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Anthem MRX 520

5.2-channel home theater receiver with Anthem Room Correction

25 Reviews | 8 questions - 13 answers

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Our take on the Anthem MRX 520

If you long for high-impact home theater with top-notch sound quality and cutting-edge video technology, take a look at Anthem's MRX 520 5.2-channel receiver. It has full support for 4K and HDR, so it works perfectly with the latest Ultra HD TVs and Blu-ray players. Premium digital-to-analog converters ensure audiophile-grade performance in stereo or surround sound.

Anthem MRX 520

No matter what reflective surfaces are in your room, the MRX 520 can correct for them, giving you natural, detailed sound.

The sound you've been craving

If you long for high-impact home theater with top-notch sound quality and cutting-edge video technology, take a look at Anthem's MRX 520 5.2-channel receiver. It has full support for 4K and HDR, so it works perfectly with the latest Ultra HD TVs and Blu-ray players. Premium digital-to-analog converters ensure audiophile-grade performance in stereo or surround sound.

The MRX 520 puts out 100 watts per channel — plenty of power for medium- to large-sized rooms. And if you ever want a little more, 5.2-channel preamp outputs mean you can add an even bigger amp later on for any or all channels.

Superior sound without obstacles

Anthem's advanced ARC (Anthem Room Correction) speaker calibration system is one of the best we've heard. It effectively tailors the MRX 520's sound to your space, correcting for problems caused by sound reflecting off of the walls, floor, ceiling, and furniture in your specific room. With the effects of these obstacles removed, your audio equipment delivers clearer, more natural sound.

Run the included room correction software on your Windows® PC, and measure multiple positions in your room with the included microphone. ARC takes advantage of your computer's processing power for the best possible results, showing you detailed graphs of the response curve and correction applied to each speaker in your system. In our large training room, ARC was able to tame unruly "peaks and valleys" in the low frequencies, providing noticeably smoother, more detailed bass.

Note: As of September 2016 you can download Anthem's free ARC Mobile app for iOS®. ARC Mobile lets you calibrate your system using the internal microphone of your iOS device or an optional calibrated mic that connects to your headphone jack for advanced room correction.

Product Highlights:

    Power and Processing:
    • 5-channel amplifier
    • 100 watts per channel into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 1% THD with 2 channels driven
    • Dolby® and DTS® surround sound decoding
    • ARC (Anthem Room Correction) speaker calibration (software, microphone, and stand included)
      • 4 speaker profile memories let you store custom settings for different audio setups
      • ARC software requires a Windows-based laptop
      • free ARC Mobile app allows you to run ARC from compatible iOS devices
    Audio Performance Features:
    • premium 32-bit / 768 kHz differential-output digital-to-analog converters
    • detachable power cable
    • HDMI 2.0a audio/video switching: 7 in, 2 out (including 1 MHL-ready rear-panel input)
      • HDCP 2.2 technology ensures compatibility with 4K Ultra HD sources and TVs (all HDMI inputs and outputs)
      • HDR-compatible for extended picture contrast and brightness with compatible 4K TVs and HDR-encoded content
      • supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision (may require a firmware update for Dolby Vision)
    • digital audio inputs: 3 optical and 2 coaxial
    • digital audio output: 1 optical
    • 5 analog RCA stereo audio inputs
    • 5.2-channel preamp outputs include outputs for 2 powered subwoofers
    • no phono input — to connect a turntable you'll need to add a phono preamp
    • Ethernet port for network connection
      • lets you operate the receiver from a web browser control screen on a PC connected to your home network
    • front-panel USB port for software updates
    • RS-232 input, remote (IR) input and 12 volt-trigger output for use with external controllers
    • 1/4" headphone jack
    General Features:
    • 4K and 3D video pass-through
    • remote control app for iOS® and Android™ devices
    • HDMI on-screen display
    • HDMI standby pass-through allows HDMI switching without powering up receiver
    • FM tuner
    • backlit remote control
    • engineered in Canada
    • 17-5/16"W x 6-1/2"H x 14-13/16"D
    • weight: 28.2 lbs.
    • warranty: 3 years
    • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

    What's in the Box:

    • 5.2ch AV receiver
    • 6' AC power cord
    • Remote control (RC-MRX2)
    • "AAA" batteries
    • FM wire antenna
    • Calibration mic
    • Mic stand
    • 12' USB cable
    • 16' Ethernet cable
    • Operating Manual
    • Online Product Registration card

    Anthem sounds Great, power rating is conservative! And the new ARC that connects to the Internet is so much easier, and I like that you can print out the results. If you only need 5 channels and not all the other bills and whistles this receiver is hard to beat!

    Greg, Santee, CA


    Anthem MRX 520 Reviews

    Average Customer Review(s):

    (25 Reviews)

    MRX 520 Rocks!!

    Greg from Santee, CA on 12/30/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Anthem sounds Great, power rating is conservative! And the new ARC that connects to the Internet is so much easier, and I like that you can print out the results. If you only need 5 channels and not all the other bills and whistles this receiver is hard to beat!

    Pros: Great sound Quality ,conservative power rating, ARC

    Cons: None at this price point.

    3 months and still don't have my unit back!

    Crutchfield customer from Redondo Beach, CA on 10/18/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Purchased this unit Aug 17, 2016. Failed July 2018 and I took it for warranty repair. They told me it needed a new ADC and DAC and the parts were on back order. I've been waiting for 3 months now and still don't have the unit back! Wouldn't order another Anthem as they have nonexistent service.



    great sound, set up Not so much

    chris from boston on 9/17/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    So in the end, after a half day of setup I am happy with the 520. The problem was running the ARC. This receiver does Not connect to wireless network. The documentation is ambiguous on this. I think the 720 does but not the 520. Anyway, i had to use the Ethernet connection on the back, and since my router was very far from the receiver, I used the Ethernet output from a wireless Extender plugged into wall. I happened to have one and just moved it near receiver just to run ARC. Once i figured this out running the software was 'almost' smooth. It couldn't find the mic calibration file at first but i found it via searching the computer. So for setup/documentation i'd give it 2 stars. But in the end, 4 since it sounds great. Also the 2 'Anthem' surround modes it provides are very good.

