Onkyo TX-SR494

    81
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    Highlights

    • 7.2 Channels
    • 7.1 Channel Processing
    • 80 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven)
    • Dolby Atmos, DTS:X
    • HDR10, Dolby Vision
    • 4K/60Hz Passthrough, 4K/30Hz Upscaling
    • Bluetooth
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    Disclosure: We earn money from the affiliate links to products associated with content in this article.

    Overview

    Onkyo TX-SR494 was introduced in 2019. It is equipped with 7 channel amplifier with 80 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 81 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.

    Amplifier
    84
    Audio Features
    85
    Video Features
    95
    Connectivity
    60
    Zones
    78
    Radio
    59
    OVERALL
    81

    For more details about the ranking please scroll down to an    Evaluation section.


    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-SR494 Image cannot be found 2019 7.2 80 W 4K
    TX-NR474 Image cannot be found 2017 5.1 135 W 4K
    TX-SR444 Image cannot be found 2015 7.1 65 W 4K
    TX-NR414 Image cannot be found 2012 5.1 80 W 1080p

    You can view their side-by-side comparison here: Onkyo TX-SR494 vs TX-NR474 vs TX-SR444 vs TX-NR414.

    Pros and Cons

    In this section we present pros and cons of Onkyo TX-SR494.

    PROs

    •   Dolby Atmos
    •   Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization
    •   DTS:X
    •   DSD via HDMI
    •   Auto Speaker Calibration System with Mic.
    •   HDR10
    •   Dolby Vision
    •   New HDCP Version
    •   Bluetooth
    •   Analog Tuner

    CONs

    •   Low Power Output - 80 W
    •   No Front Wide Channel Support
    •   No IMAX Enhanced
    •   No Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer
    •   No HDR10+
    •   No eARC
    •   No 8K Passthrough
    •   No Wi-Fi
    •   Does not Work with Amazon Alexa
    •   4 HDMI Inputs
    •   1 HDMI Outputs
    •   0 8K Input
    •   No USB Input
    •   Few RCA Line Inputs
    •   No Phono Input
    •   No RCA Pre-Outs
    •   No Composite Video Inputs
    •   No Ethernet
    •   No Digital Radio
    •   No Pandora
    •   No Spotify
    •   No Tidal

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

    AVERAGE

    •   7.2 Channels
    •   7.1 Channel Processing
    •   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.

    Audio Section

    7 channel Amplifier

    Onkyo TX-SR494 features 7 channel power amplifier. It is rated at 80 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven) and is able to drive 4 ohm speakers.

      AMPLIFIER
      Channels7.2
      Power Output80 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven)
      Front Wide Channel Support
      Dynamic Audio Amplification
      Non-Phase Shift Amplifier
      VLSC (Vector Linear Shaping Circuitry)
      Optimum Gain Volume Circuitry
      THX™ Certification
      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-SR494'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-SR494 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-SR494

      Dolby Atmos

      Onkyo TX-SR494 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-SR494 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
      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-SR494 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-SR494 comes with AccuEQ 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-SR494 features 4 HDMI inputs. It has 1 output.

      • 4K/60Hz Passthrough: All inputs pass up to 4K/60p (RGB/YCbCr4:4:4) video signal.
      • 4K Upscaling: Onkyo TX-SR494 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-SR494 is able to pass 3D video through HDMI.

      HDR (High Dynamic Range)

      Onkyo TX-SR494 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-SR494
      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-SR494 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.
      • Audio Pre/Line Output: If you have a dedicated amplifier for Zone 2 you can connect it to the a/v receiver via pre/line outs and use "pre out" option to control volume from the a/v receiver or use "line out" option - send fixed signal and then control volume on the Zone 2 amplifier.
      ZONES
      Number of Zones2
      Powered Zones 2
      Zone 2 OutsZone B Pre/Line Out
      Whole House Mode
      RS-232C Interface
      +12V Trigger Output0
      Remote (IR) Input/Output0 / 0

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      Inputs and Outputs

      Audio

      • Analog Line Inputs: There are 3 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: 4   Outputs: 1
        8K Inputs: 0
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      TERMINALS
      HDMI Inputs4
      HDMI Outputs1
      8K Inputs
      USB Input
      USB DC Out Port
      Optical Inputs1
      Optical Outputs
      Coaxial Inputs1
      RCA Line Inputs3
      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-SR494 Evaluation

      We evaluate Onkyo TX-SR494 and give score of 81 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
      81

      Amplifier

      GOOD
      84

      We give Onkyo TX-SR494 a score of 84 for Amplifier features.

      •   7.2 Channels
      •   Low Power Output - 80 W

      Audio Features

      EXCELLENT
      85

      We give Onkyo TX-SR494 a score of 85 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-SR494 a score of 95 for Video Features features.

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

      Connectivity

      AVERAGE
      60

      We give Onkyo TX-SR494 a score of 60 for Connectivity features.

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

      Zones

      GOOD
      78

      We give Onkyo TX-SR494 a score of 78 for Zones features.

      •   2 Zones

      Radio

      AVERAGE
      59

      We give Onkyo TX-SR494 a score of 59 for Radio features.

      •   Analog Tuner
      •   No Pandora
      •   No Spotify
      •   No Tidal


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

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