Let's make the Onkyo TX-SR494 versus Onkyo TX-NR686 comparison. According to the results of our review, Onkyo TX-SR494 received 5.5 points out of 10 possible, and Onkyo TX-NR686 was rated 7.2 points. The release date of TX-SR494 is 2019, and TX-NR686 is 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 models have rated 7 points out of 10.
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-NR686 this value is 165/6 W/Ohm, and for the TX-SR494 it is 135/6 W/Ohm.
|Stereo power (RMS), W/Ohm||135/6||165/6|
|Output impedance, Ohm||6||6|
|THD in stereo, %||0.08||0.08|
The score for audio features is 9 of 10 for both receivers.
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)||AKM 384 KHz/32-bit||VLSC 384 KHz/32-bit|
|Pure direct (straight)||✔||✔|
|Auto speaker calibration||AccuEQ||AccuEQ|
|Speaker A/B switching||✖||✖|
|Other audio features||Advanced Music Optimizer, Hi-Res audio||Advanced Music Optimizer, Theater-Dimensional, Hi-Res audio|
The connectivity of competitors in our comparison is markedly different, Onkyo TX-SR494 scored 5, 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.
Wired internet connection via RJ45 allows receiver faster connection than wireless or even use NAS storages. Wired connection via RJ45 is possible in the TX-NR686 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|
|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, Onkyo TX-SR494 got 6 points, but Onkyo TX-NR686 received 8 points.
Onkyo TX-SR494 is equipped with 4/1 HDMI inputs and outputs, and Onkyo TX-NR686 has 7/2 HDMI inputs and outputs.
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 2.2||HDCP 2.2|
|Subwoofer output (LFE)||2||2|
|Headphone output||1 x 6.3||1 x 6.3|
|Optical digital input||1||2|
|Coaxial digital input||1||1|
|Phono (MM) input||✖||✔|
|Front panel connectors||USB, phones||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 TX-SR494 were rated 6 out of 10 against the 7 for the TX-NR686.
|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||DeepColor, x.v.Color, HLG, BT.2020||DeepColor, x.v.Color|
In terms of evaluating additional features, the TX-SR494 got 6 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.
|Voice control||✖||Google Assistant|
|App control||iPhone, iPad, iPod, Android||iPhone, iPod, Android|
|Tuner||AM, FM||AM, FM|
|Auto power off||✔||✖|
|Graphical user interface (GUI)||✔||✔|
|Firmware update||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.
|Zone audio output||speaker||speaker, preout|
|Zone HDMI output||✖||✖|
|Multi-room control||has not||Onkyo Controller app, FlareConnect|
|Remote control input/output (IR)||0/0||0/0|
|DC trigger output (12V)||0||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 Atmos Height Virtualization||Dolby Digital Plus|
|DTS HD Master||✔||✔|
|DTS (other)||DTS-ES, DTS 96/24, DTS-HD, DTS-EXPRESS||DTS-ES, DTS 96/24, DTS-HD, DTS-EXPRESS|