Onkyo TX-NR686 (North American version)
- 7.2 channels
- 7.1 channel processing
- 100 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven)
- THX Select™ certified
- Dolby Atmos, DTS:X capable
- HDR10, Dolby Vision, 4K Passthrough
- AirPlay 2, Chromecast, DTS Play-Fi
- Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
- USB and Phono inputs
Disclosure: We earn money from the affiliate links to products associated with content in this article.
Onkyo TX-NR686 was introduced in 2018. It is equipped with 7 channel amplifier with 100 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven) power per channel and is capable of 7.1 maximum channel processing. It supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, passes 4K/60Hz video signal.
We evaluated the a/v receiver and gave 87 overall score out of 100. Our ranking system is based on the amplifier specifications, audio and video features, connectivity, multizone capabilities, radio and many other details.
Pros and Cons
In this section we present pros and cons of Onkyo TX-NR686.
|DSD via HDMI|
|Auto Speaker Calibration System with Mic.|
|New HDCP Version|
|4K or 8K Video Passthrough|
|Analog To HDMI Upconversion|
|Many HDMI Inputs|
|Many Analog Audio Line Inputs|
|Composite Video Inputs|
|Component Video Inputs|
|No Front Wide Channel Support|
|No Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization|
|No IMAX Enhanced|
|No Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer|
|No 4K or 8K Video Upscaling|
|Does not Work with Amazon Alexa|
|Few 8K Inputs|
|No Analog Pre-Outs|
Here we are comparing Onkyo TX-NR686 to its predecessor TX-NR676 and displaying the major changes.
|UPGRADES||Onkyo TX-NR686||vs||Onkyo TX-NR676|
|THX™ Certification||Select™ (previously known as Select2)||vs|
|THX Listening Modes||vs|
|THX Processing Mode||vs|
|Works with SONOS||requires firmware update & Sonos Connect||vs|
|AirPlay||AirPlay 2 after firmware update||vs||AirPlay|
|DOWNGRADES||Onkyo TX-NR686||vs||Onkyo TX-NR676|
|Lower Rated Headphone Power Output||80 mW (32 Ω, 1 kHz, 10% THD)||vs||85 mW (32 Ω, 1 kHz, 10% THD)|
For more detailed comparison between the models please visit Onkyo TX-NR686 vs Onkyo TX-NR676.
7 channel Linear Class A/B Amplifier
Onkyo TX-NR686 features 7 channel power amplifier with Linear Class A/B design. It is rated at 100 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven) and is able to drive 4 ohm speakers.
- Dynamic Audio Amplification: Onkyo TX-NR686 features Dynamic Audio Amplification which is Onkyo’s amplification philosophy that focuses on capturing the energy and dynamism contained in the audio signal and reproducing it without loss. Audio signals are not static like a test tone, but rather a countless collection of constantly moving waves. While static measurements such as S/N ratio and Total Harmonic Distortion are important, Onkyo believes that excellent dynamic and transient response is the key to emotionally involving sound. Dynamism - the “life” in music - is achieved when the amp can respond to changes in the signal instantaneously, so notes start and stop naturally and the nuances in attack, decay, sustain, and release are voiced with conviction. Onkyo home theater receivers represent the culmination of almost 70 years’ experience in amplifier design. The unique elements of their amplification system comprise high-current, low-impedance architecture to accurately control large speaker cones while enabling instantaneous response to dynamic changes, and discrete wide-range amplifier circuit topology to eliminate phase shift for clear and accurate audio imaging.
THX Select™ (previously known as Select2) certified
Onkyo TX-NR686 is THX Select™ (previously known as Select2) certified. This means that it is made for medium sized rooms, up to 2,000 cubic feet in size, with a 10-12 foot viewing distance from the screen.
- THX™ Certification: THX™ Certification offers optimal performance, superior quality and seamless integration. THX works with partners from the ground up, so that certified products deliver professional quality audio-visual experiences right out of the box. They only certify the very best products with uncompromised quality, performance and consistency. They ensure that THX certified devices play well with lower performing devices and components. THX listening modes make the receiver to have one speaker set up for movies, music and games. They are tested for power output, bass management, signal-to-noise ratio and feature THX Loudness Plus, Boundary Gain Compensation, Timbre Matching and RE-EQ.
- Power Output: Power output is tested to ensure the receiver accurately plays source material at THX Reference Level in every input and mode and at every sampling rate for all possible playback combinations selected by the listener.
- Frequency Response: THX has strict requirements for frequency response to ensure that you hear all the details in high-resolution tracks, ensures dialog in movies, and vocals in music are clear while maintaining deep, impactful bass output that doesn’t overpower the listening experience.
