Onkyo TX-NR656 Owner's Thread - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 353 Old 04-22-2016, 06:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Onkyo TX-NR656 Owner's Thread

I purchased the TX-NR656 last Sunday. Some initial impressions vs. the TX-NR646...

The Good:
- 4K Up-conversion works very well.
- No Handshake issues via Roku 4, Sony Blu-ray Player or xfinity One Cable Box.
- Improved OSD.
- FLAC and DSD Album Covers appear On Screen and on the Onkyo App. This is a first for any Receiver I have used previously (Denon, Marantz, Yamaha, Pioneer, etc.).
- Full resolution Album Covers on the Onkyo App (Nexus 7 2013).

The Bad:
- AccuEq is still a Dumpster Fire. Auto Setup still sets my Studio 60's (Full Range Towers) @ 200Hz.
- Less power than the TX-NR646. I am listening to Music (Stereo) and Movies (dts HD) @ 55 - 65 vs. 40 - 52 with the prior year Model. My perception is the TX-NR656 is much less dynamic than its predecessor.
- I have had to Reset the Receiver twice in the past Week. Both times it stopped recognizing my FAT 32 USB Drive. Both times the Reset solved my issue and it has had no issues since my last Reset.
- Onkyo Customer Service has yet to respond to my initial Email with regard to AccuEQ with the TX-NR646. When I called Customer Service, the Technician told me to "not worry about it" and set the Crossovers Manually. I am not the only one Reporting this issue. The Subwoofer Loudness issue manifested later and I did not bother to call. I simply returned the TX-NR646.

...overall, the TX-NR646 was the best $600 Receiver in my opinion with respect to Sound Quality. If not for the AccuEQ and Subwoofer Loudness issues, I would have kept it and would have happily ignored the poor OSD and lack of 4K Up-conversion. I was hoping the TX-NR656 would be the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, it's a big step backwards in sound quality with respect to its predecessor and peer group and still has the AccuEQ issues. I think I'm done playing the Onkyo Lottery so I will not be exchanging it for yet another unit. I most likely will look towards the new Denon's and Yamaha's. I would have been ecstatic if it simply would have retained the TX-NR646's sound quality and eliminated the AccuEQ/Sub issues. I still own it (for now) so if you have any questions feel free to ask. Thanks for reading.
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post #2 of 353 Old 05-03-2016, 05:44 PM - Thread Starter
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A few updates...

- I have now had to perform a Hard Reset 4 times to re-enable the USB Function on the Onkyo Remote App for Android.
- I am now experiencing the Subwoofer Volume issue similar to the TX-NR646 that other Owners have experienced.
- I have contacted Onkyo regarding the Volume and AccuEQ issues via Phone, Email and 2 Posts in their Support Forum. Still no resolution.

...it's truly a lack of options at this point. Perhaps I am being too hard on this Receiver. My biggest issue is Onkyo's apathy regarding the above issues and it's failure to acknowledge them despite several Owners with similar issues expressed on this Site and elsewhere with respect to the TX-NR646 and now the TX-NR656. I don't understand why they are so disinterested in feedback regarding their Products and working with the Owner to ensure they work properly. Very frustrating.
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post #3 of 353 Old 05-03-2016, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mks100 View Post
- AccuEq is still a Dumpster Fire. Auto Setup still sets my Studio 60's (Full Range Towers) @ 200Hz.
- The Subwoofer Loudness issue manifested later and I did not bother to call.
Could you explain in detail the subwoofer loudness problem?
Is AccuEQ setting the level to high or to low?
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post #4 of 353 Old 05-03-2016, 07:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolcat4843 View Post
Could you explain in detail the subwoofer loudness problem?
Is AccuEQ setting the level to high or to low?
Definitive Technology Super Cube II. Volume set @ 10 o'clock on the Sub. Front L/R sets to 200 Hz (Paradigm Studio 60s V4). Manually adjust to 50Hz. Center sets to 40Hz (Paradigm CC-590 V4). Manually adjust to 50Hz. Rears set to 150Hz (Paradigm ADP-190 V5). Manually adjust to 120Hz. High Pass Filter set to 120Hz. AccuEQ sets the Level of the Sub @ 0 db. Using my DVE HD Basics Blu-ray and my RadioShack SPL Meter I have to manually set the Level to (9) db. The Sub Output varies from Stereo PCM, Dolby TrueHD and dts-HD. Sub Output is inconsistent from Cable to Roku to Blu-ray and from Stereo to Surround.
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post #5 of 353 Old 05-03-2016, 07:23 PM
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Thats a shame to hear about the onkyo 656 av receiver,I came close to buying one today,But i want to see more reviews on this and the new pioneer elite vsx lx301 av receiver ($700.00), I thought the onkyo might have better dacs and sound ,but the pioneer also seems to have a lot of the things i'm looking for.I only wish they had more hdmi 2.2 ports like denon has instead of just 3 like the onkyo and pioneer. I'm looking forward to reading what other buyers think.Thanks for starting this thread!

