Onkyo TX-NR757 Review
THE VERDICT:
As with most Onkyo receivers the TX-NR757 has an army of features to choose from. The amp did put up a bit of a fight during calibration, but once I showed the receiver who’s boss it fell into line and produced an impressive sonic performance.

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Design7.5
Value 8.5
Features9.5
Sound Quality9.4
The Good
  • The Onkyo TX-NR757 has powerful, dynamic sound. Simplified remote layout is more intuitive than previous iterations. Excellent surround and Atmos capabilities.
The Bad
  • AccuEQ struggled with setting the proper speaker crossover settings. Control app has taken a step back in the visuals department and FireConnect is irrelevant at this point.
8.7Overall Score

Multi-room audio, 4K video and 3D audio formats are on the wishlist of most home theater owners this year. The 7.2 Channel Onkyo TX-NR757 checks-off all of the above “feature boxes” and still manages to outperform most receivers in its class.

 

Like its ancestors, the Onkyo 757 is basically just a big black box. Unlike, Marantz receivers, there are no rounded edges to help soften the appearance of the 757. One glance at the exterior of this amp and you know it’s all business.

 

Onkyo TX-NR757 Remote

Overhauled Remote

The remote for the Onkyo TX-NR757 has been revamped and you won’t get any complaints from me. Onkyo remotes have gotten a little button heavy the past few years and the new sparse design works. However, if you were hoping to setup the 757’s remote to control other equipment in your home theater you may be disappointed. The universal remote functions are gone which I think was a wise decision by Onkyo. There are far superior universal remotes available from companies like Logitech that do a much better job.

 

Along with the included remote, Onkyo also has a solid control app that’s available for both Android and iOS smart devices. Onkyo has given the app a visual overhaul with a recent update. Visually its taken a step backwards, however the functionality is still there.

 

Onkyo TX-NR757 Features

Onkyo TX-NR757 Connections

Connectivity

The Onkyo TX-NR757 has a healthy selection of inputs to choose from. You get a total of 8 HDMI hook-ups and 2 outputs on the 757. All are 4K compatible, however only three of the inputs support HDCP 2.2 copy protection. With the amp, you also have 7 analog inputs and 1 phono input for vinyl lovers. Although rarely used anymore, the 757 includes 2 legacy component inputs as well as 2 optical digital inputs and 1 coaxial. Like last year’s models, the 757 has inconveniently placed the USB input in the rear.

 

If you need an amp to act as the centerpiece of your home theater, the 757 could probably fit the bill with its list of custom installation features. Its included 12 volt trigger can be used to raise and lower projection screens, its IR input passes thru infrared signals to other pieces of equipment connected to the Onkyo TX-NR757, and its RS232 port allows two-way communication with 3rd party home automation systems.

 

4K Video

Pretty much every av receiver manufacturer has jumped on the 4K video bandwagon and with good reason. 1080p TVs are a dying breed. In a few years most if not all TVs at your big box retailer will be 4K. That being said, it’s good to plan for the future and have an amp that can handle 4K signals. The Onkyo TX-NR757 supports 4K video in all its glory with 4:4:4 color space, 4K@50/60, High Dynamic Range (HDR), and BT.2020.

 

Audio Formats

Dolby Atmos and DTS:X both make appearances on the Onkyo 757. Atmos and DTS:X are object based surround formats which are said to provide “3D like” sound thru either the use of overhead speakers or specially designed speaker modules that bounce sound off your ceiling. The result is that the sounds appear to manifest overhead creating a kind of “sonic bubble” over your listening area. Thus far, I’ve been impressed with Atmos and DTS:X. The 757 is Atmos capable right out of the box. DTS:X isn’t expected to be available on this amp until Fall 2016.

 

Just because Onkyo has put more emphasis on 3D audio formats doesn’t mean it’s dropped the ball on the old standbys. Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master audio are both supported by the 757.

Onkyo 757 Review

The amp is also THX Select Plus 2 certified. Personally, I’ve never put a lot of stock in THX certification. There are tons of amps out there that aren’t THX certified that sound amazing. On the other hand, to achieve the certification THX does test the amp to make sure it meets their specifications. At the very least being able to slap the well-known THX certified logo on the front of a piece of AV equipment is good for marketing.

 

Multi-Room

The 757 puts a greater emphasis on multi-room audio than we’ve seen on past Onkyo offerings. For starters, the amp has a powered zone 2 output that allows you to setup 2 sets of speakers playing the same audio in the second zone.  The one caveat is that this limits you to a 5 channel arrangement in the main zone. The 757 also has a dedicated DAC (digital to analog converter) for internet and digital audio sent to the second zone which you rarely see at this price point.

