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Denon vs Onkyo – Detailed Comparison

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Denon and Onkyo are two renowned and well respected brands in the audio industry that produces high quality speakers, headphones, soundbars,  subwoofers and amplifiers. 

In this article, we will cover a general overview of both brands, looking specifically at sound quality, durability, price and so on. Of course, each brand has different devices at different price points, however, we will compare them as closely as we can.

Quick History

Denon Quick History

The Japanese manufacturing company, Denon, was founded by Frederick Horn in 1910. It started off by importing recording equipment until 1910, when it started manufacturing recording equipment.

Denon used to be called ‘Nippon Denki Onkyo Kabushigaisha’ but later changed its name to Denon. The name Denon resulted from the merging of Denki Onkyo with the record label Nippon Columbia in 1947.

The company started by producing one-sided gramophones and records. However, they grew over the years because of mergers and expansion of the product line. Today, Denon is known for manufacturing high-end audio equipment, home theater systems, AV receivers, wireless stereos, and other electronic devices.

Onkyo Quick History

Takeshi Godai established the Japanese company Onkyo in 1946. Godai intended to address the gap in delivering satisfactory Japanese-made dynamic speakers. The work Onkyo originated from a Japanese word meaning “sound acoustics.”

Sound Quality

Denon Sound Quality

One thing that cannot be separated from the Denon brand’s decades of existence is the production of high-quality audio equipment. It boasts high-quality surround sound in all the home theaters and other audio equipment.

Denon receivers are very good at producing a warm sound that is accompanied by a clear sound effect. The sound quality of an average Denon audio equipment is crystal clear, which makes it an excellent choice for both commercial and professional use.

However, this does not eliminate the fact that they are good picks for home audio equipment. The brand has successfully kept up its reputation of impressive sound quality.

Onkyo Sound Quality

If you are an audiophile, you want a receiver that can deliver your specific notes as perfectly as possible. The range of AV receivers from Onkyo sound very impressive and complete with incredible functionality and product regardless of your listening environment.

When it comes to choosing and paying for the better fidelity unit, putting your money on Onkyo is one of the best decisions for audiophiles.

They have a more well-rounded sound signature that offers more detail; audiophiles refer to it as a more “clinical” sound. The highs, mids, and lows are equally discernable.

Features

Denon Features

Denon has improved their product by introducing new features and improvements to the old ones according to the trend.

Here are some features you can expect from a Denon product:

  • Up to 13 Channel on the AV Receivers
  • Surround sound technology includes Dolby Atmos, Auro-3D, DTS, DTS:X Pro, IMAX enhanced, and others.
  • Up to 8 HDMI input port
  • Bluetooth, HEOS, Wi-Fi, and AirPlay 2 streaming support.
  • Multiple input and output ports
  • Built-in phono equalizer on the turntable
  • Voice control features include Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, and Google Assistant.

Onkyo Features

Many people expect to get a bundle of features in today’s world, especially when paying more for a product. However, the features of an Onkyo receiver are mainly related to the system’s sound.

It has some of the best step-up receivers with features such as:

  • Dirac Live
  • Streaming suite
  • Support for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa

Build Quality

Denon Build Quality

You can be sure of a pretty decent build for any Denon product you choose. As a company, Denon has been consistent with the build quality of its products over the years.

Denon AVR-X6700H

If you are someone that prefers a strong build quality for your appliances, Denon might be a hard road to take for you. This is because most Denon appliances are mostly heavy on design and less on strength.

Denon receivers are still up for the contest against other well-rooted brands in terms of the build quality. It is commonly compared to brands such as Yamaha and Marantz, but the choice here is dependent on individual ‌preference.

Onkyo Build Quality

People tend to look at their build quality first when buying expensive devices. However, other than looking good, the device should be able to deliver good service over many years.

When it comes to build quality, Onkyo is a bit shaky. Many people complain of their receivers either requiring repair or going dead in less than a year despite the two-year warranty on their devices.

Ease of Use

Denon Ease Of Use

On average, Denon products are easy to use. They come with soft buttons that are clearly labeled in plain terms for ease of understanding. Size also contributes to its ease of use. Denon has a line of lightweight and portable products in the audio market that almost anyone can easily operate.

Another factor that contributes to their ease of use is their connectivity. It offers a range of wired and wireless connectivity that allows it to be used and operated anywhere in the house and professionally.