    Pros: sound

    Cons: setup - ARC

    Anthem MRX 520

    Crutchfield customer from Raleigh, NC on 7/25/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I've had it for several weeks now and am very pleased thus far. In my area I wasn't able to audition a unit prior to purchase so bought this based upon reviews I have read elsewhere. It's replacing a Marantz SR6008, and though there are fewer features and channels, its definitely an upgrade in audio quality. Especially with room correction. Currently I'm only using it for two channels, both with music and video. To my ear at least, ARC is a significant improvement to the SR6008's implementation of Audyssey. After numerous attempts at using Audyssey I never got satisfactory results. And even though I have a hefty investment in speakers was disappointed, hence the Anthem replacement. My speakers are the type with integrated active sub-woofers, and perhaps Audyssey just isn't designed with that in mind. Bass was either anemic or boomy--but never taught and impactful. I scoured the web looking for tips and tricks to improve the sound never got what I expected. With ARC, movies and TV come alive with bass that seems to be well balanced for the content playing. For serious music listening sessions with both the Marantz and now the Anthem I disable room correction and the step up with the Anthem is not subtle. To use an old audiophile cliche, "another veil is lifted". I don't have many good words to describe the improved quality, but I really do feel like I'm closer to the original performance. To sum up, I loved my Marantz receiver, but outgrew it and A



    Anthem MRX 520

    Crutchfield customer from Beacon, NY on 7/3/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Always buy from Crutchfield! Very happy they sell the Anthem receivers.



    Anthem MRX 520

    Crutchfield customer from Rutherford, NJ on 6/25/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Very happy with the 520..... Have it for 5 days a bit of a learning curve to do the ARC software but Anthem help line was very easy to reach . I had a cheap denon playing into excellent speakers and the 520 made a huge difference; I'm sure it's the quality DAC in the 520. If you only want a 5.1 system why pay for the extras you'll never use ?

    Pros: Great sound at a great price. No regrets

    Cons: bit of a job with the ARC and the set up in general, but then again I was in no rush !

    Clarity and richness of sound and video from any source

    Keko from Reno, NV on 3/27/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    We replaced our Marantz SR 6006 because we needed the 4K compatibility not available on this older Marantz that we loved. After having considered a new Marantz, we chose the Anthem MRX 520 not only for the features but also because it is shorter in depth than the Marantz which would have not fitted in our cabinets. We are very pleased with our choice, this unit is perfect for our 5.1 home theater with Paradigm speakers, clarity and richness of sound at any frequency wonderfully enhances our HD/UDH video experience in 4K or 1080i/p, as available from any source. We also like the nicer bigger display on the front panel which make it easier to read from a distance, and the overall design is beautiful to look at, if not enclosed in a cabinet.

    Pros: All the features we wanted in a shorter depth box that fits in our cabinet

    Cons: None

    ARC Software - TERRIBLE !!

    Crutchfield customer from Evergreen, CO on 3/18/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    The ARC software is HORRIBLE!! There are a lot of threads saying how great it is, but that's only when it actually works! Huge connection problems and multiple error messages. I'm usually pretty savvy when it comes to these things, but this software is terrible. I was warned about this before I bought the MRX 520, but thought I could figure it out. Because of this, I do not recommend this product. Crutchfield tech support was no help either (just sent me videos of when it actually works). Anthem tech support only open form 8-5 during weekdays. Well guess what....I'm at work then!



    Crutchfield response on 3/20/2018 We're sorry you're having issues with your receiver. Whenever you encounter a problem with anything you purchase from Crutchfield, please contact our Customer Support team at 1-800-955-9091. Purchases from Crutchfield can be returned or exchanged within 60 days of the purchase.

    A great 5.2 experience

    Roger from Canton, MI on 2/18/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I finally decided to replace my 15-year-old Yamaha RX-V2400 receiver. Contenders were the Anthem MRX 520 vs the feature rich Cambridge Audio CXR120 and Marantz SR7011. I decided to focus on the richest 5 channel experience possible for this price point instead of 7+ channels or Wi-Fi capability that could be added by a separate streaming amplifier. Many MRX 520 reviewers were ecstatic about sound quality and the Anthem Room Correction (ARC). Decision made... My old RX-V2400, advertised at 120W RMS for 5 channels, produces ample volume. However, the MRX 520 provides richness and expansiveness. You can toggle the ARC on and off for an A B comparison - sound is significantly warmer with ARC enabled. Channel separation and surround effects are much more prevalent bringing real presence to movie soundtracks. The contrast between old and new is like day and night. The Anthem Room Correction process was surprisingly easy with complete set up taking about 2-1/2 hours. I enjoy more bass than standard ARC adjustment, but subwoofer level (or any other channel for that matter) can be adjusted later on the fly via the remote control. The MRX 520 manual is complete but more guidance could be helpful. The remote seems out of character for the equipment performance level. However, the MRX 520 out performs in all aspects of sound quality.




    BMAC from Bluffton, SC on 2/2/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    The MRX line of receivers will accommodate almost anyone as you go up the model line you can get 7.2 ,11.2,Atmos and wireless connectivity. I went with the 520 which is a bare bones 5.2 receiver. You will not get a better value for the money as far as audio quality is concerned though. I have owned a myriad of audio separates and AV receivers and this unit is the real deal. I am running a Definitive Technology 5.2 setup comprised of 8060's for the fronts and 8020's as the surrounds with an 8060 center with an Oppo BDP 103. Movies sound great but I am more impressed with 2 channel playback with music. CD's,music files or streaming(Via the Oppo) all sound terrific, I am hearing musical detail that was missing before thanks to the superior Dacs contained inside the 520. Anthem nailed it with this line.

    Pros: Everything

    Cons: None, but if you need more features or connectivity look at the 720 or 1120.

    Jaw dropping AVR!

