Anthem MRX 740 AV Receiver Review Page 2

You can run ARC Genesis on Mac or Windows, and it measures the output of each speaker relative to the listening area, before running calculations and adjusting the output. It aims to correct peaks and dips in a speaker's frequency response from 15Hz to 20kHz, while preserving the beneficial acoustic attributes of the room. I found it very effective, and it helped address a couple of nasty nodes below 100Hz in my room, resulting in greater soundstage cohesion.

You need to measure and input the distances to all the speakers before you start, but the calibration procedure itself is fairly simple. ARC automatically detects your device, and then you just follow the instructions. After a minimum of five measurements the software produces an average in-room response for each speaker and the subwoofer, before applying target curves to each one.


It also adjusts crossovers and subwoofer level, but you can fine tune the settings yourself afterwards. You can also create your own custom target curves, before saving settings and loading them into the receiver. Multiple profiles for different environments are a possibility, and ARC even produces a full calibration report to impress your mates.

While not as sophisticated as the Trinnov Optimiser or as effective as Lyngdorf's RoomPerfect, ARC Genesis is an excellent room correction system. It's very similar to Dirac Live, with which it shares a number of functionalities, and superior to out-of-the-box Audyssey, which doesn't have the graphical feedback or custom curves.

Space Invader
Testing kicked off with the first episode of The Bad Batch, the new animated Star Wars series on Disney+. The Anthem MRX 740 immediately revealed its inherent strengths, rendering the show's 5.1 mix with scale and depth. The score was spread across the front soundstage, laser bolts blasted across the room, and spaceships ducked and dived around me. A pair of subs were handling bass, and thanks to ARC they felt perfectly integrated to give explosions a powerful punch.

Jupiter's Legacy (Netflix) has an immersive Dolby Atmos soundtrack, and using the Anthem's onboard amplification in a 5.2.2-channel configuration allowed the show's protagonists to take flight – literally. The super-powered punch-up between The Union and Blackstar at the end of the first episode was brutal, and the blows hit with such force I could almost feel them.


The Atmos mix on the 4K disc of Midway came next, as I always suspected it would. To take full advantage of the reference-grade immersion on offer, I added additional amplification to run a full 7.2.4-channel system (although there's also the option of 5.2.4 or 7.2.2). Watching the titular battle sequence was a simply jaw-dropping experience.

As the US pilots divebomb the Japanese carrier fleet, they weave through strafing bullets and other aircraft. The Anthem delivered this sonic cocktail with pinpoint accuracy, and while it does an excellent job with a 5.2.2 setup, adding those extra channels allowed objects to be steered in three-dimensional space with far greater elan. It's definitely worth adding the necessary amplification (and speakers, natch) if that's an option.

A couple of DTS:X platters found the MRX 740 continuing to impress. The Jurassic Park (4K Blu-ray) soundtrack is a sonic masterclass, with the T-rex attack making the perfect demo scene for numerous reasons – and not just the dino action. First there's the glass of water vibrating as footsteps approach, which is a great test of bass depth and timing. Then there's water hitting the jeep's roof, a hair-raising T-rex roar that puts a receiver's dynamic range through the wringer, and the more down-to-earth sounds of desperate dialogue. The MRX 740 aced this particular test with a performance that blended visceral dynamics with a balanced touch.

Zombieland: Double Tap, meanwhile, gets an IMAX Enhanced DTS:X track, which basically seems to mean amping up the bass. Every gunshot sounds like a canon, and the screaming of the zombies retains a low guttural roar. Via this receiver it sounded exhilarating.


Better Than Ever
Ultimately the MRX 740 feels like a new model composed primarily of existing parts, with the same controls, display, remote and connections, despite the new paint job. But that's not a bad thing given the company's history of making excellent products – why break a winning formula? What is new are features like integrated streaming support, a web-based interface, channel reassignment, and the latest version of ARC Genesis. The result is a competitively priced and well-specified premium AVR that sounds superb. When you factor in the upcoming 8K upgrade, this Anthem should be putting a smile on your face for years to come n

HCC Verdict

Anthem MRX 740

Price: £2,800

We say: Anthem's seven-channel AVR boasts an attractive new makeover, superior performance, expansion options, and highly effective ARC Genesis room correction. We love it.

Overall: 5/5


DOLBY ATMOS: Yes DTS:X: Yes IMAX ENHANCED: Yes MULTICHANNEL INPUT: No MULTICHANNEL PRE-OUT: Yes. 11.2 phono POWER OUTPUT (CLAIMED): 7 x 140W (into 8 ohms) MULTIROOM: Yes. Zone 2 AV INPUTS: 5 x digital audio (3 x optical and 2 x coaxial); 5 x analogue stereo HDMI: 7 x inputs and 3 x outputs VIDEO UPSCALING: No DIMENSIONS: 432(w) x 364(d) x 152(h)mm WEIGHT: 15.1kg

Features: Class A/B and Class B amplification; channel reassignment; built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth; Chromecast and AirPlay 2; Spotify Connect; Roon support; web-based user interface; ARC (Anthem Room Correction) Genesis; calibrated microphone and stand; IR input; 12V triggers; Ethernet; USB port (service-only); RS232 serial connector; third party integration and IP control; Dolby Vision/HLG/HDR10 passthrough; AKM 32-bit/768kHz DAC