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AVS › Reviews › Receivers & Amplifiers › Component Receivers › Onkyo TX-NR616

Onkyo TX-NR616

80% Positive Reviews

Posted

Pros: 7.2 support, network support, Audyssey 2EQ, 8 HDMI inputs

Cons: Poor upscaling/deinterlacing, intrusive on screen display, need current firmware

The Onkyo TX-NR616 is a 115W 7.2 channel THX Select2 certified network A/V receiver. It features Audyssey 2EQ room calibration, ARC, cloud audio streaming, internet radio and a remote app for iOS and android devices. It includes 8 HDMI inputs and 2 outputs with Qdeo 4K upscaling. I purchased the TX-NR616 to replace a 5 year old Onkyo TX-SR575 without HDMI audio support. After applying the latest firmware straight out of the box via USB everything is working as intended. I haven’t had any of the issues that plagued early owners of the device. No HDMI issues, no power on/off issues.


Audio: On the audio side I have no complaints. The sound is great coming from my Polk speakers. There is plenty of power to watch movies at ear bleeding reference levels if you want. “Black Hawk Down” at -10db was enjoyable, “A Knights Tale” at 0db reference was clear and precise, although too loud for my tastes. There are lots of internet streaming options built in to the receiver, Pandora worked well and sounds good. The iPhone app also performed as advertised and I have used it to control streaming music without any issues.

Video: The video upscaling/deinterlacing appears poor. A 1080i source from my DVR converted to 1080P gains a lot of artifacts and is unwatchable. The receiver is set to upconvert out of the box, you need to set the receiver to pass HDMI video without molesting it. Thankfully my display performs this task without issue so the feature was not needed but if it’s a reason you are considering this receiver look elsewhere. This also gives me no confidence in the 4k upscaling this receiver says it can do although I have no 4k display to test it. The receivers AV sync features work as expected. My display does not support the HDMI display sync but the standard AV sync works well for me.

Display: The on screen display is intrusive because of the huge gray box it places behind the text for contrast. This could have been smaller to cover less of the screen, although it can be turned off. There is no way on this model to display what audio format is output. You have to press the display button several times, it briefly shows up on both LCD and monitor and then goes back to showing you which source you have chosen. The 717 and up have this feature, my old Onkyo had this feature as well and I do miss it.

Setup: Setup was simple despite the necessary usb firmware update. I set the receiver beside an HDMI display, turned off all HDMI control on both the display and the receiver and then performed the update. The process took about an hour. Once this was complete I replaced my current receiver with the new unit. It does support banana clips but my bare cables worked as well as expected. Answer a few questions at startup once everything is connected then perform the Audyssey 2EQ setup with the supplied mic. I adjusted the crossover on all of my speakers back to 80Hz from 60 and 70Hz but that is from personal preference. It did measure the speaker distances correctly. Overall the 2EQ performed the same as it did 5 years ago when I first experienced it. The remote is lackluster which is not an issue for me as I use a universal remote for everything but initial setup. The on screen display is clear and easy to read. Initial navigation takes a bit to get used to but once you get the hang of the back button it’s easy enough to quickly change settings. Again this is not a big deal to me because once I achieve the settings I want I probably won’t enter these menus more than once a year.

Conclusion: Most of my complaints are nitpicks and the audio is what really matters. Music sounds better than my older unit. Movies also sound clearer with less distortion at high volume but I attribute some of that to the higher quality audio format that HDMI allows over Optical. Overall I am happy with the purchase especially at this price point and would recommend it to anyone willing to perform firmware updates via USB.

Posted

Pros: Every single function works as it is intended.

Cons: I wished I had a need for a second one

I bought the 616 in the spring of 2013. The bad press from the early firmware issues drove the price down but all of the firmware issues leading to many of the malfunctions were corrected. In short us late buyers got perfectly functioning units at severely depressed prices. I designed my entire Whole House Audio around the 616. It works perfectly in every respect. I wished I had a need for a second one. Having been using it for two months, I can not find fault with it given its use for my main 5.1 seating area and two other zones throughout the house. I am happy to give up the better Audyssey for the sheer amount of features.

Posted

Pros: Great feature set for the price

Cons: Some basics don't work. Terrible customer service/support

For the price, you'd be hard pushed to find another receiver with as many first-class features as the TX-NR616. Features like THX certification, video upscaling, networking and much more. Unfortunately, expecting them to all work is more of a challenge.