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post #6 of 353 Old 05-05-2016, 02:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by celticpride View Post
Thats a shame to hear about the onkyo 656 av receiver,I came close to buying one today,But i want to see more reviews on this and the new pioneer elite vsx lx301 av receiver ($700.00), I thought the onkyo might have better dacs and sound ,but the pioneer also seems to have a lot of the things i'm looking for.I only wish they had more hdmi 2.2 ports like denon has instead of just 3 like the onkyo and pioneer. I'm looking forward to reading what other buyers think.Thanks for starting this thread!
The TX-NR656 has 8 2.0/2.2 HDMI Inputs and they both have the AK4458 32-bit/384kHz DAC. The most significant difference aside from the number of HDMI 2.0/2.2 inputs is MCACC vs. AccuEQ. My issue with MCACC is that the Crossover Settings were Global on my VSX-1123K. Not sure if that has changed or not? The VSX-LX301 and Onkyo have very similar specs.
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post #7 of 353 Old 05-06-2016, 05:29 PM
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I thought Onkyo improved there AccuEQ on the 2016 models.
Hopefully, they're saving the best version, for there new flagship receiver, the TX-RZ3100.
After all, there are different flavors of Audyssey.

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post #8 of 353 Old 05-07-2016, 12:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mks100 View Post
The TX-NR656 has 8 2.0/2.2 HDMI Inputs and they both have the AK4458 32-bit/384kHz DAC. The most significant difference aside from the number of HDMI 2.0/2.2 inputs is MCACC vs. AccuEQ. My issue with MCACC is that the Crossover Settings were Global on my VSX-1123K. Not sure if that has changed or not? The VSX-LX301 and Onkyo have very similar specs.
656 still has only three hdmi inputs that are hdcp 2.2 compatible same as 646. I suspect they are using same hdmi board as last year. I didnt think 656 actually features 4k upscaling rather just a pass through.

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post #9 of 353 Old 05-07-2016, 03:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nohcho View Post
656 still has only three hdmi inputs that are hdcp 2.2 compatible same as 646. I suspect they are using same hdmi board as last year. I didnt think 656 actually features 4k upscaling rather just a pass through.

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Correct regarding the 3 2.0/2.2 HDMI inputs. My mistake as they removed the 2.2 designation(s) from the Back Panel and I assumed from their Marketing that all inputs were compatible this year. I only have one 2.0/2.2 Device (Roku 4). It does do 4K up-scaling and actually passes through the OSD (Denon and Marantz did not) with the Roku 4.
Regardless, I did not receive a response from Onkyo regarding my issues (nor with the TX-NR646) so I returned it. Hopefully they will address these issues in a future Firmware Update.
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post #10 of 353 Old 05-21-2016, 07:37 AM
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Well I was planning on getting the 656 but it sounds like the 646 is the way to go. Especially now that it has dropped significantly in price. I wonder why the lack of power you are experiencing on the 656? I thought they were rated the same.

So you would rather the 646? I have always manually setup my crossovers and could care less about album art.
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post #11 of 353 Old 05-22-2016, 05:30 AM
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funny thing

i prefer the nr 636 to the nr 646 with 1080p tv and dont care about dts x for now and got it used for 200.00
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post #12 of 353 Old 05-24-2016, 01:34 PM
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Does the VLSC technology on the 656 really matter compared to the 646 that does not have it?
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post #13 of 353 Old 05-24-2016, 04:03 PM
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when costumers ask for the latest and greatest every year something has to give to keep the same low price.
if you want all the frills, features and sound, spend more than 6 series.
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post #14 of 353 Old 05-24-2016, 07:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iceman4357 View Post
Well I was planning on getting the 656 but it sounds like the 646 is the way to go. Especially now that it has dropped significantly in price. I wonder why the lack of power you are experiencing on the 656? I thought they were rated the same.

