"Even though the Marantz NA6005 sometimes tests our patience more than our analytical ears, it proves itself a decent and solid introduction into streaming for anyone on a tight budget"
When it works, it’s fine. But all too often, using it is like visiting your nan, where you spend much of your time having to repeat yourself over and over. After a few minutes of inactivity, the app sometimes forgets where it is and what is playing, taking you back to your NAS drive’s root folder instead.
It didn’t take long for us to revert to the physical remote, although we did find the IOS version on our Apple ipad Air slightly more reliable than the Android version on our LG G4.
The NA6005’S character offers all you might want from a glass of red on a bitterly cold evening: smoothness, body and warmth. With tonal balance kept in check, it’s easy to snuggle down to Ólafur Arnalds’ Eria’s Waltz: violins and pianos are comfortingly full-bodied, clear and fleshed out, and are able to move freely in a dynamic space that, while not especially nuanced, captures the composition’s principal peaks and troughs.
There’s an undeniable self-assurance about the Marantz’s big, brazen soundstage as it delivers the psychedelic ambience delineating Pink Floyd’s Endless River album. It puts its foot into lofty guitar rifts and sprawling synths, and ensures any vocal is explicit and focused.
Amid its standout midrange is a welcome knack for rendering instrumental textures. The fiddles and pipes defining Kate Bush’s Jig of Life are tangible, while her enigmatic, uncharacteristically deep vocal is projected with a confident solidity, and enough expression to keep you interested in her narrative.
Sunday morning smooth
You get the impression the Marantz can never really get into top gear, though, opting for easy listening, Sunday morning smoothness over outright snappiness and attack. In SBRTKT’S Wildfire, drum slaps lack thwack and the jagged bass synths that freewheel over the top feel like they need a kick up the backside. Even the zingy pitch-shifted keys that pinch at the soundscope now and again yearn for more dynamism, sounding a tad weary.
You’ll have to throw a bigger sum of money the way of the Pioneer N$50A (£500) or Bluesound Node 2 (£430) to make a live recording of Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir (24-bit/48khz) sound open and lucid enough to be deemed pleasing, too.
Even if the Marantz NA6005, with its operational app-based upsets, sometimes tests our patience more than our analytical ears, it proves itself a decent and solid – if a little safe – sounding introduction into streaming for anyone on a budget looking to finally embrace digital and introduce network features into their system.
Although it's one star behind its siblings, the NA6005 turns out to be the Anne Bronte of the entry-level Marantz series. STREAMING SERVICE Spotify ★★★★★ £10/month With a Premium account, you can stream over 30m songs via the Spotify Connect feature AMPLIFIER Marantz PM6005 ★★★★★ £300 Looking for your first stereo amp? This talented Marantz should be on your shortlist STEREO SPEAKERS Monitor Audio Bronze 2s ★★★★★ £280 With impressive insight and class leading build, these are truly complete speakers for