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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.