220 of 237 people found the following review helpful
on April 18, 2012
First, my only major complaint, and the reason for only 4 stars. There is no printed manual supplied with this receiver. All you get is a quick start guide that's a few pages long, enough to get you running, but sorely lacking in any real information. I posted a URL to the user manual I found in the comments.
The product pictures are accurate, and the speaker connections in the back fit common banana plugs perfectly. Included accessories are a remote (with batteries), a microphone for the automatic speaker configuration (haven't tried this since my rear speakers aren't placed yet), and AM and FM antennas. The AM antenna is cheap but works well enough. The FM antenna is just one of those little wires and it sucks. If you do any serious FM radio listening, you'll want to acquire a better antenna to use with it.
The OSD is a little primitive, but it looks decent enough and gets the job done. Pandora works well, the setup of it is easy, again the interface is a little primitive but it works, and I won't usually be using it anyway.
I'm using this receiver with Energy 5.1 Take Classic Home Theater System (Set of Six, Black) and it sounds great. Full bass, detailed highs, the works. The audio is very clean at all volumes that I've tried. It has a plethora of audio settings that you can change, though I was unable to find a way to set the subwoofer frequency cutoff. I suspect that it's in there somewhere though, when I ran the Audyssey auto-configuration it definitely altered my subwoofer, so I imagine there's a way to do it manually too. Anyway, audio is subjective and depends a lot on the speakers too, suffice to say that I am quite pleased with the audio and there are no obvious deficiencies that I've found.
Video is great, clear and sharp. I don't have anything that needs to be upscaled, so I can't judge that functionality. I did have a problem with the component video input though. I hooked up my Wii to the component input and didn't get any video out from it. Upon doing some research, it seems the component input is quite finicky about input/output resolutions. It seems that the only way to get component input sent out via HDMI is to have it in 480i. Anything better and it doesn't go out HDMI, but only out the component outputs. Bit of a letdown, reinforces the 4 stars.
The receiver has a hard wired ethernet port in it, but does not include built in wireless networking or bluetooth. You can purchase an adapter for either of these; however, you probably won't have a need for bluetooth. Onkyo has apps for both Android and iPhone that allow you to control the receiver as well as stream music to it from your device. Network setup is nearly foolproof, it's configured to use DHCP out of the box, as soon as I plugged in a network cable, it was online and working. No setup from me needed at all. Of course, you may need to make security modifications to your firewall or router depending on your setup.
I have used only the Android version, but it is an excellent companion to the receiver. The app doesn't do quite everything that the real remote does, but it does most. You can select the input source, use a directional pad for things such as changing the radio station and navigating OSD menus, change speaker levels, and, naturally, change volume. It will also stream music that's on your device to the receiver, so you probably won't have any use for bluetooth. Using the app also allows selection of network streaming options such as Pandora, vTuner, Slacker, etc. without turning on your TV. It is possible to select these using only the on-unit display, but it's not easy, you really need to use either the OSD on your TV or the app to do it effectively.
One thing to note, you'll probably have a firmware update waiting for you when you connect it to the internet. It warns you that it takes up to an hour, "HAH," I thought, "They always over estimate these things, I have fast internet, how long can it take?" Yeah, it really does take an hour. The download was fast, the flash, not so much. Don't do the firmware update until you have an hour to spare.
255 of 283 people found the following review helpful
on May 23, 2012
I am on my second TX-NR616 now, I sent the first one back but both units have the same problem. If the receiver has been off for a while, I am unable to turn it on with the remote control. Once I turn the unit on using the power button on the receiver then the remote is fully functional.
I have been dealing with Onkyo support and there have been two firmware updates since I got the receiver about a month ago but neither update has fixed the problem. I am still waiting on a response to see if this is a problem that can be fixed with a firmware update or I have had two units that are both broken the same way.
Looking beyond this problem, the receiver has a large number of features and I have not had any problems using it to watch Blurays and listen to music. I've got the UWF-1 wireless Lan Adapter and I've streamed music using Pandora on the receiver with good results. Have not tried to watch a movie with the adapter yet.