So you would rather the 646? I have always manually setup my crossovers and could care less about album art.
Definitely no disrespect to the OP, but I'm a little surprised how some here are willing to bury the 656 based off just 1 review. I am an Onkyo fan (who owns a Pioneer SC-95), and they may have definitely cut corners with the 656; but also, maybe they didn't. Maybe the OP isn't hearing the unit the way it should be heard for whatever reasons. There are current and former owners in every major thread here who say that Denon sucks, Yamaha sucks, Pioneer sucks, Onkyo sucks, ect.... , but we don't take it as gospel. I'd wait for more reviews first. The OP's observation is just ONE review, ONE opinion.
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post #15 of 353 Old 05-24-2016, 07:33 PM
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Maybe Onkyo cut corners with the 656 by leaving out the push pull amp. The 646 has it.

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post #16 of 353 Old 06-10-2016, 07:54 AM
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I just actually picked up a TX-NR646 over the TX-NR656 due to this thread and reading about the amp differences between the 656 and the 646. However, did they fix the HDMI issues I am seeing people talk about on the 656 that that 646 had? Basically I am wondering if I return this and get the newer model or just keep the 646. I am running Polk Monitor 70 Series 2's for my fronts and matched Polk speakers for the rest of my 5.1 setup.
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post #17 of 353 Old 06-18-2016, 02:42 AM
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post #18 of 353 Old 06-18-2016, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by houseofbugs View Post
I just actually picked up a TX-NR646 over the TX-NR656 due to this thread and reading about the amp differences between the 656 and the 646. However, did they fix the HDMI issues I am seeing people talk about on the 656 that that 646 had? Basically I am wondering if I return this and get the newer model or just keep the 646. I am running Polk Monitor 70 Series 2's for my fronts and matched Polk speakers for the rest of my 5.1 setup.
The Onkyo 646 is excellent as I used to have it. Dynamic as all Onkyo are.
You could try Denon like the x1200.

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post #19 of 353 Old 08-09-2016, 02:38 PM
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Thank you OP for your impressions on the device, I am (or was) thinking about buying this unit, though I also have the option of getting the Marantz SR5010 for only 80€ more (519 vs 599) and have been looking for impressions / reviews of which there don't appear to be many.
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post #20 of 353 Old 08-31-2016, 07:17 AM
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Heads up all,

The DTS:X firmware for this and other Onkyo receivers is now available. Updating mine now

http://www.onkyousa.com/Downloads/firmware.php
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post #21 of 353 Old 09-02-2016, 11:32 AM
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Hello

I bought my second Onkyo 656 and toke it back to the shop...again.
The first one wasn't able to look for the HDMIsources.
So after 4 weeks Onkyo said it was broken and gave back my money.
Thinking it was a fluke i bought a new one.
This one was better, it looked up all sources but... forgot it after i turned it off.

So no more 656 for me.
I want a receiver with 2 zones so i keep coming back to Onkyo.
I wonder if the 545 or 646 is better and can do what it supposed to do.
I buying my first receiver, i already have the 5.1 JBL boxes and 2 300W Klipsch boxes for music only.
I hope you experts can help me
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post #22 of 353 Old 09-07-2016, 08:31 AM
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did the new firmware update change the AccuEQ setup?
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post #23 of 353 Old 09-07-2016, 08:36 AM
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did the new firmware update change the AccuEQ setup?
I don't know if it does but per Onkyo they advise to redo accueq right after.

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post #24 of 353 Old 09-07-2016, 07:53 PM
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Sorry guys if I'm posting in the wrong thread but I'm having a hard time finding the owners thread if their is one for the budget onkyo tx sr353 receiver. Got a whole bunch of noob questions!
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post #25 of 353 Old 09-20-2016, 10:41 AM
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I got the 656 from BestBuy a couple of weeks ago and then ordered 646 refurb from accesories4less.com. The 646 works great and all but i find the sound of 646 pretty boxy and narrow. It almost feels like the speakers are inside a hollow box and the soundstage is pretty narrow. I loved the soundstage of the 656. What do you guys think could be the reason? I am a noob at HT just FYI.
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post #26 of 353 Old 11-17-2016, 05:24 AM
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Can anyone with the 656 tell me some specifics on the Multi Room and Zone 2 audio? I read from the brochure:


"With the dedicated Zone 2 DAC for Net & SPDIF, you can send internet audio and digital audio sources connected via coax or optical (such as Apple TV) to your second listening zone. "


So does that mean that only those sources and nothing pulled off of HDMI can be sent to Zone 2? So that to me sounds like all NET sources (Pandora, Spotify, etc) along with devices directly connected via SPDIF (coax or digital) but not say my cable box connected via HDMI?


The FireConnect feature however, clearly says any audio source so I'm guessing that would cover HDMI sources?


