ONKYO TX NR686 and the SONY STR DN 1080 are the most sought after affordable audio-video receivers on the market today. Most households choose these two AVR brands for their versatility and quality audio-video. But, which one is better when you compare ONKYO TX NR686 VS SONY STR DN 1080?
The ONKYO TX NR686 proved to be a far superior AVR after comparing it to the SONY STR DN 1080. Following my research and testing of features and sound clarity at an extensive level, I found the ONKYO TX NR686 audio-video receiver is the best audio video but also value for money. Though the SONY STR DN 1080 falls a little behind the Onkyo AVR, any of these two deliver a good sound system for your TV and home theater setup.
And if you prefer to go a further step, the Denon AVR nearly eclipses everything you now know about the Sony STR DN.
ONKYO TX NR686 and SONY STR DN 1080 are 7.2 A/V receivers from one of America’s superior audio sound systems manufacturers Onkyo while the Sony STR DN 1080 is manufactured by legendary AV audio receivers manufacturer SONY.
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The ONKYO TX NR 686 was originally made by a company called ONKYO and SONY STR DN 1080 was originally made by a company called SONY.
The SONY STR DN 1080 was released in march 2017. These two receivers have different functional accents. For example, those looking for a device with average functionality will choose Sony, whereas those looking for a multimedia workhorse will definitely go for the ONKYO TX NR686. The receivers are available for as low as $599, though prices can change.
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ONKYO TX NR686
This a receiver that has 7.2 channels, this receiver is a great choice especially when you don’t need additional power as well as channels. This receiver boasts a lot of features, it is easy to use and sounds great. It also includes the ability to add speakers in additional zone, you also get two subwoofers and not one.
ONKYO TX NR686 Features And Performance
It works well with all FM/AM stations, the ONKYO TX NR686 has 40 stations. It also has an inbuilt clock and timer and they perform their tasks on a higher level. Th receiver has a nice selection of controls on the front and allows you to toggle between the types of audio outputs and tune the sound to your liking.
The receiver supports 4K HDMI to ensure true 4K quality and 3D passthrough, has built-in wireless multi-room platforms and allows you to tune the system the way you want.
It has an impedance of 8 ohms, it has a signal to noise ratio of 106dB. The receiver supports all kinds of audio formats for example: AAC, FLAC, MP3, WAV, WMA, ALAC audio formats. It has 7 AV inputs, 2 optical digital input, coaxial digital input, 7 HDMI, 2 subwoofer outputs and 1 USB port.
This receiver also includes built-in decoders such as DTS:X, Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital plus and Dolby true HD. These help you to give the sound a much more immersive feel to it.
One of the best things about this receiver is that it has the support for smart features. For example, it can connect to Wi-Fi, this allows you to stream directly from Spotify. Deezer, pandora, YouTube and so on.
The receiver also supports google cast and airplay as well, so if your streaming service is not supported like google play music for example, the receiver may use google cast and air play to play your music.
It allows connections to Bluetooth, has apple air play support, audio return channel support (ARC). It has also remote control that is very easy to use, it is not bloated with dozens of buttons.
Design of the ONKYO TX NR686
The ONKYO TX NR686 has a standard box, buttons and inputs replacement. It also presents all its plugs on the front side for easy access. The receiver is able to handle most home theatre setups.
It has 7 HDMI inputs where you can connect a lot of things like gaming consoles, your computer and so on. The receiver also supports ARC.
It also has a lot of audio outputs that you can use to connect surround sound systems. It includes a set of stereo outputs that you can use to connect a second zone of speakers if you want more sound or you have higher sound expectations.
Other pieces include an Ethernet port, universal serial bus (USB) port and antenna inputs for Am and FM radio.
Specs and Features of the ONKYO TX NR686
- 7.2 channels
- THX select certified
- 160 W (8 ohms, 20Hz – 20Kz, 2 channel driven)
- Dolby Atmos, DTS:X capable
- HDR10, Dolby Vision, 4K passthrough
- Airplay, DLNA, Chromecast
- Ethernet, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
- USB input
- Weighs 22 pounds
- The dimensions are 14.9 x 17.1 x 6.8 inches
- 0.15 W standard by power consumption
PROS AND CONS THE ONKYO TX NR686
- Works well with movie projector
- Inputs are placed on the front side hence it easy to access them
- Crisp and punchy sound is off the charts
- Its assembly quality is at a high level
- Supports 4K and 3D passthrough
- It sometimes needs an additional cooler for built in thermal protection
SONY STR DN 1080
The Sony STR DN1080 is no stranger to those who have looked at versatile 7.2 A/V receivers, it is an outstanding follow up of the STR DN 1070 and one that is good enough to go after ONKYO’s TX NR686.