The receiver uses the older Audyssey 2EQ room correction which works OK but is pretty dated for a brand new mid-range receiver. One thing worth mentioning is that the 616 has two subwoofer outputs but they are identical. So whatever levels you set with the Audyssey 2EQ or even manually the correction only recognizes a single subwoofer. I turned on only my main subwoofer when I ran the the room correction and then turned on the second subwoofer afterwards and set the level manually.
I am hoping that Onkyo can solve the power on problem with a firmware update because there are multiple people who are having the same problem.
I have had 3 other Onkyo receivers before and I have always had good luck with them so I am hopeful they can get the initial issues worked out.
Update from October 2012:
I originally wrote the review in May, it is now October and and these problems are not resolved. Visit the Onkyo support forum at [...] to see feedback from many users.
Onkyo seems unable to deal with the technical issues with this family of receivers. They claim that these problems effect only 0.3% of the users, but there are far two many installers seeing problems with every unit they install, or people like myself that get a replacement and it has the same problems as the original.
I've had Onkyo receivers for well over 10 years and I have never had issues with any of them until this model. My impression is that Onkyo understands audio issues but modern receivers are essentially computers, with network connections and apps that are out on the web. And on these issues it appears that they are overwhelmed.
I write computer firmware and software for a living, and I while I don't expect a perfect product, I do expect each new firmware release to address problems and actually improve the product over time. Too many of the releases don't seem to fix anything.
I needed to buy a new receiver for my son for his birthday, and for the first time I looked for a product that was not from Onkyo. I ended up with a product from Yamaha. And while it doesn't claim to have every feature in the world like this one does, it just works and works well.
Watch the Onkyo forum, and if it ever appears that the users are reporting that their problems are actually being fixed, then this product might be worth the risk.
For now, I can't recommend this unit.
186 of 215 people found the following review helpful
on July 1, 2012
The sound was good on this unit and I loved the feature per price ratio but it has to actually work to be of value.
The 616 was very easy to setup and sounded great but it took only a day or two to realize that this receiver was not ready for prime time. The main issue I had was the video output would not work unless I unplugged the power to the unit and plugged it back in. Once I found the Onkyo forums I found that this is a very big problem for a lot of units. There were people who had purchased 3 units to install for customers and all 3 had the issue. Others had issues with the remote not working to turn on the unit. After several firmware updates one of them finally bricked my receiver completely. I had no picture or sound. Not surprisingly, I found others with the same issue from the last firmware.
Onkyo support was a train wreck. I called and they were supposed to call me back and never did. In the forums they seemed to do little to help other than to say, "Another firmware update will be out soon." To Onkyo's credit, they did offer to replace the unit but by the time I shipped them mine and received the replacement it would have been a couple of weeks and I would have been past my 30 day window to return it.
This receiver may be a good one in the future but for now, it is a NO. There are forums with tons of customers who are just as frustrated as I am as they feel like forced beta testers for Onkyo. If you enjoy gambling, give this one a shot as you just might get one without a problem.
57 of 65 people found the following review helpful
on October 17, 2012
When I purchased this Onkyo 616 I was fully aware of the potential problems that came with it. But that little voice in my ear told me "It won't happen to you. Your Onkyo receiver will be the perfect product".
Day 1. Setup system. Oh man, good decision. Works like a charm. Star Trek BluRay was awesome.
Day 2. I discovered I could not power on the receiver from standby mode and I had to physically cross the room to power it on. Hmmm interesting.
Day 3. Investigations revealed that if the "Network Standby" was enabled, the Receiver would not fall into a coma and it would respond to the remote power on. The solution worked.
Day 4. Powered on the Receiver with the Remote...eureka it still works! BluRay selected, hang on where is the display? No HDMI. Completely disappeared, cannot review the setup on the TV so I feel like my arms have been chopped off. Need time to think, and don't mention it to the wife!
Day 5. Back from work. What did I change? Aha I enabled "Network Standby" on Day 3. So on my hands and knees working my way through the settings on the receiver display I managed to disable "Network Standby". Fingers crossed. Restart the receiver and bingo HDMI working again. THANK YOU GOD! But the "Power On" problem has returned.
Day 6. Updated Firmware: First initial releases through the Network. Error message half way through download. Noooooo. Waited for 15 minutes, but error message persisted. With trepidation I turned the receiver off and on. Download restarted and successfully updated. The "Power On" problem has been RESOLVED.