Trying to have setup where tv is on in main room but can also hear it (say a football game) in the kitchen on Zone 2. Used to be so easy in analog times.
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post #27 of 353 Old 12-06-2016, 06:52 PM
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Hi all,
I also asked this question in the Denon x-series thread and I'm debating the 656 vs the Denon X-3300w. I'm mostly concerned with video upscaling. I have a Vizio P-65 display and as good as it is, the one thing it's horrible at is upscaling 720p/1080i video internally, meaning that to view DVR'd network TV shows, I need to up-res to 4k/60. Yes, I know it won't be perfect but will the 656 do an acceptable job of upconverting that source material? If not, would I be better served with another Onkyo, the Denon or something else entirely?

Thanks in advance.
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post #28 of 353 Old 12-07-2016, 03:08 PM
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I just bought a 656 and I don't like it. I have two RTi4 bookshelf speakers and that's it, but my tn-nr609 from a couple years ago, to me, sounded way better musically. Perhaps I'm forgetting what it sounded like or perhaps I blew the speakers but as it stand right now I am not happy with the 656 playing music at high volume. It almost sounds a little distorted.

I set up the eq manually (not much variance from flat) and still no change, I'm really disappointed. I have a brand new yamaha v481 and onkyo 656 sitting on my dining room table waiting to be returned. maybe I messed something up or over looked something?

***UPDATE***

The system sounds like garbage because I was listening via the wifi app. This is concerning because I chose this receiver exactly for that purpose, to listen over wifi. I then tried bluetooth via my trusty blackplayer music app and there was a lot of bluetooth feedback high pitch noise, you can still listen to the music but it is no longer Hi-Fi. I listen via bluetooth in my car all the time on my 1000w aftermarket stereo and it sounds great. Why is this receiver not accepting swireless transmission properly? Beats me. Wired sounds great and I now listen through chrome cast wirelessly and it sounds great.

I will be returning this receiver for either another 656 (perhaps this one is RMA) or the 757 (perhaps it works better?). If all else fails, I might try contacting Onkyo.

***UPDATE***

Contacted Onkyo and they said they've heard of this issue but not enough for a recall. (prob like 1/2% of all units I'm guessing). I will be returning to best buy and exchange for another 656. Also noticed that if I plug my phone into the aux-in, I get clicks when I change tracks, I then unplug and reseat the jack and all is well...

Last edited by sannitig; 12-13-2016 at 09:38 AM.
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post #29 of 353 Old 12-26-2016, 01:37 PM
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I also just upgraded from a TN-NR609 to a TN-NR656, my 609 finally died from the dreaded DTS chip error and with it being long out of warranty, and local JB Hi-Fi having 40% off, I wasn't going to pay the crazy repair bill.

After installing it and running the setup guide, which I think all ran well, I realised the remote was very different to the previous model, it was now half the remote it used to be! One of the things i absolution loved about my 609 was the remote and how I was able to store all of my other remotes away and just use the onkyo remote to control the TV and event push through to the FireTV. So I pulled out my half working RM-803 (this remote has had a hard life the kids have tried to kill it several times and finally succeeded 6 months ago) and from what I could tell the 656 responded to the old remote. I have since some some reading and it looks like they changed the remote for the *5* series. I find the remote useless as it only controls the receiver and with the volume push through from the TV I can use the TV's remote to control that.

Has anyone else been dissatisfied with the remote or is it just me having a winge, if you have did you replace the remote with anything?
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post #30 of 353 Old 01-01-2017, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Nielsen View Post
I also just upgraded from a TN-NR609 to a TN-NR656, my 609 finally died from the dreaded DTS chip error and with it being long out of warranty, and local JB Hi-Fi having 40% off, I wasn't going to pay the crazy repair bill.

After installing it and running the setup guide, which I think all ran well, I realised the remote was very different to the previous model, it was now half the remote it used to be! One of the things i absolution loved about my 609 was the remote and how I was able to store all of my other remotes away and just use the onkyo remote to control the TV and event push through to the FireTV. So I pulled out my half working RM-803 (this remote has had a hard life the kids have tried to kill it several times and finally succeeded 6 months ago) and from what I could tell the 656 responded to the old remote. I have since some some reading and it looks like they changed the remote for the *5* series. I find the remote useless as it only controls the receiver and with the volume push through from the TV I can use the TV's remote to control that.

Has anyone else been dissatisfied with the remote or is it just me having a winge, if you have did you replace the remote with anything?
Two questions:
Does it support multi-room chromecast audio?
Does it support casting video as well, or just audio?
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