The Anthem AV Receivers have been favourites of ours for some time, and this is principally due to their audio excellence. The Anthem MRX 720, is their middle tier product in the MRX series, and is the work horse of our Home Cinema Showroom. The unit is capable of directly driving 7 speakers, and of decoding 11.1 channels of audio. In our showroom we have it set up as a 5.1.4 Dolby Atmos system, with an Anthem PVA4 4-channel amplifier driving the height channels. We can also set up 7.1.4, by simply adding a couple of surround speakers. The Speaker settings memories allow us to save the settings of up to 4 different layours, meaning we can also combine the setup with our high-end stereo systems driving the front left and right channels if we want.
Our regular test for AV receivers is by simply listening to music through them driving a decent set of speakers. The MRX 720 comes out glowing from this, without the usual harshness and clutter that some receivers often have. The unit effortlessly passes 4K UHD video content through the HDMI 2.0a / HDCP 2.2 ports, decoding HD audio as well as Dolby Atmos and DTS-X immersive audio formats.
One of the features that Anthem have become known for is the Anthem Room Correction (ARC) system. This employs a sophisticated high bit-rate processing to the audio using setup-parameters calculated by their clever software running on a laptop and listening to the room via an included calibrated microphone. When we first heard the effect that ARC makes, it was the first system we had listened to that actually generated more improvements than distractions. It does however require some careful use, as the defaults are for a simple sub-sat system with small speakers, and if you use any decent speakers, the arc defaults will not give them a chance to shine.
There is a full compliment of pre-amp outputs, and if used with external amplfication, the reduction in load on the power supply, means that the unit sounds even better.
11.2 Pre-Amplifier & 7 Amplifier Channels
HDMI & Video