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Best Onkyo Receivers

Many audiophiles go crazy for the models created by this brand, as all of them are awesome. No wonder, as the Onkyo receivers have incredibly high quality and can provide mind-blowing sound. I analyzed a lot of different devices to find the best Onkyo receiver.

The history of the company begins in 1946 in the Japanese city Osaka. The first name of the company was Osaka Denki Onkyo K.K.

During the 1970s, Onkyo amplifiers were hugely acclaimed by the international press. In the 1980s, Onkyo shone again with its cassette decks, M-series amplifiers, exceptional turntables, and tuners that were long the benchmarks in radio reception (Onkyo 4040 and Onkyo 8080 models).

And already in the 1990s, the company was one of the first to enter the then still emerging home theater market. Thanks to its own developments, which are still in use today, Onkyo has firmly established itself in this segment. Users quickly appreciated the high quality of the products, which allowed the company to become one of the leading brands in this area.

The peculiarity of Onkyo home theater receivers is to offer high power, thanks to the house WRAT technology (Wide Range Amplifier Technology). The company also employed high-end video processors and was the first manufacturer in 2012 to equip its models with 4K scalers. Finally, Onkyo often integrates the processors for calibration and real-time management of dynamic range and equalization (AccuEQ Advance and AccuReflex). Series of home theater receivers systematically numbered 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, 1000, 3000, and 5000, so that every user can find a device suitable for their budget and functionality.

Now the company still has its headquarters in Osaka and still implements innovative features in its products. If you want to get a unit that will work smoothly for many years, let me show a few decent ones in this best Onkyo AV receivers review!

Our pick
Best Onkyo Receiver
Onkyo TX-NR7100
Best Onkyo Receiver
The first in the series to offer both 9 channels and built-in, ready-to-use DIRAC Live Room Correction, the Onkyo TX-NR7100 9.2 Channel THX Certified AV Receiver brings new meaning to the phrase, “home movie night.”

Onkyo AVR Comparison Table

Name Channels Stereo power, W/Ohm Review
Onkyo TX-NR7100 best overall 9.2 100/8, 220/6 Review
Onkyo TX-SR494 best budget 7.2 80/8, 160/6 Review
Onkyo TX-NR6100 also a great choice 7.2 100/8 Review

Best Onkyo Receiver Reviews

Onkyo TX-NR7100 – best overall

Onkyo TX-NR7100 front view

The Onkyo TX-NR7100 is a feature-rich receiver meant to enhance your listening or watching experience to a new level with improved musical staging, clarity, dialog, and deeper bass.

This 9.2 channel THX certified AV receiver would ensure you enjoy the immersive theater-like sound from the comfort of your home. Just for you to compare, Onkyo TX-NR6100, another popular model of this brand, has a 7.2 channel system, which is a standard option for modern audio systems.

Onkyo TX-NR7100 back view

Due to three HDMI-out options, you can enjoy uncompressed HDMI 8K/4K transfer at 40 Gbps for matchless music, video, and gaming experience. The DIRAC live room correction technology will calibrate the sound in your room through an app and then unlock your loudspeakers’ full potential by adopting the sound to the environment.

Stream your fave music via Spotify, Amazon Music, Pandora, TIDAL, Deezer, or TuneIn services as the receiver integrates with them. Bring the IMAX watching experience to your home and play video games without lags or stutter due to a 4K/120Hz HDR pass-through that provides ultra-fast motion.

Onkyo TX-NR7100 on table

Setting up the Onkyo TX-NR7100 receiver is a breeze. Just attach the cords correctly and then follow the instructions on the on-screen menu. Mainly, there are no problems passing the highest quality videos to a TV or playing consoles with an 8K standard. But the receiver requires delicate configuring. If you do not fine-tune it properly, it won’t pass through 4K or 8K signals to your TV consistently.

There are far more fascinating features in Onkyo TX-NR7100, deservedly making it the best Onkyo receiver. A convenient and responsive voice control, discrete zone 2 HDMI switching, various audio formats support, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and more turn this receiver into a must-have for all lovers of quality sound and videos.

