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Onkyo Builds Bluetooth, Wi-Fi Into AVRs

Upper Saddle River, N.J. – Onkyo is bringing embedded Wi-Fi and stereo Bluetooth to its lineup of A/V receivers (AVRs) for the first time with the launch of three new models. 3/14/2013 12:16:00 PM Eastern

Upper Saddle River, N.J. – Onkyo is bringing embedded Wi-Fi and stereo Bluetooth to its lineup of A/V receivers (AVRs) for the first time with the launch of three new models.

Two of the three feature the embedded wireless technologies.

All three new models, including the $499-suggested 5.2-channel TX-NR525, are networked AVRs that stream eight Internet music services and use DLNA1.5 technology to stream music stored on networked devices, including iOS and Android mobile devices equipped with Onkyo’s remote app.

 The step-up 7.2-channel TX-NR626 and TX-NR727 at $599 and $899, respectively, add built-in Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n and built-in stereo Bluetooth. The $499 model, however, connects to Onkyo’s optional Wi-Fi and Bluetooth adapters to add wireless capabilities.

 The company is carrying over its opening-price AVR, the $279 TX-SR313, which features HD Audio decoding and HDMI 1.4a inputs and output with audio return channel.

 The $499 and $599 models ship in April, and the $899 model ships in May. A new 7.1-channel home-theater receiver/speaker package at a suggested $599 also ships in April.

 In other changes in the line, Onkyo is launching its first 5.2-channel AVR, replacing the vTuner Internet radio service with the TuneIn service, and adding 4K Ultra High-Definition passthrough to the line for the first time, with the feature starting at $499. Features such as dual HDMI outputs, 4K Ultra HD up-scaling, and Mobile High-definition Link (MHL) HDMI input start at $599, up $50 from last year’s lineup. MHL lets mobile devices send 1080p video with 7.1-channel surround sound to a home-theater system. The port also charges the mobile device, and A/V playback can be controlled from the AVRs’ remote.

InstaPrevue picture-in-picture previewing of connected video sources started at $449 last year and now starts at $499.

Dolby Pro Logic IIz post processing, which adds two front-height channels, starts at $599, also up from $549, and Audyssey DSX post processing starts at $899, up from $649. In Onkyo’s implementation, DSX adds a pair of front-height channels or pair of front-wide channels to a traditional 5.1-speaker setup.

All three AVRs can be controlled from Onkyo’s remote app.

The trio starts with the $499 TX-NR525, which features six HDMI 1.4a inputs, one HDMI output with audio return channel, HD audio decoding, DVD-Audio and SACD decoding, two USB ports (one Made for iPod/iPhone), zone-two preamp output, and HDMI standby passthrough, which passes through audio and video from a set-top box to a TV, and maintains network connectivity, without turning on the AVR.

Other features include Audyssey’s MultEQ room correction, Dynamic EQ loudness correction, and Dynamic Volume automatic listening-level adjustment. The AVR also features eight Internet Radio and streaming services: Pandora, Rhapsody, Slacker, SiriusXM, Last.fm, Spotify, Aupeo! and TuneIn.

At $599, the TX-NR626 adds two HDMI outputs that can be used independently or simultaneously, built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, 7.2-channel output, Dolby Pro Logic IIz, powered zone-two audio, Audyssey DSX, 4K up-scaling and MHL HDMI port. The Bluetooth features streams music in Bleutooth’s SBC audio codec, not in AAC or AptX. Neither USB port is Made for iPod/iPhone, though the AVR will still play back music from a USB-connected Apple device.

The $899 AVR adds THX Select2 Plus certification, eight HDMI inputs, and zone-two and -three audio line out, among other things.

Also new is a $599-suggested HT-S5600 7.1-channel home-theater receiver/speaker package, which replaces the 5500 and offers similar features and performance but adds compatibility with the company’s Bluetooth adapter.