- Manufacturer & Model
- Marantz PM7000N Network Integrated Amplifier
Traditional Marantz physical attributes, broad wired and wireless connectivity, onboard moving magnet phono input, three-line OLED display, 60 watts per channel of power, built-in HEOS, a clean and refined sound.
Marantz's PM7000N is an all-in-one stereo processor and amp. Its native streaming capabilities are robust, and it has plenty of wired connectivity, including phono. The amp's 60 watts per channel provide plenty of power for easy- to moderate speaker demands, and Marantz's employment of HDAM technology leads to an exceedingly clean sound. Despite middling headphone capabilities, the PM700N is a solid stereo component that should appeal to novice and advanced users, alike.
In my last review, we took Denon's PMA-150H Integrated Network Amplifier for a spin, finding plenty of pep under the hood and appealing layers of connectivity. Today, we're turning our attention to another integrated from Sound United's camp: Marantz's PM7000N Network Integrated Amplifier ($999). While it's tempting to drag the PMA-150H into the conversation for a direct head-to-head comparison, the larger and less expensive PM7000N deserves a spotlight of its own. That won't stop me from mentioning the 150H from time to time, so you may want to hit pause and read that integrated's review first.
With that said, let's explore the PM7000N's audio capabilities.
Having traveled some 2,600 miles from a west coast warehouse to the suburbs of Washington DC, my PM7000N sample survived its journey in factory-fresh condition. Marantz's choice in packaging is routinely robust and up to the task, and the PM7000N proves to be more of the same. Its double-walled box, littered with logos that proudly advertise Marantz and its technology partners, is thick and sturdy. And a professionally designed packaging system – complete with form-fitting styrofoam and protective wrap – provides excellent internal protection while serving as an appropriate appetizer for the gorgeous gear inside.
The PM7000N ships with a few extras, including a physical remote and batteries, Wi-Fi antennae, several cables, a quick start guide, and advertising inserts. But the real show-stopper is the PM7000N itself. Those of you partial to the look and feel of Marantz's AV receivers will instantly embrace the PM7000N's physical appearance; it's traditional Marantz across the board, complete with a flat faceplate flanked by curved sides and a machined-metal badge. Marantz's iconic porthole display is all that's missing, but its larger rectangular replacement is well worth the aesthetic sacrifice.
It's practically a full-sized component, something the space-friendly Denon PMA-150H can't claim. Measuring roughly 17" wide, 5" tall, and 15" deep (from front knobs to rear speaker posts), it can stack with most other Marantz gear. While not as deep or tall as a traditional AV receiver, its width remains fairly demanding of space, so keep that in mind as you consider the PM7000N's overall utility. Heft-wise, lifting the PM7000N imparts a sense of strength and confidence, as its bottom-heavy 23-plus pounds is pronounced.
Marantz's choice of materials, from a brushed metal faceplate to textured knobs and copper-colored chassis screws, boast a sense of elevated quality. The same can be said of the PM7000N's SPKT-1+ speaker terminals, thick bottom plate, and notched selector knob. Let's not forget the volume knob, which turns with a softness and weight that goes hand-in-hand with premium audio.
Much like Denon's PMA-150H, the PM7000N's display is a monochrome three-line OLED panel. While lacking color and the ability to display graphics, it's functional and enhances the user experience. I found it easy to read from a distance, and it isn't an intrusive source of light in a dark environment. In other words, the PM7000N can hold court in a bedroom or as part of a media system without causing a room to glow.
Connectivity and Controls
While the PM7000N can receive digital audio from a television through a dedicated optical input, it's not equipped to decode non-PCM signals (such as Dolby Digital), nor does it have video processing or video passthrough capabilities. If you're looking for that kind of performance, stop reading here and start researching AV receivers. The PM7000N is strictly an audio-centric device.