    Pete from Furlong, PA on 1/19/2018

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    After buying and returning many AV receivers (Yamaha, Marantz, Cambridge Audio) I took a shot on the Anthem MRX-520. I bought this never having heard of this company. As far as my speaker system, I have a 5.1 set up (Monitor Audio MASS), which I also got via special order from Crutchfield. After connecting everything and going through the set up process with the receiver, I put on Pirates of the Caribbean (via Netflix) which decoded in Dolby Digital 5.1. My jaw dropped! This receiver is no joke! It is a beast of power! Finally I can hear people speaking in movies without having to constantly adjust the volume or center channel level. The surrounds - wow, they actually make sound now! Haha! I am telling you, if you are a 5.1 lover and believer like me, this beauty of a beast will not disappoint at all! Yes, it is expensive, but sounds amazing. I also have hooked up to a Niles speaker selector as I listen to music with Monitor Audio Silver 1 speakers. Music on this receiver is incredible!

    Pros: Powerful! The sound is authoritative and amazing! Movies come to life and music is fantastic!

    Cons: No Dolby Atmos if you need that.

    Anthem MRX 520

    Gerald from Huntsville, AL on 12/20/2017

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I'd like to give this more stars, but just can't. This reciever seems to have problems properly decoding and downmixing Dolby sources. If you are running a full 5.1, you'll have not problem. But if you are running something less, 3.1, 3.0, 2.1, or 2.0 you may find from sources with Dolby Digital or Dolby Atmos (on 4K discs) that the sound sounds muted and of low volume. I run a 2.0 system calibrated with ARC and I can normally listen to music at around -35 to -30 db. Put in a 4K movie with Dolby Atmos or a DVD with Dolby digital and I need to crank it up to -15 db to get the same volume level, and even then is sounds somewhat compressed. I talked to everybody, even a former Dolby employee who thinks the receiver is at fault. My source is an Oppo BDP-203 and I've tried every possible setting combination between the two suggested by many on AVS forum and still the same. Anthem support, supposedly good, has been little help, not really offering anything than to imply their certification from Dolby is superior to say the Oppo. The work around for this is to set your source to LPCM output and not bitstream, so that the source is decoding. Once you do this the compression and volume reduction is gone and the reciever sounds fantastic. Soundwise it gets 5 stars, it is so far ahead of my old Denon it's not even funny. I give it two because the receiver cannot properly decode and down mix Dolby sources, and AVR primary function. If I could I'd return.



    Anthem MRX 520

    Robert from Ft Wayne, IN on 10/28/2017

    For the money this thing is a BEAST!!!

    Pros: Power

    Cons: None

    There is a God

    Thos from Ridgecrest, CA on 10/2/2017

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    In my college days Marantz was at the zenith of their notoriety. I scrounged enough money to buy my first beloved Marantz stereo amplifier which lasted into the 1990's when technology overtook it and AV receivers became more capable. That Marantz was a beautiful thing, (optional walnut cabinet too). I've never heard anything like it until this past weekend when I hooked up my new Anthem MRX 520. For the first time in over twenty years the sound is back! My surrounds actually surround and just about everything can be fine tuned - FINALLY! It's a great AV receiver and will undoubtedly outlast me. Kudo's to Crutchfield. This product was well worth the money. All the reviews are accurate. A great product.

    Pros: Everything.

    Cons: Absolutely none. Learning curve to tame this beast is a little steep but that's half the fun.

    Very Happy

    Eric from TX on 8/4/2017

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Simple yet sophisticated AVR. Once you learn how to use it, you really begin to appreciate just how awesome this device is. I upgraded from a Marantz 5.1 Channel AVR that did everything I wanted it to for many years. But it was time for an upgrade, and oh boy did I upgrade to levels unknown. Took me a little time to get it figured out, but I'm the kind that likes the challenge so I didn't mind. That said, I LOVE everything about this AVR and highly recommend that you get one too. To me sound is EVERYTHING, and this thing exceeds my expectations. Just a fantastic product.

    Pros: It breathes new life into your speakers for movies and music via ARC. Allows you to setup audio and video separately on each assignable input, which is just way cool :-)

    Cons: For music, it converts everything to PCM 2.0; but I use the Analog Inputs on it to play all my music (via large FLAC & DSD files) through the analog outputs on my Oppo USD 203 and it sounds GREAT! Also a bit of a challenge to to set up and calibrate if you are not good with computers, but nothing too complex.

    Anthem MRX 520

    Greg from Yucaipa, CA on 7/26/2017

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Outstanding! Does what it should. ARC is incredibly awesome. The channel melding is so good! The product, for what it offers at this price range, to me, is a great value.


    Cons: If you have no understanding of computer/network interacting than the ARC may be of hindrance; Although, instructions are there.

    Every thing you need nothing you don't.

    Crutchfield customer from St Petersburg, FL on 7/23/2017

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Sounds great with music or movies. Not many top end receivers options out there that give you 5.1 with HDCP 2.2 and HDMI 2.0a. Every thing you need nothing you don't. Never liked putting money into amp channels that I will not use. I'm just a luddite living happy in my 5.1 world. Really appreciate the updated HDMI ports. Very satisfied with the unit.

    Pros: External device used for room correction allows a higher level of computer power to achieve a super accurate room setup.

    Cons: External device used for room correction means you need one. A windows device with USB to work with the supplied mic. Or get the optional calibrated mic for your Apple IOS device.

    Anthem MRX 520

    Drew from Battle Creek, MI on 7/22/2017

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Solid build quality and no-gimmick receiver if all you want is 5.2! ARC is a great room correction and better than Audyssey in my experience. Unlike other receiver brands, Anthem doesn't plaster the front with a bunch of licensing logos. What you get here is a very well-engineered receiver, with money spent on what matters: RMS power and build quality. The microphone alone is taken very seriously. Each mic is measured at the factory and the response of each is recorded by the serial number. When you download the ARC calibration software, you also download the response file for your unique microphone!

    Pros: ARC correction is amazing, Build quality

    Cons: No wi-fi, no Atmos capability for the future

    Solid receiver with some setup glitches

    Bob from Lexington, MA on 6/5/2017

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Bought because of strong reviews for the room correction software. Ran into glitches using the software but eventually sorted it out. The software created different room profiles depending on whether two window shades were up or down, suggesting that the software did what it was supposed to. I will never know if the acoustics are substantially better than what is produced by much less expensive receivers. Everything about the receiver seems substantial. Though the speaker binding posts are ridiculous. As usual, a cap has holes for the speaker wire. But 12 gauge speaker wire immediately hits the bolt under the cap. My previous receiver had holes in the bolts so that the speaker wire passed all the way through. Setup was tough using the readout on the receiver. Only when finished did I learn that it would have been easier seeing options on the TV. One important key on the remote didn't perform what was explained in the manual - at least not on the receiver readout. I made one call to technical assistance and could not have received more helpful and friendly assistance.