- Signal-to-Noise Ratio: THX tests the signal-to-noise ratio to ensure the unit is designed to have low noise performance with very little to no audible hiss from the speakers.
- Bass Management: THX requires an 80Hz crossover point in the setup menu to ensure proper bass management in every THX Certified AVR. This setting confirms that the subwoofer handles low frequencies, freeing up the loudspeakers to handle mids and highs.
- THX Loudness Plus™: THX Loudness Plus™ is a volume control technology featured in THX Certified Dominus, THX Certified Ultra and THX Certified Select AV Receivers, and preamplifiers that automatically adjusts the front-to-back speaker level relationship as you turn the volume down. With THX Loudness Plus, home theater audiences can now experience the rich details of surround sound at any volume level.
- Boundary Gain Compensation: Sitting near a wall may result in increased acoustic levels at the lower frequencies. BGC corrects the way low frequency sound is perceived when seated near a wall. This results in a more accurate bass response.
- Timbre Matching: Your ears hear different tonal qualities in sounds coming from different directions. Timbre Matching restores the frequency balance between your front and surround speakers ensuring seamless and smooth panning between the front to back of the room.
- RE-EQ: Many movie soundtracks are mixed in studios for playback in large cinema auditoriums with an array of speakers. When played on home systems, they may appear abrasive and edgy. Re-EQ establishes a more accurate tonal balance when enjoying movies in your home.
Onkyo TX-NR686's 7 channel amplifier can be assigned for different speaker configurations.
- Dolby Atmos Configurations: The following speaker configurations are supported for Dolby Atmos:
- 5.2.2 with internal amplifier.
- DTS:X Configurations: The speaker configurations for DTS:X are the same as for Dolby Atmos:
- 5.2.2 with internal amplifier.
- Configurations without height channels: There are also other speaker configurations available which do not include height channels:
- 5.2, 7.2 with internal amplifier.
- Bi-Amp: You can bi-amp front left and right speakers. During bi-amplification two amplifiers are used for one speaker. One amplifier powers the midrange and tweeter section of the speaker and another amplifier powers the low frequency woofers. Each amplifier is less loaded and performs better. In order to use this feature speakers must have 2 pairs of connectors.
Onkyo TX-NR686 supports Dolby Atmos. It is a cinematic audio format in which sounds exist as individual entities, called audio objects. In Dolby Atmos, any sound can exist as an independent audio object, free of channel restrictions. They can be precisely placed and moved anywhere in your room, including overhead, to flow above and around you in three-dimensional space. Through the use of audio objects, overhead sound, and all the richness, clarity, and power of Dolby sound, Dolby Atmos turns your room into an amazing place for entertainment. The format supports up to 128 simultaneous independent audio objects in a mix for rich, realistic, and breathtaking sound. It recreates the director's original concept through descriptive metadata to provide customized playback for home theater and delivers sounds above you through overhead speakers, special upward-firing Dolby Atmos speakers, or a Dolby Atmos enabled sound bar.
- Dolby Surround Upmixer: If the content is not mixed in Dolby Atmos then the Dolby surround upmixer will expand the audio to all channels including ceiling speakers. The upmixer has replaced the Dolby Pro Logic II family with improved upmixing algorithms.
Onkyo TX-NR686 supports DTS:X. A technique used in DTS:X is similar to the one used in Dolby Atmos. Instead of a fixed number of channels, DTS:X defines object locations from the listener in polar coordinates. An a/v receiver then dynamically renders sound according to the current speaker configuration. The speaker layout employed by DTS:X is the sum of Dolby Atmos and Auro-3D. It has standard 7.1 channel base layer, a 5 channel height layer above the base layer on the front and side walls, and 3 rows of speakers on the ceiling.
- DTS Neural:X: DTS Neural:X is an advanced upmixer that can take non DTS:X content and upmix it to the DTS:X speaker layout. It has replaced the DTS Neo family with improved flexibility.
- DTS Dialog Control: This function adjusts the dialog levels during playback of the DTS:X stream. It allows you to separately increase the dialog levels in contrast with the background sound and hear dialog easily even under noisy circumstances.
- Advanced Music Optimizer: Compressed music enhancement in Onkyo TX-NR686 is done by Onkyo’s Advanced Music Optimizer. While MP3 or AAC files may sound fine through the headphones of your portable digital player, the limitations of these files can be exposed when played back through a quality home entertainment system. This is because a significant amount of high-frequency bit information is lost during the file-compression process. To counter this, Onkyo has designed the Advanced Music Optimizer to compensate for lost bit information and improve the quality of compressed audio signals. This results in a clearer and more expansive sound. Also included in this technology is a loudness correction feature that further improves the audio character of compressed files.