The chassis's large back panel nixes the PMA-150H's dedicated AM/FM antennae hook-ups in favor of a moving magnet phono input (a step-up transformer is needed for moving-coil compatibility). You'll also find the addition of gold-plated stereo outputs and three sets of gold-plated stereo inputs. The PMA-150H's rear Type-B USB-DAC computer-direct connection is also removed, as is its front-mounted Type-A USB port. Instead, the PM7000N offers access to a single rear 5-volt/1-amp Type-USB port for use with thumb drives. Unfortunately, this port can't be used for wired connections with a PC or Mac.
Rounding out wired connectivity are two optical inputs, a single coaxial connection, Ethernet, and remote control connectors. You'll also find speaker posts that are shockingly nice for a sub-$1,000 integrated amp. These terminals are a Marantz original, featuring copper construction, silver plating, and beefy clear plastic wire guides. While the silver surface of the terminals offers less purchase than cheaper plastic 5-way versions, the SPKT-1+ is a beautiful appointment on the PM7000N and one of many upgraded rear-panel materials not available on Denon's 150H.
Roaming around the front, the PM7000N ditches the 150H's touch-sensitive controls in favor of a full array of physical knobs and buttons. Much like a traditional receiver, its input and volume knobs flank the unit's OLED display, which hovers over a trio of tone controls and a Source Direct button. A circular menu and playback button cluster is neatly nestled beside the OLED screen, allowing for hands-on menu navigation and track control.
The front panel also carries a 1/4" headphone jack, but headphone fans won't find access to a discrete output stage or gain control. This is a departure from the headphone-friendly PMA-150H, which possesses both. That said, headphone connectivity remains a welcomed add-on feature.
Wirelessly speaking, the PM7000N is well endowed. Being a Sound United product, it's locked and loaded with HEOS and compatibility with the HEOS app (iOS, Android, Amazon) for sourcing content from devices, networked computers (DLNA 1.5), built-in services like TIDAL, Pandora, SiriusXM and Spotify, and control over a multi-room HEOS audio system. It also offers access to Bluetooth 4.1 and Apple AirPlay 2, in addition to being Roon Certified. Much like the PMA-150H, Qobuz isn't natively supported, so users will need to stream Qobuz through Roon, AirPlay 2, Bluetooth, or a UPnP workaround.
Lastly, the PM7000N ships with a remote control that's practically identical to the PMA-150H's remote. Changes include a textured plastic face that mimics brushed metal, black and silver coloring, and a slightly altered button arrangement. The remote feels good in the hands and delivers broad control over playback features but lacks backlighting for the vast majority of buttons. This oversight renders it useless in dark environments. Still, owners can use a television remote to control the PM7000N and let's not forget about the HEOS app, which provides access to nearly every control necessary save for the Sleep function.
The PM7000N's Class A/B amp section delivers 60 watts per channel (8 ohms, 5Hz - 100kHz, 2ch) or 80 watts per channel into 4 ohms, which is enough juice to drive moderate- to high-sensitivity speakers. Dynamics are achieved by tapping 32 amps of current on-demand, and performance is tuned by Marantz's use of SA3 Hyper-Dynamic Amp Modules (HDAM) in the feedback power amplifier circuits and a new preamp section with advanced electronic volume control for improved linear control and channel separation.
Interference is limited thanks to a low-vibration double-shielded toroidal transformer and a fully encased digital circuit. And for the ultimate in noise elimination, owners can initiate various Pure Audio modes that turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth circuits and Network and USB functionalities. Initiating those modes practically transforms the PM7000N into a true analog performer.
The phono circuit's FET (field-effect transistor) on the input stage also lends to a simplified signal path. Marantz says this design nixes the need for AC coupling capacitors, laying the groundwork for less distortion and better signal purity.
DAC-wise, digital to analog conversion is handled by an AKM4490EQ chip that accepts up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution across all inputs. Gapless playback can be enjoyed for FLAC, WAV, ALAC, and DSD (up to 5.6) files, which isn't always the case for network players. If gapless support means relatively little to you, try listening to albums without it. You'll soon find that your favorite music loses a bit of its luster without proper transitions between songs.
