Onkyo TX-NR696

    89
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    Highlights

    • 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
    • HDR10, Dolby Vision
    • 4K/60Hz Passthrough, 4K/30Hz Upscaling
    • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Ethernet
    • Phono Input
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    Disclosure: We earn money from the affiliate links to products associated with content in this article.

    Overview

    Onkyo TX-NR696 was introduced in 2019. 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 and upscales 1080p to 4K video signal.

    We evaluated the a/v receiver and gave 89 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.


    Here is a history of the series, where you can view and compare the main specifications of the receivers.

    Evolution of the series
    Model Year Chann. Power Dolby Atmos DTS:X HDR10 HDR10+ Dolby Vision Pass. Price
    TX-NR696 Image cannot be found 2019 7.2 100 W 4K
    TX-NR686 Image cannot be found 2018 7.2 100 W 4K
    TX-NR676 Image cannot be found 2017 7.2 100 W 4K
    TX-NR656 Image cannot be found 2016 7.2 100 W 4K
    TX-NR646 Image cannot be found 2015 7.2 100 W 4K
    TX-NR636 Image cannot be found 2014 7.2 95 W 4K
    TX-NR626 Image cannot be found 2013 7.2 95 W 4K
    TX-NR616 Image cannot be found 2012 7.2 100 W 1080p
    TX-NR609 Image cannot be found 2011 7.2 100 W 1080p

    You can view their side-by-side comparison here: Onkyo TX-NR696 vs TX-NR686 vs TX-NR676 vs TX-NR656 vs TX-NR646 vs TX-NR636.

    Pros and Cons

    In this section we present pros and cons of Onkyo TX-NR696.

    PROs

    •   THX™ Certification
    •   Dolby Atmos
    •   Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization
    •   DTS:X
    •   DSD via HDMI
    •   Auto Speaker Calibration System with Mic.
    •   HDR10
    •   Dolby Vision
    •   New HDCP Version
    •   Wi-Fi
    •   Bluetooth
    •   Chromecast Built-In
    •   7 HDMI Inputs
    •   USB Input
    •   Phono Input
    •   Ethernet
    •   Analog Tuner
    •   Pandora
    •   Spotify
    •   Tidal

    CONs

    •   No Front Wide Channel Support
    •   No IMAX Enhanced
    •   No Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer
    •   No HDR10+
    •   No eARC
    •   No 8K Passthrough
    •   Does not Work with Amazon Alexa
    •   0 8K Input
    •   No RCA Pre-Outs
    •   No Composite Video Inputs
    •   No Digital Radio

    And here are some specifications which fall into average criteria and are neither in PROs nor in CONs category:

    AVERAGE

    •   7.2 Channels
    •   Power Output - 100 W
    •   7.1 Channel Processing
    •   3 HDMI Outputs
    •   RCA Line Inputs
    •   2 Zones
    •   Bluetooth 4․2

    Onkyo 2019 Lineup

    In 2019 Onkyo released 7 new receivers. Here is the lineup:

    Onkyo 2019 Lineup
    ModelChannelsPowerMax. Ch. Proc.Pre OutsRoom Corr.Zones Price
    TX-RZ840 Image cannot be found 9.2120 W11.211.2 AccuEQ Advance with AccuReflex™3
    TX-RZ740 Image cannot be found 9.2100 W11.211.2 AccuEQ Advance with AccuReflex™3
    TX-NR797 Image cannot be found 9.2100 W9.1 AccuEQ Advance with AccuReflex™3
    TX-NR696 Image cannot be found 7.2100 W7.1 AccuEQ with subwoofer EQ and AccuReflex™2
    TX-NR595 Image cannot be found 7.280 W7.1 AccuEQ with AccuReflex™2
    TX-SR494 Image cannot be found 7.280 W7.1 AccuEQ2
    TX-SR393 Image cannot be found 5.280 W5.1 AccuEQ2

    You can view their side-by-side comparison here: Onkyo TX-RZ840 vs TX-RZ740 vs TX-NR797 vs TX-NR696 vs TX-NR595 vs TX-SR494.

