The 2013 Onkyo AV receiver launch programme has kicked off with the announcement of three new network-connected models: the £800 Onkyo TX-NR727 (above), which – like the £500 TX-NR626 – is a 7.2-channel model, and the 5.2-channel Onkyo TX-NR525 (£400).
Among the features of the new range are built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, app-controllable streaming of formats including FLAC, Apple Lossless, Dolby TrueHD and LPCM from network storage, improved Audyssey MultEQ room correction and a wider choice of streaming content and internet radio providers.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are standard on the two more expensive models – which also benefit from Marvell's Qdeo 4K video upscaling – while buyers of the entry-level TX-NR525 can add the wireless connectivity using optional dongles.
Onkyo TX-NR727: £800
At the top of the range is the 7.2-channel THX Select2 Plus-certified Onkyo TX-NR727, delivering a maximum of 170W per channel using Onkyo's Three-Stage Inverted Darlington Circuitry and WRAT (Wide-Range Amplifier Technology) for all channels.
It has that upgraded Audyssey MultEQ room correction with subwoofer calibration, along with other Audyssey features such as Dynamic EQ for low-level listening Dynamic Volume (to tame noisy commercials!).
It also offers Dolby Pro Logic IIz and Audysey DSX upmixing, along with a 'Whole House' mode that sends the same audio to up to three zones.
In 5.1- or 5.2-channel systems two amplifier channels can be reassigned to biamp the front speakers or drive a stereo output into a second zone, while there are also preamp-level outputs for Zone 3.
It has eight HDMI inputs, including a front-panel MHL input for 1080p video and multichannel sound from smartphones and tablets, and two HDMI outputs.
The TX-NR727 also features Onkyo's Hybrid Standby system, maintaining HDMI passthrough and network connectivity even when the receiver is powered down, allowing connected sources to be enjoyed on the TV without the full AV system running
Onkyo TX-NR626: £500
The TX-NR626 uses the Three-Stage Inverted Darlington Circuitry for the front left, centre and right channels, claims a maximum output of 160W all round, and has six HDMI inputs and two outputs.
It loses the THX Select 2 certification of the TX-NR727, and also the MHL input on the front panel, but retains the 4K passthrough and upscaling of the more expensive model, along with the networking and Audyssey features.
Onkyo TX-NR525: £400
The most affordable of the new Onkyo AV receivers, the TX-NR525 is a 5.2-channel design claiming 130W to each channel using the WRAT technology, and with six HDMI inputs and a single output.
In common with the other models in the new line up, it can also play music via USB inputs from storage devices, and while its connection for streamed and network content is via wired Ethernet as standard, it can add Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capability using Onkyo's UWF-1 Wireless LAN Adapter and UBT-1 Bluetooth USB Adapter.
The TX-NR525 and TX-NR626 will be available in April, with the TX-NR727 following a month later.
Written by Andrew Everard