Onkyo TX-NR636 AV-receiver

Need to learn what the $700 AV receivers of next year offer? Simply look at the $1,000 versions of this year. With each springtime season, a completely new crop sprouts up, offering more for less. Competitive pressures as well as the constant march of HDMI standards will be the catalysts that are likely, but whatever the motives, all the leading brands roll out entire phalanxes. With each iteration, the step up characteristics of last year appear to move one position lower to the cost grid.

The large beneficiary here, needless to say, is you at least, the more patient who get the trendy stuff only at that year's costs of last year. Onkyo's new TX-NR636 is a fantastic model: It provides the same 115 watts-all around that you got on last year's variation (and give or take a smattering of watts, on the variation in the entire year before, as well as the year before that), with almost yet characteristics. Plus several changes that are major. First, the TX-NR636 will be among the primary receivers to support the new Dolby Atmos environment format by means of a firmware upgrade which is accessible afterwards in the year; using the upgrade, you will find a way to configure the back-environment amps to get some of Atmos-empowered loudspeakers. Onkyo has abandoned Audyssey auto-set up/equalization processing to get a brand new, proprietary system. What is more, Onkyo has included HDMI version 2.0 and HDCP variation 2.2 copy protection the TX NR636 being one of the very first such receivers to reach marketplace.

Actually, the back panel appears virtually somewhat thin: There are no S video jacks at all (few tears spill here) and just an individual part input and output signal plus three composite ins and outs.

Together with the Onkyo completely plugged up and sitting on my stand, I moved straight to the set up page of the receiver. This proved a little trickier than I had assumed, because the remote key indicated "Set Up" chose me not to a first-setup menu but to a list to select input signals--sound alternatives like bass and treble and environment manner, and video alternatives like computer screen output signal and aspect ratio alternatives.

I finally found what I was searching for under the Home key of the remote, in the type of an equipment icon (also) tagged Set Up, which itself led to some list that was recognizable : Speaker Setup, etc. AccuEQ was simply found beneath the semi-penultimate thing, Hardware Setup, where the last item was First Set Up. (I did, actually, understand or at least guess as much: Almost all auto-set up routines no matter brand do also. I wished to learn more about the menus anyhow.)

AccuEQ carried on through all stations with short sound blasts twice in recognizable style, cycling. (My benchmark crossover placing for my primary-front Energy Veritas 2.2i loudspeakers is 60 Hz; for my facility, 80). (To be honest, most systems get dipole-environment degrees incorrect.)

Therefore i gave a second run with somewhat distinct mike and speaker arrangements to AccuEQ, and that i got totally different results. Primary-front crossovers were set (than another vehicle routine I have used), the remaining channels to some 120 Hz that is reasonable. Spaces were degrees, and still perfect except subwoofer, that was as usual several decibels overly hot to my meter, every one of which is above average within a decibel or so either manner. Moral: If an auto-EQ system looks perplexed reposition, before condemning and retry.

The speaker/room correction proved tough to judge since getting the better of/empowering it of AccuEQ passes by way of a four-second muffling time. But my decision was of a quite marginally warmer mid-to-low bass, with almost no effect on the top seven or so octaves. Any road, AccuEQ's result was fairly minimal with my room/speaker combo--which is more level -and completely benign in any case. Clearly, any auto-cal system can and likely will give radically different results and character in each room set up that is distinct. Regardless, I carried on to do all my following listening with all the EQ conquered, as consistently.

Now, nearly all of what affects the inherent sound quality of any receiver is its amplification, and in this respect the TX-NR636 that is comparatively affordable scored high. (as I anticipated: Popular- even honestly inexpensive receivers and cost are, as a group, impressively amplifiers that are great mcash & these days;considerably better than they were a generation past.) As well as stone readily copied at any amounts I had ever inquire of it.

The environment palette of the TX-NR636 is relatively fundamental, which I count as a thing that is good. Beyond the Dolby and DTS rolls, there is a Theatre-Dimensional way I discovered fairly inoffensive, along with a TV Logic one I rather enjoyed for regular program/cable menu. There is also a Mono setting; on the other hand, that is all-channels mono as opposed to the center-directing choice I favor for movie audio that is timeless. Needless to say, Onkyo the latest decodes all the most recent environment choices. An active DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack such as the one seemed extremely dynamic and completely understood. In the working-fight sequence across chapter 10, for only one example, the Onkyo handled high- wide ranging impact dynamics and good-localized spatial effects, and simply intelligible (though cliched) dialogue throughout.

Otherwise, I gave a miscellaneous Ergonomics score to the TX-NR636. Menus blinked with satisfying speed, up and down, and the proved readily navigable once I got past the tagging confusion. I discovered Onkyo's new, more streamlined remote to be simply OK: Readability is adequate, there is no illumination, and you must repress the "RCV" remote-mode key after any input signal change to be able to go back to receiver-management, rather than other-part mode, a layout that consistently annoys me. The TX-NR636 contains Bluetooth, and built in WiFi, which worked good in my own studio although not Apple AirPlay functionality that is wireless. The DLNA streaming of the receiver seemed fantastic, and played all my hires FLAC files functioned faithfully, with search alternative that was cumbersome and the somewhat dull navigational response which are customary among streaming AVRs. (The receiver can also be considered effective at Double DSD files through the network/DLNA connection and playing DSD).

That is lots of items there, and there is plenty mentioning 4K, be it upscaled or passed through. Onkyo's latest receiver joins all of this with excellent amplification, powerful video processing, fresh-baked HDMI 2.0, and quite adequate usability, all at a more-than-reasonable cost. Which will be pretty much that which we anticipate from Onkyo annually.

Onkyo TX-NR636 AV-receiver photo