    Pros: Has all the features I need, along with very sensitive room correction software. Great technical support.

    Cons: More glitches than expected during setup. Speaker binding posts are poorly thought out.

    Anthem MRX 520

    Luke from Larchmont, NY on 5/25/2017

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Excellent sound quality. Easy to use.



    Anthem MRX 520

    Crutchfield customer from Milford, CT on 5/23/2017

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Amazing sound! I upgraded from a Denon AVR -790 and the difference is amazing. It's a no frills, no gimmicky features AVR. Solid power, simple interface and ARC is wonderful compared to Audyssey, in my opinion. I took a leap of faith as I wasn't able to listen to it prior to order but my expectations have been exceeded. The only thing is a hard network connection is required. I saw another review that said ARC wasn't available for MAC OS. That is true but there is an ARC App now for set up with an ios devices so you can use that if you don't have a windows computer to still be able to take advantage of it! Crutchfield was also great, this was my first order, there will be more!

    Pros: Sound, ARC, Ease of set up

    Cons: No bells and whistles, not really a con though, just means the $$ is put where it needs to be and you can get more bang for buck. Need hard network connection

    Great A/V Receiver!

    Andrew from Greenville, NC on 5/14/2017

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This is a great A/V receiver. I bought it to replace an NAD A/V receiver so I could have 4K pass through. I considered getting the newer model NAD or maybe a 4K MDC module, but the Anthem has more HDMI inputs than either of these. I'm glad I got the Anthem! NAD has great sound - they are well-known for two-channel audio excellence - but the Anthem is MUCH better for A/V applications. The speakers just disappear with the Anthem. There is more detail in the surround channels, and dialogue is more crisp and clear. Picture is fantastic now that I can use 4K input on my TV. Like NAD, the receiver is fairly straightforward to set up; not a lot of bells and whistles. The only reason I give it 4 stars instead of 5 is that I don't have a Windows computer, so I can't set up the ARC. Still, even with basic manual setup, it is FAR superior to the NAD. I hope Anthem will offer ARC setup through Mac OS in the near future. Overall, it is a very solid, well-engineered product. Strongly recommended!

    Pros: Excellent sound Easy hookup Straightforward menu No unnecessary "bells and whistles"

    Cons: No Mac OS support for ARC Should have WiFi for ARC and software updates

    Acoustical Perfection

    Crutchfield customer from Sandy, UT on 2/26/2017

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    At first I wanted to return this receiver. It sounded great when playing movies and bad when playing music. Then I tried the Marantz SR-6011 and found it was good at music and only so-so at movies. I gave the Anthem another try. When I had first set it up I used my iPhone to calibrate the room with ARC. Big mistake. This time I used the included mic and the difference was night and day. The speakers now all speak in unison like a fine orchestra. Music sounds clear and crisp. I'm in love with this receiver. If you prize acoustical accuracy above all else this is the receiver for you.

    Pros: - ARC corrects the sound perfectly - Bass response went from boomy and muddy with my old Denon to tight and clean with the 520

    Cons: - Have to update firmware with USB - ARC iPhone app should never have been built

    Outstanding receiver

    Chris from Charlotte, NC on 12/9/2016

    I had a very old B&K AVR202 that I loved until it finally died recently. My main concern is audio quality with home theater performance second place. I heard a demo of this and was blown away. Everything was crisp and clear. Then I was told about Anthem's ARC sound processing. They include a mic, stand, and cabling. Going through their setup ARC compensates for the faults in your room. Normally I'm no fan of overly equalized sound but after seeing what ARC has done I was blown away. I have a 5 channel system. There's absolutely no difference in the sound across my three front channels (all Paradigm Studio Reference) Sound is clearer than I have ever heard in my room before. Music performance coming from a Sony UHP-H1 is superb and I'm hearing details in well known recordings that I've never heard before. Setup is quite easy. It has all the modern connections. Only drawback is if you're looking for more channels you'll have to dig deep for the next level up. Not cheap, but not overpriced when compared to some of the other mainstream brands. It's actually quite a good value.

    Pros: Sound performance, ARC, great value.

    Cons: Limited to 5.2, perhaps a touch light on the power if you have hungry speakers.

    A receiver worth considering!

    Robert from Ft Wayne, IN on 11/26/2016

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I've been an audio enthusiast since my early high school days in the 90's. AV receivers seemed to be simpler back then. Fast forward to today, and many manufacturers like to cram in everything but the kitchen sink. The focus on audio quality often tends to lean towards "good enough." There is no Bluetooth, no Airplay, no Wi-Fi streaming options with the Anthem MRX 520. However, one of the best features that this receiver has to offer is their proprietary ARC (Anthem Room Correction) software that is really easy to use and makes a notable impact on sound quality in an average room. This pertains especially to the area of bass management. I've never experienced such smooth bass response until I used ARC. I can also hear more details in music & movies that I have never previously noticed before. Dialog clarity on the center channel, once a problem area for me, is no longer an issue. My wife, a non-audio enthusiast, even noticed the difference over receivers from other manufacturers. There are a total of four speaker configuration profiles available for various listening settings. Input names can also be customized. The overall GUI is very modern and not dated looking. I would recommend using a universal remote as the included remote is very basic. HDMI switching is fast & reliable as I have not experienced any problems with my equipment. If you are planning to stick with the tried and true 5.1 (or even 5.2) channel surround sound system, this is a receiver worth

    Pros: Great sound quality. It easily drives my main left/right PSB Image T6 towers, PSB Image C5 center, and PSB Image B5 surround speakers with no issues. Lots of input customization & bass management options. Easy to use interface (GUI). ARC software is excellent with easy to read response curves. Fast and reliable HDMI switching.