    Predecessor

    Here we are comparing Onkyo TX-NR696 to its predecessor TX-NR686 and displaying the major changes.

    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 Optical Inputs 1 vs 2
    Less RCA Line Inputs 5 (1 Front) vs 7 (1 Front)
    Less Composite Video Inputs vs 2
    Less Component Video Inputs vs 2

    For more detailed comparison between the models please visit Onkyo TX-NR696 vs TX-NR686.

    Audio Section

    7 channel Linear Class A/B Amplifier

    Onkyo TX-NR696 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-NR696 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.
    • WRAT (Wide Range Amp Technology): Onkyo TX-NR696 features Onkyo’s Wide Range Amp Technology (WRAT) circuit layout that prevents phase shifting by pushing the roll-off point higher than the listening-level frequency. Amplifying sound without phase shift creates an uncommonly well-focused and realistic audio image. If phase shift occurs and signal timing is not accurate, then neither is the resulting audio image.

    THX Select™ (previously known as Select2) certified

    Onkyo TX-NR696 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.
    AMPLIFIER
    Channels7.2
    Power Output100 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven)
    Front Wide Channel Support
    Amplifier DesignLinear Class A/B
    Dynamic Audio Amplification
    Non-Phase Shift Amplifier
    WRAT (Wide Range Amplifier Technology)
    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)
    Bi-amp Capability
    BTL (Bridged Transless or Bridging)

    Speaker Configurations

    Onkyo TX-NR696'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.
    • 2-ch Bi-Amp: Onkyo TX-NR696 allows you to bi-amp up to 2 main channels simultaneously. 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-NR696

    Dolby Atmos

    Onkyo TX-NR696 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.
    • Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization: Dolby Atmos height virtualization is a digital signal processing solution that leverages Dolby's deep understanding of human audio perception to create the sensation of overhead sound from the listener-level speakers.

    DTS:X

    Onkyo TX-NR696 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 Virtual:X: DTS Virtual:X bridges the gap between DTS:X codec and the reality of so many consumers' homes, allowing you to enjoy multi-dimensional sound regardless of room size, layout, or speaker configuration. If you have a limited speaker setup you will miss a full immersive potential of your entertainment system. DTS Virtual:X adds height and surround audio effect to your system without adding height speakers. It works with multiple configurations and delivers immersive sound experience out of 5.1 or even 2.1 speaker layouts.
    • 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.
    DECODING
    Dolby Atmos
    Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization
    Dolby Atmos Music
    Dolby TrueHD
    Dolby Digital Plus
    Dolby Surround Upmixer
    Dolby Pro Logic
    Dolby Digital EX
    THX Listening Modes
    DTS:X
    DTS Neural:X
    DTS Virtual:X via future firmware update
    DTS Neo
    DTS-HD Master Audio
    DTS-HD High Resolution Audio
    DTS 96/24
    DTS Express
    DTS-ES
    IMAX Enhanced
    Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer

    Sound Processing

    • Advanced Music Optimizer: Compressed music enhancement in Onkyo TX-NR696 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.

    Room Calibration

    Onkyo TX-NR696 comes with AccuEQ with subwoofer EQ and 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.

    Video Section

    HDMI

    Onkyo TX-NR696 features 7 HDMI inputs. It has 2 outputs: 1 Main and 1 Sub/Zone2.

    • 4K/60Hz Passthrough: All inputs pass up to 4K/60p (RGB/YCbCr4:4:4) video signal.
    • 4K Upscaling: Onkyo TX-NR696 can upscale 1080p to 4K from HDMI sources.
    • 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 2.3 Copy Protection: All inputs and outputs are HDCP 2.3 compliant which is a requirement for 4K/HDR copy-protected content transmission.
    • 3D Ready: Onkyo TX-NR696 is able to pass 3D video through HDMI.