Like Denon's 150H, the PM7000N practically sets itself up, taking only minutes, guided by simple instructions displayed on the integrated's display. Toss in the ability to share network passwords via your iPhone, and the process is a snap.
This kind of ease-of-use is a common theme for the PM7000N, much of which revolves around the HEOS app. It's a gateway to intuitive playback of your favorite sources, including built-in streaming services and playback control of a larger network of HEOS enabled gear. The biggest zonk on HEOS is a lack of MQA support for TIDAL Masters tracks and non-existent support for Qobuz. There are workarounds for Qobuz, but they remove you from the comfy confines of the HEOS experience. That said, HEOS does enough well that I can forgive these oversights (but I'd like to see them addressed with future updates).
I installed the PM7000N in my home theater room, on a platform just beneath my cinemascope screen, and connected it to SVS's Ultra Towers using bannana plugs. Having found success coaxing great sound from the Ultras using the Denon PMA-150H, I thought I'd use the same speakers for this evaluation.
The PM7000N carries a single subwoofer output, allowing owners to reduce the amp's workload by shifting some heavy lifting to an active speaker. If you go the sub route, the system's settings allow for a crossover point between 40Hz and 120Hz. There's not much wiggle room for fine-tuning, though, as owners can only make changes in increments of 20Hz. Beyond that, and simple tone controls, the PM7000N lacks any sort of EQ or bass management software.
Because the PM7000N is a streaming dynamo, there are a million and one ways to feed it high-quality audio. Switching between sources using an iPhone equipped with streaming apps and HEOS provides endless avenues for music, and it's SIMPLE. Anyone, even those that find technology intimidating, will find the experience pleasant and easy to execute. For moments where physical sources, like a CD player, are desired, the PM7000N's notched selector knob is another option. It's a joy to turn, feels great to the fingers, and the easy-to-read display makes source selection obvious.
For purposes of this review, I choose to tap the power of Roon and the PM7000N's Airplay 2 capabilities (unless otherwise noted) for access to the catalogs of Qobuz and TIDAL. This arrangement provides 16-bit/44.1kHz audio resolution, which is universally recognized as CD-quality sound.
Before asking the PM7000N to drive the Ultra Towers, I took its headphone capabilities for a spin with Acoustic Research's AR-H1 Planar Magnetic Headphones. Before hitting play, I listened for an elevated noise floor as volume was increased to 100, finding everything to be whisper quiet save for the most extreme end of the spectrum.
My first stop was Orbital's "Adnan's" (Qobuz), using the track to explore dynamics and clarity. Plenty of power was available for the AR-H1's, leading to fleshed-out bass and sonic crispness. Tonally speaking, the experience wasn't as balanced and composed as the headphone capabilities of the Denon PMA-150H. The presentation was more treble pronounced and lacked the smoothness and refinement the 150H delivers. Norah Jones's "Sunrise" (Qobuz) revealed a similar scenario, with the 150H producing a richer blend from top to bottom and better low-end definition. The PM7000N didn't strip away Jones's wonderfully soft voice, nor did it introduce unwanted distortion, making it a justifiable driver for headphones. That said, true headphone fans looking for refinement might find greener pastures elsewhere.
Turning to the SVS Ultra Towers, I revisited Jones's "Sunrise" and was instantly treated to a delicious audio affair. Balance, tonality, and gracious imaging came to the forefront. I was particularly impressed with the definition of stringed instruments. Plenty of power pushed the song along, too. Elevating volume levels, I called upon "Nightingale" (Qobuz) and Jones's voice exploded with raw definition. As the song picked up, the PM7000N kept pace, offering smooth flowing bass and detailed strings. Pushing volume levels even higher, distortion became audible, but we're talking about SPLs hitting around 100dB. The PM7000N was extremely comfortable when backed off just a tad, throwing a confident presentation – quite impressive considering the full-sized speakers it was tasked with driving.
