Onkyo TX-SR353, TX-NR555, TX-NR656, TX-NR757 Receivers

Onkyo TX-NR555 Home Theater Receiver
Onkyo TX-NR555 Home Theater Receiver. Image provided by Onkyo USA

When planning a home theater setup, one of the core components you need is a good home theater receiver. In addition to providing a central place to connect all your components and providing the power to run your speakers, in the past few years, these devices have added a lot more features. With that in mind, check out four additions to Onkyo's 2016 home theater receiver line-up - the TX-SR353, TX-NR555, TX-NR656, and TX-NR757.

TX-SR353

If you the basics, the TX-SR353 may be just the ticket. Features include: Up to a 5.1 channel speaker configuration, 4 3D, 4K, and HDR pass-through HDMI connections (with HDCP 2.2 copy-protection). NOTE: Analog-to-HDMI video conversion is included, but video upscaling is not provided.

The TX-SR353 also includes decoding and processing for most Dolby and DTS surround sound formats, up to Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. Additional audio flexibility is provided by built-in Bluetooth, but network and internet streaming capability is not built-in.

On the other hand, to provide an easier way for anyone to connect everything up, Onkyo provides an actual illustrated rear connection panel that not only provides the connections, but images of the types of devices that you can plug into each connection, as well as a speaker layout diagram example. Also included is Onkyo's built-in AccuEQ Room Calibration system, that uses a supplied plug-in microphone and test tone generator to assist in getting the best sound performance from your system.

The stated power output rating for the TX-SR353 is 80 wpc (measured using 20 Hz to 20 kHz test tones, 2 channels driven, at 8 Ohms, with 0.08% THD). For more details on what the stated power ratings mean with respect to real-world conditions, refer to my article: Understanding Amplifier Power Output Specifications.

TX-NR555

If the Onkyo TX-SR353 is too modest for you, the TX-NR555 is the next step up in both features and price. The TX-NR555 builds on the foundation of the TX-SR353, but adds a lot more.

First off, instead of 5.1 channels, you have access to up to 7.1 channels, with the inclusion of Dolby Atmos and DTS:X audio decoding (DTS:X added by firmware update).

The 7.1 channels can be reconfigured to 5.1.2 channels, which allow you either place two additional speakers overhead, or add a pair of vertically firing speakers for a more immersive surround experience with Dolby Atmos-encoded content. Also, for content that is not mastered in Doby Atmos, the TX-NR555 also includes the Dolby Surround Upmixer which allows 5.1 and 7.1 channel content to take advantage of the height channel speakers.

On the HDMI/Video connection side, the TX-NR555 expands the number of inputs from 4 to 6, as well as well as providing analog to HDMI conversion, and up to 4K video upscaling.

The TX-NR555 also provides a second subwoofer output, as well as both powered and line-output options for Zone 2 operation. However, keep in mind that if you use the powered Zone 2 option, you cannot run a 7.2 or Dolby Atmos setup in your main room at the same time, and if you use the line-output option, you will need an external amplifier to power the Zone 2 speaker setup.

More details are provided in the user manual.

Another bonus is the incorporation of full network connectivity via Ethernet or Built-in Wifi, that allows you to access streaming content from the internet (Pandora, Spotify,TIDAL, and more...), as well as your home network.

Also, Apple AirPlay, GoogleCast, and FireConnect By BlackFire Research capability are also included (GoogleCast and FireConnect will be added by firmware updates).

In addition, hi-res audio file playback compatibility via local network or connected USB devices is also provided, and there is even good ol' fashioned phono input for listening to vinyl records (turntable required).

The stated power output rating for the TX-NR555 is 80 wpc (measured using 20 Hz to 20 kHz test tones, 2 channels driven, at 8 Ohms, with 0.08% THD).

Bonus: The Onkyo TX-NR555 Dolby Atmos Home Theater Receiver Reviewed

TX-NR656

The TX-NR555 certainly has a lot to offer, and the TX-NR656 has everything that 555 has but offers a few added tweaks.

To start, the TX-NR656 provides the same 7.2 channel configuration (5.1.2 for Dolby Atmos), but the power output rating is a little higher at The 100 wpc, (8 ohms, from 20Hz to 20kHz, 0.08% THD with 2 channels driven).

In terms of connectivity, there are a total 8 HDMI inputs, and two parallel HDMI outputs.

TX-NR757

If you still want more power, as well as custom control flexibility not offered on the units listed above, the TX-NR757 may offer what you need.

In terms of channel configuration the TX-NR757 is still up to 7.2 (5.1.2 for Dolby Atmos), but the power output goes up to 110 wpc (measured using 20 Hz to 20 kHz test tones, 2 channels driven, at 8 Ohms, with 0.08% THD).

In terms of connectivity, the TX-NR757 still includes 8 HDMI inputs and 2 HDMI outputs.

However, to provide more control flexibility, the TX-NR757 provides 12-volt triggers and an RS232C port.

The final touch on the TX-NR757 is that it is THX Select2 Certified, which makes it a great choice for use in average size residential living or media rooms.

MORE: Onkyo Adds High-End RZ-Series Receivers to 2016 Product Line.