    HDR (High Dynamic Range)

    Onkyo TX-NR696 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-NR696
    VIDEO FEATURES
    HDR10
    HDR10+
    Dynamic HDR
    BT.2020 color space
    Dolby Vision
    HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma)
    HDBaseT Compatible
    Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC)
    HDCP Version2.3
    QMS (Quick Media Switching)
    ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode)
    VRR (Variable Refresh Rate)
    QFT (Quick Frame transport)
    3-D Ready
    Video Signal Passthroughup to 4K/60p (RGB/YCbCr4:4:4)
    Video Signal Upscaling 1080p to 4K

    Multi-zone Playback

    Onkyo TX-NR696 offers multi-zone playback which allows you to play different input sources in 2 different rooms.


    Zone 2

    • 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.
    • HDMI Output: Onkyo TX-NR696 offers HDMI output for Zone 2. This means that it can send two different HDMI signals to two displays.
    • 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.
    ZONES
    Number of Zones2
    Powered Zones 2
    Zone 2 OutsHDMI, RCA Line Out (shared with Zone B)
    Whole House Mode
    RS-232C Interface
    +12V Trigger Output0
    Remote (IR) Input/Output0 / 0

    Check out the receivers which are frequently compared to Onkyo TX-NR696.

    Inputs and Outputs

    Audio

    • 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 5 line inputs for analog audio connection.
    • Digital Inputs: 1 optical input 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.

    Video

    • HDMI:
    • Inputs: 7 (1 front)   Outputs: 2 (1 Main, 1 Sub/Zone2)
      8K Inputs: 0

    Front A/V Inputs

    • HDMI, Mini-Jack
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    TERMINALS
    HDMI Inputs7 (1 front)
    HDMI Outputs2 (1 Main, 1 Sub/Zone2)
    8K Inputs
    USB Input1 (Rear)
    USB DC Out Port
    Optical Inputs1
    Optical Outputs
    Coaxial Inputs1
    RCA Line Inputs5 (1 Front)
    RCA Line Outputs
    XLR Line Inputs
    Phono Input
    Multi-Channel Input
    RCA Pre-Outs0.2
    XLR Pre-outs
    Composite Video Inputs
    Composite Video Outputs
    S-Video Inputs
    S-Video Outputs
    Component Video Inputs
    Component Video Outputs

    Onkyo TX-NR696 Evaluation

    We evaluate Onkyo TX-NR696 and give score of 89 out of 100. We also give separate scores for 6 different categories according to the available features and specifications some of which are listed below. These evaluations are relative and may change each time a new receiver is added to the database.


    OVERALL
    89

    Amplifier

    EXCELLENT
    89

    We give Onkyo TX-NR696 a score of 89 for Amplifier features.

    •   7.2 Channels
    •   Power Output - 100 W
    •   THX™ Certification

    Audio Features

    EXCELLENT
    88

    We give Onkyo TX-NR696 a score of 88 for Audio Features features.

    •   7.2 Channels
    •   No Front Wide Channel Support
    •   7.1 Channel Processing
    •   Dolby Atmos
    •   Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization
    •   DTS:X
    •   No IMAX Enhanced
    •   No Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer
    •   DSD via HDMI

    Video Features

    EXCELLENT
    95

    We give Onkyo TX-NR696 a score of 95 for Video Features features.

    •   HDR10
    •   No HDR10+
    •   Dolby Vision
    •   No 8K Passthrough

    Connectivity

    GOOD
    84

    We give Onkyo TX-NR696 a score of 84 for Connectivity features.

    •   No eARC
    •   New HDCP Version
    •   Wi-Fi
    •   Bluetooth
    •   Does not Work with Amazon Alexa
    •   Chromecast Built-In
    •   7 HDMI Inputs
    •   3 HDMI Outputs
    •   0 8K Input
    •   USB Input
    •   RCA Line Inputs
    •   Phono Input
    •   No RCA Pre-Outs
    •   No Composite Video Inputs
    •   Ethernet
    •   Bluetooth 4․2

    Zones

    GOOD
    81

    We give Onkyo TX-NR696 a score of 81 for Zones features.

    •   2 Zones

    Radio

    EXCELLENT
    92

    We give Onkyo TX-NR696 a score of 92 for Radio features.

    •   Analog Tuner
    •   Pandora
    •   Spotify
    •   Tidal


    For a full specification list please go to the specifications page:

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