Onkyo is taking things up a notch with the debut of its first products to be released under the IMAX Enhanced program. The TX-NR797 9.2-Ch Network A/V Receiver ($699) and the TX-NR696 7.2-Ch Network A/V Receiver ($599) are also THX Certified Select products that support immersive Dolby Atmos and DTS:X sound formats, 3D sound virtualization technologies, simplified audio distribution, 4K HDR support, and new proprietary functions.
“Our partnership with IMAX ensures that our customers will continue to enjoy cutting-edge entertainment experiences from their home theater system,” says Don Milks, director of marketing & product localization for Onkyo & Pioneer USA.
“With IMAX Enhanced content soon to be released, the launch of these two great AVRs is ideally timed.”
Onkyo Receiver Supports Dolby Atmos, DTS:X
The TX-NR696 develops 210W (6 ohms, 1 kHz, 10% THD, 1-ch driven) while the TX-NR797 produces 220W (6 ohms, 1 kHz, 10% THD, 1-ch driven) and both products benefit from new anti-noise measures including a refined HDMI board, isolated network board, and strengthened the power-supply line. Both sport a quad-core SoC (System on a Chip) enabling high-speed 802.11ac 2×2 MIMO Wi-Fi and evolved network functionalities.
The TX-NR696 plays Dolby Atmos and DTS:X formats through 5.2.2 channels; theTX-NR797 adds another pair of heights (5.2.4) or rear surrounds (7.2.2). Both include Dolby Surround and DTS Neural:X up-mixers for legacy audio formats, and Dolby Atmos Height Virtualizer which creates a virtual surround and height effect from traditional speaker layouts without employing additional surround or height speakers.
The receivers support 384 kHz/32-bit multichannel D/A conversion optimized by VLSC (Vector Linear Shaping Circuitry) pulse-noise-removal technology on the front L/R channels. Premium processing presents Hi-Res Audio, with DSD supported to 11.2 MHz and FLAC, WAV [RIFF], AIFF, and ALAC to 192 kHz/24-bit.
The TX-NR696 and TX-NR797 A/V Receivers accommodate variety of online services including Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, TIDAL, Deezer, and TuneIn. Audio can be distributed via Works with Sonos, Chromecast built-in, AirPlay 2, DTS Play-Fi, and FlareConnect.
Voice control is available when used in conjunction with a Google Assistant enabled device such as Onkyo Smart Speaker G3 or Google Home.
AccuEQ Helps Subs Compensate for Background Noise
The TX-NR696 has separate Zone 2 speaker outputs, enabling connection of a 7.2-ch surround system and Zone 2 speakers with switching to a 5.2-ch + Zone 2 layout for simultaneous playback of unique or synced audio sources, including analog, NET, Bluetooth, SPDIF, and HDMI, without need of an external amplifier.
The TX-NR797 adds a third DAC and assignable speaker outputs to enable unique or synced source playback in Main, Zone 2, and Zone 3, depending on the surround system layout
The AVRs feature a versatile Zone 2/Zone B line-out supported by a Zone 2 DAC. When set to Zone 2 mode and connected to a compatible audio component, the same or different D/A sources (including SPDIF/HDMI) can be played in either or both rooms at the same time.
Zone B mode is ideal for connecting a compatible transmitter so that the same main-room sound is available to wireless headphones.
A DSP-controlled Vocal Enhancer function is accessed via remote keys or front-panel controls and provides five-step adjustment of vocal frequencies to alleviate the problem of inaudible dialog in-program. A one-touch volume memory preset saves the desired start-up volume, and the receivers will power up and prepare for playback when an input key is pushed.
Built into the TX-NR797 is an AccuEQ Advance 9-point room acoustic calibration technology. It measures sound at nine positions to accurately calibrate and EQ speakers and subwoofers and remove standing waves.
The system detects and compensates for background noise to ensure accurate equalization. The TX-NR696, meanwhile, features AccuEQ with subwoofer EQ, while both are equipped with AccuReflex phase-adjustment technology to optimize 3D sound-field clarity in listening environments featuring Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers.
The receivers have an HDMI Sub/Zone 2 output that can send signals from HDMI inputs 1–3 to a sub-display or projector.
This output joins Main output with ARC and seven HDMI inputs (one front). All terminals are HDCP 2.2-compliant and support 4K/60p and BT.2020. Content with High Dynamic Range in HDR10, HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma), or Dolby Vision format is passed through to compatible displays. Super Resolution 4K upscaling technology for HD sources is also on board.