Day 7. Updated to the final Firmware release (to resolve HDMI) by USB as advised by Onkyo site. Instructions are not clear in the manual on how to do this, but forum resolution gave the answer. Latest October 2012 Firmware release installed, but I am frightened to retry the "Network Standby" switch to test the HDMI problem. If I ever get the courage to enable it, I will update this review!
Connection through USB cable for iTouch is perfect. But for my Samsung Galaxy SII it is useless, it reports No Storage! Also I cannot stream wirelessly to the receiver unless I use the Onkyo Android app and even then I cannot stream MP4. Music quality streaming from my Samsung is very poor. Music quality streaming from my Windows based PC is excellent, and I could listen to it all night.
If you buy this Onkyo Receiver (or any in the 2012) range I would strongly recommend you perform the complete firmware upgrade path before you even think about setting the system up or you will find yourself having to repeat the entire speaker setup exercise (not that the auto setup is that difficult). Get all of the potential worries out of the way and then enjoy the discovery process.
48 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on May 23, 2012
After reading the bad and lukewarm comments left by others, I was afraid to order the Onkyo TX-NR616. But based on my previous excellent experiences with Onkyo, I went ahead and ordered the unit at the Amazon website from a seller named Sunset Electronics, doing business as "big easy cameras llc". The unit was shipped by Amazon Prime and it arrived in one day. Unfortunately the Receiver was not factory sealed, which I would have liked very much, the Receiver had obviously been taken out of the box in what I would call "Open Box" and not in a "New" condition. If you are going to order it, don't make this mistake, order from Amazon stock or from one of the reputable Authorized sellers like Vann's, J & R, or Abt.
Been a little concerned about the "open box" Receiver, I decided to update the firmware before tearing down my elaborate home theater. After all if the unit did not work, it could be returned to Amazon. Onkyo asks you turn off the HDMI control function (RIHD) on your A/V receiver before starting the update. But mine was already off, this most be the default.
Then, I connected the TV to the main HDMI out, the Ethernet cable, a pair of headphones, the AC cable and proceeded to update the firmware. To do this, you most turn the unit on and press the HOME button in the remote, you are given 3 choices, select Firmware update using Ethernet. The receiver took about 3 minutes to download the file, then stated to update itself in the following order:
Downloading started again and I was afraid that it was not updating, but that was not the case, the Receiver was downloading more files.
Now you most turn off the receiver, but NOT from the REMOTE, but from the ON/STANDBY switch on the Receiver. Wait a few seconds and turn the Receiver back on.
An that is it, the firmware updated to Version 1070-5105-0200. The whole process took about one hour.
Now, is time to connect the speakers and the other HDMI components. I will update this reviews if I run into any issues, but so far I am very happy with my purchase.
UPDATE May, 25, 2012
1. The receiver emits a hot new electronic smell, I have been running it on headphones (to keep the power amps off) for 2 days, the smell has diminished slightly but it can still be felt if you get close to the receiver. Since the power amps are not been used, the temperature is not very high. It is not a burning smell, it is more like some parts like the paint could be baking. I don't think the receiver will burn but I am keeping a close watch.
2. If the receiver has been off for a while, I am unable to turn it on with the remote control. Once I turn the unit on using the power button on the receiver then the remote is fully functional. Since others have complained about the same thing, I expect a new Firmware fix for this small inconvenience.
If other problems show up and the current ones are not fixed, I will reduce the rating to 4 stars.
41 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on March 2, 2013
FIRST THING FIRST... You must check that your firmware is version 1141-0108-0400 (or later version), you must update it via USB memory stick ONLY before you do anything else. If you don't then you run the risk of having the HDMI video output to your HDTV shutting down!
I purchased this TX-NR616 on St. Valentines Day 2013, so far it's been great, however I will update this review when I have had some long term use. As far as sound and picture quality this Onkyo is a five star receiver. I deducted one star due to the fact that it only comes with the owners manual on a CD or available on their website. Why do manufacturers these days cut corners here? I deducted another star due to the fact that it did not arrive with the latest firmware. Furthermore, after the horror stories about the HDMI failures it did not have any warning paper stating that I must preform the firmware check / update or how to do it. If I had not read every single one star rating here on Amazon and read the solutions, most likely I would be typing out another one star rating.