Onkyo TX-NR686 comes with AccuEQ with AccuReflex™ room correction system and includes the calibration microphone.
- AccuEQ: First, AccuEQ detects the presence of speakers and evaluates the impedance of each. Next, it pinpoints their distance relative to the main listening position using the mic and sets suitable sound-pressure levels. Then it selects the optimal crossover frequency so that deeper bass rolls smoothly off to the subwoofer. Finally, AccuEQ performs frequency response equalization based on room-acoustic and speaker data collected via microphone. The sound-field is now tailored around the listening position, resulting in a more immersive and realistic in-film experience.
Onkyo TX-NR686 features 7 HDMI inputs. It has 2 outputs which work parallelly and output the same signal.
- 4K/60Hz Passthrough: All inputs pass up to 4K/60p (RGB/YCbCr4:4:4) video signal.
- Analog To HDMI Upconversion: The a/v receiver supports video upconversion, so you can connect your analog Component and Composite video sources and Onkyo TX-NR686 will output them via HDMI. This means that you will need only one HDMI cable to connect to your TV.
- BT.2020 Color Space: BT.2020 or Rec. 2020 is a color standard which delivers a wider color gamut compared to Rec. 709. It covers approximately 75% of the total visual spectrum while the Rec. 709 covers only 35%.
- HDCP 2.2 Copy Protection: All inputs and outputs are HDCP 2.2 compliant which is a requirement for 4K/HDR copy-protected content transmission.
- 3D Ready: Onkyo TX-NR686 is able to pass 3D video through HDMI.
HDR (High Dynamic Range)
Onkyo TX-NR686 supports HDR (high dynamic range) video formats such as HDR10, Dolby Vision and Hybrid Log-Gamma. High dynamic range video has greater dynamic range than standard dynamic range (SDR) video with brighter whites and deeper blacks. The result is greater contrast and more details in dark and bright areas, better color and depth.
- HDR10: HDR10 uses the wide-gamut Rec. 2020 color space. It sends static metadata via video stream to the TV which calibrates its screen brightness and color according to that. HDR10 supports 10-bit color which corresponds to 1024 shades of the primary RGB colors. It is technically limited to a maximum of 10,000 nits peak brightness, however common HDR10 contents are mastered with peak brightness from 1,000 to 4,000 nits.
- Dolby Vision: Dolby Vision is a set of technologies developed by Dolby Laboratories for high dynamic range (HDR) video. It covers content creation, distribution, and playback. Like HDR10+, it includes dynamic metadata that are used to adjust and optimize each frame of the HDR video to the consumer display's capabilities in a way specified by the content creator. Dolby Vision allows for a maximum resolution of 8K up to 12-bit color depth, maximum peak brightness of 10,000 nits and a color gamut up to Rec. 2020. It uses Dolby's proprietary dynamic metadata defined in SMPTE ST 2094-10.
- Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG): The Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) is a transfer function developed mainly for HDR live video feed and over-the-air broadcasts. It is an HDR format that uses BT.2020 color primaries and a bitdepth of 10-bit. It is backward compatible with the transfer function of SDR and is designed to be better-suited for television broadcasting, where the metadata required for other HDR formats is not backward compatible with non-HDR displays. HLG defines a non-linear optical-electro transfer function, in which the lower half of the signal values use a gamma curve and the upper half of the signal values use a logarithmic curve.
Onkyo TX-NR686 offers multi-zone playback which allows you to play different input sources in 2 different rooms.
- Powered Zone 2: You can use the unit's 2 amplifier channels by connecting Zone 2 speakers directly to the speaker terminals. The remaining 5 channels will be left for main zone amplification.
- Audio Line Output: If you have a dedicated integrated amplifier for Zone 2 you can connect it to the a/v receiver via line outs by sending fixed signal and then control volume on the Zone 2 amplifier.
Inputs and Outputs
- Phono Input: There is an MM phono input with built-in phono stage for connecting the moving magnet cartridge output of the turntable directly to the a/v receiver.
- Analog Line Inputs: There are 7 line inputs for analog audio connection.
- Digital Inputs: 2 optical inputs and 1 coaxial input are available for digital audio connection.
- Headphone Output: There is a 6.3 mm (1/4") headphone output jack on the front panel.
