Along with the growing popularity of custom home theater builds, the comparison of Marantz NR1608 and Onkyo TX-SR494 takes place. According to the results of our review, Marantz NR1608 received 8.3 points out of 10 possible, and Onkyo TX-SR494 was rated 5.5 points. The release date of NR1608 is 2017, and TX-SR494 is 2019. Based on the data on the characteristics and features of both models, we can conclude that NR1608 has better performance than TX-SR494.
For the built-in amplifier, the devices received different marks - 6 and 7, respectively, on a 10-point scale.
The number of channels is equal to the number of possible connected speakers. Both receivers can handle the 7.2-channels configuration.
RMS stands for the actual power of the receiver. The higher this value, the louder the sound can be produced. The differences between the models in terms of RMS power are significant - for the TX-SR494 this value is 135/6 W/Ohm, and for the NR1608 it is 70/6 W/Ohm.
|Stereo power (RMS), W/Ohm||50/8, 70/6||135/6|
|Output impedance, Ohm||8, 6||6|
|THD in stereo, %||0.05||0.08|
After reviewing the audio features of each model, we can rate the NR1608 10 out of 10, and the TX-SR494 - 9.
Most receivers now come with a microphone included. It is with the help of this microphone that the auto-calibration system functions, which adjusts the sound of the receiver to the room.
Speaker A/B switching allows you to change between the main and sub speaker set. Marantz NR1608 can work with the main and additional set of speakers - and switch between them.
|Digital to analog converter (DAC)||AK4458 384 KHz/32-bit||AKM 384 KHz/32-bit|
|Pure direct (straight)||✔||✔|
|Auto speaker calibration||Audyssey MultEQ||AccuEQ|
|Speaker A/B switching||✔||✖|
|Other audio features||Hi-Res audio, Audyssey Dynamic Volume, Audyssey Dynamic EQ||Advanced Music Optimizer, Hi-Res audio|
The connectivity of competitors in our comparison is markedly different, Marantz NR1608 scored 8, and Onkyo TX-SR494 scored 5 out of 10.
Bluetooth connection is now one of the main communication protocols for the receiver's control or even music broadcasting.
Wired internet connection via RJ45 allows receiver faster connection than wireless or even use NAS storages. Wired connection via RJ45 is possible in the NR1608 only.
|USB||1 (USB 2.0)||1 (USB 2.0)|
Now music streaming services are gaining more and more popularity. They allow users to listen to millions of songs by subscription.
|Apple Music (AirPlay)||AirPlay, AirPlay 2||✖|
|Other streaming services||Deezer, TIDAL, Pandora, Napster, SiriusXM, TuneIn Radio, iHeart Radio, Sound Cloud||has not|
The presence of many connectors makes the receiver more versatile. But there are also narrowly targeted models, the number of connectors which are limited to a certain area of use. And when choosing their own receiver, users need to consider exactly your goals for using the receiver. For extensive connection, Marantz NR1608 got 8 points, but Onkyo TX-SR494 received 6 points.
Marantz NR1608 is equipped with 8/1 HDMI inputs and outputs, and Onkyo TX-SR494 has 4/1 HDMI inputs and outputs.
|HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel)||✔||✔|
|HDMI eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel)||✖||✖|
|Digital content protection (HDCP)||HDCP 2.2||HDCP 2.2|
|Subwoofer output (LFE)||2||2|
|Headphone output||1 x 6.3||1 x 6.3|
|Optical digital input||1||1|
|Coaxial digital input||1||1|
|Phono (MM) input||✖||✖|
|Front panel connectors||USB, HDMI, phones, setup mic||USB, phones|
|Multi channel preamp output||✔||✖|
The AV receiver is the heart of the home theater. And in this case, support for all current video formats ensures the best user experience, so it is very important to consider this when choosing a device. Video features of the NR1608 were rated 10 out of 10 against the 6 for the TX-SR494.
Most of the AV receivers have a video scaling function, it is the process of reformatting the video signal to a higher resolution without losing the quality of the image. Upscaling the video signal resolution is possible only with Marantz NR1608.
|HDR (High Dynamic Range)||✔||HDR10|
|4K signal pass-through||4K/60Hz||4K/60Hz|
|8K signal pass-through||✖||✖|
|HDMI signal pass-through||✔||✔|
|3D signal pass-through||✔||✔|
|HDMI pass-through in standby mode||✔||✔|
|Video conversion||analog to HDMI||✖|
|Analog to HDMI scaling||✔||✖|
|HDMI to HDMI scaling||✔||✖|
|Other video features||HLG, BT.2020||DeepColor, x.v.Color, HLG, BT.2020|
In terms of evaluating additional features, the NR1608 got 10 points, but the TX-SR494 has 6.
Voice control allows you to control the basic functions of the receiver through a smartphone, smart speaker or using the microphone that comes with the kit. The NR1608 can be controlled by voice via Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, Josh.AI. Only the Marantz NR1608 has the ECO mode.
|Voice control||Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, Josh.AI||✖|
|App control||iPhone, iPad, iPod, Android||iPhone, iPad, iPod, Android|
|Tuner||AM, FM||AM, FM|
|Auto power off||✔||✔|
|Graphical user interface (GUI)||✔||✔|
|Firmware update||network, USB||USB|
|Other additional features||IP Control||has not|
As the center of a home media system, each multichannel receiver has an additional set of terminals for connecting the second set of speakers to create additional audio space in Zone 2 or even Zone 3 where audio can have the separate source.
|Zone audio output||speaker, preout||speaker|
|Zone HDMI output||✖||✖|
|Multi-room control||Marantz 2016 AVR Remote App, HEOS App||has not|
|Remote control input/output (IR)||1/0||0/0|
|DC trigger output (12V)||1||0|
For the ability to create multichannel surround sound, each of the receivers received 7 points out of 10.
|Dolby (other)||Dolby Digital Plus||Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization|
|DTS HD Master||✔||✔|
|DTS (other)||has not||DTS-ES, DTS 96/24, DTS-HD, DTS-EXPRESS|