    Cons: Only 5 channels of amplification & only pre-outs for 5.2 channels. No Dolby Atmos or DTS:X support. Anyone wishing to go more than 5 channels & experience the latest surround formats will need to jump up to the MRX 720. The remote is very basic for the price of the receiver.


    Hands-on research

    Features and Specs

    Number Of Channels 5
    Stereo RMS Power (watts) 100
    THD in Stereo 1 %
    Frequency Bandwidth (stereo) 20-20k Hz
    Minimum Impedance L/R 6 ohms
    Minimum Impedance Center 8 ohms
    Minimum Impedance Surround 8 ohms
    General Features
    Internet-ready No
    Bluetooth No
    Apple AirPlay No
    Alexa-compatible No
    Google Home-compatible No
    Chromecast built-in No
    DTS Play-Fi No
    App Remote Control Yes
    USB port for iPod/iPhone No
    FM Sensitivity Not Given
    HD Radio Tuner No
    On-Screen Display Thru HDMI
    Auto Speaker Calibration ARC
    HDCP 2.2 for 4K Video Yes
    HDR-compatible HDR10, Dolby Vision (FW), HLG (FW)
    HDMI Standby Pass-through Yes
    4K Video Upscaling No
    HDMI to HDMI Upconversion No
    DLNA Certified
    MHL-compatible Yes
    Multibrand Remote Control No
    Learning Remote No
    LCD Remote
    Width (inches) 17-1/4
    Height (inches) 6-1/2
    Depth (inches) 15-13/16
    Weight (pounds) 28.2
    Parts Warranty 3 Years
    Labor Warranty 3 Years
    Multi-room Audio/Video
    Powered Multi-room Audio Output No
    Preamp Multi-room Audio Output Yes
    Multi-room HDMI Output No
    Playback from Digital Audio Inputs Yes
    Playback from Streaming Sources No
    Surround Processing
    Dolby Digital DD, TrueHD, DD+
    Dolby Atmos No
    DTS DTS, HD, HDMA, Neo:6
    DTS:X No
    Inputs & Outputs
    Phono Input No
    Audio-Video Inputs 7
    Audio-only Inputs 10
    Component Video Inputs None
    Component Video Monitor Outputs None
    Optical Digital Inputs 3
    Coaxial Digital Inputs 2
    Optical Digital Outputs 1
    Coaxial Digital Outputs None
    HDMI Inputs 7
    HDMI Monitor Outputs 2
    Subwoofer Outputs 2
    Discrete Subwoofer Outputs No
    Multi-Channel Analog Input No
    Multi-channel Preamp Output Yes
    Main Speaker Output Pairs 1
    Main Speaker Terminals Posts
    Ethernet Port 1
    USB Connections FW updates
    Removable Power Cord IEC 2-prong

    Product Research

    Audio Section
    Video Section
    Convenience Features
    Remote Control

    Audio Section

    5-Channel Amplifier: The Anthem MRX 520 AV receiver employs a 5 channel amplifier that is rated at 100 watts per 2 channels driven @ 20-20kHz, into 8-ohms, at 1.0%THD.

    Audiophile-Grade Components: The Anthem MRX520 AV receiver utilizes audiophile-grade components; such as premium 32-bit/768kHz differential-output D/A converters for high-resolution sound, tri-core 32 digital signal processing (DSP) with Dolby TrueHD & DTS-HD capability, and a brushed anodized aluminum front-panel to resist unwanted vibration.

    Advanced Load Monitoring (ALM) Technology: Anthem's exclusive ALM circuitry protects the amplifier's sensitive output devices by constantly monitoring temperature, current, and voltage to ensure optimum long-term performance. ALM is totally non-invasive; it is not in the signal path and only engages in the most extreme circumstances to protect the amplifier from damage by maintaining the safe operating area of the output devices.

    Anthem Room Correction (ARC): The MRX 520 includes the newest and most powerful generation of Anthem Room Correction (ARC), with 50% more processing power than any other version of ARC. This proprietary calibration tool, with its easy-to-use interface, automatically shapes the acoustic signature of your speakers for the best possible sound quality in your unique listening space. Anthem Room Correction (ARC) is a proprietary digital signal processing system that allows you to quickly and accurately optimize the performance of your audio equipment to better suit the unique parameters of your room. By listening to your room's acoustic signature, ARC can tune your equipment to correct for the performance-robbing effects (reflections, resonances, standing waves, etc.) of the various surfaces and other obstacles in your room. ARC is easy to use, and just a few simple steps can optimize your speakers for your unique listening space. ARC is  one of the most sophisticated, accurate, and detailed digital room correction technologies available today. There are 3 ways to calibrate your system using ARC or ARC Mobile.

    • Mobile App: Download Anthem's ARC Mobile app to your Apple iOS 9.2+ or Android OS 5.0+ device. This method uses your iOS device's built-in microphone for measurements.
    • Mobile App + Universal ARC Mic (sold separately): Download Anthem's ARC Mobile app to your Apple iOS 9.2+ or Android OS 5.0+ device, select "ARC Universal Microphone" on the app, and connect the ARC Universal Microphone (sold separately) to your Apple iOS or Android device for measurements.
    • Windows PC App: Download and install Anthem's ARC software to your Windows PC (7 or later). Connect the included ARC Microphone to your Windows PC, and connect the Preamplifier via USB or LAN. After running your measurements, you can customize the results, set up multiple configurations, and print correction curve graph. Not compatible with Mac.
    Note: ARC digitally compares a room's acoustic signature to that of the lab standard. It measures the response of each speaker relative to the listening area. Then it uses advanced algorithms to eliminate the negative effects of the obstacles in the room, adjusting response and correcting phase effects. When ARC removes the obstacles, what's left is the lab standard performance.

    Compatible Digital Audio Formats: The Anthem AV receiver supports the following stereo & multichannel digital audio formats through its HDMI jacks and optical/coax digital inputs.

