Today, Onkyo announced two new affordable 7.2 network AV receivers: the TX-NR585 and TX-NR686. Both can decode and render Dolby Atmos and DTS:X immersive audio in a 5.2.2 configuration, and they offer many other attractive features.
The Onkyo TX-NR585 is spec’d to deliver 170 watts/channel (6 ohms, 1 kHz, 1 channel driven, 10% THD) or, more realistically, 80 W/ch (8 ohms, 20-20,000 Hz, 2 channels driven, 0.08% THD). As you might expect, the TX-NR686 ups the power to 210 watts/channel (6 ohms, 1 kHz, 1 channel driven, 10% THD) or 100 W/ch (8 ohms, 20-20,000 Hz, 2 channels driven, 0.08% THD). Even better, both models can drive 4-ohm speakers on all channels. Also, the TX-NR686 is THX Certified Select, which means it has passed a battery of bench tests covering every aspect of audio performance.
In addition to Dolby Atmos and DTS:X—with Dolby Surround and DTS Neural:X upmixing—both AVRs fully support Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio as well as all the familiar compressed audio formats. You want high-resolution audio? You’ve got it, including 192 kHz/24-bit FLAC, WAV, and AIFF; 96/24 ALAC; and 2.8/5.6 MHz DSD over your home’s network or USB. The TX-NR686 steps it up with a 384 kHz/32-bit DAC and VLSC (Vector Linear Shaping Circuitry), which is said to reduce high-frequency noise in the front LR channels.
Both models provide six HDMI 2.0 inputs and one primary HDMI output that support content up to 4K/60p with HDR (HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG) and BT.2020 color. The TX-NR686 adds a seventh HDMI input on the front panel (which does not support any of that advanced content) and a second HDMI output that does not support ARC (Audio Return Channel) or CEC (Consumer Electronics Control).
Six analog-audio connections include a phono input with MM preamp, and three digital-audio inputs include two optical and one coax. There’s also a powered USB port for audio playback from a USB device. In addition, there are two line-level subwoofer outputs on the back and a 1/4″ headphone output on the front panel. All speaker outputs are banana-compatible binding posts.
Both AVRs can send 2-channel audio to speakers in a second zone using two of the speaker outputs, leaving enough amplification for a 5.2 system in the main room. Alternatively, line-level outputs to zone 2 can feed a remote audio system with line-level inputs. A separate DAC allows digital sources—including network, USB, and S/PDIF—to be sent to the second zone as well as analog sources.
Wireless connectivity includes Bluetooth, Apple’s AirPlay, and Chromecast built-in. Both AVRs also provide a variety of audio-streaming apps, such as Amazon Music, Tidal, TuneIn, Deezer, Pandora, and Spotify. In addition, they can be integrated into a whole-home audio ecosystem based on DTS Play-Fi, and a feature called FlareConnect lets the AVR and compatible audio systems and speakers to freely share analog and digital sources. (For a list of FlareConnect-compatible products, click here.) All wireless network streaming operates over dual-band 5/2.4 GHz Wi-Fi for stability in congested household networks.
You can control the entire system in several different ways. Aside from the conventional remote, you can install the Onkyo Controller or Onkyo Music Control app on an iOS or Android device. Onkyo Controller is used to manage playback of FlareConnect sources and content sent to zone 2, while Onkyo Music Connect is used to manage a Play-Fi multiroom system. Also, voice control with Google Assistant is available via Android phones, iPhones, Google Home, and other compatible devices.
The Onkyo TX-NR585 is available now at some retailers (e.g., Amazon) and soon at others (e.g., Best Buy) for a list price of $549; the TX-NR686 is also available now or soon (depending on the retailer) for $649. For more info, click here.
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