I fell in love with the 616 as soon as I saw it and what it could do. I was mis-informed by the salesman that I could upconvert to 4k and get a great picture out of my Mitsubishi 65" DLP (1080p) TV, which of course, is not true, but the 1080p upconvert IS very good.

Setup is a breeze using the on-screen GUI and the Audyssey 2EQ system. Sound separation is extremely good and overall, it's a pleasing experience, but that's where it ends. After just a couple of days, I switched on only to find no video output. A 'Clear' rectified the issue, but added its own problems. Now the receiver will turn off using the remote but not back on again! A visit to the Onkyo forum reveals that this is a known issue and a firmware update will be available 'soon' to fix it. In the meantime, I had to switch on using the button on the front of the receiver, which also appeared to initialize the HDMI each time. Using the Network Standby mode, I was able to use the remote, but then every few days, I'd get the no video problem again.

Playing with the network, I was able to log into Pandora and Slacker with ease and add some favorites to the vTuner list. However, these radio stations would often display "cannot Play' and then after restarting, played perfectly. Streaming from my Galaxy Nexus Android phone was not so good. Most times, the system simply refused to play a track and skipped to the next one, failing and moving on. The end result was nothing would play at all. I would occasionally get a single song to play, but the lack of consistency made this 'feature' less than useless.

Contact with Onkyo was an even more frustrating experience. Apart from their support team taking over a week to respond to a direct email, posts on their own forum were overlooked or replies had generic answers that barely related to the question being asked. The usual response was to ask for the serial and firmware version numbers, followed by...nothing.

A firmware update was made available last Tuesday and I was able to install it, but it did nothing for the issues and was removed from the website and stream the next day. Then another was promised on Thursday, but not made available until late in the day on Friday. This simply failed to be recognized at all, either by network or USB download.

Onkyo's response to all this? Absolutely minimal. They continue to appear on the forum answering questions (mostly with "Contact our Service Department), but fail to even acknowledge the existence of the many frustrated users, some with multiple business installations.

I really tried to keep this receiver. For the price, there's nothing to compare at the moment. However, even if I got a magical firmware update tomorrow, I would seriously doubt the chance of it lasting more than a week! Back it goes and will be replaced with either a Pioneer VSX-1122-k or a Yamaha RX-V673. Both are more expensive, but they have a much better chance of working out of the box!

In conclusion: This is a great buy for a Las Vegas gambler. You can save money and get a lot of advanced features, but the odds are that you will have problems. I could live with them if they were obscure issues, but HDMI output and even switching on? Come on Onkyo. You must do a LOT better if you want to create brand loyalty and keep the user base you have.

Posted

Pros: Phenomenal Sound, Lots of Hookups, All Channel Stereo, Customizable Inputs

Cons: Unit height (at almost 7" it may not fit in all Component/TV stands, Buttons on the unit are not backlit

Having purchased this receiver after all the firmware issues have been fixed, I can't really think of anything negative to say. It has all the features I wanted and more. The setup is simple enough and the sound and video quality are top notch! I would absolutely recommend this receiver to anyone in the market that doesn't want to spend $500+.

Posted

Pros: Sound, Price, Ease of Use, Interface, HDMI Inputs, Quiet Fan

Cons: Primitive Applications could use a refresh

Judging from the early reviews, it appears this unit has seen its fair share of issues at introduction. Firmware updates seem to have completely solved any of the early reported issues, as I have yet to experience any video or audio glitches at all. What really makes the TX-NR616 stand out as a bargain now, is the price. It now sits at a near-entry level price for a THX certified receiver with excellent options typically found at nearly twice this price.

Sound
While all the features found in receivers like this are really fun, the most important thing is still the sound reproduction. I installed this unit to replace an entry level unit with half the power (at best), coupled with a very large powered subwoofer (Tempest) that generally outpowered the other 5 channels. The other channels were capable of handling quite a bit more power so the THX certified amplifier has made a dramatic change in system headroom, dynamics and lower distortion. This is a high quality amplifier that not only sounds great, but is very efficient. It is installed in a fairly open cabinet, and has little trouble venting heat. The fan is much quieter than the one in the device it replaced so when going from loud passages or scenes to quiet, the fan is below ambient noise.
Auto Calibration with the microphone hasn't been very helpful in my past experience, but I decided to give it a try with this Onkyo. I carefully followed the instructions to mount the mic at ear level and ran through the setup and was very please to find that the crossover points and time alignment were spot on. A few additional EQ tweaks and level adjustments that really were more geared towards my preference and I had excellent sound in a very short time.