Key specs

  • Channels: 9.2
  • Stereo power, W: 100, 220
  • Impedance, Ohm: 8, 6
  • THD, %: 0.08


  • Supports high-quality video, including 4K, 8K, IMAX, etc.
  • Is integrated with popular music streaming platforms
  • The DIRAC live room correction technology adjusts the sound based on the item location


  • If you do not configure the receiver delicately, it won’t transmit the signal to TV

Onkyo TX-SR494 – best budget

Onkyo TX-SR494 front view

The next receiver I suggest you consider is the Onkyo TX-SR494. This device works with nine audio channels, seven of which are equipped with discrete amplifiers with high output currents and deliver a power of 160 W per channel at 6 Ohm or 80 W per channel at 8 Ohm.

Onkyo TX-SR494 back view

The TX-SR494 is going to improve your home theater with an impressive sound dramatically. Seven channels of high current gain give you the freedom to choose your speaker configuration. I noticed that the receiver is without any prominent features at high or low frequencies. The sound was flat with no dynamic range. The vocals were muted. Moreover, with Dolby Atmos Height Virtualizer and DTS Virtual: X, you can achieve the most realistic sound possible.

And I want to emphasize that the technical equipment of this receiver contributes to obtaining high-quality sound. The device receives the signal via a multi-channel AKM-DAC with a resolution of 32 bit/384 kHz. The custom DAC design allows the TX-SR494 to be much more interesting to buy than similar receivers such as the Denon AVR-X1600H. That’s why I picked the receiver as the best budget AVR for home theater.

Onkyo TX-SR494 photo

Besides, you will be interested in the fact that despite the budget of the device, it has automatic AccuEQ calibration with a subwoofer equalizer and AccuReflex for 5.2.2-channel systems with Dolby Atmos support, which ensure clear sound in every room of your home.

After a little testing, I can confidently call this model the best budget receiver since for a fraction of the price, you get the performance you need to create an entry-level home theater.

Key specs

  • Channels: 7.2
  • Stereo power, W: 80, 160
  • Impedance, Ohm: 8, 6
  • THD, %: 0.08


  • Vocal Enhancer improves dialogue audibility.
  • When a 1080p signal is connected via HDMI input, the quality can be upscaled to 4K.
  • There is a bi-amp on Zone B here during active configuration 5.2 in the Main zone.


  • Bluetooth audio is a bit lacking in sound quality.
  • Using the remote control is inconvenient because of the inaccurate name of the buttons on it.

Onkyo TX-NR6100 – also a great choice

Onkyo TX-NR6100 front view

Meet another decent entry – an Onkyo TX-NR6100 receiver that would be a great enhancement to your home theater system.

Being a 7.2 channel receiver, this device will ensure an enhanced gaming experience, rich sound as you listen to music, and high-quality video playback. Similar to TX-NR7100, this device is suitable for 4K and 8K videos and games. But, unfortunately, you won’t find the DIRAC live room correction feature here.

Onkyo TX-NR6100 back view

The auto low latency mode and quick frame transport feature will provide you with a lag-free watching or listening experience and optimize the latency from source to screen. You will also enjoy Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, as you can attach your height-enabled surround system for a 3-D soundscape composition.

Thanks to three HDMI outputs and 100 watts per channel, this AV receiver provides uncompressed HDMI 2.1 8K 60Hz and 4K/120Hz with HDR over 40 Gbps. It’s a shame that there is no front HDMI port, however.

Onkyo TX-NR6100 photo

The Onkyo TX-NR6100 receiver fills the room with a rich tone, clear highs, and good bass. But configuring the equalizer can get slightly crazy. You’ve got to set it up for every speaker without hearing how the sound changes as you make the adjustments.

The Onkyo TX-NR6100 is a good choice for audiophiles who want to take their home cinema system to a new level and get a dialog sound for their favorite songs.