The TX-NR616 has many features which I most likely will never use so therefore I will review what I use. My purchase decision was simple. I wanted 3D HDMI switching, Audyssey Dynamic EQ, Audyssey Dynamic Volume, Audyssey DSX and great sound and video. I was also shopping for the best value for the money. The evening news commercials have become so loud that I was constantly cranking the volume up and down and trying to juggle kids, dinner and explaining what erectile dysfunction is was just enough! Our old Onkyo only would compensate volume between sources. This 616 can regulate those loud blasting commercials through Audyssey settings. Now there is one volume and the commercials are only ever so slightly louder due to the fact that they contain that brain washing jingle, however the dialog is the same as the news. What a huge difference, thanks Audyssey! I live in an apartment so having great sound at lower volumes is a must for me. There are several settings which deliver on this demand. When I can, there are other settings which bring Blu-Ray disc uncompressed sound to life. If you have good speakers and a nice sub-woofer(s) you can come very close to your local movie theater! When you want to, this receiver can go Rock Concert Loud or provide subtle nuances at normal talking volume. All dialog from all sources is very clear at any volume, no more cranking up the center channel! It passes 3D Blu-Ray from my PS3 to the HDTV just fine. The NET music function is nice. DLNA music streaming form my personal collection on my DLNA NAS Drive is pretty sweet as well. I've listened to several types of music including, Classical, Rock & Metal, Country, R&B / Rap, Easy and others all of which sound great.
In conclusion I would only recommend this receiver if you can follow directions in the terrible manual. You must be comfortable with computers and USB thumb drives in order to get the latest firmware onto this Onkyo. You must check / update the firmware via USB before you do anything else or you may end up with 24.3 lbs of junk. Onkyo needs to do a better job placing warnings into each box of these receivers before they ship out.
7/14/2013 Update: Since this review I have NOT had any problems with my Onkyo TX-NR616. The settings that I set-up in the beginning of this review are still set, still sounds great and NO issues with the HDMI output cutting off. So since the long term quality is there I added one star back on.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2012
If you are reading the Onkyo reviews, you know about the firmware bugs (HDMI out issues). Personally, I felt like I was going crazy looking at all the reviews on several other equivalent models, because haters are going to hate. It is difficult to find any receiver in this price range that doesn't have some flaky units and failures.
So, I researched, and first tried the Onkyo TX-NR515. The system prompted me to immediately update the firmware twice (took about 2 hours, maybe a bit more). When it was done, I "thought" I had the newest firmware. Two days later, my HDMI video stopped working, and I starting the return process as soon as I verified it wasn't the cables and rebooting the system did not correct the problem.
I decided to give it another try, but Amazon had such a strong price on the TX-NR616, I went up a model. When it arrived, it already had the 1st and 2nd firmware on it (the process that took about 2 hours before - 2nd firmware update ended in 301 - from August 2012). I researched Onkyo's website, and apparently there was another firmware update, but the pdf instructions were difficult to understand. I downloaded the firmware (this time to USB as my receiver was not prompting me to do it as before via network). I plugged it in to the receiver (I had saved it in a folder) and the receiver did not know how to do anything with it.
So, I decided to search online for any other instructions, and lo and behold on another page on the Onkyo website (not the product page with the product specific firmware and instructions) is a video that explained the process. I hate having to replay videos to get instructions, but it actually spelled it out [...]. I don't know why it was not on the other page or referenced there.
Long story, short:
- Save the zip file to your computer
- Extract the file to an entirely empty USB drive (do not save into a folder you create - there will be one folder and three files)
- Turn off several of the features on the unit (they are off by default - but you may have turned them on if you used the system before the update) - the video spells out which ones, but you'll have to rewind it a few times to catch them all
- Plug in the drive, go to firmware update, and update by USB is now an option (update ends in 401)
- Run the update (60 minutes or so)
So far, the system does great, really shining on Blu-ray movies and video games. I have a 7.2 system, and for the money, it sounds great. I will update my review if I have a failure, but for the past few days, it has been great.
