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Onkyo and Pioneer's 2021 receivers back in black with 8K video, from $499

Onkyo and Pioneer have announced pricing and availability for their 2021 receivers which include Dolby Atmos and two-way Bluetooth.

tx-nr6100-front-panel-r-angle
Onkyo TX-NR6100
Onkyo

This story is part of CES, where CNET covers the latest news on the most incredible tech coming soon.

After taking a year off, Pioneer and Onkyo return to CES with brand-new receivers for 2021, offering up-to-date features including 8K video and Dolby Atmos. Prices start at $499 (roughly £370 or AU$650) for the TX-NR5100, which is due in June.

All the AV receivers have HDMI 2.1 compatibility -- with 8K video and gaming features such as VRR -- while also offering Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. Onkyo has four models, the most notable being the NR6100 which is the replacement for CNET's Editor's Choice, the TX-NR696. Meanwhile Pioneer has three new Elite models. 

Like the models Onkyo and Pioneer have released over the last few years, the products include a complete suite of streaming protocols: Apple AirPlay 2, Chromecast, "Works with Sonos" and DTS Play-Fi. FireConnect doesn't appear to be available but Play-Fi can perform the same function, so it's not missed. The receivers will also allow voice control via both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

onkyo-nr6100-rear

Onkyo TX-NR6100 rear


Onkyo

The higher-end models include Dirac Live which is one of the first times the calibration routine has been offered by mainstream brands.

The receivers offer two-way Bluetooth communication for streaming from phones or listening on headphones. A powered second zone is included on all models plus HDMI as they move up the range. All of them also include RCA outs which enable the connection of a "headphone dock" for listening to two different sources in the same room, for example.

Here's what we know about Onkyo's 2021 receiver range:

Onkyo TX-NR5100

  • 5.2.2 channels
  • 80 watts per channel (stereo)
  • Four HDMI inputs and two outputs (with eARC)
  • $499 (June)

Onkyo TX-NR6100 

  • 5.2.2 channels
  • 100 watts per channel (stereo)
  • Six HDMI inputs and two outputs (with eARC)
  • $699 (August)

Onkyo TX-NR7100 

  • 7.2.2 channels
  • 100 watts per channel (stereo)
  • Seven HDMI inputs (one front) and two outputs (with eARC)
  • Dirac Live calibration
  • $899 (June)

Onkyo TX-RZ50 

tx-rz50b-fr
Onkyo
  • 7.2.2 channels
  • 120 watts per channel stereo
  • Seven HDMI inputs (one front), two outputs (with eARC)
  • Dirac Live calibration
  • $1,099 (June)

Pioneer's models include the following receivers.

Pioneer Elite VSX-LX105

vsx-lx105bus-angle-right
Onkyo
  • 5.2.2 channels
  • Six HDMI inputs, two outputs
  • 80 watts per channel
  • $699 (August)

Pioneer Elite VSX-LX305

  • 7.2.2 channels
  • Seven HDMI inputs (one in front), two outputs
  • 100 watts per channel
  • Dirac Live calibration
  • $999 (June)

Pioneer Elite VSX-LX505

  • 7.2.2 channels
  • Seven HDMI inputs (one in front), two outputs
  • 120 watts per channel
  • Dirac Live calibration

Meanwhile ,Onkyo offshoot Integra will include three new models: the $800 DRX-2.4 (August), the $1,200 DRX-3.4 (June), and the $1,900 DRX-5.4 (June).

After two years it's good to see Onkyo return to one of its main strengths -- AV receivers -- and I have high expectations for the NR6100 in particular. Sony hasn't updated its flagship STR-DN1080 since 2017, so the main competition for the NR100 lineup now comes from Yamaha's excellent RX-V6A and the Denon AVR-960.