The Onkyo TX-NR6100 is a welcome return to the already full midrange sect of AV receivers. With competition from many other manufacturers, Onkyo need a horse in the race – but will it be the front runner?
Boasting a 7.2 channel setup with support for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X in a 5.2.2 configuration, this receiver promises an immersive audio experience that will elevate your home theatre to new heights (pun of course intended). Moreover, it comes with HDMI 2.1 compatibility on three inputs, ensuring future-proofing for the latest video technologies. Let’s delve into its performance, design, and features to see why the Onkyo TX-NR6100 stands out in its class. With all mod-cons in place and we as Richer Sounds being fortunate enough to be the only UK retailer for it currently – let’s get it into our demo room!
The TX-NR6100 has loads of power, exactly as we’d expect from Onkyo. As I affectionately tried to coin its predecessors as ‘the Mustang of AV receivers’ it’s great hearing and seeing that the new range is on form despite their hiatus in recent years. The AVR’s high current capability allows it to comfortably handle 4ohm loads across all seven channels as well, making it a great pairing for those with demanding older speakers that other manufacturers won’t quite dip to.
Although lacking the option to run in preamp mode with external power amplifiers, the on-board amplification provided by Onkyo is potent enough for most users – and pre-power AV setups require more space and cabinetry than most will be happy with in their cinema spaces, let alone a living room.
For those seeking height-level effects, the TX-NR6100 can of course be configured with up to five listener-level speakers, two subs, and two ceiling speakers, delivering a 5.2.2 setup. Alternatively, it can be used in a 7.2 configuration without ceiling speakers, accommodating various room layouts and preferences. When fed Dolby Atmos content, the receiver truly shines, offering an enveloping soundstage that brings movies and music to life. Whether you’re caught in the midst of intense action sequences or entranced by subtle atmospheric nuances, the TX-NR6100 aims to deliver the best from whatever you’re giving it.
The Onkyo TX-NR6100 ensures future-proofing with three HDMI 2.1 inputs compatible with up to 8K resolution and supporting features like Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), Quick Frame Transport (QFT), Dynamic HDR, Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), Quick Media Switching (QMS), and Display Stream Compression (DSC). Additionally, the main HDMI output also supports 8K and ARC/eARC. The remaining three inputs and one output adhere to HDMI 2.0 standards. Acronyms aside for now (AAFN…I’ll stop.), this basically translates to the receiver being more than capable of dealing with current game consoles and any foreseeable developments in physical media such as Blu-ray. It’s also happy working with 8K TVs such as Samsung’s flagship QLED sets.
Complementing its impressive video capabilities, the TX-NR6100 embraces the streaming era with wide-ranging compatibility. From Spotify and Amazon Music to TIDAL and Deezer, it offers support for popular streaming services. With DTS Play-Fi, Chromecast, Alexa, Google, Sonos, Bluetooth aptX HD, Roon, and Hi-Res Audio playback via network or USB. Whilst there is no multiroom built in as with Denon and Marantz having HEOS or the lesser known MusicCast for Yamaha, the Onkyo has one trick up its sleeve which genuinely might win people over regardless of other features. It can seamlessly integrate with Sonos systems through the addition of a Sonos Port – allowing it to be controlled for multiroom playback as though it was a native Sonos unit.
Design and User Interface: The Onkyo TX-NR6100 may not boast the flashy appearance of its higher-end RZ series stablemates, but its business-like front design with straight edges exudes an understated elegance. The black finish, available in the UK/Europe, adds to its sleek appearance. While the front display is relatively uninformative, the modern user interface, control app, and Web UI more than make up for it. Onkyo’s control app and Web UI allow for easy setup and day-to-day operation, granting users convenient access to key functions and customization options.
The calibration process, facilitated by the AccuEQ room correction system, is straightforward with a single-point measurement. Although AccuEQ lacks the sophistication of some competing products such as Yamaha’s YPAO or more serious DIRAC setups, it handles distance and level calibration well at its price point.
‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ roars to life with the AVR effortlessly reproducing dynamic explosions and heightening the immersive experience in 5.1.2 configuration. The Doof Warrior’s flamethrower guitar riffs menacingly come in from overhead, whilst the receiver pins you to your seat whilst the desert chases ensue.
The cascading debris scene in ‘Gravity’ (another favourite film of reviewers) reveals the Onkyo’s ability to convey expansive soundscapes, unearthing subtle details amidst the chaos. Throughout testing, the receiver’s powerful performance and detailed presentation consistently impress, even in two-channel setups – especially with the addition of
Although the Onkyo might lack a little bit of polish when compared to competitors such as the RXA2A from Yamaha, it makes up for it in sheer energy and effort. The Onkyo wants to excite you – although it demonstrates itself well as an all-rounder, the amp is raring to go when giving high-octane movies and energetic movies. To test it before getting it all plugged in to your own room, why not speak to your local store for a demo?
Author: Tom, Cardiff Store