The Good: The Onkyo TX-NR535 has great sound quality, offers built-in WiFi, Bluetooth and 4K-Ultra HD Passthrough. Also offers a variety of streaming audio options.

 

The Bad: No 4K upscaling, Also, may struggle in large rooms

 

Summary: The Onkyo 535 offers a lot. Along with great sound qaulity, it has tons of features packed into it. However, if you don’t need all of the networking features the Yamaha RX-V377 may be a better value.

Onkyo TX-NR535 Review

Based on the price of the Onkyo TX-NR535, you’d assume that it’s short on power and features. However, with the 535, Onkyo’s managed to enclose a handsome amount of features into this little black box. Last years model, the TX-NR 525, came up a little short since it lacked internal WiFi and Bluetooth, but Onkyo learned from last years mistake and this year the Onkyo 535 includes both, along with a host of other features.

Onkyo TX-NR535 Appearance and Features

I’m reticent to talk about the appearance of the Onkyo TX-NR535 because it’s appearance is kind of bland. Onkyo’s receivers the past few years have all brandished the same design aesthetic. The 535 proudly carries on that tradition. It’s not unattractive, but it also doesn’t have the design flare that Marantz’s AV receivers have. If Marantz’s receivers are sleek chiseled sprinters, then the 535 is a bulky brutish linebacker. But looks aside, the TX-NR535’s chassis has a solid aluminum construction. The front panel has the usual array of function buttons. All of which, you’ll find on the included remote control. However, if you don’t have the remote handy, you can use the buttons on the front panel to make input, setting selections etc.

Onkyo 535 Networking & Features

Onkyo TX-NR535 Review

The 535 has an abundant array of connection options highlighted by six HDMI 2.0 compatible inputs all of which are 4K/60 Hz compatible. Yes, 4K content is currently in short supply, however as prices continue to drop on 4K TV sets you’ll begin to see more content become available. And unlike 3D, I believe 4K Ultra HD content will catch on with consumers. One thing of note with the Onkyo TX-NR535, is that while it does offer 4K pass through, it does not upscale regular HD content to 4K. Along with it’s HDMI inputs, It also includes a handful of composite inputs, 1 optical & 2 coaxial digital inputs, 1 component input, 2 subwoofer pre-outs, and a USB input on the front. Overall, the 535 has a good amount of connectivity options.

 

Unlike last years Onyko 525, the 535 includes built-in WiFi and Bluetooth to go along with an ethernet connection. This insures that one way or another, you’ll be able to get this receiver on your network. It also makes streaming music directly to the receiver convenient from either your computer or mobile device. Onkyo also supplies a handy little iOS and Android app that allows you control the main features of the receiver. Now a days, most manufacturers supply a moblie app of some sort to control their AV receivers. While they can be somewhat convenient to use, nothing beats the tactile feel of buttons in my opinion. The Onkyo TX-NR535 also offers a host of internet radio options including; Spotify, Pandora, SiriusXM Internet Radio, Slacker, AUPEO! and TuneIn. Audiophiles who despise the sound of compressed internet radio, will enjoy the variety of HD audio formats the Onkyo 535 supports. For instance, it offers gapless playback as well as support for DSD, Double DSD, FLAC and ALAC formats. 

 

Apple, changed the technological world a decade or so ago. Not only with their hardware, but also with their software. Apple has demonstrated the remarkable ability to make user interfaces that are not only intuitive, but which are also visually inviting and attractive. The Onkyo-TX-NR535 manages to accomplish one of these two lofty goals. The onscreen interface is relatively simple and easy to use. But I wouldn’t call it attractive. The interface that you get the with the TX-NR535 is a simple text based GUI. It’s not pretty, but it gets the job done.

 

 

Performance

Something that Onkyo did this year, is that they no longer use Audyssey for calibration in the 535. Instead, they use what they’re calling AccuEQ for calibration. Once you connect the included calibration microphone, place it in the middle of your listening area and the AccuEQ calibration does the rest. After the receiver sends a series of test tones to your speakers, it measures the resulting sounds taking into account your rooms particular acoustic qualities. After running the tests the Onkyo TX-NR535 accurately measured our speaker distances and set our crossover to 100Hz. Unfortunately, after setup we noticed that the 535 applies one crossover setting to all speakers. This means even if your fronts have a better frequency response you’ll need to compromise because of this universal crossover setting.

 

Once calibrated we then began our listening tests. To be honest, I’ve yet to hear poor sound quality from an Onkyo receiver and this includes this year’s Onkyo TX-NR535. To test the 535’s prowess in a home theater setting we decided to use Superman: Man of Steel and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Dialogue came across as detailed and accurate and the accompanying surround effects were never overpowering in either movie. In Man of Steel, action scenes had appropriate gravitas. Each punch as Zod and Superman exchanged blows felt appropriately weighty. The Desolation of Smaug was equally exciting. As Smaug sprayed flames from his gaping maw, the sound of the flames convincingly danced around the room. The voice of the CGI creature was thunderous and powerful which is exactly what you’d expect from a titanic dragon.

 

Conclusion

Overall, the Onkyo 535 is a great receiver. It performs admirably in a home theater environment. The 535 also has a group of excellent features such as WiFi, Bluetooth and 4K. Although we enjoyed our time with the 535, there are a couple things you’ll need to look out for. This receiver isn’t the most powerful receiver, so it’s ideally suited for small to medium size rooms. Also, if you don’t need all of the networking bells and whistles you could probably pick-up the Yamaha RX-V377 which sounds nearly as good but costs less. However, when you look at the Onkyo TX-NR535 in it’s totality, it offers a nice package.


Where to Buy:

See Price on Amazon


 

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