Onkyo is bringing wireless multiroom-audio, Google Cast, and Tidal streaming to three RZ series audio/video receivers priced from a suggested $799 to $1,299.
The three 7.2-channel AVRs will be available in April to join three NR series AVRs announced two weeks ago with those features at $499 to $799.
The step-up RZ-series models add more custom-installation features than their predecessors, including RS-232 and IR connectivity, 12-volt triggers, PC setup, detachable power cables, and optional rack kits. The RZ Series is backed by a three-year warranty.
Onkyo plans later this year to launch three more RZ series AVRs with 9.2 to 11.1 channels plus an 11.2-channel preamp processor. Details were not disclosed.
Firmware updates: All three new RZ series AVRs feature Dolby Atmos surround, and they will get a summertime firmware update to add DTS:X surround. All will support 5.1.2 speaker configurations but won't support 5.1.4 or 7.1.2 configurations when an amplifier is added on.
Summertime is also when the AVRs will get a firmware update to add Google Cast, Tidal streaming, and FireConnect wireless multiroom-audio technology.
All three are networked models that feature Apple AirPlay, DLNA, high-resolution audio decoding, high-dynamic-range 18Mbps HDMI 2.0a inputs and outputs, and HDCP 2.2 copy protection. They also feature built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Wireless multiroom: With FireConnect technology, the AVRs can be part of a wireless multiroom-audio system that includes compatible tabletop Wi-Fi speakers that Onkyo will launch later this year. An Onkyo app on a smartphone or tablet will direct music from networked computers and mobile devices to the AVRs and speakers. The technology, developed by Blackfire Research, will also let users stream any AVR-connected source around the house, including streaming services, a turntable, or a Bluetooth source.
Blackfire also developed the wireless-multiroom technology in planned AVRs from sister brand Pioneer and in wireless speakers from Harman Kardon. The Onkyo and Pioneer FireConnect products will interoperate, an Onkyo spokesperson said, but the company said it “cannot confirm interoperation with other manufacturer’s products.”
The lineup: The RZ series starts with the $799 TX-RZ610, which features 7x100 watts of power rated at 20Hz-20kHz into 8 ohms with 0.08 percent THD and with two channels driven. It also features 384kHz/32-bit DACs from AKM, powered and line-level zone-two output, and new AccuReflex technology, which is part of the AccuEQ room-calibration suite of technologies. AccuReflex adjusts the phase of height-channel sound bounced off the ceiling by up-firing height speakers. As a result, the height-channel sound syncs with sound from the other speakers in a surround system to deliver a high level of clarity, the company said.
The AVR also features eight HDMI inputs and two HDMI outputs, the company’s web site shows.
The $1,299 TX-RZ810 and $999 TX-RZ710 step up to THX Select 2 Plus certification and premium high-current amplifier circuitry that delivers 130 watts per channel. The AVRs also feature eight HDMI inputs and two HDMI outputs.
The $999 model features powered and line-level zone-two output, while the $1,299 model adds zone-three powered and line-level output as well as 7.2-channel preouts.
More product details are available at Onkyo’s web site.
Integra, a sister brand marketed by Onkyo USA, also offers AVRs with a wide selection of custom-install capabilities, but Integra and Onkyo RZ series distribution differs. “Integra maintains a direct relationship with its primarily smaller, independent dealer base of integrators,” a spokesperson said. “The Onkyo RZ Series is nationally distributed and available through select specialty retailers, both online and brick and mortar.”