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Digital Music Systems

Marantz M1 Streaming Amp and M4 Wireless Distribution Amplifier Aim To Disrupt A Competitive Category But Will They?

Marantz releases two all-in-one solutions for streaming digital music from one box. Find out if the M1 or M4 is right for you.

Marantz Model M1 Streaming Amplifier

Marantz has a 70-year tradition of making high-performance audio components. It newest additions are the Model M1 Wireless Streaming Amplifier and Model M4 Wireless Distribution Amplifier

Model M1 

The Model M1 is a compact wireless streaming amplifier designed to provide a great music listening experience from a variety of wireless and wired sources. In addition to providing access to both streaming and physical content, the M1 also has a built-in amplifier – just connect speakers and you are set to go. 

Marantz Model M1 Streaming Amplifier

The M1 is designed to deliver 100W of stereo output with low distortion (0.005% THD). In addition to the built-in amps, the M1 also provides a subwoofer output. User have the ability to adjust both the high-pass and low-pass filter frequencies (Crossover points) as well as +/-15dB of subwoofer level trim. This enables users to obtain just the right balance between the subwoofer and the other speakers in a system.

The Model M1 supports the Hi-res music experience over digital music streaming platforms, your network, or even USB, including 24-bit/192kHz PCM support and provision for DSD. To ensure these high-resolution signals are delivered in the best possible quality, Model M1 operates in the digital domain from end to end.

Marantz Model M1 Streaming Amplifier Rear
Marantz Model M1

This simplifies the signal flow and eliminates errors caused by the inexpensive DACs typically found in traditional hi-fi. It also means all sources leverage the powerful DSP technologies built-in, including Marantz Music Digital Filtering (MMDF), first developed for the brand’s reference-grade audiophile CD players and designed to ensure the characteristic warmth and musicality of any Marantz product.

HEOS Features

For additional system flexibility, the Model M1 incorporates the HEOS platform (accessible via the HEOS app). Services available on the HEOS platform include forthcoming updates for TIDAL and Roon Ready support.

The Model M1 can also share HEOS music throughout a house with other HEOS-enabled products in the Marantz portfolio, including both stereo and AVR components. (scalable to up to 32 discrete zones). 

HEOS App Home Screen 2024

The HEOS app provides control over the M1’s functionality even when the amplifier is installed out of line-of-sight, but for more extensive integration in custom installation environments, the Marantz M1 is also compatible with a broad range of third-party control systems, including such as Crestron, Control4, and URC. HEOS also provides for IR learning, so you can use other brands of remote controls.

In addition to HEOS, the Model M1 supports Bluetooth, Spotify Connect, and AirPlay2. You can also play audio from a locally connected USB-A drive.

Tech Note: To connect a turntable directly to the M1 it has to have a built-in phono stage or a separate, external phono amplifier connected between the turntable and the analog audio inputs of the Model M1.

Versatility

In addition to music, using a 2.1 channel configuration, Model M1 can be part of soundbar or AVR substitute for boosting audio for TV viewing. With built-in HDMI-eARC support, you can use your TV’s remote control to change volume levels and power management settings. 

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Onboard Dolby Digital+ decoding supports audio codecs typically used by broadcast and streamed TV services. Adjust options include Dialogue Enhancer and a Virtual mode that utilizes Dolby processing to generate a more immersive sound field from stereo-only content.

The Model M1 can be paired with other Model M1s and its compact design means two units can be installed side-by-side in a standard 19-in equipment rack if desired. 

Passive thermal management means no intrusive fan noise or issues with heat build-up in cabinets or threaded mounting point on the bottom of the amplifier. This means the Model M1 can be safely installed on a wall-mount bracket.

Model M4

Marantz MODEL M4 Wireless Distribution Amplifier 
Marantz Model M4 Wireless Distribution Amplifier 

The Model M4 has all the features of the M1 but is rack-mountable. It also allows audio distribution to four independent rooms in your home to each enjoy their own music listening, all driven by one robust installation-optimized amplifier equipped with 8 x 100w of output and 4 x independent HEOS modules.

Marantz MODEL M4 Wireless Distribution Amplifier Angle

With fan cooling for stable operation even in enclosed spaces and included rack-mount-ears for easy installation, Model M4 is a complement to a whole-home HEOS-based multi-room audio system.

It can be paired with other Model M4s, Model M1s, or other HEOS-enabled components located throughout the house.

Digital optical inputs and built-in Dolby Digital decoder allow you to share the sound of your TV throughout your home if you so wish.

Marantz MODEL M4 Wireless Distribution Amplifier Rear

Comparison

M1 Wireless Streaming Amplifier M4 Wireless Distribution Amplifier
Price:$1,000$3,500
Ampflication2 x 100W
8-ohm, 20 Hz – 20kHz
8 x 100W,
8-ohm, 20 Hz – 20kHz,
0.05% THD
Hi-Res Audio (192kHz/24bit)YesYes
Streaming SupportHEOS Built-In including Bluetooth, Airplay 2, Spotify Connect, and support for numerous streaming servicesHEOS, AirPlay2, and Spotify Connect with four independent HEOS modules
Wired Connectivity1 x HDMI eARC
1 x Stereo RCA
1 x USB-A
1 x Digital Optical for TV audio


4 x stereo RCA
4 x USB-A
1 x Digital Optical for TV audio
Audio OutputsSpeaker Binding Posts
Subwoofer output with full adjustment functionality
Speaker Binding Posts (L/R Sets)
Wi-Fi2.4 GHz, 5.6 GHz, and 6 GHz wireless plus Gigabit wired network connectivity2.4 GHz, 5.6 GHz, and 6 GHz wireless plus Gigabit wired network connectivity
Custom Install OptimizationWide compatibility with major control systemsWide compatibility with major control systems
2U height, rack mount ears supplied
Thermally Truggered Fan CoolingYesYes 

First Impressions

Reading the information on the Marantz Model M1, I couldn’t help thinking about the WiiM Amp Pro ($329) and SVS Prime Wireless Pro Soundbase ($699) both of which offer a lot of the features and wireless connectivity that the Marantz M1 offers at much lower price points. 

Of course, if you are going the custom installation route, the Model M4 is better suited for that task as it has rack mount compatibility and additional connection flexibility.

Pricing & Availability

  • Marantz Model M4 is available for $3,500 USD (£3000 / €3500)

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