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Marantz Melody review: hands-on with the network audio player

Kat Orphanides
5 Jun 2013
Marantz Melody Media
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The Marantz Melody network audio streamers are available with or without a DAB+ radio and CD player

We've taken a listen to Marantz's new Melody range of networked audio systems which bridge the gap between computer audio and more traditional mini hi-fi systems, allowing you to stream music files from a PC or NAS device. The Melody Media M-CR610 is closest to a traditional system, with an integrated CD player, FM and DAB+ radio tuners, while the Melody Stream M-CR510 is a pure media streamer.

Both have integrated amplifiers which can drive a pair of 6-to-8ohm speakers, support both wired and wireless network connections, have two USB ports, which you can use to connect USB disks or MP3 players, and an optical S/PDIF input.

Both can also play internet radio, Spotify, Apple Airplay, Last.fm and DLNA streams. You can access web-based configuration screens for both via your local network and you even copy the wireless connection data directly from an iOS device to the streamer, eliminating the need to manually enter long wireless passwords using button controls.

We tested the Melody Media with our reference FLAC audio files via its front USB port, with the system connected to a pair of speakers provided by Marantz. Even in a busy exhibition hall, the clarity and detail of the sound was impressive. It took around 20 seconds for the streamer to load and index 400MB of lossless audio files on a 2GB USB disk.

The streamer is also far easier to control than many rival devices we've tested, with plenty of different options to configure and control it. As well as the buttons on the main unit, you can control the systems remotely using an Android or iOS app. The integrated mono OLED display's slick menu system is instantly clear and easy to use, providing welcome relief from the often cramped and counter-intuitive interfaces of many rival audio streamers. The Melody Media will be priced at £499 while the simpler Melody Stream is set to cost £399 and we'll bring you full reviews when samples are available.

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