- Inputs: 7 (1 front) Outputs: 2 (simultaneous)
8K Inputs: 0
- Composite Video: Connect you VCR, Laserdisc player and other old video equipment with composite video cables.
- Inputs: 2 Outputs: 0
- Component Video: Component video connection gives you the higher quality video compared to the composite video connection. So in case your old DVD player and other equipment do not have an HDMI output but have Component video output use this connection over the composite one. Onkyo TX-NR686 supports up to 480i/576i resolution on Component video connectors.
- Inputs: 2 Outputs: 0
Here we list all the available features and specifications of Onkyo TX-NR686.
|Front Wide Channel Support|
|Amplifier||Linear Class A/B|
|Dynamic Audio Amplification|
|Non-Phase Shift Amplifier|
|VLSC (Vector Linear Shaping Circuitry)||Front L/R channels|
|Optimum Gain Volume Circuitry|
|THX™ Certification||Select™ (previously known as Select2)|
|Continuous 6 Ω Rated|
|Certified 4 Ω Performance|
|Discrete Output Stage Circuitry|
|Independent Block Construction (Amp/Preprocessor)|
|BTL (Bridged Transless or Bridging)|
|Digital Signal Processing (DSP) Engine||32-bit Digital Signal Processing Engines|
|DAC Specs||384 kHz/32 Bit|
|Maximum Channel Processing||7.1|
|Air Studios Monitor Certification|
|Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization|
|Dolby Atmos Music|
|Dolby Digital Plus|
|Dolby Surround Upmixer|
|Dolby Pro Logic|
|Dolby Digital EX|
|THX Listening Modes|
|DTS-HD Master Audio|
|DTS-HD High Resolution Audio|
|Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer|
|Music Playback via USB||FLAC, WAV, Apple Lossless, WMA, MP3, DSD, AIFF, AAC, Dolby TrueHD|
|High Resolution Music Playback via USB and/or Network||up to 192 kHz|
|High Resolution Audio Formats via USB||FLAC, WAV, Apple Lossless, DSD, AIFF, AAC, Dolby TrueHD|
|Multi-Channel Music File Playback via USB|
|DSD via HDMI||2-ch/Multi-ch Input|
|DSD via USB||2-ch Input|
|DSD to PCM Converter|
|Jitter Reduction||PLL (Phase Locked Loop) Jitter-Cleaning Circuit Technology for S/PDIF Audio|
|DTS Dialog Control|
|Tone Control||Front L/R Channels|
|Compressed Music Enhancer||Advanced Music Optimizer (bluetooth included)|
|High-resolution Music Enhancer|
|THX Processing Mode|
|Audyssey Dynamic EQ|
|Audyssey Dynamic Volume|
|Audyssey Sub EQ HT|
|Phase-Matching Bass Boost|
|Pure Audio Mode|
|Pure Direct Analog Path Mode|
|Virtual Speakers||T-D (Theater-Dimensional)|
|Auto Speaker Calibration System with Mic.||AccuEQ with AccuReflex™|
|HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma)|
|BT.2020 color space|
|QMS (Quick Media Switching)|
|ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode)|
|VRR (Variable Refresh Rate)|
|QFT (Quick Frame transport)|
|Video Signal Passthrough||up to 4K/60p (RGB/YCbCr4:4:4)|
|Video Signal Upscaling|
|Analog To HDMI Upconversion||Component**, Composite|
|Component Video Upscaling|
|Analog to Analog Video conversion|
|Component Video Maximum Resolution||480i/576i|
|isf Certified Calibration Control|
|Works with Amazon Alexa|
|Works with SONOS||requires firmware update & Sonos Connect|
|AirPlay||AirPlay 2 after firmware update|
|Apple Product Connection||iPod, iPhone and iPad|
|Remote App||Onkyo Remote App for iPod touch/iPhone and Android-Powered Devices|
|InstaPrevue Input Source Prevue|
|HDMI Inputs||7 (1 front)|
|HDMI Outputs||2 (simultaneous)|
|USB Input||1 (Rear)|
|USB DC Out Port|
|Analog Audio Line Input||7 (1 Front)|
|Analog Audio Line Output|
|Composite Video Input||2|
|Composite Video Output|