Next up was James Taylor's Sweet Baby James (2019 Remastered, TIDAL). Taylor's voice is naked and clean on this recording, and the PM7000N delivered, separating his vocals from the songs' instruments with distinction. "Country Road" imaged with pinpoint accuracy and placement of instruments, and vocals were fully revealed and razor-sharp. And "Fire and Rain" held a refined quality that transported me to a studio-like experience. This song, in particular, places Taylor's voice dead center, surrounded by a specific spatiality of instruments and drums – the PM7000N nailed it, delivering a complex and composed image.
The Black Crowes’ Southern Harmony and Musical Companion (TIDAL) is an album that carries a rich studio-session feel. The PM7000N brought that character to life, grinding out a thick and gritty presentation. From the opening moments of "Sting Me" to the whimsical finale of "Time Will Tell," I was bathed with a life-like studio presence. The natural flavor of "Thorn in My Pride" was a highlight track, displaying distinct channel separation with a notable placement of instruments and Chris Robinson's southern rock vocals. From the analog nature of the song's lead-in acoustic strings to the dirty growl of a late-song guitar solo, the PM7000N treated the song's textures with white gloves.
To give low-end playback a bit more of a test, I tapped Whethan's bass-rich "Good Nights" (TIDAL). This is an extremely clean track that throws an intricate soundstage with pulsating width and moments of stretching down a room's sidewalls. The PM7000N effectively guided those feats, etching the song's echoey textures and details, while fueling the Ultra towers with enough pep to keep up with the song's chest-pounding bass. Impressive.
The simplicities you expect from networked gear were easy to enjoy with the PM7000N. Achieving AirPlay 2 connectivity direct from an app like Qobuz went off without a hitch, and the command and control offered by the HEOS app allowed music sessions to focus on listening aspects rather than grappling with technology. For those of you yearning for access to FM radio, the inclusion of TuneIn in the HEOS app provides online access to radio stations. The quality I experienced was a tad compressed for my tastes but is adequate for talk radio. Otherwise, the PM7000N's wireless functionalities are stable and bug-free, guaranteeing a seamless playback experience.
Marantz's PM7000N Network Integrated Amplifier offers loads of performance for its $999 price tag. Its easy-to-use nature is a significant benefit for tech-shy buyers, and its audio capabilities are sure to please owners looking for high-quality playback capabilities. While the integrated's smaller chassis doesn't offer a tremendous amount of placement flexibility, its size is perfect for media center and table-top duties.
The biggest knock on the PM7000N is average headphone driving capacities. That's easily forgiven if traditional speakers account for the vast majority of your listening habits. Throw in broad spectrum wireless capabilities, HEOS connectivity, a phono circuit, and the ability to playback audio from a television, and the PM7000N truly shines as a high-quality audio option. Much like Denon's PMA-150H, Marantz's alternative brings a lot to the table, making it easy to recommend as a centerpiece to a stereo-centric audio system.
Marantz PM7000N Network Integrated Amplifier Specifications
- 60 watts x 2 channels into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.02% THD
- 80 watts x 2 channels into 4 ohms
- 24-bit/192kHz digital-to-analog conversion
- Compatibility with high-res PCM-based files (up to 24-bit/192kHz) and DSD files (up to 5.6MHz)
- Hyper Dynamic Amplifier Module and current feedback amplification
- Bluetooth 4.1
- Headphone amplifier
- Treble and Bass tone controls
- Source Direct modes
- frequency response 5-100,000 Hz (±3dB)
- signal-to-noise ratio: 115 dB (line in), 87 dB (phono)
- Built-in Wi-Fi
- Access to TIDAL, Pandora, Amazon HD, TuneIn, and others
- free HEOS app
- Works with Amazon Alexa and Google Home
- Apple AirPlay 2
- Multi-room audio with compatible wireless speakers and devices
- 2 optical digital and 1 coaxial digital inputs
- Rear Type-A USB port
- 3 stereo RCA audio inputs
- Phono input for use with a moving magnet cartridge
- Stereo RCA audio outputs
- 1/4" headphone output
- SPKT-1+ post speaker terminals
- Single RCA subwoofer output
- 17-3/8"W x 4-15/16"H x 14-15/16"D
- weight: 23.81 lbs.