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Marantz Melody Media

Marantz Melody Media music combo

AirPlay savvy stream machine

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Intelligent flash storage arrays

Power play

Connections to Nas drive and mobile phone were easy to set up and playback was robust and stable. AirPlay is almost boringly reliable – if you’re running iTunes 10 or later it will automatically detect a networked player and give you the option to use it to play your music. It just works, and you can also download the AirPlay app to your iPhone to allow you to play tunes direct from your mobile, and to act as a remote control.

Marantz Melody Media

The power is there for when you want to crank it up, assuming you’ve got some decent speakers to do it justice. I tried it with a pair of £500 Quad 12L2s and it sounded composed and in control at all times, even when cranked right up. The sound was transparent and detailed too, whether belting out some filthily muddy Stooges live tracks or Asa’s close-mic'd acoustic strumming.

Marantz’s sister company Denon has the similarly priced Ceol, which ups the flexibility quotient with built-in Wi-Fi and a dedicated iPod dock, as well as a slightly more powerful amp. Without a side-by-side test I’d be hard pushed to say which of the two sounded better, but I couldn’t say for sure that the Marantz would win.

Marantz Melody Media

You'll need some decent speakers to do justice to its robust output

Verdict

The Melody Media doesn’t have the versatility of the Denon Ceol but it’s a fine-sounding, good-looking little system with plenty of potential – it’s just a shame that so much of that potential has to come at additional cost. ®

More Audio Gear Reviews…

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CS-545
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Denon
Ceol
with Apple AirPlay

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Marantz Melody Media

Marantz Melody Media music combo

CD player, FM/AM/DAB+, Internet radio and network streaming in one box, with AirPlay too
Price: £500 (base unit), £610 (with LS502 speakers), £40 (AirPlay upgrade), £110 (RX101 Bluetooth adapter) RRP

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