Yamaha RX-V681BL vs. Onkyo TX-NR656

Yamaha RX-V681BL vs Onkyo TX-NR656

Yamaha RX-V681BL vs Onkyo TX-NR656: Which Home Theater Receiver is Better for the Money

Selecting a 7.2-channel, feature-rich AV receiver, compare the top models’ functionality and performance. Is Onkyo TX-NR656 vs Yamaha RX-V681BL more powerful and solid? Which amp sounds better?

Features

First of all, the difference is in the streaming system. The Onkyo receiver is powered by Google Chromecast technology that is advanced and multitasking. However, it doesn’t support video output. Yamaha’s MusicCast is good, extensive and versatile multi-room solution, but it’s still not perfect. Both devices are feature-rich, supporting multiple formats, including Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, coming with innovative Bluetooth and Wi-Fi opportunities. However, Yamaha RX-V681BL receiver is compatible with Alexa, enabling voice control. Additionally, it is equipped with YPAO sound optimization technology while its Onkyo counterpart comes with AccuEQ auto-calibration system.

Connections

Both amplifiers are rich in connections. Onkyo TX-NR656 stands out by generous 8 HDMI inputs, the Yamaha receiver has 3 audio and multiple video inputs, a component monitor output. Both home theaters come with the beneficial phono inputs, enabling the turntable connections. Additionally, the USB port of the Yamaha RX-V681BL amp is located on the front panel. The Onkyo receiver’s USB connection is rear. As to the usability, Yamaha amp’s remote is not universal, cluttered with multiple unnecessary buttons, not universal. The user interface is quite short, but not intuitive. The manual is not very clear, but the users recommend to read a PDF version on CD or online before the use. Unfortunately, a hard copy is not available. The remote connection is told to be underpowered. However, the front panel stands out by 4 programmable scene buttons that are very handy. Onkyo TX-NR656 is easier to set up. Its smartphone app and remote is user-friendly and simple, the menu is straightforward. “Quick menu” is available. Some Bluetooth and Android app issues still happen. It may connect at the second or the third attempt.

Performance

Onkyo TX-NR656 vs Yamaha RX-V681BL is more powerful. It features up to 100W per channel versus 90W (at 8 ohms) it’s Yamaha counterpart supplies. The TX-NR656 model sounds great, focusing on movies reproduction, but music performance is impressive, as well. Bass response is still weaker than of its counterpart. Yamaha amp’s sound is outstanding, notable for clear dialogues, natural and smooth vocals, rich, deep bass, due to low distortion.

Conclusion

Onkyo TX-NR656 is a feature-rich, powerful home theater. It has 8 HDMI inputs, being quite user-friendly and easy to set up, but a bit slow. On the other hand, Yamaha RX-V681BL amplifier is high-performance and advanced. It works with Alexa voice assistant and produces excellent, natural and clear sound, standing out by multiple audio/video ports and handy front panel.

Onkyo TX-NR656 Review

The AV receiver is feature-rich and powerful. It supports multiple modern formats, has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. The amp comes with 8 HDMI inputs. A Phono input is available, as well. The home theater produces great sound that is still not too rich in bass. It is simple and easy to use, but slow, coming with an intuitive menu and interface.

Pros:

  • easy to set up
  • powerful
  • affordable

Cons:

  • semi-plastic case

Yamaha RX-V681BL Review

The home theater is innovative and high-performance. It enables Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, working with Alexa. Coming with 6 HDMI inputs, the amplifier is notable for 12 audio/video ports, including the essential phono input. The amp produces incredible, clear and natural sound, but the menu and the remote are not the most intuitive.

Pros:

  • excellent sound quality
  • a solid set of features

Cons:

  • cluttered remote and user interface

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Comparison chart

Common

Model

RX-V681BL
TX-NR656

Brand

Yamaha
Onkyo

Rating on Amazon

4.1
4.0

Reviews on Amazon

270
255

Functions

Digital player

Internet radio

Network audio player

Amplifier class

D

Audio formats

AAC

AIFF

Apple lossless

DSD

FLAC

MP3

WAV

WMA

Built-in decoders

DTS neural:X

DTS-HD master audio

DTS:X

Dolby atmos

Dolby digital plus

Dolby surround

Dolby true HD

Power device

Operational power consumption

260 W
580 W

Standby power consumption

0.1 W
0.1 W

Built-in display

Type

fluorescent
fluorescent

Colour

black
black

Amplifier

Total output power

525 W
690 W

Output power per channel

105 W, 150 W, 90 W
100 W, 170 W

Output impedance per channel

8 Ohm
6 Ohm, 8 Ohm

Frequency response

20 Hz-20 kHz
20 Hz-20 kHz

Total harmonic distortion

0.09 %
0.08 %

Number of channels

7
7

Signal-to-noise ratio

96 dB
106 dB

Connectivity interfaces

Bluetooth

Wi-Fi

IEEE 802.3

IEEE 802.3u

Signal processing

HDMI pass-through

up to 4K
up to 4K

Video conversion/scaling

HDMI to HDMI scaling, analog to HDMI up conversion

3D pass-through

Upscaling via HDMI

up to 4K
up to 4K

Connector type

AV inputs

2
2

Optical digital inputs

1
2

Coaxial digital inputs

2
1

HDMI inputs

6
8

HDMI outputs

1
2

Optical digital outputs

has not
has not

Coaxial digital outputs

has not
has not

Subwoofer outputs

2
2

USB

1
1

Phones

1
1

Media content source

Bluetooth

Network

USB-host

Radio

Tuner type

digital
digital

Tuner bands

AM/FM
AM/FM

Preset station qty

40
40

Additional features

A-B speaker switch

AIR Studios monitor certification

Three-zone capability

X.v.Color

Advanced sound retriever (ASR) technology

Apple air-play support

Audio return channel (ARC)

Bi-amplifying

Deep color

MCACC Pro

Auto power off

Pure direct mode

Dual-zone capability

Smartphone remote control

Sound features

Sound output mode

Surround Sound
Surround Sound

Audio D/A converter

24bit / 192kHz
32bit / 384kHz

Surround sound effects

CINEMA DSP 3D. SILENT CINEMA DSP. Virtual CINEMA DSP. Virtual CINEMA FRONT. Virtual Presence Speaker. Virtual Surround Back Speaker
Neural Surround. Theater-Dimensional Virtual Surround

Surround system class

7.2 channel
7.2 channel

Digital sound processor (DSP)

DSP preset qty

17

Digital content protection

HDCP 2.2
HDCP 2.2

Clock

Built-in clock

Sleep timer

Dimensions

Shipping size

14.9 x 17.1 x 6.8 inches
22.5 x 18 x 11 inches

Product weight

22.1 pounds
22 pounds