Onkyo adds high-end network receivers to line-up

Just a couple of months after it announced the first models in its 2013 AV receiver range, Onkyo is adding two higher-end THX Select 2 Plus certified models to the line-up.

The £1500 TX-NR929 (above) is on sale now, and the £1000 TX-NR828 coming in June: both have built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, 4K passthrough and upscaling, and Audyssey MultEQ room acoustic equalisation. They also have extensive HDMI connectivity, including a front panel MHL input.

The TX-NR929 has nine HDMI inputs and two outputs, and has nine channels of amplification built-in and 11.2-channel preouts, with DTS Neo:X and Audyssey DSX upmixing.

Amplifier channels can be reassigned to drive Zones 2 and 3, or biaming of the front left and right channels using Onkyo's Digital Processing Crossover Network.

Burr-Brown 192kHz/24-bit DACs are used, with one stereo DAC per front channel in differential mode, and the amplification uses Onkyo's Wide Range Amp Technology and Three-Stage Inverted Darlington Circuitry to maintain quality even at high volumes. Power output is given as 185 W/Ch (6 Ω, 1 kHz, 1% THD, one channel driven)

As well as the built-in Bluetooth capability, the receiver has built-in Wi-Fi to enable lossless audio streaming from iPhone and Android devices.

There's also app-controllable 192 kHz/24-bit FLAC, Apple Lossless, Dolby TrueHD, LPCM, and DSD streaming from NAS and personal computer (via network and DLNA), plus access to online streaming services such as Spotify and Last.fm, and internet radio.

Upscaling of lower-quality video to 4K is handled by Marvell's Qdeo processing, the receiver is set up to allow ISF calibration, and there's also Audsyssey's Premium MultEQ XT32 equalisation system.

In addition to its HDMI inputs and outputs, the TX-NR929 has two component video inputs and bone output, five composeite video inputs and one output, three electrical and three optical digital inputs, seven analogue audio inputs and even a moving magnet phono stage.

The TX-NR828 has a claimed power output of 180 W/Ch (6 Ω, 1 kHz, 1% THD, one channel driven) into each of its seven channels, and also has 7.2 channel pre outs, powered Zone 2 output and biamping capability.

It offers the same video scaling and network streaming capabilities as the TX-NR929, uses the standard version of Audsyssy's MultEQ calibration, and has eight HDMI inputs and two outputs, alongside a comprehensive array of digital and analogue audio and video inputs.

Both models use an icon-based overlaid graphical on-screen display and InstaPrevue™ video switching technology to allow users to check what's playing on other HDMI-connected sources while still watching the main input.

Hybrid Standby, meanwhile, preserves a network connection and HDMI passthrough while the home theatre sleeps, allowing the use of TV and media players with the receiver powered down.

The new receivers also mark 20 years of Onkyo's partnership with THX, with THX VP of technology operations saying that 'As one of the first CE partners to help bring the THX Certified cinema experience into the living room, we value Onkyo’s dedication to the THX certification process.

'For 20 years Onkyo has collaborated closely with THX engineers through vigorous testing to each THX Certified AVR, all to deliver home theatre enthusiasts with the promise of an accurate and powerful audio performance – receivers that preserve artistic integrity and deliver movies and music as intended.'

Read our Onkyo TX-NR626 review

Written by Andrew Everard

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Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.