Onkyo is one of the heavy hitters in the AV receiver market, with its TX-SR lines of AV receivers consistently scoring well in our reviews for their combination of features and performance. Wednesday, Onkyo announced a new line of AV receivers, dubbed the HT series, which includes the HT-RC160 ($550) and HT-RC180 ($1,050).
Although the model name is new, the HT-RC160 is only slightly different from the existing TX-SR line. For example, if you use the "compare" feature on Onkyo's Web site, the major difference between the HT-RC160 and TX-SR607 is that the HT-RC160 has slightly lower-rated wattage, lacks Sirius support, and doesn't have a front panel HDMI input. Otherwise, they're virtually identical and the HT-RC160 has a $50 cheaper list price. Also, it's worth pointing out that the HT-RC160 is the receiver included with the upcoming HT-S7200 HTIB.
The HT-RC180 is more unique and doesn't currently have an analogous TX-line model. It adds network functionality to the HT-RC160's features, including support for Pandora and Rhapsody. We've generally found that digital audio streaming is best handled by dedicated network music players, but we're interested to see how well Onkyo can integrate the functionality into the HT-RC180.
The HT-RC160 is currently available and the HT-RC180 is coming out later this month. We're already expecting to get review samples of both receivers, so expect more coverage in the future.