|Component Video Input||2|
|Component Video Output|
|Front A/V Inputs||HDMI, Mini-Jack|
|Headphone Out||6.3 mm (1/4")|
|Zone 2 Outs||RCA Line Out|
|Whole House Mode|
|+12V Trigger Output||0|
|Remote (IR) Input/Output||0 / 0|
|On-Screen Display||Graphical Overlaid On-Screen Display (OSD) via HDMI with Quick Set-Up|
|Detachable Power Cord|
|ONKYO-RI System Control|
|RIHD (Remote Interactive Over HDMI)|
|SiriusXM Internet Radio|
|Solid Aluminum Front|
|Large Speaker Terminals||9|
|Color-Coded Speaker Terminals|
|Transparent High-Grade Speaker Terminals|
|18mm Pitch High Grade Pre-outs|
|19mm-Pitch Audio Inputs|
|Gold plated RCA terminals|
|Power Supply||AC 120 V, 60 Hz|
|Independent Power Supply|
|H.C.P.S. (High Current Power Supply)||Customized Transformer|
|Power Consumption||580 W|
|No Sound Power||60 W|
|Standby Power||0.15 W|
|ECO Mode / Hybrid Standby Function|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||435 mm x 173.5 mm x 379.5 mm|
17-1/8" x 6-13/16" x 14-15/16"
|Weight||10.0 kg (22.0 lbs)|
|Power Output (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2||100 W (0.08% THD)|
|Maximum Effective Power Output (6 Ω, 1 kHz, 1 channel driven, JEITA)||210 W (10% THD)|
|Dynamic Power per Channel (3 Ω, Front)||240 W|
|Dynamic Power per Channel (4 Ω, Front)||210 W|
|Dynamic Power per Channel (8 Ω, Front)||120 W|
|THD||0.08% (20 Hz - 20 kHz, Half power)|
|Input Sensitivity and Impedance (Line)||200 mV/47 kΩ (1 kHz, 100 W/8 Ω)|
|Input Sensitivity and Impedance (Phono MM)||3.5 mV/47 kΩ|
|Rated Headphone Power Output||80 mW (32 Ω, 1 kHz, 10% THD)|
|Phono Overload||70 mV (MM, 1 kHz 0.5%)|
|S/N Ratio (Line, IHF-A)||106 dB|
|S/N Ratio (Phono MM, IHF-A)||80 dB|
|Frequency Response (Analog In)||10 Hz - 100 kHz/+1 dB, -3 dB (Direct)|
|DSD Sampling Rates via HDMI||2.8 MHz|
|DSD Sampling Rates via USB||2.8 MHz, 5.6 MHz|
|Video Input Sensitivity/Output Level and Impedance||1 Vp-p/75 Ω (Component Y)|
0.7 Vp-p/75 Ω (Component PB/CB, PR/CR)
1 Vp-p/75 Ω (Composite)
|Wi-Fi Standard||IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n|
|Wi-Fi Terminal Frequency||5 GHz, 2.4 GHz|
|Bluetooth Version||4․1 + LE|
|Bluetooth Frequency||2.4 GHz|
|USB Terminal||Ver. 2.0, 5 V, 1 A|
|FM Frequency||87.5 MHz - 107.9 MHz|
|FM 50 dB Quiet Sensitivity (IHF, 1 kHz, 100% MOD.)||Mono: 1.56 µV (15.0 dBf)|
|AM Frequency||530 kHz - 1710 kHz|
* - 480i/576i and 480p/576p only
** - 480i/576i only
*** - no 1080p/24 upconversion
**** - 1080p signal is not converted
In 2019 Onkyo TX-NR686 was replaced by TX-NR696. Let us now have a look at some important changes that the successor brought.
|UPGRADES||Onkyo TX-NR696||vs||Onkyo TX-NR686|
|Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization||vs|
|DTS Virtual:X||via future firmware update||vs|
|Newer HDCP Version||2.3||vs||2.2|
|Video Signal Upscaling||1080p to 4K||vs|
|More HDMI Outputs||2 (1 Main, 1 Sub/Zone2)||vs||2 (simultaneous)|
|Zone 2 Outs||HDMI, RCA Line Out (shared with Zone B)||vs||RCA Line Out|
|Bigger Power Supply||635 W||vs||580 W|
|Higher DSD Sampling Rate via USB||2.8 MHz, 5.6 MHz, 11.2 MHz||vs||2.8 MHz, 5.6 MHz|
|Newer Bluetooth Version||4․2||vs||4․1 + LE|
|DOWNGRADES||Onkyo TX-NR696||vs||Onkyo TX-NR686|
|Analog To HDMI Upconversion||vs||Component**, Composite|
|Less Analog Audio Line Inputs||5 (1 Front)||vs||7 (1 Front)|
|Less Optical Inputs||1||vs||2|
|Less Composite Video Inputs||vs||2|
|Less Component Video Inputs||vs||2|
For more detailed comparison between the models please visit Onkyo TX-NR686 vs Onkyo TX-NR696.