Key specs

  • Channels: 7.2
  • Stereo power, W: 100
  • Impedance, Ohm: 8
  • THD, %: 0.08


  • Supports 4K and 8K videos
  • Works without lags
  • No complaints about the sound quality


  • Configuring the equalizer might be tricky
  • No front HDMI port

Onkyo TX-NR696

Onkyo TX-NR696 front view

Now I suggest you take a look at the TX-NR696 from the same manufacturer. The Onkyo TX-NR696 features powerful amplification capable of delivering up to 210 W per channel at 6 Ohm or 100 W at 8 Ohm. I think it is pretty ideal for building a 7.2 channel or Dolby Atmos 5.2.2 home theater system.

Onkyo TX-NR696 back view

I will share with you why I came to this idea. First of all, the TX-NR696 is compatible with the latest multi-channel audio streams, including Dolby Atmos and DTS: X. Moreover, thanks to the powerful DSP modes, the Onkyo TX-NR696 amplifier can simulate a reproduction on seven speakers from a 5.1-channel configuration.

Honestly, I advise you to pay attention to it if you want something versatile that is just as comfortable with music as it is with watching movies or streaming videos. The sound of the Onkyo TX-NR696 is pleasant in all of these situations.

Onkyo TX-NR696 photo

I compared it to a similarly priced rival, the Denon AVRS740, and found it to be the nicer of the two. The Onkyo TX-NR696 has a very balanced sound stage, and the processing of movie sound effects is quite dynamic. You won’t miss a single explosion or chase.

I can say that TX-NR696 can be suitable for a large audience. And at this price, no device can match its flexibility to connect sources of your choice. If you’re a movie fanatic, it offers a balanced performance. This is one good option if you want to listen to music in stereo or Dolby Atmos streaming.

Key specs

  • Channels: 7.2
  • Stereo power, W: 100, 210
  • Impedance, Ohm: 8, 6
  • THD, %: 0.08


  • The receiver has full support for Google products, including Chromecast and Google Assistant.
  • The Onkyo TX-NR696 supports all the latest codes as well as THX certification.


  • When transmitting sound through Bluetooth, there are connection breaks, or the sound is transmitted in jerks.
  • If the TV is connected to the receiver via the HDMI ARC port, sound and picture desynchronization is possible.

Onkyo TX-NR797

Onkyo TX-NR797 front view

I will continue the review with a model that can rightfully be considered one of the best Onkyo receivers presented here. It has a 9-channel amplifier and delivers 100 W and stable performance with a load of 4 Ohm or 220 W at 6 Ohm. The first device on my list has a continuous output power that qualitatively distinguishes this receiver from competitors such as the Denon AVR-X3600H.

The whole point is that the TX-NR797 is built with a substantial toroidal transformer, making it possible to provide constant and stable output power to each channel. And it is thanks to this that I managed to get the sound of the same level as in the cinema.

Onkyo TX-NR797 back view

However, without accurate calibration, I would hardly get a decent sound. The NR797 features Onkyo’s AccuEQ Advance room calibration system that measures sound in 9 positions. And if everything is evident with the sound quality in the main hall, there is one fact that will pleasantly surprise you. Sonos technology feature allows us to connect to Sonos speakers and provide sound to additional rooms.

Onkyo TX-NR797 photo

I also liked the video of the model’s capabilities. There is full support for 4K / 60 FPS video signals. However, remarkably, the upscaling of a regular 1080p signal to 4K works well. For the sake of completeness, I want to draw your attention to the surround sound of this receiver. Here you can find a complete set of Dolby Atmos and DTS: X decoders.

Fairly powerful receiver to get a rich, realistic, and breathtaking sound. I was happy that the device could be connected easily to other pieces of my equipment and supply sound zones.

Key specs

  • Channels: 9.2
  • Stereo power, W: 100, 220
  • Impedance, Ohm: 8, 6
  • THD, %: 0.08


  • Anti-noise refinements result in a wider soundstage.
  • Supports Dolby Atmos Height Virtualizer, which creates a 3D sound-field using horizontal speakers.
  • The TX-SR494 delivers the highest current in its class thanks to a custom high output transformer and discrete amplifiers inside.


