In the world of high-end home theater, there are two brands that tend to dominate the AV receiver market – Denon and Marantz – so when either one launches a new flagship product, home theater enthusiasts tend to stand up and listen.
This week, it's Marantz with the new Cinema 30, which is packed to the brim with all the latest capabilities that you'd expect to power an elite home cinema, such as support for 8K video, surround sound formats like Dolby Atmos and Wi-Fi for watching the best streaming services.
The news comes hot on the heels of Denon's new 8K AV receiver with Dolby Atmos launching, which is another seriously impressive model that we at the time thought was the pinnacle of elite home theater gear. But now that the Cinema 30 has arrived, we may have to reconsider.
How does the Marantz Cinema 30 compare to Denon's AVC-X6800H?
Marantz and Denon are both owned by the same conglomerate called Masimo (the companies had merged in 2002 before being sold off), but have long established histories before that.
While their respective lineups of AV receivers may appear on first glance to be very similar, when put side-by-side there are some very subtle design features that make them slightly different. The biggest being the iconic Marantz porthole, which is further emphasized by the fold down panel that conceals a display and controls.
On the connectivity front, the Cinema 30 is just as impressive on paper as the AVC-X6800H though, with 8K support for seven HDMI inputs, three HDMI outputs and 11 channels of amplification that Marantz says can extend to 13.4 channels in pre-amp mode if you want to add an external amplifier. There's also HEOS, Spotify Connect, AirPlay 2 and Bluetooth built-in.
The Cinema 30 is also well-equipped to handle all the latest spatial audio formats, including Dolby Atmos, IMAX Enhanced, DTS:X Pro and Auro 3D, with 140 watts per channel. It runs on a Sharc Dual DSP chipset with a 32-bit ESS Sabre DAC, which means it can decode anything you throw at it.
Out of the brand's 2024 flagship models, it's too early to say which has the edge over the other but as far as specs go, they're both vying to outdo one another. Denon currently dominates our best AV receivers guide, but that might not be for much longer.
The Marantz Cinema 30 is available to buy now (January 30) for the premium price tag of $4,500 in the US and £3,900 in the UK.
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Amelia became the Senior Editor for Home Entertainment at TechRadar in the UK in April 2023. With a background of more than eight years in tech and finance publishing, she's now leading our coverage to bring you a fresh perspective on everything to do with TV and audio. When she's not tinkering with the latest gadgets and gizmos in the ever-evolving world of home entertainment, you’ll find her watching movies, taking pictures and travelling.