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Several weeks ago we previewed Onkyo’s TX-NR535 and TX-NR636 AV Receivers, both loaded with solid features for entry level gear. A big surprise was the removal of Audyssey room correction in favor of the company’s new proprietary AccuEQ room calibration suite. We contacted Onkyo about the switch (wondering if this would hold true for more expensive models) and received no response. The change is a hot-button issue for the company's followers, sparking points of criticism and raising doubts that can only truly be addressed by independent reviews of the new products. Recently, Onkyo officially released details about their mid-range AVR products (TX-NR737 and TX-NR838)...once again Audyssey is out and AccuEQ is in. Don't let that detail discourage you, the NR737 and NR838 look like winners on paper. Today, we’ll preview these two models and discuss a few of their highlight feature sets that helped them achieve THX Certification.


Not surprisingly, the NR737 and NR838 are both 4K ready, featuring support of HDMI’s 2.0 specification. This means the units can handle 4K/60Hz signals, 21:9 widescreen formats, and HDCP 2.2 Copy Protection signals (which allows the receivers to play copy protected 4K media and other premium content, receivers without this compatibility feature likely will only pass-through these signals in standard definition). The units also provide 4K up-conversion. The HDCP 2.2 compatibility feature isn’t common in the industry, yet, and is only available on Onkyo’s NR636, NR737, and NR838 models. Onkyo claims to be the first manufacturer to include this technology, which might be a factor if you’re looking for a new AVR this Spring.

The NR737 (7.2 Channel, 110 Watts) and NR838 (7.2, 130W) feature Onkyo’s Wide Range Amplifier Technology (or WRAT), an engine built around a custom high-output transformer, customized capacitors, and low-impedance copper bus-plates. This high powered amplification is combined with dual 32 bit DSP engines and 192 kHz/24 bit digital audio conversion for a sound that the company describes as “wide, deep, and detailed.” An Advanced Music Optimizer DSP is included to improve the sound quality of compressed audio coming from streaming sources.


Similar to the series’ lower end models, AccuEQ Calibration and a free microphone account for the equalization side of the equation. This room correction suite bypasses the front L/R channels during its calibration process, focusing on the remaining channels for optimization. Onkyo says this speeds up the calibration process, but also allows users to enjoy stereo music without DSP correction.


The NR838 features a Pure Direct Analog Path mode (that removes all digital circuitry from the chain) and a moving-magnet phono equalizer for those users looking to leave their analog source material as intended. This feature makes the NR838 a desirable model for vinyl enthusiast, but also users looking for an analog amplifier for their CD, SACD, and Blu-ray players.

Both new receivers are connectivity rich, featuring seven HDMI inputs (six rear, one front with MHL) and two HDMI outputs. It’s interesting to note that five (four rear and one front) inputs are specified to handle 4K/60Hz signals. Only one HDMI input (rear input 3) is HDCP 2.2 compatible. The NR838 is also capable of transmitting HD video to a Zone 2 display and features 7.2 multichannel pre-outs paired with five digital audio inputs. Much like other offerings from competitors, Onkyo gives the NR737 and NR838 built-in Wifi and Bluetooth for music streaming services like Spotify, Pandora, SiriusXM IR, Slacker, AUPEO! and TuneIn Radio (support includes 5.6 MHz DSD, True HD and gapless 192kHz/24 bit FLAC and WAV files). An Onkyo remote app allows for search, track selection, and playback controls for music streamed from servers and internet based music services.

The TX-NR737 (MSRP $899) and TX-NR838 ($1,199) will ship in May 2014.

Image Credits: Onkyo
 

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Something must be wrong at the Onkyo headquarters ! One of the biggest sellers in units at this price was having the Audysssey XT32 , are they trowing there share of the market out truth the window ???
 

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If I'm not mistaken, XT32 was already removed from the 800 series AVR last model year...

It will be interesting to see what the high end Onkyo AVRs carry...at this point it's looking like more of the same.
 

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The TX-NR828 has Audyssey MultEQ , the TX-NR727 Audyssey MultEQ and the 929 Audyssey MultEQ XT32 this on the price range from $799 up to $1299 .

The truth is we still need to see what the AccuEQ will be able to do compared to Audyssey ? Some serious reviews are needed :D
 

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If someone wanted to bypass the EQ all the needed to do was go to pure direct no need to strip out what made me get there unit in the first place.

And saying it was because people wanted to play music without it being changed by Audyssey? Really now come on there really claiming people want to hear peaks in there room in my case 20+db from 47 to 61hz are they out of there mind?

Someone did not want to pay the fee for Audyssey anymore and now were stuck with going else where or leaving our mains which in some cases cost more then the rest of the system with no help.

Do they think at all before they release a product or does Onkyo just look at the money they will save and say oh well let the people that buy our stuff just deal with it, like they did with the issues with there HDMI boards which I am still seeing people have problems with.

How nice that they can't be bothered to fix a known issue that had plagued them for how long now but they sure can take away from us a very nice feature to save a bit of coin.

