With a great receiver, movies and music hit differently, especially when paired with the right set of speakers. If you’ve made up your mind to build a serious home cinema, it doesn’t get any better than getting an Onkyo audio system. Onkyo receivers are compact, and they offer gigantic sound in an affordable package.
The Onkyo TX NR595 is a near-flawless home theater receiver with immersive sound quality and plenty of HDMI inputs. The design and build quality of the receiver is impressive, and its general audio performance is exceptional.
On the other hand, if you’re after home-filling audio, the Onkyo TX NR696 is the best home theater receiver for you. It supports a wide range of audio streaming technologies in a compact package, plus it is a perfect option for anyone who’s limited on space.
Onkyo TX NR595 vs TX NR696 Comparison Table
These sturdily built receivers are the best in class, and as long you have the right components to match them with your system, they will remain a sensational value for money for years to come.
Onkyo TX NR595 Review
The Onkyo TX NR595 comes in a high build quality that is typical of Onkyo receivers. It is an affordable 7.2 unit with a generous amount of features that makes it ideal for a variety of applications. In addition, it offers almost all of the decoding and streaming capabilities you may need in a modern receiver. If you’re building a home cinema from scratch, this receiver should be the first item on the shortlist.
Most Notable Features
Refined power amplification
This receiver provides a whopping 80 watts per channel to create an immersive soundscape all around the listening room. This power level is sufficient for powering a standard surround sound setup in small to medium-sized rooms. It is a fully-functional unit for anyone looking for an affordable audio solution with modern technology.
With this receiver, you can set up a full 7.2 speaker system to enjoy more engulfing audio. Alternatively, you can set up five channels in the main home theater room and repurpose the additional two height channels to power speakers in another room
One thing that makes the TX NR595 stand out from the pack is that it is Sonos-compatible. The receiver allows seamless integration with any Sonos system. Simply download the Sonos Connect app to help you organize and access your music from the personal library or any other source. The app also lets you stream and enjoy high-quality tracks from premium services such as Tidal or Spotify.
Dolby Atmos and DTS audio decoding
In terms of audio formats, there is Dolby Atmos with Height Virtualization function onboard. This means that you can simulate overhead effects without adding physical up-firing channels. Furthermore, the DTS function provides advanced sound mapping for an immersive 3D soundstage. DTS transforms your home into a terrific entertainment center by providing incredible audio objects that make you feel like you’re at the center of the action.
Up to six HDMI inputs
Other than the outstanding audio performance, the HDMI inputs are an integral part of the TX NR595 design. With up to 6 HDMI inputs and several outputs, you can integrate just about anything you need to elevate your overall sound experience. Furthermore, the unit works perfectly with any set of bookshelf or in-ceiling speakers.
Music optimizer function
The music optimizer does exactly what the name says; it enhances the quality of compressed audio files to match that of original files. It also helps to improve the quality of Bluetooth streams for an expanded and rich tonal range. To top it all, it offers a phase-matching bass boost to optimize the performance of the low frequencies.
What we like
- Numerous connectivity and streaming options
- Engaging sound for movies and music
- Smooth audio streaming
- User-friendly design
- Supremely clean and undistorted sound
What we don’t like
- The NR595 doesn’t have the Chromecast built-in
- Limited power compared to TX NR696
Onkyo TX NR696 Review
The TX NR696 is yet another capable 7.2 receiver from Onkyo with an exhaustive list of online and offline features. Much like its predecessor above, the TX NR696 boasts a wide range of audio formats that will provide you with a satisfying cinematic experience for years. It has plenty for your home cinema needs, not forgetting its compelling audio capabilities.
Most Notable Features
Rated at 100 watts per channel, the TX NR696 is a true game-changer for audio/video systems in most homes. The receiver is designed to drive up to seven channels in a wireless multi-room audio setup.
Enhanced on-screen display
What makes this receiver such a breeze to use is that it comes with a simplified on-screen display. The receiver is always ready to play, and you’ll not need to make tedious connections every time you need to watch a movie. It also comes with a remote control to help select or switch between the connected sources effortlessly.
The Onkyo TX-NR696 has set standards for a wireless audio system with its numerous wireless music streaming options. With the inbuilt Bluetooth, you can stream any music file from your phone or tablet to the receiver.
It also taps into online services such as Pandora and Amazon music via Bluetooth or your home network. In addition, the receiver allows you to access a wide range of internet radio services. Airplay 2 support is also been incorporated to expand your connectivity options.
To add to the appeal, the TX-NR696 comes with the Chromecast built-in to allow you to stream audio from your phone or any other source to Chromecast compatible speakers. The Chromecast app also allows you to use voice control via Google Home voice control assistant.
Compatibility with Sonos
Much like the Onkyo TX NR595, the TX-NR696 is equipped with a Sonos port to allow you to incorporate Sonos compatible speakers. The system is controlled via the Sonos app, which you can use to select or jump between inputs. In addition, the Sonos system is easy to set up, and it lets you place your speakers in separate rooms and play a different playlist in each room.
What we like
- Deep and outstandingly powerful sound
- Spacious surround sound
- Remarkably well-rounded soundstage
- Easy to setup
- Pair perfectly well with most bookshelf speakers and premium floor standers
What we don’t like
- It is may not be the most elegant unit out there, but it works perfectly well
- Expensive compared to NR595
Onkyo TX-NR595 vs TX-NR696- Our Verdict
These Onkyo receivers provide brilliant, room-filling sound and are a clear cut above the rivals. Overall, the Onkyo TX-NR595 pumps out a decent audio performance, but it is not quite up to the level of the TX-NR696. The latter provides a more versatile audio solution with a decent set of features and a noticeably better sound performance. As long as you can afford it, the TX-NR696 is one of the best home theater receivers you can buy. This receiver will ensure that your movies and music sound emphatic and detailed while giving you a truly immersive experience.