Let's make the Yamaha RX-V385BL versus Onkyo TX-NR686 comparison. According to the results of our review, Yamaha RX-V385BL received 4.7 points out of 10 possible, and Onkyo TX-NR686 was rated 7.2 points. Both AV receivers were introduced in 2018. After comparison, it will become clear that among these two devices, the TX-NR686 is more suitable for the role of the heart of home theater system.
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. The Yamaha RX-V385BL supports 5.1-channels sound, but Onkyo TX-NR686 supports a 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-NR686 this value is 165/6 W/Ohm, and for the RX-V385BL it is 145/6 W/Ohm.
|Stereo power (RMS), W/Ohm||70/8, 145/6||165/6|
|Output impedance, Ohm||8, 6||6|
|THD in stereo, %||0.09||0.08|
After reviewing the audio features of each model, we can rate the RX-V385BL 5 out of 10, and the TX-NR686 - 9.
Bi-amping is the amplification of one speaker with two amplifiers. This amplification method has a positive effect on sound quality. Bi-amping is possible on the TX-NR686.
Pure Direct mode feeds sound directly to the amplifier and bypasses any DSP processing. Only Onkyo TX-NR686 has Pure Direct mode.
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.
|Digital to analog converter (DAC)||Burr-Brown 384 KHz/32-bit||VLSC 384 KHz/32-bit|
|Pure direct (straight)||✖||✔|
|Auto speaker calibration||✖||AccuEQ|
|Speaker A/B switching||✖||✖|
|Other audio features||CINEMA DSP 3D, Compressed Music Enhancer, Virtual CINEMA FRONT||Advanced Music Optimizer, Theater-Dimensional, Hi-Res audio|
The connectivity of competitors in our comparison is markedly different, Yamaha RX-V385BL scored 6, and Onkyo TX-NR686 scored 8 out of 10.
Bluetooth connection is now one of the main communication protocols for the receiver's control or even music broadcasting.
|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|
|Other streaming services||has not||Deezer, TIDAL, TuneIn Radio|
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, Yamaha RX-V385BL got 7 points, but Onkyo TX-NR686 received 8 points.
Yamaha RX-V385BL is equipped with 4/1 HDMI inputs and outputs, and Onkyo TX-NR686 has 7/2 HDMI inputs and outputs.
HDMI eARC is the next step in the development of audio return channel technology, which works in conjunction with HDMI 2.1. Using eARC provides the highest sound quality for home audio systems. HDMI eARC is available only on Yamaha RX-V385BL.
The HDCP encryption protocol is now mandatory for most media devices. This security technology encrypts digital signals from one product to another. HDCP content-encryption protocol is present on Yamaha RX-V385BL in the HDCP 2.3 version, and Onkyo TX-NR686 has the HDCP 2.2 version.
Connecting a vinyl player or phonograph is possible using a Phono input which is represented by mini-jack or RCA connectors. Only the TX-NR686 has a Phono interface.
|HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel)||✔||✔|
|HDMI eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel)||✔||✖|
|Digital content protection (HDCP)||HDCP 2.3||HDCP 2.2|
|Subwoofer output (LFE)||1||2|
|Headphone output||1 x 6.3||1 x 6.3|
|Optical digital input||1||2|
|Coaxial digital input||2||1|
|Phono (MM) input||✖||✔|
|Front panel connectors||USB, phones, AUX||HDMI, phones, setup mic|
|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 RX-V385BL were rated 9 out of 10 against the 7 for the TX-NR686.
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 Yamaha RX-V385BL.
|HDR (High Dynamic Range)||HDR10||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||✔||✔|
|Analog to HDMI scaling||✔||✖|
|HDMI to HDMI scaling||✔||✖|
|Other video features||HLG, BT.2020||DeepColor, x.v.Color|
In terms of evaluating additional features, the RX-V385BL got 5 points, but the TX-NR686 has 7.
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 TX-NR686 can be controlled by voice via Google Assistant. Only the Yamaha RX-V385BL has the ECO mode.
|Voice control||✖||Google Assistant|
|App control||✖||iPhone, iPod, Android|
|Tuner||AM, FM||AM, FM|
|Auto power off||✔||✖|
|Graphical user interface (GUI)||✖||✔|
|Firmware update||network, USB||network, USB|
|Other additional features||has not||IP Control|
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.
|Multi-room zones||has not||2|
|Zone audio output||has not||speaker, preout|
|Zone HDMI output||has not||✖|
|Multi-room control||has not||Onkyo Controller app, FlareConnect|
|Remote control input/output (IR)||0/0||0/0|
|DC trigger output (12V)||0||0|
Yamaha RX-V385BL got 5 points for the multichannel surround sound and Onkyo TX-NR686 got 7.
Dolby Atmos' particularity is that this is the object-oriented sound format, that is, each audio signal object is independently sounded and connected to its spatial position. Onkyo TX-NR686 can create 3D sound due to the Dolby Atmos support.
DTS:X is an algorithm used by the processor to create sound scenes, where sounds connected directly to objects rather than channels, and to determine the optimum sound output distribution in space. Surround sound with DTS:X is available on the TX-NR686.
|Dolby (other)||Dolby Digital Plus||Dolby Digital Plus|
|DTS HD Master||✔||✔|
|DTS (other)||DTS 96/24, DTS-EXPRESS||DTS-ES, DTS 96/24, DTS-HD, DTS-EXPRESS|