Denon vs Marantz – Which Brand Is Better? (The Truth)

Norvan Martin
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Denon and Marantz are known for delivering high-fidelity professional and consumer-grade audio equipment, especially AV receivers.Denon vs Marantz - Which Brand Is Better

It can be hard to compare the two as they’re manufactured under a single label called Sound United.

In any case, let’s have it:

In general, Marantz is better for music while Denon is better for home theaters. Marantz is more accurate, articulate, detailed, light, and less aggressive while Denons are warmer and heftier, especially with bass. Denon lovers also praise its processing power. In terms of design, Marantz tends to be simpler and sleeker (e.g. info screen under a flap) while Denons have a front display. 

Denon vs Marantz Comparison Table

Please note that the following comparisons are for Denon and Marantz straight out of the box when plugged up or when you run Audyssey (especially Audyssey MultEQ).

DetailArticulate and accurateFairly accurate
Sound qualityExcellentGood
Sound effectsLight and non-aggressiveWarm and hefty
Smooth with neutral and flat sound, no coloration,Colored especially at the low end (heavier bass out the box)
Lows/BassPresent but not light, not overpoweringBass is more punchy
MidsPresent but not muddy or bloatedWarmer and heftier
HighsPresent but not too loud or fatiguingBrighter
MidsPresent but not too muffledWarmer

Now let’s dive into this detailed comparison between Denon and Marantz, looking at some of their best devices at different price ranges as well as differences in terms of sound quality and aesthetics.

Note that for this comparison, we will be considering:

  1. Denon vs Marantz is straight out of the box. Keep in mind that Denon And Marantz receivers at the same price range can be tweaked to sound the same.
  2. We are comparing receivers of the same range (low, mid, and higher range)

But first, let’s learn a little about these brands.

About Denon And Marantz

Denon: Denon celebrated their 100th anniversary in 2010, unveiling its A100 product collection available in a range of prices from $500 to $2500.Denon

The company has become a household name in the American electronics market, presenting the first Blu-ray player supporting SACD playback and DVD-Audio.

Today, Denon boasts of the best Audyssey modification that fixes your room’s acoustic issues.

Marantz: On the other hand, Marantz is today a Japan-based company founded in 1970 in New York, specializing in high-quality audio products. 


The company achieved huge successes in the mid-70s, but Phillips took it over for three decades. Marantz inherited the style of creating superior-quality CD players until it gained full control as an independent brand in 2001.

Sound United Denon and Marantz Acquisition

Denon and Marantz came together as D&M Holding in 2002, but they still produced products under their respective brand names.

Sound United Denon and Marantz


This meat both brands started using similar components while maintaining aesthetic differences. 

In 2017, D&M Holding was acquired by Sound United LLC, the parent company to Polk Audio, Definitive Technology, B&W, Heos, Boston Acoustics, and Classe.

Currently, Denon makes Blu-ray players, A/V receivers, tuners, wireless music systems, and headphones.

Marantz deals in home stereo systems, CD players, home theater receivers, network music players, power amplifiers, and surround sound processors.

Marantz took their audio quality to the next level in 2013 with their new home theater receiver (the SR Series), equipped with current-feedback technology and a proprietary Hyper Dynamic Amplifier Module.

The SR Series receiver also connects to AirPlay, Spotify, and Pandora for online music streaming.


Denon vs Marantz Uses

Both Denon and Marantz receivers emphasize different aspects of your sound and the one you prefer will depend on what’s important to you and what you will use the device to do. 

Marantz PM7000N

Marantz generally neutralizes sound, meaning they great excellent equalization along the spectrum of frequencies. This is why they are excellent choices for music.

Denon on the other hand creates live active sound. when you are watching movies, for example, you want heavy bass for thunderstorms and explosions, piercing highs for sirens, and so on. It should be action-packed! Denon is excellent for such sound elements and so is great for home theaters. 

denon avr-x85500h

we do also recommend that you look at Yamaha and Pioneer receivers when researching. Denon and Marantz are great, but the benefit of Yamaha and Pioneer is that they have equalization built into many of their receivers.

This is great because you can change your bass, mids, and highs for each speaker if you wish for example. With Marantz, you will need an app to change that. 


Denon vs Marantz Design

The way these devices look is also important. Normally, many Marantz receivers have a little dial at the front for volume as well as input. 

You will have to open the flap-down screen to see other important info like volume, active speakers, and so on.

If seeing this information all the time is important for you, go for the Marantz. Marantz generally looks like sleek, high-quality devices. Marantz vs Denon

On the other hand, Denons generally don’t look as sleek as Marantz but they have a display screen directly at the front. If seeing all your device information all the time is important to you, go for Denon.

