Onkyo TX NR656 Vs TX NR646

It is almost every year that AV receiver manufacturers deliver a new set of models and features, in the hope to separate us from our wallets. In the last few years, Dolby Atmos and DTS:X are two of the most talked technologies that people look from the latest AV receiver models. Onkyo, as one of the most renowned brands in the industry, has just released a new model, Onkyo TX NR656. Actually, this new model appears to be more of an update model for Onkyo TX NR646. Even so, both models are already armed with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. So, how do the two compare against each other? For someone who is looking for a good AV receiver that has the fullest bang for the bucks, is Onkyo TX NR646 or Onkyo TX NR656 better? Find out by reading the comparisons below.

Onkyo TX NR656 Vs TX NR646 1

Onkyo TX NR656 vs. Onkyo TX NR646: Design and Dimension

Despite coming from the same line of products, Onkyo TX NR656 has actually received quite some design overhaul from Onkyo TX NR646. You can clearly see the differences of the two. Well, before you get too excited, let’s note that Onkyo TX NR656 is still ‘just’ a basic black box. The housing is made from metal for durability. But some things have been moved around on the front panel. Compared to Onkyo TX NR646, Onkyo TX NR656 appears neater and sleeker. Onkyo TX NR646 has a little bit too many buttons scattered across the front panel. Onkyo TX NR656 has the function and control buttons fitted on the center, under the display screen, whereas the knobs and large buttons are on the left and right of the display screen. In addition, the size of the display screen has been increased as well. The wider display screen is a good thing, as it allows you to read the information more conveniently.

Nevertheless, Onkyo TX NR656 is slightly bigger and heavier than Onkyo TX NR646. Onkyo TX NR656 is just as tall as Onkyo TX NR646, they are both 6 13/16”. However Onkyo TX NR656 goes deeper and wider at 15 9/16” and 17 3/16”, respectively. Onkyo TX NR646 is 13 5/8” deep and 17 1/8” wide. (Have a look : Onkyo TX-NR636 Vs TX-NR646)

Onkyo TX NR656 vs. Onkyo TX NR646: Inputs and Outputs

As a matter of fact, Onkyo TX NR646 and Onkyo TX NR656 actually come with the same inputs and outputs. They are both 7.2-channel AV receivers. Each of them comes with 1 phono input, 8 audio-video inputs, 1 audio-only input, 2 component video inputs, 2 optical digital inputs, and 1 coaxial digital input. Each has 8 HDMI inputs, 2 HDMI monitor outputs, 2 subwoofer outputs, and 1 main speaker output pair. They both powered, pre-amplified multi-room audio outputs for Zone 2. However, neither have multi-room video outputs.

Onkyo TX NR656 Vs TX NR646 2

Since they come with the same inputs and outputs, in theory, they are comparable to each other in this aspect. However, Onkyo TX NR656 has been widely regarded as a better quality AV receiver than Onkyo TX NR646 due to the better amps and ports.

Onkyo TX NR656 vs. Onkyo TX NR646: Performance

Even though the two models have similar inputs and outputs, they are armed with different amps and ports. The ones on Onkyo TX NR656 are better. The issues with Onkyo TX NR646 that have been expressed by some users is that it sometimes has issues with passing full 4K signals from sources sending 4K signals at 60 Hz with HDR and 4:4:4 color depth. In addition, it also has some HDMI issues that it sometimes experiences audio drops for one to two seconds. Onkyo TX NR656 does not have such issue, and the amps are of better quality and produce better consistent power. If your speakers require quite demanding power, Onkyo TX NR656 may be the more suitable solution for you.

Other than such quality issues, on the papers, Onkyo TX NR656 and Onkyo TX NR646 should be comparable to each other. They have the same output rating, impedance, and frequency response range. They have 100 Watts stereo RMS power with 0.08% THD. Their impedance levels on the L/R, center, and surround channels are all 6 ohms.

Onkyo TX NR656 vs. Onkyo TX NR646: Features

As mentioned above, both Onkyo TX NR656 and Onkyo TX NR646 already come with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, ready to deliver the best content quality possible on your home theater system. In addition, they also support Dolby Digital, Dolby True HD, Dolby DD+, DTS, DTS HD, DTS HDMA, DTS ES, and DTS 96/24. Sometimes you have to update the firmware first to get the DTS:X support; you can easily find the firmware update on Onkyo’s official website.

Onkyo TX NR656 Vs TX NR646 3

Onkyo TX NR656 and Onkyo TX NR646 both support composite/component video conversion to HDMI. However, there is a strong advantage that Onkyo TX NR656 offers: It is capable of HDMI to HDMI upconversion. Onkyo TX NR646 does not have the feature.

Both models come with automatic speaker calibration. But Onkyo TX NR656 is given the chance to utilize the latest technology of AccuEQRoom Calibration with AccuReflex. The improved technology should allow for more accurate calibration.

These two AV receivers are very versatile in terms of connectivity. They both have Ethernet and USB ports, which are located on their rear panels. In addition, they also wireless connectivity options. They are both Internet-ready and Bluetooth-compatible. And, they both come with built-in support for Apple AirPlay. Onkyo TX NR656 also come with built-in supports for Google Chromecast and Spotify.

NameOnkyo TX NR656Onkyo TX NR646
NameOnkyo TX NR656Onkyo TX NR646
Features- 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- High instantaneous current enhances speaker control for accurate and dynamic audio reproduction with 170 W/Ch. (6 Ohms, 1 kHz, 0.9% THD, 1 Channel Driven, FTC) and 100 W/Ch. (8 Ohms, 20 Hz-20 kHz, 0.08% THD, 2 Channels Driven, FTC)
Ratings4.3 out of 5.0 stars4.1 out of 5.0 stars

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All in all, Onkyo TX NR656 is definitely the better way to go. The primary reason is that it has a much better quality. It does not experience drops or faulty ports like Onkyo TX NR646. In addition, the new layout also looks neater and sleeker. It also comes with more features, notably the HDMI to HDMI upconversion capability, as well as the newer calibration technology. If you often use music streaming services like Spotify and AirPlay, Onkyo TX NR656 also makes a better option.

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