    Digital Audio Connector Audio Signal Type Audio Signal Format
    HDMI 2Ch Linear PCM 2ch, 32-192kHz, 16/20/24-bit
    Multichannel Linear PCM 8ch, 32-192kHz, 16/20/24-bit
    Bitstream Dolby Digital, DTS
    High Definition Audio Bitstream Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS-HD High Resolution
    Optical/Coaxial 2Ch Linear PCM 2ch, 32-96kHz, 16/20/24-bit
    Multichannel Linear PCM 6ch, 32-96Hz, 16/20/24-bit
    Bitstream Dolby Digital, DTS,

    Note: Even though the AV receiver will decode 7.1ch surround sound (via HDMI), it will only output 5.1ch surround, because it lacks Surround Back channel speaker outputs.

    Post Decoding Formats: The Anthem AV receiver supports Dolby Pro Logic II (Movie/Music/Game) and DTS Neo: 6 (Music/Cinema) to enhance 2-channel and multichannel decoding formats.

    AnthemLogic: The MRX 520 receiver incorporates Anthem's proprietary AnthemLogic sound technology to enhance 2-channel stereo audio sources; there are two modes - Cinema & Music. AnthemLogic-Cinema lets you experience home theater surround sound from any 2-channel audio source. A large, enveloping and dynamic listening experience is created making 2-channel movies sound more "home-theater" like. AnthemLogic-Music enhances the stereo listening experience without detracting from the stereo soundstage and with no echo or reverberation effects. To ensure that the purity of the stereo music soundstage is in not compromised, the center-channel is not used.

    Analog Direct Mode: Analog Direct mode will bypass all digital conversion and signal processing for pure, high-fidelity sound of 2ch analog audio sources.

    Input Listening Mode Presets: You can save up to 30 listening mode presets for a single input, so you have quick access to a desired sound based on media content, time of day, etc..

    Dolby Volume: Dolby Volume makes content with large differences in volume easier to listen to by analyzing it and intelligently adjusting two things - level and frequency response. It does this automatically & continually. In doing so, the volume setting is taken into account as is our hearing's declining sensitivity to the lowest and highest frequencies relative to the midrange as their levels drop. The result is that the perceived frequency response remains constant while making quieter parts of the content more listenable.

    Dynamic Range Control: This features allows you to control the difference between the softest and loudest passages, but only on multichannel Dolby Digital soundtracks. You can select between three DRC modes - Normal, Reduced, or Late Night.

    Volume & Tone Adjustments: The Anthem MRX 520 allows you to configure the receiver's Power-On Volume, Maximum Volume Level, and Mute Level, as well as Bass & Treble.

    Analog & Digital Audio Connection: The Anthem MRX 520 AV receiver offers a variety of analog & digital audio connectivity.

    • Binding Post Speaker Terminals: The receiver is outfitted with binding post terminals for all speaker output channels (Front, Center, & Surround). The binding post terminals can accept up to 10AWG speaker wire, pin-connectors and banana plugs (single only). The front channels support 6-8 ohm speakers, while all other channels will accept 8 ohm speakers.
    • 5.2ch + Zone 2 Pre-Outs: The receiver is fitted with 5.2ch pre-outs (Front, Center, Surround, and Dual Sub) to connect external amplifiers. The dual subwoofer outputs are parallel and not discrete. The Zone 2 Pre-Out lets you connect an external amp and pair of speakers in another room of your home.
    • Analog Audio Inputs/Output: The Anthem MRX 520 receiver features five analog stereo audio input jacks. This unit does not offer a Phono input, so you will need to purchase a phono preamp (sold separately) to connect your turntable; or your turntable will need a built-in phono preamp. The receiver also has an analog stereo line output. This analog stereo line output is a 2-channel version of the receiver's selected input source with a fixed output level. It can be used with a headphone amp which has its own volume control.
    • Digital Audio Inputs/Outputs: The Anthem MRX 520 receiver is equipped with three optical (toslink) digital inputs, one optical (toslink) digital output, and two coaxial (RCA) digital inputs. The optical output provides a pass-through of the receiver's optical or coaxial digital inputs. The digital inputs/output support up to 5.1ch 24-bit/96kHz audio, including Dolby Digital & DTS.
    • Front-Panel Headphone Jack: The Anthem MRX 520 receiver is fitted with a front-panel 1/4" headphone jack for connection of a set of headphones. You can configure the receiver to mute its speaker outputs & pre-outs when headphones are plugged in or allow the speaker outputs & pre-outs to remain active even when a set of headphones are plugged into the front-panel headphone jack.

    FM Tuner: The Anthem AV receiver features a built-in FM tuner. You can store up to 30 FM station presets. The unit does not offer an AM tuner.

    Video Section

    HDMI 2.0a: Featuring seven HDMI inputs and two HDMI outputs, the MRX 520 incorporates an advanced video section that features the latest HDMI 2.0a specification, including support for 4K/60 Hz Ultra-HD video, BT.2020 Wide Color Gamut, High Dynamic Range (HDR), and 4:4:4 Pure Color sub-sampling. The MRX 520 also features HDCP 2.2 compatibility, a requirement for 4K Ultra HD copy-protected content.  Use a premium high-speed 18Gbps HDMI cable for the best 4K/HDR performance.

    • 4K/60Hz Pass-Through: The MRX 520 supports up to 4K (3840x2160 pixels) video @ 60 frames per second on all of its HDMI inputs and output (pass-through only). It will also pass a 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, or 1080p video signals via HDMI
    • HDCP 2.2: All of the receiver's HDMI jacks support HDCP 2.2, which fully complies with the latest copyright protection standard for 4K video transmission.
    • 4:4:4 Color Subsampling: All of the receiver's rear-panel HDMI jacks support RGB, YCbCr 4:4:4, YCbCr 4:2:2, and YCbCr 4:2:0 color subsampling (@ 60Hz or 50Hz). With 4:4:4 color subsampling, luminance (brightness) and chroma (color) are sampled at the same rate; resulting in an RGB color palette as big as the video sampling rate for a video image with more colors, plus greater color accuracy and detail. The front-panel HDMI only supports 4K 60/50Hz using format YCbCr 4:2:0 only.
    • HDR (High Dynamic Range): HDR provides enhanced picture quality by simultaneously enabling greater detail for both the dark and bright parts of an image. HDR reproduces a greater dynamic range of luminosity or brightness levels, creating greater contrast. This increased contrast reveals the subtle nuances of the image, from detailed blacks and shadows to the brightest whites and colors, plus greater depth. The receiver supports HDR10 out of the box, as well as Dolby Vision and HLG through a USB firmware update.
    • Wide Color Gamut (BT.2020): The BT.2020 color standard delivers a much wider color gamut and represents about 75% of the total visual color spectrum, while the current Rec. 709 color standard selected as the color space for HDTVs and early generation 4K Ultra HDTVs covers only 35% of the total visual color spectrum.
    Note: The AV receiver does not do upscaling. This unit does not contain any analog video inputs or outputs.

