It’s strongly recommended to compare different receivers if you want to choose the best one: Onkyo TX-NR696 vs Pioneer VSX-531.
The number of channels for receivers is different - 7.2 versus 5.1, respectively, for devices. In terms of power, there are differences, the TX-NR696 has such a ratio W/Ohm - 165/6, while the VSX-531 has a power of 80/8, 140/6. A common feature for devices is the same total harmonic distortion - 0.08%.
The manufacturer installed different DACs, the TX-NR696 received the model AK4458 384 KHz/32-bit, but the VSX-531 is equipped with 192 KHz/24-bit. The Bi-amping function is implemented only in the Onkyo TX-NR696. Both Onkyo TX-NR696 and Pioneer VSX-531 can transmit an audio signal directly to the amplifier and bypasses any DSP processing.
Wireless Internet connection via WIFI is only possible with TX-NR696. Each of the receivers has a Bluetooth connector. The TX-NR696 has access to the Spotify service. 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 TX-NR696 and the VSX-531. Video scaling is only possible with the TX-NR696. Operation with the Dolby Vision is only possible with the TX-NR696.
The number of HDMI inputs/outputs varies depending on the receiver, the TX-NR696 has 7/2, and the VSX-531 has 4/1. HDMI Audio Return Channel is implemented in both devices. HDMI eARC is not supported by the TX-NR696 and the VSX-531. When comparing receivers, it becomes clear that each of the rivals can work with HDMI CEC. TX-NR696 and VSX-531 support the standard HDCP 2.2. In the presence of a built-in phono stage for connecting a vinyl player only at Onkyo TX-NR696. There is an ECO mode in VSX-531. The Onkyo TX-NR696 can be properly configured using the setup assistant.
A Dolby Atmos multichannel audio format is available only in the TX-NR696. Only in the TX-NR696 realized a DTS:X surround technology.