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REVIEW | Onkyo TX NR 616 Receiver

REVIEW | Onkyo TX NR 616 THX Select 2 Plus 7.2 Receiver

| On 21, Feb 2013

 

The Onkyo 616 replaces the extremely successful Onkyo 609. The 616 jams a lot of features into it’s little black box including 8 HDMI inputs. The previous model (The Onkyo 609) was praised for it’s many features and fantastic sound quality. With the 616, Onkyo appears to have kept what made the 609 a success while also incorporating several key features such as 4K upscaling.

 

 

Audio Features of the Onkyo 616

In order to achieve THX certification a receiver has to undergo rigorous testing to prove it’s capable of matching the standards outlined by THX. The Onkyo TX-NR616  is one of the few mid-range receivers on the market today to receive the coveted THX Select 2 Plus certification. Some people feel that THX certification is over hyped. In fact, a receiver that does NOT have  THX certification may sound just as good or maybe better than one that does. The truth of the matter is that the manufacturer usually has to pay a hefty fee to have their equipment tested. That being said, having the sound quality of the Onkyo 616 tested by a third party such as THX does give a consumer a little more confidence.   The Onkyo 616 uses its WRAT amplifier to deliver 115 watts of power to it’s 7 channels and with it’s unique calibration system it ensures you have a powerful yet balanced audio experience. The Audyssey 2EQ room calibration system measures your room from 3 locations, it then adjusts your speakers based on your rooms specific acoustics. The Onkyo 616 also uses Audyssey Dynamic Volume. What this does is rather simple.  It maintains the volume level of different source material. Essentially, this means you can say goodbye to loud tv commercials. The 616 supports all major HD audio formats such as; Audyssey DSX, Dolby Pro Logic IIz, Dolby TrueHD,  and DTS-HD Master Audio.

 

Onkyo 616 Connectivity

Onkyo 616 Rear Panel

The Onkyo TX-NR616 ,comes packed with a lot of connectivity options including;  8 HDMI inputs and 2 ouputs which are 3D ready, component 2 in/1 out, digital optical audio 2 in,digital coaxial audio 2 in, 2 usb ports -front/rear, 1 ethernet port, 2 subwoofer pre-outs, 1 zone 2 line out. The Onkyo 616 is a MHL (Mobile High-Definition Link) compliant device. This means that if you connect your mobile device such as an iPhone, iPad, iPod or Android  to the HDMI input on the front of the 616,  then you can display 1080p HD video content on your TV.   Like many mid-range receivers the Onkyo TX NR 616 is WiFi ready however, it does not have built-in WiFi. In order to actively use it’s wireless capabilities, you need to purchase a separate wireless adapter. The built in ethernet connection is great for anyone who likes to listen to internet radio. You can easily access Pandora®, Slacker™, SIRIUS XM®, Last.fm, vTuner, Rhapsody, Spotify, and AUPEO!. The USB port on the front is very convenient if you want to connect your iPod/iPhone or flash drive to the 616. The Onkyo can play audio files that are in one of the following formats:MP3, WMA, AAC, and FLAC. One thing of note here, is that the Onkyo 616 does not offer Airplay support.   Onkyo has also developed a nice little app for iOS, Android and Kindle devices. The new app gives you another intuitive way to access and control the Onkyo TX NR 616. The app is a free download and allows you to control many of the main features of the 616.   A great thing about the Onkyo 616 is that it doesn’t skimp on connections. It’s great if you have a lot of older equipment or if you have newer equipment. The 616 has more than enough connectivity options.

 

Onkyo 616 Video

As mentioned earlier the 616 is capable of upscaling video content to 4K resolution utilizing Marvel’s Qdeo video processing via HDMI. While 4k resolution isn’t mainstream yet, we are beginning to see more and more tv sets coming on the market. As TV screens get bigger it will become even more important to have a receiver that can handle 4K upscaling. The Onkyo 616 more than fits the bill as it can handle 1080p, 3D and 4K. The 616 is truly a receiver for all seasons.

Customer Satisfaction with the Onkyo TX NR616

The Onkyo 616 has enjoyed great customer reviews. However, below we’ve outlined both the negative and positives according to actual customer testimony:   Negatives: The majority of the negative reviews regarding the 616 seemed to revolve around the one thing that’s plagued many of Onkyo’s a/v receivers this generation…the HDMI board. Like its cousin, the Onkyo 515, this has been a reoccurring problem this generation. Luckily it appears that the problem isn’t a hardware issue, but a software issue. Onkyo has developed a firmware update which is available via download to anyone who purchases the 616. Many users have reported that the firmware did indeed fix some of the HDMI issues they were experiencing prior.   Positives: The vast majority of reviews on Amazon have given the Onkyo 616 4 or 5 stars. The one thing that’s unquestionable about Onkyo receivers is the sound quality. They almost always sound terrific and most who’ve purchased it would agree. The iOS and Android app has garnered high praise from everyone and so has the video processing. Some have also felt that the while overly simplistic, the GUI was easy to use and navigate.

Conclusion

The Onkyo 616 has a lot to offer.  The android and apple control app will come in handy for you if you have either of these devices. Most users said it was intuitive and user friendly. Although it doesn’t control all of the features of the Onkyo 616 it does control most of the main ones. For a relatively inexpensive mid-range receiver the 616 gives you a lot of connectivity options including 8 HDMI ports. Onkyo’s updated UI makes navigating the many options available on the 616 a breeze. A couple people noted that they had issues with using the remote to power the unit on/off. However, after a firmware update this seemed to alleviate some of the issues. There have been a few people who have reported having issues with the HDMI board on the 616, however the overall majority of people have been very pleased with the 616. Overall the Onkyo is a great buy!

Onkyo 616 Pros:

  • Good Power
  • iOS and android app work well
  • THX Select2 Certified
  • Internet Radio
  • Graphic On Screen Interface is intuitive (for the most part)
  • Upscales to 4K
  • Ethernet Network Connection
  • Wifi Adapter Available as an Option
  • 7.2 Channels
  • Lots of HDMI ports

Onkyo 616  Cons:

  • No Airplay Support
  • On screen interface cver simplistic
  • 2nd Zone Setup Can be Awkward and Complicated
  • Once connected it may require a firmware update
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Onkyo 616 User Manual | Onkyo 616 Owner's Manual


Manufacturers Contact Information

Onkyo (800) 229-1687 onkyousa.com   Denon (201) 762-6665 usa.denon.com   Yamaha (800) 4-YAMAHA usa.yamaha.com



Pioneer (800) 421-1404 pioneerelectronics.com Harman Kardon (203) 328-3500 harmankardon.com Samsung 1-800-SAMSUNG samsung.com



Seiki Digital 1 (855) 697-3454 www.seiki.com Sony (877) 865-SONY sony.com Sharp USA 1-800-237-4277 sharpusa.com