Onkyo's Home Theater Receivers With Dolby Atmos AND DTS:X

Onkyo TX-NR646 Home Theater Receiver with DTS:X
Onkyo TX-NR646 Home Theater Receiver with DTS:X. Image of Onkyo TX-NR646 provided by Onkyo USA.

Onkyo has two home theater receivers to feature Dolby Atmos AND DTS:X audio decoding capability, the TX-NR646 and TX-NR747 (NOTE: DTS:X features added via free firmware update after purchase). Here is an overview of these receivers.

Dolby Atmos and DTS:X are both referred to as Object-based surround sound formats which utilize technologies that place objects in 3-Dimensional space, rather have to be specifically anchored by specific channels or speakers. For more details on both formats, read my reports: ​Dolby Atmos: From The Cinema To Your Home Theater and DTS:X Overview.

In addition to Dolby Atmos and DTS:X decoding, the TX-NR646 and 747receiver feature the Dolby Surround Upmixer and DTS Neural:X processing that will allow non-Dolby Atmos/DTS:X encoded audio content (such as current DVD and most current Blu-ray content), to be "upmixed" to the Dolby Atmos and DTS:X environments. This helps a lot as there is still very little native Dolby Atmos (less than a dozen Blu-ray Discs as of the date of this post) and no DTS:X encoded content available quite yet.

However, even if you don't take advantage of Dolby Atmos or DTS:X, there is more, a lot more, to consider with regards to these receivers that I can only cover briefly in this post.

Core audio features include built-in 7.2 channel configurations (5.1.2 for Dolby Atmos). The TX-NR646 is rated at 100 wpc, and the TX-NR747 is rated to deliver 110 wpc (measured with 8 ohms loads, from 20Hz to 20kHz, 0.08% THD with 2 channels driven).

Both receivers incorporate HDMI 2.0a well as HDCP 2.2 (which provides added copy-protection for not only current streaming content from both internet and content accessed through 3 of each receiver's 8 HDMI inputs, but also for 4K streaming, broadcasts, or movie releases - when such sources become available).

For video support, both receivers are 3D compatible and incorporate analog-to-HDMI video conversion (no upscaling). Also, with HDMI 2.0a compatibility, both receivers will be able to pass-through HDR encoded video content (such as Dolby Vision), as well as compatibility with the forthcoming Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc format.

The TX-NR646 and 747 each provide a total of 8 HDMI inputs, with the TX-NR646 providing 2 HDMI outputs and the TX-NR747 providing 3.

Both receivers also provide media player options, including iPod/iPhone and Airplay compatibility, DLNA certification, and internet access to a host of online content from services, such as Aupeo!, Pandora, Spotify, and more. On either receiver, network and internet connection access can be done via standard ethernet or WiFi, and also incorporate built-in wireless Bluetooth capability, making it easy to stream audio content from compatible portable devices.

However, there are some things neither receiver includes. There are no S-Video, or 5.1/7.1 channel analog audio options. On the other hand, with the continued interest in vinyl records, both receivers provide a dedicated, traditional, phono input.

One additional touch is that the TX-NR747 is THX-Select 2 Plus Certified.

There is a lot more that both of these receivers offer than I touched on in this profile article, such as their multi-zone capability, so for more details, read the Official Onkyo Announcement.

NOTE: Since the above home theater receivers were introduced, subsequent models from Onkyo and others have been made available that incorporate both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, for more details and buying suggestions, check out our periodically updated listing of midrange and high-end home theater receivers.