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Anthem’s 2016 range of home cinema receivers – lots of new additions

Anthem-MRX-1120_L4_1200

Anthem has added new products to its home cinema range with three new integrated models, an A/V pre-amplifier and three multi-channel power amplifiers. For those of you who don’t know Anthem, the Canadian brand has long been making a name for itself in private screening theatres and its success is due to the outstanding performances of its receivers.

Anthem’s new 2016 edition home cinema receivers guaranteed power

Often lacking streaming features, Anthem home cinema receivers focus on power. A quick glance at this receiver could be deceiving as the power output stated by Anthem is often lower than that of its Asian counterparts’. Only Anthem fits its receivers with power components designed to deliver or keep up the rhythm when the receiver operates at full power with all channels active. In other words, Anthem receivers last the pace and don’t falter. A monitoring system is installed in each model to prevent any clipping and to use the amplification to its full potential without excess.

Anthem MRX-520

The Anthem MRX-520 is the first in the 2016 range. It is a 5.2 model capable of delivering 2×100 Watts in stereo and approximately 60 Watts simultaneously for each of the other three channels. To explain, if the power of the front left and right channels is higher than that of the other channels, this is because the multi-channel tracks of DVD and Blu-ray discs contain more sound data, particularly in the low frequencies, than the other channels. Even though the central channel delivers over 50% of the overall sound, it does not convey many low frequencies and therefore requires less power from the amplification section than the left and right channels. Anthem lays its cards on the table, as it is, to the best of our knowledge, the only brand to indicate the available power for secondary channels as the major brands only state the power output of the two front channels or even of just the one.

Anthem MRX-520

Is 60 Watts enough power? Yes, except if you are using low sensitivity speakers or  if you would like to obtain a very high sound level in a very large listening room. If this is the case, the Anthem home cinema receivers should be paired up with a power unit, designed specifically for this purpose.

Anthem’s new 2016 edition home cinema receivers – HDMI 2.0 and Dolby Atmos

The Anthem MRX-520 uses a microphone calibration system – ARC, Anthem Room Correction. This is a high performing system which corrects the frequency response, phase and delay of surround channels and the subwoofer channel (LFE). The HDMI connectors meet the 2.0 standard with HDCP 2.2 support, compatible with the new UHD Blu-ray discs. The integrated video scaler scales up to 4K format. The decoding of HD audio streams (DTS HD, Dolby, etc.) is carried out by the 32 bit/768 kHz DACs. For a realistic but calm listening experience, Anthem has included Dolby Volume technology. The receiver can be operated using the IP with the Anthem app for iOS and Android. The MRX-520 features 7.2 pre-out outputs.

The Anthem MRX-720 is a 7.2 model which reaches a power output of 2×140 W for the front side channels and 5×60 W for the others. These two additional amplified channels can support the Dolby Atmos format (5.2.2) and DTS:X and even the Dolby Atmos 7.2.4 via its 11.2 pre-out outputs.

DTS Play-Fi

Anthem’s new 2016 edition home cinema receivers – integrated DTS Play-Fi

Another new addition is the integrated DTS Play-Fi technology, enabling multi-room management of several Anthem receivers and in particular multiple streaming services such as Deezer, Spotify or Tidal. Playing Internet radio or HD audio files stored in a NAS, smartphone or tablet is also possible.

The Anthem MRX-1120 is an 11.2 model with an identical power output (2×140 W + 9×60 W), fitted with a toroidal transformer. It has also inherited similar features to the other models.

Anthem MRX-1120

An inside view of the Anthem MRX-1120

Anthem’s new 2016 edition home cinema receivers – 3 extremely powerful power receivers

The Anthem MCA 225, Anthem MCA 325 and Anthem MCA 525 power amps can be used with the integrated models via their pre-out outputs. These power units each produce respectively 2×250 W, 3×250 W and 5×250 W.

Anthem AVM-60

Lastly, the Anthem AVM-60 home cinema pre-amp adopts the pre-amplifier section of integrated models – HDMI 2.0, 4K scaler, Dolby Atmos or DTS Play-Fi are therefore available.

These Anthem components are designed to take full advantage of any speaker, be it compact or floor-standing. It’s worth noting that the models from the previous range, Anthem MRX310, Anthem MRX510 and Anthem MRX710 are still available. A real treat for real-life cinema sound enthusiasts.

This post is also available in: French

About the author

Tristan Jacquel

Tristan est rédacteur chez Son-Vidéo.com. Passionné de musique, d'acoustique et de high-tech, il réalise notamment les tests matériels pour notre blog.

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