Video
Apart from the sound, a big reason I bought this unit was for the HDMI switching and 1080p upscaling. 8 HDMI inputs allows me to switch ALL of my devices. I connected a DVD player and a Roku player and was stunned to see that the picture actually improved in comparison to connecting the devices directly to my TV! Definitely an added bonus that my 480p and 720p devices ended up looking even better with this upgrade.

Network Mode
I haven't played around a great deal with the built in applications such as Pandora, etc. since I generally use the Roku for those, but I did experiment with them and found the interface pretty basic and a little laggy. The Roku definitely has a nicer interface that's smoother and easier to navigate.
Connecting my Android phone to the network took a little figuring out, and made me want to pick up the Bluetooth adapter, as well, to make it a little easier to get sound from my phone to the system.
Connecting either an Android phone or iPhone via a USB got music playing seamlessly, with excellent sound quality, though. That's probably the method I'd use most often.

On Screen Setup
Navigating the menus with the On Screen Menus is great. The interface is intuitive and the quick menu offers easy access to the most frequently adjusted settings. I particularly like being able to assign four listening modes to each device and easily being able to access them with the four color coded buttons near the bottom of the remote control.

Overall, I'm really pleased with this Onkyo. My father had a fantastic Onkyo setup back in the 80's and it's good to see they're still making some quality product. At the MSRP, this might have been a four star product, but at the discounts now available, this is a clear five star winner!
Onkyo TX-NR616
By:
Description:

Escape into THX®-Certified Surround Sound. Movie, music, and gaming enthusiasts can now step up to realistic THX® Select2 Plus™-certified surround sound for less money down with the new TX-NR616 Network A/V Receiver. Onkyo’s acclaimed WRAT amplifier with three-stage inverted Darlington circuitry delivers cinema-like power in the home. With Audyssey DSX™ expansion, you can add extra Wide or Height channels for more enveloping surround sound, while 2EQ acoustic correction guarantees optimal performance in any room. Eight HDMI® inputs handle 3D content, HD audio, and video display upscaled to 4K with onboard Qdeo™ technology. The MHL/HDMI input lets you connect a smart phone for smooth 1080p playback on your TV. Wireless home networking, meanwhile, opens up an exciting world of internet radio and cloud-based music streaming. You can even enjoy your multi-format PC-based music collection over Wi-Fi with an optional USB adapter. Intuitive system control—including audio distribution in multiple rooms—is provided by Onkyo’s remote apps for iPod touch/ iPhone and Android phone, or press the Quick Set-Up button on the supplied remote for instant mid-program adjustments. Visual input selection with InstaPrevue™ technology rounds out what is an exceptionally refined and affordable THX receiver.

Details:
DetailValue
BindingElectronics
BrandOnkyo
EAN0751398010682
FeatureTHX Select2 Plus Certified Internet Radio and Cloud Music Streaming Service Connectivity w/ control via Onkyo Remote Apps MHL (Mobile High-Definition Link) and InstaPrevue Technologies iPod/iPhone Direct Digital Connection through USB and Firmware Updates via Ethernet and USB MHL (Mobile High-Definition Link)
Item Height6.8 inches
Item Length17.13 inches
Item Width12.9 inches
LabelOnkyo
ManufacturerOnkyo
MPNTX-NR616
Package Height11.5 inches
Package Length22 inches
Package Weight28.15 pounds
Package Width16.75 inches
PackageQuantity1
PartNumberTX-NR616
ProductGroupReceiver or Amplifier
ProductTypeNameRECEIVER_OR_AMPLIFIER
PublisherOnkyo
SKUONKTXNR616
StudioOnkyo
TitleOnkyo TX-NR616 7.2-Channel THX Select2 Plus Certified Network A/V Receiver(Black)
UPC751398010682
UPCList - UPCListElement751398010682
Item Weight24.25 pounds
CatalogNumberList - CatalogNumberListElementTXNR616
ModelTX-NR616
ColorBlack
Warranty2 Years Parts and Labor
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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