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Onkyo has announced the launch of three new enticing receiver models due to hit store shelves later this summer. These receivers, like others we’ve seen released this year, are finally delivering tech that should be fairly future-proof. So, if you’ve halted buying new gear during the industry’s elongated rollout of 4K and Immersive Sound, then you’ll be happy to know it might be time to open your wallet and spend away.



Onkyo's new TX-RZ900 AVR is its top midrange receiver for 2015.


This time last year we were squarely focused on Onkyo’s decision to drop Audyssey from its bag of tools packaged with AV Receivers. To say media types and enthusiasts skewered Onkyo might be an understatement – in many respects it was an outright blood bath. But, to Onkyo’s credit, the company has weathered the storm and has continued to move forward by delivering well-reviewed feature-laden gear carrying its proprietary AccuEQ room correction suite. In fact, they were one of the few manufacturers to include HDCP 2.2 on receiver models last year (a true rarity). While the lack of Audyssey might still be a sticking point for some buyers, there are powerful external equalization options available on the market, along with several tried-and-true sub-EQ methods for enthusiasts looking to attack bass issues in their dedicated media rooms. Also, Onkyo has released version two of its AccuEQ software, so hopefully the new version will include some creative updates that will play more to the needs of enthusiast crowds.

Onkyo’s latest gear release includes two top-end models from their midrange AV Receiver line (TX-RZ900 and TX-RZ800) and a Network Stereo Receiver (TX-8160). The RZ900 (200W per channel) and RZ800 (185W) are both 7.2-channel capable while maintaining the ability to perform 5.1.2 duties for both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. This means that folks looking for 7.1.4 Immersive Sound packages will need to look at Onkyo’s flagship TX-NR3030 receiver.* Onkyo says that the RZ900 and RZ800 have multi-channel pre-outs along with three-zone playback.

Not surprisingly, both the RZ900 and RZ800 offer WiFi and Bluethooth wireless audio options. Owners will have access to internet audio subscription services such as Spotify Connect and Pandora. Hi-Res Audio (FLAC 192 kHz/24-bit and DSD 5.6 MHz) is also available via DLNA.

On the video front, the RZ900 and RZ800 have HDCP 2.2 compliance, 4K/60 Hz compatibility, 4:4:4 color-space ready HDMI inputs, and dual-zone Ultra HD video. Onkyo says that both receivers can transmit High-Dynamic Range material that will likely be available in coming years.

The TX-8160 is a completely different animal, primed for those looking for a classic music-specific receiver. Complete with independent front-side bass, treble, and balance knobs, it offers 80 Watts of power from discrete wide-range amplifiers and features a custom-designed high-output transformer. Similar to the RZ900 and RZ800 models, the TX-8160 carries Bluetooth and WiFi capabilities, internet radio and AirPlay access, and Hi-Res playback.

On the connectivity front, the TX-8160 carries four digital inputs, seven analog outputs, USB, and a phono jack. It also features Zone 2 pre-outs for second room audio.

The TX-RZ900 is priced at $1,599 (MSRP), while the TX-RZ800 lands at $1,299. The TX-8160 rounds-out the trio with an affordable tag of $499. Street prices should be lower. All three models are due to ship later this summer.



Image Credits: Onkyo

*Edit: Previously I stated that 11.2 or 7.1.4 capable Receivers would be released later this year. I've confirmed with an Onkyo that the TX-RZ900 is the highest (read:most expensive) model they are releasing this year. Therefore, last year's TX-NR3030 is the go to Onkyo option for 7.1.4 sound.
 

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Thank you for the info. I was looking at the specs for the TX Z800 and it mentions it has an ultra low frequency High Current Amp design to reproduce ultra-low-frequencies down to 5 Hz so you can feel the bass impact in your chest.
How does this come into play with the sub? For example if the sub is a capable sub will this new Onkyo Amp extend it even lower?
 

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That's the available power to power floorstanders that are capable of digging deep. Previous Onkyo models were rated to 10Hz.


I spent some time talking with an Onkyo Rep today and will update tomorrow.
 

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That's the available power to power floorstanders that are capable of digging deep. Previous Onkyo models were rated to 10Hz.


I spent some time talking with an Onkyo Rep today and will update tomorrow.
What floor standers would ever dig that deep? even the old B&W 801s would never go that low...seems a bit of a sales gimmick rather than actual real world usefulness.
 

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What floor standers would ever dig that deep? even the old B&W 801s would never go that low...seems a bit of a sales gimmick rather than actual real world usefulness.
I agree, Tony. I think its Onkyo's way of saying that the receivers have beefy amplification sections...but it's an entirely awkward way of saying it.
 

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It's also worth noting that Onkyo has made adjustments to its AccuEQ room correction software. I'm told that you can now make individual adjustments to speakers (front and rear)...and to the sub channel. The rep I spoke with didn't have any literature on-hand...and the new manuals currently available online are only in French and English. We'll dig a bit deeper when more info becomes available. It's interesting that PR materials from Onkyo essential ignore room EQ for this batch of gear...
 

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It's also worth noting that Onkyo has made adjustments to its AccuEQ room correction software. I'm told that you can now make individual adjustments to speakers (front and rear)...and to the sub channel. The rep I spoke with didn't have any literature on-hand...and the new manuals currently available online are only in French and English. We'll dig a bit deeper when more info becomes available. It's interesting that PR materials from Onkyo essential ignore room EQ for this batch of gear...
I'm interested in learning more about AccuEq. I tried looking it up and there is not much info out there. I know many have said it can't compare to Audyssey.
 

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I just saw the specs for my TX SR805 and the amp for the low frequency is also down to 5hz like the TX RZ900,800. I don't see how the new lineup is any different as far as amp goes.
 

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I think that's one good looking avr. If it weren't for accueq I'd seriously consider one. (Maybe I'll get lucky and win the minidsp giveaway!)The way they list the power section is interesting, and seems like (if true) they've put a lot into that area. 39lbs is pretty hefty. I also find it curious that they show the +-10db bass tone control centered at 20hz. This is usually at 50hz.
http://www.onkyousa.com/Products/model.php?m=TX-RZ900&class=Receiver&source=prodClass
 

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This is good news. However - the disappointing news is that for 7.1.4 you still have to go back to the Onkyo NR-3030 receiver that is still Atmos only. This is still a sticking point for many people. I love the fact that the RZ900 and 800 both have pre-outs, that feature was becoming a rarity.
 

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*Edit: Previously I stated that 11.2 or 7.1.4 capable Receivers would be released later this year. I've confirmed with an Onkyo that the TX-RZ900 is the highest (read:most expensive) model they are releasing this year. Therefore, last year's TX-NR3030 is the go to Onkyo option for 7.1.4 sound.
Interesting. I wonder if the Pioneer/Onkyo partnership has anything to do with it. Perhaps these are the last units designed stricktly by Onkyo?
 

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Peter - from what I'm told, Onkyo and Pioneer will share manufacturing plants but design and marketing will be kept separate.
 

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This is good news. However - the disappointing news is that for 7.1.4 you still have to go back to the Onkyo NR-3030 receiver that is still Atmos only.
Check back with us tomorrow for an updated Onkyo article (you're right, this is one sticking point).
 

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What floor standers would ever dig that deep? even the old B&W 801s would never go that low...seems a bit of a sales gimmick rather than actual real world usefulness.
Onkyo rep just told me that the 5hz on the amp would be for Direct Mode if the speakers can handle the frequency response. Like you said what floor standers can dig this deep. Also who listens in Direct Mode when watching a movie? You have a better chance with the sub reaching at least in the teens.
 
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