Of course, choosing the right AV receiver for your home theater system can be very confusing. There are various brands, and each brand provides various models. When choosing a receiver, you need to make sure that the one you choose has good quality and all the connectors and features that you need. You would also want to consider what connectivity options to get, such as built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
For a mid-range receiver, there are two options that may have attracted your attention: Onkyo TX NR656 and Denon AVR S920W. Both of the two models are 7.2-channel receivers available in a similar price range, and they are direct competitors to each other. They both offer HDCP 2.2 for premium 4K content, built-in Wi-Fi and Apple AirPlay support, also Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. So, how do they compare against each other? Which is the best one for you?
Onkyo TX NR656 vs. Denon AVR S920W: Design
If we compare the dimensions, we can see that Onkyo TX NR656 is slightly bigger and heavier than Denon AVR S920W. The Onkyo receiver is 6 13/16” tall, 17 3/16” wide, and 15 9/16” deep. It weighs approximately 22 lbs. On the other hand, the Denon receiver is 6 9/16” tall, 17 1/8”, and 13 9/16” deep. The weight is about 20.7 lbs. So, if you are planning to put the receiver on the shelf under the TV, make sure that you actually have enough room. Otherwise, you may need to change the layout of your home theater system. (Have a look : Onkyo TX NR656 Vs TX NR646)
Onkyo TX NR656 actually looks nice. All the function and control buttons are lined neatly under the display screen in two rows, whereas the control knobs are on the left and right of it. However, using a green font to display information is kind of lame. Such style is a relic of traditional receivers from several years ago. Nevertheless, on the front panel, you can see that there are four connection ports. The one under the display screen is a phones output, whereas the three under the large volume knob are setup mic input, AUX audio input, and HDMI input.
On the other hand, Denon AVR S920W appears more contemporary. The display screen uses a white font, which certainly looks more modern. There are two big knobs on the left and right of the display screen, and the buttons are grouped nicely on the center. The receiver also features four connectors on the front panel, which include a phones output, a setup mic input, a HDMI input, and a USB port. Having the USB port placed on the front panel is very convenient; you can easily plug a flash drive there.
Onkyo TX NR656 vs. Denon AVR S920W: Connection Ports
Both the Onkyo and the Denon receivers come with many similar connection ports. Both are 7.2-channel receivers that also support the 5.1.2-channel configuration for Dolby Atmos. They each feature 1 audio-only input, 8 audio-video inputs, 2 component video inputs, 2 optical digital inputs, and 1 coaxial digital input. They each also come with 1 main speaker output pair, 2 subwoofer output, 8 HDMI inputs, and 2 HDMI monitor outputs.
However, Onkyo TX NR656 has a distinctive advantage over Denon AVR S920W. There is a phono input port on the Onkyo receiver, which enables you to connect a turntable directly to the receiver without having to use an external phono preamp. This is very convenient if you have a turntable that you want to connect to your home theater system.
Well, the Denon receiver also has a distinctive advantage. It comes with a component video monitor output.
You can create one or more secondary listening rooms with both receivers. They both have multi-room audio outputs. However, they don’t have multi-room video outputs. If you need the multi-room audio, keep in mind that the Denon receiver only has powered outputs, which can drive power speakers directly but won’t be suitable for connecting to an additional receiver. The Onkyo receiver has powered outputs to drive power speakers directly and also preamp outputs to connect to additional amps or receivers in separate rooms.
For connectivity, both Onkyo TX NR656 and Denon AVR S920W are already armed with Ethernet and USB ports. Both receivers also come with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. So, you will be able to connect either receiver to your home network in order to easily stream music and films from your PC and mobile devices.
Onkyo TX NR656 vs. Denon AVR S920W: Features and Performance
Both models come with HDCP 2.2 for premium 4K content, and they both also support HDMI to HDMI upconversion. However, only the Onkyo receiver has composite/component to HDMI video conversion capabilities. Both support HDMI standby pass-through and are HDR-compatible. The HDMI standby pass-through is very convenient, as it enables the TV to still receive signals from connected sources without having to turn on the receiver and surround sound.
Both models also support Dolby Atmos and DTS:X for enhanced surround immersion. But Onkyo TX NR656 produces higher output power than Denon AVR S920W; its stereo RMS rating is 100 Watts per channel, whereas the Denon receiver’s is just 90 Watts per channel. You can expect more powerful volume levels from a higher power rating.
But the Denon receiver comes with the AudysseyMultEQ automatic speaker calibration. It is widely considered as a decent calibration technology because it is able to produce very accurate sounds, though some people don’t like it because of the flat sound it produces when playing music. Still, it is generally better than Onkyo’sAccuEQ.
|Onkyo TX NR656
|Denon AVR S920W
|Onkyo TX NR656
|Denon AVR S920W
|- 170 W/Ch (6 Ohms, 1 kHz, 0.9% THD, 1 Channel Driven, FTC); 100 W/Ch (8 Ohms, 20 Hz-20 kHz, 0.08% THD, 2 Channels Driven, FTC) from Dynamic Audio Amplification for a Thrilling Audio Experience - AK4458 384 kHz/32-bit DAC to Play Compressed, Lossless, and Hi-Res Audio via Local Network (MP3,WMA,WMA Lossless, FLAC, WAV, AAC, Apple Lossless, DSD 5.6 MHz, and Dolby TrueHD)
|- 7.2channel AV Receiver with 90W per channel - 3D and 4K Ultra HD/60Hz full rate pass-through with HDR, BT.2020, 4:4:4 Pure Color support; 8 HDMI inputs (incl. 1 front) and 2 outputs (Main/Sub) with full HCDP 2.2 support. 4K Up-scaling
|4.3 out of 5.0 stars
|4.4 out of 5.0 stars
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In general, Onkyo TX NR656 makes the best value for the money. It comes with more features, and its output power is also higher. The phono input can be handy for connecting a turntable. It has both powered and preamp multi-room audio outputs. However, if you think that you don’t need those additional features and slightly higher output power, Denon AVR S920W can be a good choice, too. The design is nice; having the USB port on the front panel makes life a bit easier. The AudysseyMultEQ is a pretty good calibration tool.