It’s been about 2 1/2 years since Anthem released its first A/V receivers to follow in the footsteps of its lauded processor and amplifier separates. So the timing is right for the Canadian electronics company to give its MRX receiver line a bit of a makeover.
The slick-looking MRX 310, MRX 510 and MRX 710 will be on their way to your home theaters soon. Among the new highlights for the second-generation receivers is that all will include ARC 1M, the next generation of Anthem’s own room correction software to help you maximize system performance. This version of ARC, complete with the software and microphone included, even lets you print out before-and-after measurement graphs and also takes much less time than the previous version, so you’re not spending 20 minutes listening to test tones.
Other additions across the models include software updates via USB, ability to control via iOS and Android apps, 4K upscaling and pass-through, up to 20 input configurations, HDMI audio return channel, faster HDMI switching, and larger and easier to read on-screen menus with improved status displays.
The number of HDMI inputs on the 510 and 710 have been bumped up to seven apiece plus a front-panel input (you get five HDMI ins with the 310). Plus on the upper models if you use them in a 5.1-channel configuration the receivers support the bi-amping of your front-channel speakers.
In terms of power, Anthem rates the MRX 310, 510 and 710 at 80, 100 and 120 watts, respectively, if you’re using them for two-channel listening, or 60, 75 and 90 watts if you’re driving five channels. Standby power will consume less than 0.3W.
They’ve also been given an aesthetic facelift, too, ditching a good portion of the previous models’ minefield of front-panel buttons for a more minimalist approach.
The two higher-end models are expected to ship in November, with the MRX 310 coming in January 2014.
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Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.