolby Atmos theater. I truly anticipated an immersive sound experience, and was ultimately disappointed. The sound was certainly good, but it did not seem as immersive as I had thought it would be. In fact, I don't recall a single moment in the film where I noticed any sound effect "placed" in a position other than what could be achieved with "regular" 7.1 surround.

What has been the experience of other HDTV Podcast fans? Have you been to an Atmos movie that really "wowed" you and stood out? Maybe I need to seek out something like Divergent to experience the difference.

January 15, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterGreg Meece

A good article about the 3D Replay technology that you talked about is here in relation to Super Bowl L :

The 3D Replay Effect uses 36 cameras placed all around the stadium. The crazier thing is the 16 cameras and microphones that are placed in the pylons that can be used for replay review of goal line situations and to shot the sidelines. Should be interesting.

January 15, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterTommy Bruno

I think the Blueray palyer will die before the receiver will. With streaming becoming more popular, if one manufacturer begins to include streaming app or some ability to play back iso's from a NAS, that day will be the first nail in the coffin for the Blueray player.

January 18, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCalvin Ty

I've been looking for a good Atmos demo. After hearing your review, I was going to get a copy of Divergent. I couldn't find a Blu Ray edition with Atmos. Is that a special edition? I saw that Insurgent has Atmos however.


January 22, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJoe Linn

I echo the exact same experience as Greg. The new Star Wars film sounded no better than standard DD Surround to my ears. I haven't heard an Atmos mix that has wowed me yet. I think the only justification for an Atmos receiver upgrade would be if you plan on mounting new speakers downfiring from your ceiling. Many are of the opinion that up firing modules are not up to the job.

July 9, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBig Em

I set up my sr6010 twice because I did not hear the atmos sound from movie with atmos soundtrack. The best film I have seen is gravity and that is not a movie with atmos soundtrack.

August 18, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJohnE

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