This leaves me with the idea that they do not care for there customers what so ever and all they care to do is release AVR that have a proven track record of HDMI issues and strip away what made us risk the issues in the first place.

If this is not the case place prove me wrong I would love to hear why I would leave my mains non EQ when they cost more then the rest of my system and sound like in my poorly made room which is all I got.
 

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We all agree that the Audussey software was a huge selling point for Onkyo. We will see how the company fares with the new software. I find it hard to believe they would trade their biggest selling feature for an under-preformer. As an optimist, I am willing to give Onkyo the benefit of the doubt & see what their new package delivers. Worst case scenario...Onkyo will learn what people really want.

Great place for our Onkyo moderator to chime in....hint, hint!
 

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I find it hard that the same HDMI issues that had for years now are still a problem but they are.

Bottom line is the bottom line is what they seem to care about. There eye is on that penny they saved wile they lose people burned by issues and loss of features to other companies.

Makes a lot of sense to me..........
 

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And if you think a company would not trade something good for something not nearly as good read up about when Coke changed there formula and how well it went for them.

People told them they did not like New Coke but they knew better then there customers. I am sure you know what happened with that story.

Is this one of those cases of ha look we saved a dime but end up losing 30% of there customers well see.
 

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If someone wanted to bypass the EQ all the needed to do was go to pure direct no need to strip out what made me get there unit in the first place.

And saying it was because people wanted to play music without it being changed by Audyssey? Really now come on there really claiming people want to hear peaks in there room in my case 20+db from 47 to 61hz are they out of there mind?

Someone did not want to pay the fee for Audyssey anymore and now were stuck with going else where or leaving our mains which in some cases cost more then the rest of the system with no help.

+1 I couldn't agree more.
 

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Well, this just cements the hesitation I have always had concerning Onkyo and their business ethics. Each time I upgraded my AVR I considered Onkyo briefly, but a couple of things always held me back. To wit,

- A couple of years back, there was the whole "DTS Bomb" thing, which Onkyo AVRs were susceptible to (and many owner's speakers were ruined as a result). All of the other manufacturers released firmware updates to fix the problem, but Onkyo steadfastly held that it was not a problem with their AVRs, and refused to release a firmware update to address the issue (it was later confirmed to be a problem with the AVR DSP chip, if memory serves). Even then, AFAIK they only fixed the issue moving forward, and never retroactively fixed previous models via FW updates (nice of them, huh?)

- Back in the midst of the format war, they released a single HD DVD player (for which I paid a pretty penny). When HD DVD threw in the towel, Onkyo dropped any support for these pricey players cold-turkey (I don't think Onkyo honored the warranty, either). Fortunately, they were just clones of Toshiba's XA2, who continued releasing updated firmware for some time. At least Toshiba recognized that many of their customers had paid a lot of money for their product, and continued to support them. I have always been of the opinion that customer service is at least as important as the product itself. In that light, Toshiba: 1 Onkyo: 0.

... and this AccuEQ thing is strike three (corporate stupidity to save a buck).
 

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Onkyo's lack of direct Airplay support baffles me as well. OK you could get it on like 3 of their international models a year or two ago. But not offering it while almost all of their competitors do is another loss.
 

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Has anybody compared both the EQ's? If not personally then does anyone have a link to a comparison anywhere else?
 

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Tonto:We all agree that the Audussey software was a huge selling point for Onkyo.
ME> IMO they either discovered that 1) their software is incapable of working with the hardware. :yikes: if that is possible. that caused all the hdmi failures in the past???? 2) most probable is that will offer of X32 for TOP TIER models, of course with added $$$$

phazewolf:I find it hard that the same HDMI issues that had for years now are still a problem but they are.
ME> I have 2 AVR's have hdmi failure, 1) txnr-5008; took 2 yrs to get the that "1" time out of warranty repair. And they did a excellent job. 2)txnr-5009, just failed AFTER proper usb update of latest firmware....no sound hdmi board failure. NOW waiting for the "OK" to take it to service center....now running and old 905.....it works, using a external amp to ease it from working.....but will see. So can I recommend purchasing a ONKYO AVR???:scratch: NO....:paddle:
 

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Don't even care to hear the reviews on their proprietary system unless someone comes out and says they have been working on this software for more than a decade and can better Audyssey in every way. This is a flat out bad business decision to cut costs or to continue to hit specific price points only. They are going to lose sales on their mid to high end products, period.
 

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Seems they have dropped Audyssey MultEQ® XT32 even on top end AVR such as PR-SC5530 and TX-NR3030.:coocoo::dumbcrazy:
To bad, they just lost me.
I was actually waiting to upgrade to PR-SC5530 from NR5007 to match my new SubMersive HP+ Subwoofer and Catalyst 12C speakers. It was easy to press the button and fix the worst room errors and forget about it.
Wonder if I can get a loan for a MX151 :rofl:. Guess I will start wading through reviews.
 

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i'm just testing what my avatar looks like i just got a TX-NR737
 
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