Home Theater Systems Buying Guide
Home Theater Receivers Buying Guide
This model is no longer available, but there's a new version in town! Check out the Onkyo TX-NR676 7.2 Channel A/V Receiver.
Onkyo has a strong reputation when it comes to manufacturing feature rich AV receivers. Onkyo's crop of RZ-series receivers is yet another solid installment from the company, delivering industry-leading performance at various price points, including the entry level TX-RZ610 to the high end flagship TX-RZ3100. The subject of this review, the TX-RZ710, sits at a middle of the road price point, offering a great intersection of high-end technology and budget accommodation.
Before diving into specifics, it’s worthy to highlight that Onkyo’s push to endow the TX-RZ710 with premium capabilities has been acknowledged by the world’s leading authority on performance: THX. Having passed over 2,000 rigorous tests spanning 75 different categories, the TX-RZ710 proudly carries THX’s prestigious “Select2 Certification,” which guarantees superior performance in small to medium sized home theaters (up to 2,000 cubic feet; screen-to-seat distances of 10-12 feet). That stamp of approval means it delivers the exact same high volume and low distortion listening experience you’d find at a THX certified commercial cinema, right in the comfort of your own home. Our in-house experts have curated a variety of home entertainment systems with the TX-RZ710 as the centerpiece.
Handling the TX-RZ710 speaks volumes about its build quality. Weighing a sturdy 29.8-pounds, the receiver’s brushed aluminum faceplate surrounds a row of curved function buttons mounted directly under an LED display. Users will also appreciate the large stylized volume knob, front-mounted tone controls, and accessible auxiliary inputs. Overall fit and finish is excellent, presenting a super clean appearance that looks great when rack-mounted or simply placed on a shelf.
The backside of the TX-RZ710 is loaded with connectivity options. Here you’ll find easy-to-use binding posts for all nine available speaker channels (which, depending on your needs, can accommodate Atmos speaker layouts, bi-amp configurations, or multi-zone systems) and dual subwoofer outputs. You’ll also find a host of inputs including seven HDMI ports, optical and co-axial ports, and RCA inputs that allow you to connect just about every kind of device imaginable including turntables, CD players, gaming systems, cable boxes, and Blu-ray players. Custom installers will appreciate the inclusion of 12-volt trigger, RS-232, and IR jacks, while old-school users will love seeing AM/FM access.
Onkyo packed the TX-RZ710’s amplifier section with a massive upgraded transformer and custom capacitors for powerful performance. The receiver is capable of delivering 110 watts per channel (2 channels driven, 8 ohms), which is more than enough power to drive most any 6 or 8 ohm speaker to high volume levels without distortion. The use of discrete amp circuits averts phase shifting, while Vector Linear Shaping Circuitry creates a smooth sounding analog signal for both the left and right channels (making for vibrantly detailed stereo playback). Overall sound is finely tuned by the receiver’s own AccuEQ calibration software, which analyzes a room’s acoustic characteristics with a microphone and a simple one-time set up process. The software’s fine-tuning capabilities make for sound that is completely optimized, even in the most challenging of environments.
The TX-RZ710 ships with both Dolby Atmos and DTS: X immersive audio codecs onboard and ready for use. To take advantage of this technology, speaker deployments can be configured to include five multi-channels and two height channels (which are either mounted on the ceiling or modularly affixed to the top of the front left and right channels). The experience delivers audio that appears to be coming from overhead, but also stretches front and surround channel sounds to make activity from those speakers sound more spacious and life-like. Of course, the TX-RZ710 can also decode all common legacy codecs (such as True HD and DTS-HD Master Audio), so it can playback any movie you toss its way.
Music lovers will appreciate the TX-RZ710’s ability to stream content directly from mobile devices and networked computers using Google Cast, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Apple Airplay, or direct from internet services such as TuneIn Radio, Pandora, Spotify, and TIDAL. And the receiver’s highly versatile FireConnect multi-room audio capabilities allow owners to wirelessly play any audio (including music from vinyl records) to FireConnect wireless speakers placed around the home. True audiophiles will appreciate the receiver’s wide-ranging compatibility with Hi-Resolution music files such as MP3, WMA Lossless, FLAC, WAV, AAC, DSD, and Apple Lossless. When considering the TX-RZ710’s amplifier prowess, the combination of high performance circuitry and Hi-Res audio makes for music that is crystal clear and incredibly revealing.
The popularity of 4K televisions makes it absolutely essential to purchase a receiver with 4K capabilities. The TX-RZ710 carries the latest HDMI terminals supporting 4K/60 Hz video laced with High Dynamic Range, BT.2020 color, and HDCP 2.2 streaming copy protection. In essence, you can connect the receiver to any modern 4K UHD Blu-ray player or 4K UHD TV available on the market today. And for situations where you’re feeding the TX-RZ710 a standard 1080p HD signal, the receiver will upscale that signal to 4K and pass it through to your television. Using the TX-RZ710’s Zone 2 functionality, you can easily pass 4K video and audio to a television and speakers located in another room, making the it perfect choice for users looking to distribute media to more than one location in their home.
The TX-RZ710 is a dynamic performer that offers incredible functionality for the dollar. Loaded with modern video and audio technologies, a powerful amplifier section, and attractive looks, this receiver strikes a balance of power and performance that can drive most any media system to delightful levels. And with THX’s stamp of approval, the RZ710 is guaranteed to deliver audio that brings the commercial theater experience to your living room.
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