Onkyo TX-NR525

The Good The Onkyo TX-NR525 is a solid value, especially considering its affordable wireless accessories for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. It also has six HDMI inputs, plus extensive networking features, including onboard streaming-audio support for Pandora, Spotify, Rhapsody, Slacker, and Internet radio.

The Bad For $50 more, Sony's STR-DN840 offers built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and AirPlay. And while the option to use accessories is nice, you can only use one at a time.

The Bottom Line Onkyo's TX-NR525 is a solid AV receiver value, especially considering its affordable accessories, but competitors offer integrated wireless features for not much more.

Editors' Rating
  • Design 7.0
  • Features 7.0
  • Sound 6.0
  • Value 8.0
7.5 Overall

Compare

Onkyo TX-NR525
Onkyo TX-NR525
Sony STR-DN1080
Sony STR-DN1080
Onkyo TX-NR575 (Black)
Onkyo TX-NR575
Yamaha RX-V483
Yamaha RX-V483
Denon AVR-S730H
Denon AVR-S730H
Price $499 MSRP $598 Amazon.com $449 Amazon.com $400 Amazon.com $429 Amazon.com
Design
7
9
8
8
7
Features
7
9
10
8
9
Sound
6
8
7
7
7
Value
8
9
8
9
9

Review

An affordably expandable AV receiver

Onkyo has resisted adding support for Apple's AirPlay standard to its AV receivers, but historically the company has made up for that shortcoming by offering more HDMI inputs for significantly less than the other guys. The Onkyo TX-NR525 ($400 street) sticks to that script, offering more HDMI inputs (six) than other $400 networked AV receivers, plus niche features like dual subwoofer outputs and second-zone audio support. Onkyo is also the only manufacturer to offer reasonably priced accessories to add Bluetooth ($50) and Wi-Fi ($30) via small USB adapters.

But the TX-NR525 doesn't quite stand out as a exceptional value, like Onkyo's previous models have. That's largely due to the existence of Sony's STR-DN840 ($450), which includes built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and AirPlay for just $50 more -- money well spent, in our opinion, for integrated wireless audio streaming from nearly any tablet or smartphone. The TX-NR525 is still a solid all-around AV receiver, but it's not quite in our top tier of value picks, although keep an eye on the street price, as Onkyo receivers have a tendency to fall in price as the year goes on.

Design: The boxiest box
AV receivers are big and boxy by nature, and Onkyo's models may be the boxiest of them all. The TX-NR525's sharp edges and large, flat front panel give it a muscular, brutish look that doesn't exactly blend into a typical living room.

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Specs / Prices

  • MSRP $499
  • Brand Onkyo
  • Functions AV network receiver, digital player, internet radio
  • Sound Output Mode Surround Sound
  • Functions Digital player, AV network receiver, internet radio
  • Additional Features Audio Return Channel (ARC), Audyssey Dynamic EQ, Audyssey Dynamic Volume, Audyssey MultEQ, Wide Range Amplifier Technology (WRAT), dual-zone capability, iPod/iPhone ready, smartphone remote controlled
  • Media Content Source Network, USB-host
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