  • No multi-channel input.
  • The firmware has problems due to which the sound sometimes disappears.

Onkyo TX-RZ840

Onkyo TX-RZ840 front view

And I want to continue my review with a rather interesting model – Onkyo TX-RZ840. And naturally, the first thing that catches your eye, like my, is the excellent appearance of the receiver.

The TX-RZ840 impressed me with its sizable 8-inch height. As in the previous model TX-RZ740, the facade remains rather minimalistic; there is a screen and a small number of buttons and control knobs. Otherwise, it is made of good black metal.

Let’s take a look at the rear panel of this receiver. There are seven HDMI inputs, including one hidden behind the hatch. They are all 4K, HDR, and HDCP 2.2. Also, you can see seven analog audio inputs, including one for a vinyl turntable.

Onkyo TX-RZ840 back view

If everything is obvious with the appearance, you only have to get acquainted with the device’s capabilities. The power ratings of this receiver are not bad for this level. It can operate in three modes – 250 W at 3 Ohm, or 220 W at 4 Ohm, or 130 W at 8 Ohm.

The first thing I did in the test was to run several Blue-Ray film clips in order to familiarize ourselves with the sound signature of this RZ840. And it immediately became clear that this amplifier should not be classified in the category of ultra-dynamic devices. It works great in the mids but weak in the high and low sound ranges.

Onkyo TX-RZ840 photo

However, something impressed me, and that was the receiver’s ability to create surround sound throughout the room. The fronts are ideally linked to the side channels as to the ceiling speakers. When listening, you will not feel the breaks during the “movement” of the sound; everything is natural. The RZ840 masters its subject without any exuberance, an excellent example of quite good design. The subwoofer channel integrates well with the sound to provide all the necessary dynamics.

I can safely recommend this device for watching movies at home. You will be satisfied with their sound.

Key specs

  • Channels: 9.2
  • Stereo power, W: 130
  • Impedance, Ohm: 8
  • THD, %: 0.08


  • Onkyo supports all the latest music playback standards and features 4K and HDR technology.
  • The TX-RZ840 has an RS232 port for integration into an automation system.


  • The remote control is made of inferior plastic and is not very comfortable.


Is Onkyo A good brand for AV receivers?

Onkyo is a good brand for AV receivers. Onkyo has been around for years, but not all Onkyo receivers are good. If you research well, then you’ll know why I am saying this. A few years ago, there were very few companies making good home theater receivers, but today, there are many outstanding companies in the AV receiver market. Unfortunately, Onkyo is not one of them.

Is Onkyo still making AV receivers?

Onkyo isn’t going out of business in 2021. Onkyo is still alive and kicking, although they were recently bought by another company called Klipsch. Onkyo is still designing and making AV receivers. In fact, their latest models are perfect as compared to what they were a few years ago.

Who is Onkyo’s target audience?

Onkyo targets a particular consumer: the home theater enthusiast who doesn’t want to spend more than $1,000 on an AV receiver. Given a choice, I would not recommend Onkyo receivers to anyone. They are currently the best budget receivers out there, but having said that, they still have their fair share of problems. If you care about sound quality and want to buy another brand’s receiver, it would be better to spend a few dollars more on an audio receiver like Yamaha, Denon, or Marantz.

How many channels should my receiver have?

Some receivers have 5.1 channels, while others have 7, 9, or 11 channels. It’s important to note that it doesn’t matter how many channels your receiver has unless you are planning to buy speakers that support these different surround sound formats. If you want an AV receiver for casual viewing and no severe movie watching, then 2 channels are enough. If you intend on using your receiver for serious movie watching, then go for 7.1 channel receivers.

Do I need surround sound?

Surround sound is part of home theater equipment that helps create a sense of depth in movies and games. However, surround sound is not necessary if all you are going to do is casual viewing. On the other hand, if you are planning on watching movies or playing video games, then you should consider surround speakers.

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About Frederick Douglass
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