Marantz vs Denon Receivers and Integrated Amplifiers

When comparing integrated amplifiers from Denon and Marantz, it’s important to note that these companies have different engineering teams responsible for the final characteristics.

The question of which brand is better will depend on the price range and the desired features.

For this reason, it is best to compare similar products within the same price range. Let’s compare a few amplifiers from the two brands at different price ranges.

AV Receiver Comparison – Marantz SR6015 vs. Denon AVR-X4500H

These 9.2 channel receivers from Denon and Marantz are reasonably powerful and are beasts when it comes to features.

They will have no trouble creating a room-filling sound in most media rooms, with clear highs and mids coupled with thunderous lows when paired with superior-quality speakers.

Features & Build Quality

Both the Denon AVR-X450H and Marantz SR6015 boast a more straightforward look than their smaller models as they come with panels to hide the buttons and connection inputs at the front.

Marantz SR6015

Denon features a traditional box-shaped display that occupies a huge chunk of the amps’ face, while Marantz maintains a small circular screen.

Nonetheless, both brands have a durable construction with a sophisticated look and feel.

These 9.2Ch amplifiers pack all the features included in their smaller 7.2Ch siblings, including DTS and Dolby Atmos capability for home theater use.

Denon AVR-X450H

Even better, both are compatible with Amazon’s Alexa and Apple Airplay for use with the built-in HEOS networking systems, though none of them includes Chromecast capabilities.

Comparing the two receivers, Denon has several features that are lacking in Marantz. These features include an Automatic Upmixer that enhances the surround sound experience while watching digital DVDs.

Additionally, it comes with a Bass Sync that tightens the low ends while watching movies. On the other hand, Marantz features Atmos Height virtualization for a more immersive experience.

Sound Performance

When listening to music, the Denon AVR-X4500H delivers punchy dynamics with an expressive tone.

Its bass has enough power to knock you off your chair when you crank up the volume, but you won’t miss the intricacies of the mid and high frequencies.

The Marantz SR6015 also delivers a dominating bass coupled with snappy dynamics and almost flawless timing. You’ll also enjoy clear dialogues with movies and music.


If your aim is to have a receiver that can stream music wirelessly through Bluetooth, the Marantz SR6015’s new model will suit your needs.

However, the Denon AVR-450H has a few extra details for a more immersive surround sound with your home theater system.

Nonetheless, these two amplifiers will create an engaging soundstage.


Integrated Amplifier Comparison – Marantz PM5005 vs Denon PMA-800NE

Once your receiver has a pre out, you can connect it to an amplifier. This is especially important when connecting large passive loudspeakers for example. 

For this comparison, we will be looking at two budget options – Marantz PM5005 vs Denon PMA-800NE.

Marantz PM5005

With both brands having a long history of making superior quality products, these integrated amplifiers come a robust build quality that is sturdy enough to last long.


The Marantz PM5005 features symmetrical knobs at the front for input selection and volume control.

In contrast, Denon uses only a single central knob for volume and smaller ones for selecting the input.


Both the Marantz PM5005 and Denon PMA-800NE pack some awesome features like auto-off, phono stage inputs, and A/B speaker switching.

Most of these additions aren’t included in integrated amplifiers at this price range, making them unique.

The main dividing feature between these Denon and Marantz amplifiers is digital processing.

The Marantz PM5005 only features an analog connection, with no coaxial or optical digital inputs.

That means the Denon PMA-800NE would be the better choice if you intend to use your amplifier with digital audio sources as it’s the only one with an inbuilt DAC.

Sound Performance

Both amplifiers will outdo others within the same price range, delivering a clear presentation and an immersive soundstage.

However, the Denon PMA-800NE has proven to be slightly more powerful by pumping out 50W per channel, while the Marantz PM5005 can only do 40W.

The Denon PMA-800NE can deliver a brighter sound with a more responsive bass, while Marantz has a more mellow performance.

However, you won’t notice any difference between these integrated amps unless you’re a bass junkie.


For people with a standalone DAC and are looking for a mellow presentation, the Marantz PM5005 is the best choice for you.

However, those after an integrated amplifier with digital music capabilities incorporated in it will be right to choose the Denon PMA-800NE.


Denon vs Marantz Hi-Fi CD Players

Remember CD players? Yep, many people still use them. In fact, most Denon and Marantz CD players deliver higher-quality audio than modern streaming services.

Here’s a comparison between two closely similar CD players from these brands.


CD Player Comparison – Denon DCD-600NE vs Marantz CD5005

The Denon DCD-600E and the Marantz CD5005 are among the best-sounding CD players for anyone on a limited budget.

Denon DCD-600NE


Even better, they both have a solid construction with a clean look that allows you to adjust the music performance to your preference easily.

Features & Build Quality

Both the Denon DCD-600NE and the Marantz Hi-Fi CD player are well constructed, with a clean look that places all the connection options at the back.