 

To add to its multi-room capabilities, the Onkyo TX-NR757 supports a relatively new feature called FireConnect. Essentially, audio from any device connected to the receiver can be transmitted wirelessly to a FireConnect compatible speaker. If you’ve been keeping up with Yamaha lately, this feature probably sounds familiar because FireConnect functions a lot like MusicCast. The biggest difference between the two is that Yamaha’s been pumping out a steady stream of MusicCast compatible speakers and amplifiers. The list of FireConnect compatible speakers is anemic to say the least. It will be a year or two before we see how useful this feature is and if it can compete with MusicCast.

 

Networking and Streaming

The Onkyo TX-NR757 includes both built-in bluetooth and WiFi for over network streaming. The amp currently supports TuneIn, Pandora and Spotify. Tidal and Google Cast are expected to be implemented in a future firmware update. iOS users also have the option to stream music to the 757 via Apple AirPlay. In addition, you can send music from a network attached storage device or PC.

 

You can throw a variety of compressed and uncompressed music files at the 757 including; MP3, WMA, WMA Lossless, FLAC, WAV, OggVorbis, AAC, Apple Lossless, and DSD 5.6 MHz. The Onkyo 757’s hi-grade 384 kHz/32-bit Hi-Grade DAC (digital to analog converter) acts as an intermediary to insure that the amp delivers high quality sound to your audio components.

 

Onkyo TX-NR757 Setup

When you first boot-up the Onkyo 757, the receiver will walk you thru the initial setup. From setting up your network to hooking up your components, the amp’s on screen display guides you through the entire process.

 

It’s been a couple years since Onkyo dropped Audyssey from their receivers and began using AccuEQ to calibrate their units. Setup works the same as it has in past years. Plug in the included microphone and the Onkyo TX-NR757 kicks into calibration mode. The 757 blasts out a series of test tones thru each speaker and adjusts the speaker levels. New to this year’s batch of Atmos equipped receivers is AccuReflex. This new calibration addition aligns the phase of the Atmos speakers with other speakers in your system. It also acts to insure that sound from the modules and your other speakers reaches your ears at the same time creating a more cohesive sound field.

 

I’ve had a great deal of experience with Onkyo’s AccuEQ system over the past few years and for the most part calibrating the 757 was pretty much the status quo, however I did run into one problem. AccuEQ is supposed to prescribe the appropriate crossover for each speaker, however this is where I ran into a bit of an issue. The 757 wanted to set the crossover for each of my speakers to 200Hz.  After reaching out to Onkyo tech support and trying several things, we were unable to determine the exact cause of the unusually high crossover settings. As a result, I went into the speaker config. and manually set the appropriate crossovers. The problem could have been a faulty mic or the 757’s calibration processing, I’m not sure. Either way, I was able to sort things out on my end eventually.

 

Sound Quality

With the Onkyo 757 rated with an output of about 110 watts of power with 2 channels driven at 8 Ohms I expected the amp to have a muscular sound. Quickly scanning my blu-ray options, Transformers: Age of Extinction popped up as a good choice to test the amps Atmos and surround capabilities.

 

The 757 attacked the sound track with a fervor that I’ve only experienced on av receivers in the $1000 and up price range. In the opening stages of the movie the Autobot Ratchet is under a brutal assault. Explosions hit with such fury and impact that the walls and doors rattled in my listening area. The Onkyo TX-NR757 also displayed superior spacial performance. When Atmos kicked into gear, rockets seemingly appeared overhead and dropped on the unsuspecting Autobot. Despite it’s very adept low-end prowess the 757 still displayed fantastic detail with every piece of clanking metal exquisitely reproduced.

 

During the final stage of the movie alien space ships effortlessly swept behind and around the listening area. The most impressive use of Atmos during the movie occurred when Lockdown’s alien ship employed its giant magnet to rip metal from the ground below. The magnet’s sound manifests itself not only behind, but above as well. The end result was that the magnet’s violent reverberations appeared nearly omni-directional literally filling my listening room with sound.

 

James Cameron’s Avatar again gave the Onkyo TX-NR757’s surround channels a good test. The forests of Pandora seemingly came to life, with rustling leaves, and growling viperwolves dancing around the sound stage.

 

Musically, the Onkyo 757 was equally impressive. When testing out the amp with a multitude of hi-res audio files, it produced an energetic and lively performance while maintaining an enviable amount of transparency. Switching over to bluetooth, a noticeable dip in audio fidelity was readily apparent especially with higher frequencies. The 757’s music optimizer was able to breath some life into the bluetooth transmitted tracks with limited success.

 

Verdict

The Onkyo TX-NR757 is a well rounded av receiver that can tackle both movies and music with extreme dexterity. The amp also comes loaded with an impressive amount of features from 4K video to Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. Despite the few issues I had with the initial setup, the receiver sounded like a champ once everything was dialed in.

 


Where to Buy:

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