Having had an opportunity to test Pioneer VSX-1131 vs Onkyo TX-NR616, I’d like to share my impression here to facilitate your choice of a new AV receiver.
AV receivers under review have the same number of channels. In terms of power, there are differences, the VSX-1131 has such a ratio W/Ohm - 100/8, 170/6, while the TX-NR616 has a power of 160/6. A common feature for devices is the same total harmonic distortion - 0.08%.
The manufacturer installed different DACs, the VSX-1131 received the model AK4458 384 KHz/32-bit, but the TX-NR616 is equipped with Burr-Brown 192 KHz/24-bit. Each of the compared opponents supports Bi-amping. Both Pioneer VSX-1131 and Onkyo TX-NR616 can transmit an audio signal directly to the amplifier and bypasses any DSP processing. Each of the receivers has a Bluetooth connector. Access to the Spotify service is on each of the competitors. The number of available streaming services varies for receivers, the Pioneer VSX-1131 works with Deezer, TIDAL, Pandora, TuneIn Radio, but the Onkyo TX-NR616 works with Last.fm, AUPEO, Simfy, vTuner.
Support for the HDR function can only boast of the VSX-1131. The quality of 4K/60Hz signal remains unchanged when transmitting from a source to a TV or projector via HDMI for both receivers. Signaling over HDMI in standby mode can provide the VSX-1131 and the TX-NR616. Each of the devices can increase the resolution of the incoming video signal. Operation with the Dolby Vision is only possible with the VSX-1131.
The number of HDMI inputs/outputs varies depending on the receiver, the VSX-1131 has 7/2, and the TX-NR616 has 8/2. HDMI Audio Return Channel is implemented in both devices. HDMI eARC is not supported by the VSX-1131 and the TX-NR616. When comparing receivers, it becomes clear that each of the rivals can work with HDMI CEC. VSX-1131 and TX-NR616 support the standard HDCP 2.2. In the presence of a built-in phono stage for connecting a vinyl player only at Pioneer VSX-1131.
Ability to create 2 Multi zones inherent in both AV receivers. Voice control of the basic functions of the receiver is not realized in both models. There is an ECO mode in neither AV receiver. The Pioneer VSX-1131 can be properly configured using the setup assistant.
A Dolby Atmos multichannel audio format is available only in the VSX-1131. Only in the VSX-1131 realized a DTS:X surround technology.