Marantz has a slightly bigger display on the front compared to Denon, though with smaller control buttons. Nonetheless, they’re both easy to set up and control.

Denon has included some nice features with the DCD-600NE, including going into standby mode when not in use.

You can also pair it with an amplifier like the PMA-600NE using cheap RCA cables. Similarly, you can connect the Marantz CD5005 with an amplifier using analog connections or use digital optical or coaxial cables.

Sound Performance

Right off the box, the Denon DCD-600NE presents a lively presentation with excellent audio dynamics and satisfying detail and clarity.

That’s especially true with low-level signals, giving you a subtly intact bass with the ability to keep you engaged.

At its price range, the DCD-600NE also delivers an impressive treble with a nice airy feel.

The Marantz CD5005, on the other hand, has a better-defined bass, with great instrument separation, especially when enjoying classical music.

It also delivers a detailed and expressive midrange, with clear highs and minimal audio distortion, all thanks to Marantz’s Audio EX Mode.


Ignoring the price, the Marantz CD5005 outmatches the Denon DCD-600NE in several ways.

However, these two CD players perform relatively well for most audiophiles looking for a solid CD player under a budget.


What Do People Think About Denon and Marantz?

The following are some random comments across the web from regular people on what they think of Denon and Marantz devices.

marantz vs denon comment

denon vs marantz reviewdenon for home theater

denon marantz review


Denon Or Marantz: Which Brand Wins?

It’s always difficult to choose between Denon and Marantz when considering receivers. This is because Denon Or Marantz receivers at a similar price range can be tweaked to perform the same and sound the same. 

Denon Or Marantz Which Brand Wins

Your choice should come down to your personal preference really. Go with Marantz if you want a receiver for music because Marantz sounds more accurate, articulate, and lighter while Denon is warmer and brighter great for home theater use. 

Your choice should also depend on what you already have in your setup. For example, if your speakers are already warm, go with Marantz instead of Denon because Marantz will dial down the sound. However, if your speakers are flatter, go with Denon because they are brighter receivers. 

While these audio differences might not be evident at lower price ranges, they will be apparent when dealing with sophisticated products from these brands.

Some users argue that both Denon and Marantz deliver the same performance when comparing pricy devices, but many audiophiles disagree.

Finally, Denon takes the upper hand in most cases, though Marantz doesn’t fall far behind either. Additionally, you might choose Marantz for other features like Audio Ex Mode which reduces noise.

Is Denon A High-End Brand?

Denon, a Japanese company, specializes in high-end sound equipment and, by and large, is a good brand for home theatre AVRs. Denon has been a leader in producing and distributing high-definition audio and surround sound systems.

Is Marantz Considered High-End?

Precisely, Marantz is a producer of audio devices boasting a rich history of hi-fi products. The SR range of Marantz receivers, for example, is their top-end models. And for the SR8015 is the flagship receiver, a top-notch commodity so made.

Are Marantz And Denon the Same Company?

History has it that the Denon brand was birthed after a merger between Denki Onkyo and others in 1939. In 2001, however, Denon was spun off as a distinct entity with 98% of the shares controlled by Ripplewood Holdings while the remainder 2% held by Hitachi. Further, in 2002, Denon compounded with Marantz to form D&M Holdings.

Why Is Marantz So Expensive?

Marantz has earned a reputation for producing high-standard and reliable products.  Such kind of products from any manufacturer has always had a premium price tag.

What Is Better Than Marantz?

When we talk of sound quality, Denon is known for being more “bright,” while Marantz is known for being more “warm.” These differences don’t show up at lower prices. It pops up when dealing with more expensive products. When prices go higher for both brands and perhaps we need a comparatively cheaper product, we go for Denon.

Bottom Line

While you can’t go wrong by choosing either brand – Denon or Marantz, most people recommend Denon’s products for home theater use and Marantz for music. They both deliver impressive sounds at any price point, rivaling other leading brands in the market.

Keep in mind that regardless of whether you purchase Denon or Marantz, you will be able to tweak your receiver to suit your own needs. This comparison was really for both types of receivers out of the box, but you always have flexibility in fine-tuning your receivers. 

If you want a head-to-head comparison of Marantz and Denon receivers, check out our comparison of Denon DRA-800H Vs Marantz NR1200 to learn more.

You may also be interested in checking out these comparisons:

Anthem Vs Marantz Receivers – Which Is Better?
Marantz vs Onkyo
Marantz vs Yamaha
Marantz vs Anthem

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Norvan Martin is the founder of He is a professional Electronics Engineer and is passionate about home theater systems and AV electronics. BoomSpeaker was created as an online hub to share his knowledge and experiences as it relates to home theaters and home audio electronics. My email: [email protected]  Connect on Pinterest and Linkedin