Onkyo today announced the 5.2-channel TX-NR535 and 7.2-channel TX-NR636 A/V Receivers. Both feature HDMI specified for 4K/60 Hz video, built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and universal support for gapless hi-res network audio, while the TX-NR636 adds HDCP 2.2 compatibility to support the latest DRM copy-protection standard. Pricing is $500 and $700, respectively.
Onkyo is one of the first CE manufacturers to implement 4K/60 Hz capability in an A/V receiver, paving the way for Ultra HD video playback at a liquid-smooth 60 frames per second. This is great news for PC gamers who can now add wall-shaking surround sound to their 4K/60 Hz experience. Consumers who don’t have an Ultra HD TV, meanwhile, can be confident their A/V receiver is ready for future home theater upgrades.
The TX-NR636 is also the first A/V receiver to support HDCP 2.2. This latest DRM copy-protection standard will be adopted for future premium 4K studio releases, 4K streaming via internet service providers, as well as for UHD terrestrial and satellite broadcasts. This content will be unplayable (or converted to standard definition) when passed through non-HDCP 2.2-compliant A/V receivers. Compatibility is therefore essential to users who plan to enjoy premium content in the future.
On the TX-NR636, 4K/60 Hz video is supported on rearside HDMI inputs 1-4, the frontside input, and both outputs. HDCP 2.2 is supported on HDMI Input 3 and Main Out. High-resolution gapless playback is supported on FLAC, WAV, and ALAC-encoded albums
Powerful and Dynamic Sound Quality
Both the TX-NR535 and TX-NR636 are based on custom high-current architecture. High current is crucial for managing impedance fluctuations and sudden dynamic gains, and to ensure that power is instantaneously available at all times. A massive customized transformer, extra-large capacitors, and discrete low-distortion amplifiers are used, while the TX-NR636 adds Onkyo’s premier Three-Stage Inverted Darlington Circuitry on the front and center channels. Both receivers have been meticulously tuned to deliver clear, full-bodied sound with a revealing midrange and fast, punchy bass. Both are equally adept at steering DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD soundtracks through multiple channels or filling rooms with musical and engaging two-channel sound.
The free Onkyo remote app for iOS and Android devices easily locates and streams network-attached hi-res tracks via DLNA. Both receivers feature gapless playback of almost any high-resolution file format including 5.6 MHz DSD, Dolby TrueHD, 192 kHz/24-bit FLAC and WAV, and ALAC to 96 kHz and 24-bit depth.
Music stored on smartphone and tablet can be streamed via remote app and Wi-Fi to the home theater, while users can browse and stream millions of available tracks on Spotify, Deezer, AUPEO!, and TuneIn from within the app. Support for Spotify Connect will be added later this year via firmware update. This feature will enable subscribers to stream Spotify’s massive library of music to the receiver directly from the Spotify app via Wi-Fi.
Onboard Bluetooth is also included (no extra charge for an adapter) for convenient wireless listening, with Onkyo’s Advanced Music Optimizer DSP vastly improving the quality of compressed audio.
Dual 32-bit DSP Engines
On the TX-NR636, audio processing power has been upgraded from one to two 32-bit DSP engines for smooth and easy decoding of high-resolution formats such as Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, and 5.6 MHz DSD.
Both models include Onkyo’s proprietary AccuEQ calibration system to optimize the surround sound to suit individual room acoustics and speaker setups. On-screen menus are overlaid via HDMI and adjustments can be made without interruption to the program. All major control functions are also available via the remote streaming app, including cold power-up from Hybrid Standby.
Features and Connections
The TX-NR636 boasts six rear HDMI inputs, one front HDMI input supporting MHL, and two HDMI outputs. It has an MM phono stage for turntable connection, and dedicated Powered Zone 2 terminals for multi-room audio. Users can also assign the surround back channels to bi-amp their front speakers. The receiver includes Dolby Pro Logic IIz 7.1-channel upmixing, and converts low-resolution video (from legacy consoles or DVDs, for example) to 1080p/4K using industry-leading Qdeo upscaling technology.
The TX-NR535, meanwhile, has six rear 4K/60 Hz-capable HDMI inputs and one output, and can pass 4K/60 Hz content through to a compatible display. Both feature a USB input supporting most lossless audio formats stored on flash memory devices.
Price and Availability
Onkyo TX-NR535 $499 (March 2014)
Onkyo TX-NR636 $699 (April 2014)