• The unit can not accept digital files via USB like some other receivers and AV preamps in the market today.
• As streaming services, satellite and Internet radio are growing in popularity it would be nice to be able to receive these signals as well.
• Some would suggest no HDMI 1.4 is a downside so it should be said, but at this point I really believe HDMI 1.3 is cutting edge and 1.4/3D is "vapor ware" in the marketplace.
The Marantz NR1501 price and form factor make it an attractive choice for the casual buyer. Its capabilities make it a solid choice for those seeking a high performing product. While the NR1501 can easily serve as the hub for the vast majority of home theater systems, it is not for every system. If you need some of the features that this unit does not have such as S-video capabilities, networking or multi-room capabilities or if you need a powerful amplifier that can drive less efficient speakers you will need to look elsewhere.
I have personally purchased this unit for my mother's system. She needed a unit that would fit in a smallish cabinet, accept her HDMI and legacy sources, and be easy to use. This unit easily met her needs. While audio quality is not as critical for her needs, I have spent a good deal of time listening to her system and can report that the NR1501 maintains Marantz's tradition of high quality audio and competes well with other similarly priced units and sounds better than the other sub $1,000 small form factor receivers.
I can easily recommend Marantz's NR1501 to anyone who is looking for a receiver with this feature set regardless of form factor. This receiver has been an easy to use, solid performer that is capable of playing the star role in moderate sized systems that can be found in most people's homes.