Onkyo TX-NR656 Review

There is no shortage of AV receivers in the market nowadays, but products from Onkyo have always been popular with entertainment seeking buyers who do not want to compromise on quality. Onkyo already has several popular AV receiver models in its portfolio and the latest to join the line-up is Onkyo TX NR656.  It comes loaded with latest features sought by audiophiles and entertainment seekers, such as DTS: X and Dolby Atmos support. It is also ideal to watch movies in eye popping 4K Ultra HD format. Another highlight of the product is support for multi-room audio.

Design: Sleek and Elegant

When you buy an AV receiver to be used with your HDTV and speakers, you will want it to gel with the look of those appliances and gadgets while expecting top notch audio-video performance! The Onkyo TX-656 has a clean and sleek design which makes it suitable for different types of buyers. You will find most of the controls at the front of the device and this is actually practical from a usage perspective. The large volume knob, as well as the HDMI port, is located at front of the device. The headphone and microphone inputs are also at the front side. However, keeping the USB input at the back of the device is somewhat inconvenient.

The remote control of Onkyo 656 is quite easy to use and it is definitely an improvement over the unit you get with Onkyo TX-NR646. The remote does not have the number pad which makes it more convenient to use and navigate too. Like some others, you may also want your Smartphone or tablet to control features of the receiver and that is possible, thanks to the Onkyo control app. This is available both for iOS and Android users. It is quite intuitive in both OS versions.


Onkyo TX-NR656 Review
Onkyo TX-NR656 Review – View Features in Amazon


Connectivity: Spoilt for Choice

You get nearly all types of connectivity options with the Onkyo TX NR656. There are several types of analog connections along with digital and component inputs. They are located at the rear side of the device. The number of HDMI ports is plenty for any users, as it is. The HDMI inputs (8 in number) are compatible with HDCP 2.2 and support HDR video. The inclusion of 1080p video up scaling to 4K standard is commendable, but most 4k TVs in the market are also capable of doing this.

Onkyo TX – NR656Features: More is Better

Onkyo is known for making its AV receivers loaded with features and the Onkyo NR656 is no exception. The feature list is likely to please even most finicky buyers, both in audio and video. Onkyo has ensured the device is reasonably future proof.

  • Dolby Atmos and DTS: X- The receiver is compatible with both DTS: X and Dolby Atmos, two sound technologies loved by true audiophiles. It is basically a 7 channel receiver and the ideal setup would be 5.1.2 configuration. DTS –X allows you to customize the sound output in myriads of ways to get truly immersive audio experience.
  • Multi-Room and Hi-Resolution Audio- No matter what your audio source is, the Onkyo TX-656 can decode it into audio output without any noise or trace of distortion. The Hi-Grade384 kHz/32-bit DAC handles all types of digital to analog conversions with aplomb. It supports lesser used audio formats like WMA Lossless, WAV, Apple Lossless as well as FLAC. The device also lets you set up several audio zones in the abode without many hassles. It makes use of the company’s FireConnect technology for multi room audio distribution.




  • Wireless Streaming- with a majority of music lovers going for Streaming apps and services, companies have started including more wireless streaming standards in their devices including AV receivers.  The Onkyo TX-656 gets full marks in this debarment and it gets Bluetooth and wifi inbuilt. On top of that, it comes with support for AirPlay and top web streaming services. For example, you get support for Spotify, Pandora and Chromecast services. Streaming from a Smartphone or laptop to the receiver is a cakewalk.
  • 4K video with HDR- The Receiver is capable of handling 1080p video as well as 4K format. Support for 4K video with HDR is like icing on the cake.

Setup and Audio Output: Ticking most Boxes

Onkyo has provided a setup microphone to enable users setup the device with their appliances without glitches. A reflex optimizer is there to specifically calibrate DTS: X and Atmos speaker modules. It is something even technologically inept user can complete within a few minutes.

As for sound output, the performance is impressive. Playing back the DTS: X enabled movies can offer you immersive sound experience that you are not likely to forget. The Dolby Atmos sound effects are also impressive and you can experiment with different effects. The AccuEQ settings are what you need to use. With different genres of music like jazz and rock, the output is impressive.