    Dual HDMI Outputs: The AV receiver's two HDMI outputs are parallel, so the same HDMI audio/video signal is output through both and can be used simultaneously (video is output at the resolution supported by both TVs).

    MHL Support: The rear-panel HDMI 7 input is MHL compatible. This MHL compatible HDMI ports provide easy, direct connection of a MHL compatible Android smartphone. Playback of up to 1080p video and multi-channel audio from the phone is supported. The AV receiver will also charge your connected phone. Play, Stop, and other basic operations can be controlled from the AV receiver's remote control. Check here for a list of compatible MHL-enabled Android phones.

    ARC (Audio Return Channel): This feature of the MRX 520's main HDMI monitor output allows audio to be sent from your compatible HDTV to the receiver through the same HDMI cable already being used to send audio and video to your HDTV. This eliminates the need for extra cables connected to your television.

    Deep Color & x.v.Color Support: The AV receiver supports Deep Color and x.v.Color content, which can display a larger color range than standard-definition schemes. The result is a more lifelike, vibrant picture

    AV LipSync: This function adjusts the delay between audio and video output. You can do this manually or have the receiver set the LipSync function automatically. When connected to a TV via HDMI the receiver automatically adjusts audio output timing if the TV also supports an automatic LipSync function. You can also manually delay the sound output up to 300ms to synchronize it with the video image.

    Standby Pass-Through: When the MRX 520 is in standby mode (power off), the Standby Through feature allows HDMI source signals to pass through the receiver to the TV. The HDMI input can be changed using the remote control. So, there's not need to turn on the AV receiver in order to switch HDMI sources. You can select from HDMI 1-7 inputs, or the last HDMI input selected.

    Convenience Features

    On-Screen Display (OSD): The Anthem MRX 520 AV receiver offers an on-screen menu system via its main HDMI output. The clean and simple interface of the OSD makes setup and other operations extremely easy.

    Multi-Zone Functionality: The Anthem MRX 520 offers multizone functionality for playback of the same or different audio sources in up to two rooms. It also allows you to watch to the same HDMI video sources on up to two TVs.

    • Zone 2: The MRX 520's Zone 2 function allows you to enjoy the same or different audio source in two rooms of your home. You can be enjoying a movie in your main room, while someone else can be listening to a music track in another room. You will need an additional amplifier and pair of speakers in Zone 2. You can select the receiver's FM tuner, analog audio input sources, plus optical & coaxial digital audio inputs (2ch PCM only) for Zone 2 (HDMI audio/video cannot be sent to Zone 2). You can choose to control the volume of Zone 2 from your MRX 520 or your amplifier.
    • Zone 2 Input Follows Main (Party Mode): This feature allows you to enjoy the AV receiver's Main Zone audio source in Zone 2, simultaneously (regardless of input audio signal types - analog or digital; including HDMI). During this mode, stereo playback is automatically selected for all zones. The Main Zone & Zone 2's volume level can be adjusted independently. Utilize this function when you want to play back an audio source as background music in two rooms of your home.
    • Dual HDMI Outputs: The AV receiver's two HDMI outputs are parallel, so the same HDmI audio/video signal is output through both and can be used simultaneously (video is output at the resolution supported by both TVs).

    Auto Off: When there is no input signal (for 5, 10, 20, 60, 120, or 360 minutes), the MRX 520 will automatically turn off. You can also disable this function.

    Firmware Updates (via USB only): New firmware & software will be released for the purpose of additional features or product improvements. Firmware & software updates can be downloaded from the Anthem website onto a USB thumbdrive inserted into your computer. The USB thumbdrive can then be inserted into the receiver's USB port to complete update. This unit does not offer firmware or software updates via a wired or wireless network connection.

    Remote Control

    Backlit Remote Control: The included IR remote control provides wireless operation of the Anthem MRX 520 receiver. The remote offers full control over the receiver's main zone, as well as volume and input selection for Zone 2. It provides backlit keys, so the buttons are easily visible even in a dark room.

    HDMI-CEC (Consumer Electronics Control): The Anthem AV receiver supports HDMI-CEC, which synchronizes the operation of this unit with other HDMI-CEC devices when connected via HDMI. With HDMI-CEC, turning on one component in the system can turn on the rest of the system, same with turning one component off. Not all HDMI-CEC compatible components and functions are guaranteed to work.

    Remote App: Download the Anthem AV app onto your Apple (iOS 7.0+) iPod/iPhone/iPad or Android (OS 4.0.3+) smartphone/tablet for remote control of the AV receiver from your compatible mobile device. The Anthem AV app offers similar functionality and control of the AV receiver to that of the factory IR remote. Ethernet connection to the rear-panel of the MRX receiver is required, and your Apple iOS or Android device must be on the same local network.

    Note: This app is not recommended if a custom IP or RS-232 control system is or will be controlling the MRX receiver; it is normally best to use one type of network control to prevent conflicts.

    Custom Integration Remote Connections: The Anthem AV receiver is fitted with the following custom integration remote inputs/outputs.

    • IP Control: The AV receiver offers IP control through its RJ-45 Ethernet jack.
    • IR Input: The 3.5mm IR input jack allows you to control the receiver without line-of-sight access using an optional IR remote control system (sold separately) and locating the remote sensor in sight.
    • 12V Trigger Output: The MRX 520 has a 3.5mm trigger output to send a 12V/40mA DC turn-on signal to another component that accepts a 12V trigger, such as a power amplifier.
    • RS-232C Port: The AV receiver's RS-232C port provides seamless integration with a wide range of third-party home automation control systems (such as AMX or Crestron).

