Onkyo TX-NR626 review

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Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

User Score:

Pros

  • Extensive feature list
  • Powerful, exciting sound quality
  • Slick attractive operating system

Cons

  • No AirPlay support
  • Slightly bright sound

Key Features

  • 7.2-channel AV receiver with 160W per channel
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • DLNA music streaming
  • Spotify, AUPEO!, Last.fm, Simfy and TuneIn radio
  • Six HDMI inputs with support for 4K, 3D, MHL and ARC
  • Manufacturer: Onkyo
  • Review Price: £499.99

What is the Onkyo TX-NR626?

The Onkyo TX-NR626 is a midrange 7.2-channel AV receiver from Onkyo’s 2013 line-up, designed to offer a winning balance of value and performance. As per usual Onkyo has crammed it full of features – including a couple of intriguing firsts for an Onkyo amp – but with a price tag of around £500 it’s still within the grasp of mere mortals.

Onkyo TX-NR626

Onkyo TX-NR626 – Design

The Onkyo TX-NR626’s appearance sticks steadfastly to last year’s blueprint, offering the same tasteful brushed black finish (also available in silver) and relatively compact bodywork.

AV receivers aren’t really designed to catch the eye (unless they’re made by Marantz) so the most you can ask is that they blend in discreetly – and the TX-NR626 does just that. All the electronics are housed within a rigid and robust aluminium casing.

Wisely, much of the front-panel clutter is hidden away within the grooves and ridges, so when you look from a distance you can hardly see the buttons, giving it a tidy, minimal look. What you can see, however, is the wide LED display, offering lots of helpful info about inputs, volume and processing modes, alongside a fat volume dial.

Onkyo TX-NR626

Onkyo TX-NR626 – Connections

At the bottom of its front you’ll find composite and analogue stereo inputs and a USB port, which allows you to play music from USB memory devices but sadly not iPods, iPhones or iPads.

Onkyo TX-NR626

On the back is a veritable feast of connections, headed up by six HDMI inputs that allow you to pass 3D and 4K signals through to your TV, and even upscale any source to 4K resolution, courtesy of Marvell’s QDEO technology.

One of the inputs also supports Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL), which allows you to view HD video from smartphones. Two outputs allow connection of two displays at once and they also support Audio Return Channel for easy audio hook-up of a compatible TV.

Onkyo TX-NR626

They’re joined by three digital audio inputs (two coaxial and just one optical), five analogue stereo inputs and one phono in, component video input and output, four composite video inputs and one output, and two parallel subwoofer pre-outs.

Onkyo TX-NR626

Onkyo TX-NR626

Speaker and line-level outputs allow you to feed sound to a second room, while seven pairs of banana plug-compatible binding posts, Ethernet, Onkyo’s Remote Interactive port and FM/AM aerial ports complete the line-up.

OrlandoDFree

January 9, 2014, 11:47 pm

The sound is certainly good on mine, but I found it complicated and confusing to set up, and the Zone 2 feature is worthless.

When setting it up, I wanted to send my Mac's digital out to the PC channel on the amp, but it didn't work until I found both places where I needed to specify this. It gave me a great deal of flexibility, but at the cost of a very confusing setup.

As for Zone 2, I was very disappointed to discover that it only works with analog or "on board" sources. This means it doesn't work with any of my inputs, all of which are digital. So it's worthless. It works with "on board" sources, like the built-in Pandora support, but that's about it. Zone 2 is also very complicated to use. There's a complicated sequence of button presses to make changes to anything in zone 2, and the different sequences are inconsistent with each other. I even have to follow a specific sequence to change the volume in Zone 2 from my remote, even though the remote has 2 volume buttons! The instructions often tell you to hit the volume button on the remote, but never tells you which one. As far as I can figure out, one of them isn't used for anything.

On top of all that, the buttons on the exterior are labeled with very faint text that's impossible to read without a strong light. They probably wanted the text to be unobtrusive visually, but they took it a bit too far. I'm very disappointed.

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