Pioneer VSX-1131 vs. Onkyo TX-NR656

Pioneer VSX-1131 vs Onkyo TX-NR656 – which one is better

This Pioneer VSX-1131 vs Onkyo TX-NR656 comparison article was written based on information from user reviews and official websites. Nevertheless, there are some differences between these two good devices and the difference will help you choose the best model for you.

Pioneer VSX-1131 vs Onkyo TX-NR656

Pioneer VSX-1131 – a 7.2 channel receiver of unlimited possibilities

With two HDMI outputs (one including audio return/ ARC), six HDMI inputs (plus one on the front panel), and capable of handling 4K and HDR (Dolby Vision support coming soon, according to Pioneer's site). And how cool is this: an honest-to-god turntable input. It's just about everything I wished for in a modern, affordable receiver.

Setup and installation are pretty straightforward. The on-screen menus and process are a little more user-friendly than before, and the speaker calibration is pretty simple...select speaker count/ configuration, plug in the included microphone, and let the unit make some crazy noises and take measurements. If you've set up Pioneer receivers in the past, you'll find this incredibly easy.

Pioneer VSX-1131 pros:

  • Supports many modern audio formats including AIFF and Apple lossless (it may be difficult to find a device that is able to play this format).
  • Powerful built-in decoders are able to play correctly any kind of video files.
  • The device supports wireless interfaces (Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, IEEE 802.3).
  • It has many connector types, including 4 pin USB type A and RCA.
  • This device can use the network, Bluetooth or USB devices as a source of content.
  • Can be controlled remotely via a smartphone.

Cons of Pioneer VSX-1131:

  • The total power output is 160 Watt only. It may be not enough for you.

Onkyo TX-NR656 – a Goliath in terms of the power output

The latest DTS: X and Dolby Atmos decoders, AccuReflex advanced development for room acoustics calibration, wireless file transfer via Google Cast, AirPlay and Wi-Fi and a special FireConnect application that can transmit digital or analog signals from the AV receiver to wireless acoustics in another room.

The HDMI terminals come with 4K / 60Hz / HDR / HDCP2.2 video support, while the 32-bit DAC handles audio processing, extracting the depth and detail of the sound. Unlike other receivers, the TX-NR656 can easily monitor and control your speaker systems with phenomenal accuracy.

Pros of Onkyo TX-NR656:

  • It supports the most part of modern audio formats.
  • Powerful built-in decoders that can play almost any kind of files properly.
  • The total power output is 1190 Watt. It is more than enough.
  • Supports different wireless connection types, including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and IEEE 802.3.
  • It can use Bluetooth, network or a USB device as a content source.
  • Can be controlled via a smartphone.

Onkyo TX-NR656 cons:

  • It does not support the AIFF audio format.
  • Built-in decoders do not support DTS neural:X.
  • It does not have 4 pin USB type A and RCA connector types.

Onkyo TX-NR656 vs Pioneer VSX-1131 - What is the best option for you?

Both models are very good, they have many useful functions. For example, both models can be controlled via smartphones, which is very comfortable. You just need to install a special application and you will be able to control the device. These two models are able to play the most of modern audio formats.

They have powerful built-in decoders as well, so you should not have any issues with that. The main difference is the total power output and that is right where Onkyo becomes a leader (1190 vs 160 Watt). It looks like David vs Goliath, but power is not the crucial point.

Onkyo does not support the AIFF audio format and it does not have some connector types, which Pioneer does. The main advantage of Pioneer is that it is able to play any kind of audio files without any problems.

To sum it up, if you need a super powerful device and you do not care much about compatibility, then Onkyo is for you. If you do not need that amount of power but you need good compatibility, and you are going to connect a device that uses USB type A, then Pioneer is right what you need.

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Pioneer VSX-1131
Onkyo TX-NR656

Common

Model

VSX-1131
TX-NR656

Brand

Pioneer
Onkyo

Rating on Amazon

4.1
4.1

Reviews on Amazon

110
244

Functions

Digital player

Internet radio

Network audio player

Amplifier class

A/B

Audio formats

AAC

AIFF

Apple lossless

DSD

FLAC

MP3

WAV

WMA

Built-in decoders

DTS neural:X

DTS-HD master audio

DTS:X

Dolby atmos

Dolby digital plus

Dolby surround

Dolby true HD

Power device

Power consumption cperational

550 W
580 W

Power consumption stand by

0.1 W
0.1 W

Built-in display

Type

fluorescent
fluorescent

Colour

black
black

Amplifier

Total output power

160 W
690 W

Output power per channel

100 W, 170 W
100 W, 170 W

Output impedance per channel

6 Ohm, 8 Ohm
6 Ohm, 8 Ohm

Frequency response

10 Hz-100 kHz
20 Hz-20 kHz

Total harmonic distortion

0.08 %
0.08 %

Number of channels

9
7

Signal-to-noise ratio

106 dB
106 dB

Connectivity interfaces

Bluetooth

Wi-Fi

IEEE 802.3

IEEE 802.3u

Signal processing

HDMI pass-through

up to 4K
up to 4K

Video conversion/scaling

HDMI to HDMI scaling

3D pass-through

Upscaling via HDMI

up to 4K
up to 4K

Connector type

AV inputs

3
2

Optical digital inputs

2
2

Coaxial digital inputs

1
1

HDMI inputs

7
8

HDMI outputs

2
2

Optical digital outputs

has not
has not

Coaxial digital outputs

has not
has not

Subwoofer outputs

2
2

USB

1
1

Phones

1
1

Media content source

Bluetooth

Network

USB-host

Radio

Tuner type

digital
digital

Tuner bands

AM/FM
AM/FM

Preset station qty

40
40

Additional features

A-B speaker switch

AIR Studios monitor certification

Three-zone capability

X.v.Color

Advanced sound retriever (ASR) technology

Apple air-play support

Audio return channel (ARC)

Bi-amplifying

Deep color

MCACC Pro

Auto power off

Pure direct mode

Dual-zone capability

Smartphone remote controlled

Sound features

Sound output mode

Surround Sound
Surround Sound

Audio D/A converter

32bit / 384kHz
32bit / 384kHz

Surround sound effects

Front Stage Surround Advance
Neural Surround. Theater-Dimensional Virtual Surround

Surround system class

7.2 channel
7.2 channel

Digital sound processor (DSP)

DSP preset qty

6

Digital content protection

HDCP 2.2
HDCP 2.2

Clock

Built-in clock

Sleep timer

Dimensions

Shipping size

12.6 x 17.1 x 6.6 inches
22.5 x 18 x 11 inches

Product weight

19.9 pounds
22 pounds

AV receivers comparison rating

  • better
  • worse
  • 43
  • 37.5
  • 43Pioneer VSX-1131
  • 37.5Onkyo TX-NR656

The best receiver is Pioneer VSX-1131. Check Pioneer VSX-1131 price on Amazon