    Our Product Research Team

    At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

    Q & A

    Customer Q&A

    Crutchfield asked  
    Why did you buy this?

    I've heard that Anthem has the best room correction available and one of the best sounds. Currently I have an Arcam receiver that I'm replacing and quality of sound was a major buying influence for me. [ Gregory  Jan 15, 2019 ]
    5.2 system with decent power output and not an overly large chassis size like all the 7.2 and up systems being sold today. Gets solid reviews for sound quality. [ Brian  Feb 28, 2018 ]
    It's made in Canada. Place of manufacturing matters to me. [ Thien  Feb 20, 2018 ]
    Great reviews [ Anthony  Feb 12, 2018 ]
    Build quality and Anthem ARC room correction. [ Yoelvis  Jan 16, 2018 ]
    Audio quality. [ Roberto  Dec 20, 2017 ]
    Very good reviews. Also, I only want/need a receiver with 5.1 and not a lot of other features/channels I do not need. [ Theodore  Sep 14, 2017 ]
    I researched and found this receiver to be the best overall for my needs. [ Santos  Aug 26, 2017 ]
    Reviews [ Craig  Jul 27, 2017 ]
    Mainly because of recommendations and the high ratings. Need a solid AVR that kicks butt with both 4k blu ray movies and hi resolution music playback. This one seems to fit the bill perfectly for my needs. [ ERIC E  Jul 24, 2017 ]
    Audiophile quality [ Eric  Jul 06, 2017 ]
    Sound quality without the added features I will never use. [ Marco  May 12, 2017 ]
    Reviews regarding quality of sound and ARC system to correct for room acoustics. Crutchfield was an authorized dealer. [ Greg Patrick  Mar 26, 2017 ]
    I'm interested in Anthem's room correction; if it works as good as people say it does, I'll be very satisfied. [ David  Jan 17, 2017 ]
    Excellent reviews [ Mark  Jan 09, 2017 ]

    8 questions already asked

    Yes that is really what it means. No networking. You can add a some kind of Bluetooth receiver to get Bluetooth. The ethernet conector on the back is for room correction only. [ DOUGLAS  Sep 05, 2018 ]
    No, if you have a Sonos Connect, you can attach that to this receiver and stream through that device. This receiver does not have any networking built in, you have to supply the streaming yourself. Personally I have a Chromcast Ultra connected for this task. [ Matt  Sep 05, 2018 ]
    As far as the unit driving your B&W speakers the answer is I do not know. I am driving a Def tech speaker system with 5 built in powered subs and I stream through my Oppo 103D player. Both your concerns could be addressed by checking out the 720 and 1120 Anthems. They have more power than the 520 and they have Wi-Fi. I will say that the 520 is perfect for my setup and has shown no degree of stress at high volume levels. The overall performance blows everything else I have owned away including some separates. [ Cathy  Feb 23, 2018 ]
    Greg, The amp seems to have ample power. I managed to destroy a pair of Kef Reference Series in stereo mode. Yes the speakers were old but they give up the ghost in 20 minutes and had no issues with a Pioneer SC 25. No comparison. I could push the Pioneer into protection mode and shut down. Upon move I reinstalled my BGCorp inwalls and recalibrated. Can't recall the model but they are 5 feet of ribbons with 8 inch drivers.Had to reduce the master volume to plus 10 to stop the ringing in my ears and prevent hearing damage. Closest thing to the anthem I auditioned was a McIntosh and you know the cost on those. On a final note, the wife could hear a quality difference. You can't beat the soundstage. For streaming I use MrMC on a Fire Tv or Apple TV. It's a legal version of Kodi, but all my music is in flac and I refuse to listen to Sirus or any mp3 format at home. But I could always hear the difference. Hope this helps. Chris [ CHRISTOPHER  Feb 22, 2018 ]
    Two channel music is awesome. The only time I experienced a problem with two channel playback is with movies. Please note my system is a 2.0 system so everything is down mixed to 2.0. I run into this problem only with multichannel movies where the receiver has to decode a dolby audio source and down mix 5.1, 7.1, or atmos to 2.0. Music doesn't have this problem and sounds fantastic. [ Gerald  Dec 25, 2017 ]
    Wow, I'm not sure about that. I'd recommend a call to anthem to find out. Or Crutchfield's folks are great also. Best of luck! [ Mark  May 24, 2017 ]
    Really quite easy. First, you need to attach the FM antenna on the far left side on the back of the unit. Then, go to the input function on the remote and scroll down to FM. You can then manually tune FM stations as would in your car, and, or set up stations as presets. Just follow the directions in the manual. I hope this helps! [ Mark  May 24, 2017 ]
    If you purchased the product from Crutchfield, feel free to contact our Tech Support team. They can walk you through the settings on the product and see if there may be a fix. Our toll-free Tech Support number is printed on your invoice, and is also available under the "My Orders" tab in the "My Account" section of our website. If you did not purchase the unit from Crutchfield, then you may want to contact the manufacturer, or try our online support center: [ Krissy  May 23, 2017 ]  Staff
    I had asked this question of the Anthem folks--It's in the works but, I don't think it's imminent. [ Mark  Mar 17, 2017 ]
    I didn't see any info in the owner's manual about bi-wiring. May want to check the AVS forum. [ Mark  Jan 24, 2017 ]
    No it doesn't. It's a 5 channel receiver. Plus biamping from a receiver does nothing but use extra wire. [ Matthew  Jan 21, 2017 ]
    I believe this is possible using the pre-amp outputs and a y-splitter to bi-amp. [ Gary  Jan 21, 2017 ]
    As long as you can emulate Windows Vista or new with it, then we expect it to work. HTH! My Bio: [ Paul  Dec 07, 2016 ]  Staff

    Looking for more? Check out the next model in this lineup.

    Anthem MRX 720

    Get more channels, more power, more immersive surround sound, and wireless music streaming

    The Anthem MRX 720 offers these features:

    7-channel amplifier

    140 watts per channel into 8 ohms with 2 channels driven

    11.2-channel preamp outputs

    Dolby Atmos® and DTS:X (DTS:X available via future firmware update)

    DTS Play-Fi® for wireless music

    dual-zone/dual-source output