Anthem totally overhauls AVR, power amp and processor range

Canadian audio marque Anthem has refreshed its entire home cinema hardware portfolio with a bevy of new AV receivers, AV processors and power amplifiers. The new models are scheduled to land in December.

Intended to make Anthem 'the ultimate powerhouse of any home theatre or media room,' features of the new range include the latest iteration of the brand's ARC Genesis room correction suite (with revised calibration mic); a new networking platform; upgraded DSP; all-new electronics, support for IMAX Enhanced; and a new HDMI 2.0 stage with an upgrade path to HDMI 2.1.

Unlike many rivals, Anthem doesn't release new components on a yearly cycle – its last new AV receivers arrived in 2016 – and this is something noted by John Bagby, Managing Director of parent company Paradigm Electronics. 'Our fans and dealers have been anxiously awaiting these next generations and we are pleased to be unveiling products with such rich feature sets. We’ve had the opportunity to design and create new products that really set the benchmark of delivering tremendous performance for a great value.'

The new AV receiver models are the MRX 540 (£1,800), MRX 740 (£2,800) and MRX 1140 (£3,900, pictured top). All support Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and IMAX Enhanced, and feature a cleaner front-panel design than the previous series with a large, high-resolution display.

HDMI connectivity across the trio is the same: seven HDMI 2.0b inputs and two outputs (the second enabling independent Zone 2 use), with Dolby Vision HDR passthrough. eARC for lossless audio delivery via a TV is also a new addition to the spec sheet.

Streaming skills are described as 'platform agnostic'. The receivers will support Apple AirPlay2, Google Chromecast and Bluetooth v4.2 out of the box, with Spotify Connect and Roon 'coming soon.'

A new feature is Anthem's web user interface, which is built in to all the MRX models and enables owners to 'easily access any function or setting and make changes on the fly' via their smartphone, tablet or laptop.

'Web UI can also be used to calibrate speaker delays and levels and configure network settings/control options,' says Anthem. 'Source devices can be renamed, simplifying setup by enabling the elimination of unused inputs. Installers can import and export files to make remote management simple and convenient.'

The receivers also promise user flexibility via their Channel Re-assignment tool, which will allow for 'any configuration of height, width or presence speakers in a Dolby Atmos or DTS:X system.'

The MRX 540 is a five-channel model (rated at 100W per channel intp 8 ohms) with 7.2 pre-amp output. The MRX 740 offers 7 x 140W and 11.2-channel processing, while the flagship MRX 1140 integrates 11 channels of 140W grunt and supports 15.2-channel processing.

Anthem_AVM_90_stack.jpg New processors and power amps
Launching at the same time as the MRX AV receivers are Anthem's AVM 70 and AVM 90 processors, and MCA 525, MCA 325 and MCA 225 Gen2 power amplifiers.

The AVM models, which offer both balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA connections, share the upgraded DSP, electronics and HDMI boards of their AVR stablemates, plus Web UI and ARC Genesis systems. The more affordable (£3,600) AVM 70 is a 15.2-channel model, while the top-flight AVM 90 is 15.4, with a quartet of independent subwoofer outputs catering to largescale setups. It also offers upgraded audio circuitry and implements a 32-bit/769kHz AKM AK4499EQ DAC. 'It represents Anthem’s ultimate expression of audio performance,' say the brand.

Suggested partners for the AVM series are Anthem's new MCA amps, which are priced at £1,995 for the two-channel MCA 225, £2,495 for the three-channel MCA 325 and £3,495 for the MCA 525. All claim 225W per channel into 8 ohm loads, and feature Advanced Load Monitoring to ensure protection from clipping and 'long-term performance and reliability.'

Anthem says new training programs for its dealer base will go hand-in-hand with the product releases.

Anthem AV