When you compare the NR515 and NR616, the features do not seem that different. Two things that I noticed on the 616 that I really like is there is backlighting on the volume knob and an integrated cooling fan in the system (not on the 515). Had I of known, I probably would have gone with the 616 first. (also seems to run cooler any way)
I am hesitant to say this will work perfectly, as obviously Onkyo has had a really rough run this year. Had the firmware update process been clearer, I may never had returned the 515, as I do not know if that would have fixed it.
With the firmware, at the moment, this NR616 is performing exactly as I hoped, plus the multitude of connections should hopefully mean I see another 10 years of enjoyment out of it. I hope Onkyo learned from this and will work to change their quality checking to somewhere earlier in the product lifecycle.
Assuming my unit performs as I expect, there really is not anything at this price range to compare it to.
99 of 121 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2012
I had a bad experience, very bad experience with two Onkyo receivers. A 609 and its replacement, the 616. Let me qualify this evaluation by giving my own background. I've spent a lifetime in the computer business and would be considered an expert on Windows systems. In the old days, it was DOS! Helping me with the setup of the Onkyo's was a young bright neighbor 20 year old who had done the setup of several home theater systems prior to our install. I was using the Onkyo's to front end a new Panasonic 47" TV, two Martin Logan Motion 4's and a Velodyne powered subwoofer.
I first ordered the 609, because I knew that it was approaching the end of its life cycle, but the specs on the new line of receivers was pretty much the same as the old and I thought that much or most of the value in these machines is in the software that has been developed for them. Old software beats new every time.
The 609 came and together we spent the better part of a day setting up the unit. It came with a 100 page manual! It wouldn't connect with the Internet regardless of what we did. Onkyo support finally advised us that we had a defective Ethernet port and that we should return the unit for a replacement. Two man days shot. Compliments to Onkyo support for being reachable without too much difficulty and to Amazon, for making the return so easy.
I went back to my computer to order another from Amazon and - Amazon no longer was stocking the 609. So I ordered the 616. It has a 140 page manual which I printed out in anticipation of its arrival. 2 days via Amazon Prime. A winner. After the better part of a day, we had everything working except the subwoofer and zone 2. After a second day with the help of Onkyo support we had both problems fixed.
The next morning I found that the `pass-thru' for the TV wasn't working. We did a factory reset, which fixed that problem and then went through the setup of all the other features again. Things worked fine for a day. Then I noticed that the subwoofer wasn't working again. To make the story short here's the deal. The continually reoccurring problems involved 1) getting the subwoofer to operate, 2) getting zone 2 working, 3) getting the TV pass through to consistently operate. The next night, I went out to dinner and a house guest tried to watch TV and not knowing how to operate things pushed some buttons until she gave up and couldn't see anything.
The following morning I found nothing at all was working through the Onkyo. No TV, no cable, no internet, no nothing! After a reset and the better part of another day things seemed to be working. But by now I was getting an uneasy feeling about the 616. As we became more familiar with the menus and set up process I was amazed that such a poorly thought out, illogical group of commands that bore no logical relationship to our prior experiences could have been designed by anyone. The names on pick lists made no sense. For example, we got out of one problem when Onkyo told us that we had to choose stereo rather than direct. In another setting the correct choice was "last". These words and choices were like from a foreign language and I wondered if the manual had been in Japanese and subjected to a poor translation. But the manual had no instructions on the kinds of problems we were encountering. And every day there was a new problem.
I started noticing that the remote wasn't working anymore. I put in new batteries and that didn't help. Until I noticed that a workaround was to turn on the 616 at the unit and then the remote would function for a while. I also noticed that the TV pass through had also decided to stop working. And then I found a work around for that also. The work around was to turn on the Onkyo to cable, get the picture on the TV and then I could turn off the 616 and the pass through would work - for a while.