Other Factors

While buying an AV receiver, you are not likely to think much about power consumption. The Onkyo TX-656 consumes 580 watts when it is functioning. However, in idle mode, it requires only 0.1 w which is impressive. The device weighs about 10 kg, which is decent for a receiver of this class.


Onkyo TX-NR656 AV Receiver Review
Onkyo TX-NR656 A/V Receiver Review – View Features in Amazon


Related: Onkyo TX-RZ800 A/V Receiver Review


Summing It All Up

Overall, Onkyo 656 comes across as a capable and feature packed AV receiver that will appeal to diverse types of users. The company has packed in most features to be used by target buyers and the inclusion of ChromeCast support is a nice step. The HDR support for 4K content makes it reasonably future proof. The same can be said about support for audio formats like Dolby Atmos and DTS: X. The design is sleek if not outstanding and setting it up is pretty simple. The receiver scores well in connectivity fronts and the enhanced remote is a breeze to use. The Smartphone apps are also pretty nice and user-friendly. You can go for it if a well performing and future proof A/V receiver is what you want. 

The Onkyo TX-NR 656 is an upgraded version of the A/V receiver model TX-NR 646. Many buyers seek for comparison between the two models before buying the appropriate one. We have compiled the comparisons between all the technical specifications of both these models so that you get a better idea on which model to buy. But the manufacturers are slowly pulling the NR 646 model from the market to promote its upgraded model,  the TX-NR656.

Comparison of Specs & Features – Onkyo TX-NR656 & TX-NR646

General Features & Pricing

Model Onkyo TX-NR656Onkyo TX-NR646
Pricing Check PriceCheck Price
Apple AirPlayBuilt-inBuilt-in
App Remote ControlYESYES
USB port for iPod/iPhoneNONO
FM SensitivityNot GivenNot Given
HD Radio TunerNONO
On-Screen DisplayThru HDMIThru HDMI
Auto Speaker CalibrationAccuEQ/AccuReflexAccuEQ
HDCP 2.2 for 4K VideoYESYES
HDMI Standby Pass-throughYESYES
Composite Video ConversionFrom Composite to HDMIFrom Composite to HDMI
Component Video ConversionFrom Component Video to HDMIFrom Component Video to HDMI
HDMI to HDMI UpconversionYESNO
Multibrand Remote ControlNOYES
Learning RemoteNO NO
Width (inches)
Height (inches)
Depth (inches)
Weight 22 Pounds20.7 Pounds
Parts Warranty2 Years2 Years
Labor Warranty2 Years2 Years



Model Onkyo TX-NR656Onkyo TX-NR646
Number Of Channels77
Stereo RMS Power (Watts)100100
THD in Stereo0.08%0.08%
Frequency Bandwidth (stereo)20-20k Hz20-20k Hz
Minimum Impedance L/R6 Ohms6 Ohms
Minimum Impedance Center6 Ohms6 Ohms
Minimum Impedance Surround6 Ohms6 Ohms


Multi-room Audio/Video

Model Onkyo TX-NR656Onkyo TX-NR646
Powered Multi-room Audio OutputYESYES
Preamp Multi-room Audio OutputYESYES
Multi-room VideoNONO
Multi-room HDMI OutputNONO


Surround Processing

Model Onkyo TX-NR656Onkyo TX-NR646
Dolby Digital
DD, TrueHD, DD+
DD, TrueHD, DD+, EX
DTS, HD, HDMA,, ES, 96/24DTS, HD, HDMA, ES, Neo6, 96/24
Firmware UpdateFirmware Update


Inputs & Outputs

Model Onkyo TX-NR656Onkyo TX-NR646
Phono Input
Audio-Video Inputs88
Audio-only Inputs
Component Video Inputs
Component Video Monitor OutputsNoneNone
Optical Digital Inputs22
Coaxial Digital Inputs11
Optical Digital OutputsNoneNone
Coaxial Digital OutputsNone None
HDMI Inputs88
HDMI Monitor Outputs22
Subwoofer Outputs22
Multi-Channel Analog InputNONO
Multi-channel Preamp OutputNONO
Main Speaker Output Pairs11
Main Speaker TerminalsPostsPosts
Ethernet Port11
USB Connections1 (Rear)1 (Rear)
Removable Power CordNONO




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