The Sony STR RECEIVER produces great sound though not as good as that of the ONKYO TX NR686. It has got excellent power:165 W, which is more than enough power. However, it does not support the Amazon Alexa functionality.
It has a great interface and it is very easy to use. It not only has Dolby Atmos and DTS:X functionality, it also includes DSD functionality, hence it can play ultra high-resolution audio files it also supports 4K HDR and HDCP 2.2 compatibility.
SONY STR DN 1080 Features And Performance
It works well with all FM/AM stations, the SONY STR DN 1080 has 30 stations. However, it does not have an inbuilt clock and timer. It produces a great sound. You can also use the Bluetooth to conveniently control it.
Handling and operating your Sony STR DN 1080 just got easier! Sony’s app means now you can control the volume using your phone or tablet, you can also automatically charge your phone while enjoying the entertainment.
It also has the internet and wireless connectivity feature. It lets you enjoy room filling Dolby surround and wireless streaming of apps with Bluetooth. You can also control the volume from a great distance for example another room while using your phone, this is made possible because of the Bluetooth
It includes AUTO CALIBRATION: D.C.AC EX and a virtual speaker relocation technology. This allows easy optimization of sound to any room. The SONY STR DN 1080 also has Chromecast built in, airplay and google home.
Chrome cast support means that you can be able to cast audios from any android phone or chrome browser as well as dozens of smart phone apps.
You can also control it with your voice using google home smart speaker which is sold separately and can be found on Amazon as well as Walmart.
Using the google home app you can set the receiver to be the default play by musing system, that is to say saying hello to the speaker and telling it to play music will turn the receiver on. You can brass it through Spotify, google or YouTube music or pandora.
It includes advanced audio: DTS:X object-based surround that enables easy adaptation to your speaker configuration on time. The 4K pass through i.e. 4K HDR that is compatible with HDCP 2.2 help support sharper screen image quality. It also has an ethernet port hence you can be able to connect it the internet.it also supports Bluetooth an NFC wireless connections.
Design of the SONY STR DN 1080
The design of the SONY STR DN 1080 is a little blocky. The SONY STR DN 1080 looks a little more presentable and modern. It has a very nice and sleek design. It’s a solid, rectangular box with thin glossy strip of readout. It comes with a volume knob and a smaller selector knob next to it.
Most of its inputs and outputs are hidden on the back side. There are 6 HDMI inputs and two outputs, a front USB port, and Optical digital and analog AV connections. So, you are able to connect your TV, Blu-ray disc player, smartphone and more easily and quickly.
This A/V receiver is easy to connect and the picture is great. It also has a very well-designed remote controller which is very ergonomic allowing you a feeling of comfortability when using it.
Specs and features of the SONY STR DN 1080
- It has 7.2 channels
- It supports a power 100 W (6 ohms, 20Hz – 20Kz, 2 channel driven)
- It supports Dolby Atmos, DTS:X capable
- It supportsHDR10, Dolby Vision, 4K passthrough
- Includes Airplay, DLNA, Chromecast
- Supports Ethernet, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections
- USB input
- Type of the receiver is an A/V receiver
- It includes satellite radio tuner
- Its minimum impedance is 6 ohms
- includes AUTO CALIBRATION: D.C.AC EX and a virtual speaker relocation technology
PROS AND CONS of The SONY STR DN 1080
- It has a well-designed remote controller which is ergonomic giving you some comfortability when using the remote controller.
- Includes an ethernet port for easy connection to the internet
- Include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth that work well even on a great distance
- includes AUTO CALIBRATION: D.C.AC EX and a virtual speaker relocation technology
- Built in Chromecast has audio only
- Most Inputs are hidden on the back side rather than being placed on the front
- The smartphone remote control isn’t available
Common strengths and weaknesses between the SONY STR DN 080 and ONKYO TX NR686
The strengths include: they both support Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, HDR10, Dolby Vision, Hybrid Log, Gamma,4K pass through, Chromecast, ethernet connection, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Weaknesses include no front wide channel support, no 4k upscaling, no amazon Alexa, no analog multi-channel inputs and no analog pre-outs.
Which A/V receiver is The Best And Recommended?
The ONKYO TX NR686 is an excellent option for those that don’t have a surround system, it does not only future proof your home theater but it also offers plenty of modern options for streaming and music playback.
The SONY STR DN 1080 does not offer as many inputs as the ONKYO TX NR686, it also doesn’t have front-mounted inputs for ease of access. Hence, if you are looking for a great A/V receiver and have a maximum budget the ONKYO is a way to go.