I know I should have realized this earlier, but these work around fixes were continually evolving and I would end up being the only person in the world to operate this equipment. It was then that I realized that I had to return the unit. Once again, Amazon is the king in this process. But here are my ratings:
Amazon customer service, through automation: 5 stars
Onkyo customer service via phone: 4 stars, as they were usually helpful
Onkyo receiver performance: 1 star, I wouldn't wish this product on an enemy
Onkyo software/hardware design: 1 star. This reminded me of something produced by a classroom doing its first design effort ever.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on May 24, 2012
I initally bought this product to replace my previous Onkyo 7.1 surround system because I needed the 3D pass through so that I didn't have to have everything connected directly to the TV as it's about 10 feet away from the receiver and satellite box etc. When I first received the product it was AWFUL. Nothing would show up on the screen properly and the update process failed mulitple times over the network until I did it using a USB stick. After that update I could only get my stuff to work if I unplugged the unit and plugged it back in before turning it back on. Needless to say I was ready to pack it up and ship it back as I was incredibly frustrated. Fortunately within a couple days of receiving the system Onkyo put out another update that fixed the problem that they were having which required the unit to be unplugged and then plugged back in in order for it to work properly. Now after that update everything worked except my PS3. I could not get it to display on the tv unless I removed the 1080p option and let it display as 1080i. Natually that isn't a viable option since I use the PS3 to display my 3D blu ray collection. After scouring the internet and finally getting ahold of Onkyo I discovered that if you turn off the deep color option on the PS3 it will allow the 1080p to display from the PS3 through the receiver. A very simple fix and now everything is working great and the sound is excellent. As for the net apps like spotify they work ok but if you're like me and have network enabled other devices those versions of the apps are much more user friendly than the ones built into the receiver. Also I have no use for the instapreview feature as my system is set up to shut off the other devices when not in use so there are no images to preview when switching inputs.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2013
In August 2013 I purchased the Onkyo TX-NR717 7.2 receiver for my home theater and LOVE it. I was replacing an older Sony 5.1 Dolby receiver which has done the job for more than 10 years. The Onkyo 717 has a clean sound and does a nice job of driving 7 speakers and 2 subwoofers. In September I decided it was time for a stereo system at my office. Trying to save a few bucks I decided on the Onkyo TX-NR616 7.2, even though I only had 2 NHT Subzero speakers and a nice NHT subwoofer. Out of the box the 616 was not difficult to setup, but I'd heard of problems with this particular receiver, and also heard it was a good idea to download the updated firmware. While I might be a computer geek, I did NOT have a patience to figure out how to download firmware to a receiver with no interface - not at all user friendly. Somehow the receiver still seemed to work, with a few strange quirks. When turning the receiver on, it would work (play music) for about minute, then shut itself off. So I'd turn it back on and it would work all day. Not a big deal - you just have to turn it on twice! This was a cool receiver with lots of features and options. And allegedly this receiver could stream audio from Pandora (wish I could get it to play from Grooveshark) but I'd have to have a degree in Electrical Engineering to figure out how to make all that happen. It is nice to drop a bunch of MP3's on a flashdrive and plug it into the receiver's belly button and actually read the flashdrive... and PLAY MUSIC. Gotta love technology.
After I linked my PC to the receiver's audio IN, so I could also use Windows Media Player as a source, it provided even more flexibility. Now into it's 3rd month of operation (November 2013) my staff and I were enjoying some music when suddenly we hear a loud POP then smelled something burning. The receiver stopped working. The 616 would power up for 3 seconds then power itself down... maybe it was just tired...?
So I call Amazon tech support for the first time in 5 years of being a rabid Amazon consumer - I figure Hey - it's not Amazon's fault, they might actually HELP me...! And the tech support dude was in fact VERY helpful. He told me to do a factory reset by holding down the CBL/SAT button while I turned the power on. With Amazon Tech support on the phone, and standing right next to the receiver, I did just what he said... and BAM! There was a spark and literally SMOKE that came out of top of the receiver. No Kidding. It smelled like burned toast, or burning plastic. I nearly soiled myself. So the tech support dude said "What was THAT?" and I told him I was making s'mores on top of my receiver. Crazy stuff man. Techie sent me a link to a RETURN label and I just taped up the 616 in it's original cardboard coffin and I'll wait for UPS to pickup this smoking gun tomorrow and take it to the Amazon graveyard of Onkyo 616's.
I had read some bad reviews on this receiver but decided to roll the dice anyway. I'm hoping my 717 stands the test of time. Hopefully for $500 it will go the distance. The 616... I would not recommend to anyone. Hard to believe Onkyo can make one model work so well, and stub their toe on a more affordable model. They look and function the same. But perhaps there's a group of blind middle school kids doing the engineering and assembly on this model. I'm a big fan of Onkyo products, but this one... not so much.