Onkyo Ease Of Use

Onkyo receivers are particularly easy to set up. As an excellent performer, the products are made with superb usability and valuable features that make them easily accessible by all users.

The direct source buttons added for ease of control in the absence of a remote further make the Onkyo TX-NR585, for instance, much more user-friendly.

Cost

Denon Cost

Denon products are much more affordable than most other audio system manufacturers. This does not mean they have less quality than the other brands.

Most Denon receivers, for example, deliver amazing quality at an affordable price, from $400 to modern, high performing ones such as the Denon AVR-X6700H with Ultra HD at around $3000.

Note that no matter how cheap the price of a Denon product is, it will still deliver a decent quality of output for what it is designed for.

Here are some price ranges for different devices from Denon:

AV Receivers: $200 – $5000

Soundbars: $200 – $800

Speakers: $200 – $700

Headphones: $50 – $700

Amplifiers: $500 – $5000

Onkyo Cost

Onkyo receivers are generally costly. This is most likely attributable to their high-quality build and good sound performance.

Speakers: $20 – $6000

Receivers: $200 – $3000

Amplifiers: $40 – $1000

Space Requirements

Denon Space Requirements

There are several portable product lines from Denon that are perfect for use almost anywhere with great portability. These products range from home theaters, soundbars, and Bluetooth speakers, to receivers and amplifiers.

However, it is worthy of note to understand that space consideration for using these products is not about their size alone, ventilation requirements are another contributing factor to the space consideration.

Inadequate space could cause the device to heat up hence causing a possible shutdown. For an average Denon appliance, particularly those that require putting in an enclosed area, a minimum of 5 inches is required around it for ventilation.

Onkyo Space Requirements

Generally, Onkyo receivers are a little taller. Although they may not take much space on your table, they are much taller and broader than many competing receivers in the market.

Remote Controls

Denon Remote Controls

Denon offers ease of access for using their devices and the opportunity to ‌control the device while sitting away from it.

A remote function unique to Denon is HEOS, which allows users to enjoy music on the device from any room. The HEOS feature is a wireless multi-room sound support that uses an integrated Android/iOS app.

Asides from the HEOS feature, you can control a Denon device with the Denon remote control app. Although, this is only possible if the phone that has the app and the Denon device are connected to the same Wi-Fi source.

Onkyo Remote Controls

Onkyo receivers come with remote controls that make them easy to control even from the comfort of a seat. Besides, the remotes are intuitive and easy to use. The wireless remotes are device-specific and can be purchased separately from the device.

On the other hand, the Onkyo remote for Android utilizes the home network to operate wirelessly and deliver several remote control functions to manage your Onkyo hi-fi systems. Besides, the app permits wireless streaming of audio from personal computers and handsets.

Onkyo is, therefore, more advanced when it comes to remote controls and will make your entertainment system easy to navigate.

Connectivity Options

Denon Connectivity Options

Power consumption by Denon devices varies from device to device. For example, the power range for an average entry-level Denon receiver is around 140 watts for 1 channel and 70 watts for 2 channels. However, the power range/consumption for an average soundbar is roughly around 53 watts.

To make the best use of your Denon device, it would be best to read through the user manuals to understand the power range of the particular device.

Onkyo Connectivity Options

Onkyo receivers have several connectivity options to take care of the analog and digital features.

They are therefore compatible with older devices and the modern class of devices. Some of the vital connectivity features include:

Power Range

Denon Power Range

Power consumption by Denon devices varies from device to device. For example, the power range for an average entry-level Denon receiver is around 140 watts for 1 channel and 70 watts for 2 channels. However, the power range/consumption for an average soundbar is roughly around 53 watts.

To make the best use of your Denon device, it would be best to read through the user manuals to understand the power range of the particular device.

Onkyo Power Range

Speakers: Up to 24 watts RMS

Receivers: Up to 500 watts

Amplifiers: Up to 240 watts

Frequency Response

Denon Frequency Response

Most Denon portable bookshelf speakers have a frequency range of around 80Hz – 100Hz. But the range common to most portable speakers is 80Hz. However, Denon AVR Receivers such as the AVR X4000H have a frequency range of 16Hz to 200Hz.

Onkyo Frequency Response

The frequency response is varied depending on the device. For instance, the speakers have a frequency response of between 50Hz to 20kHz.

Conclusion

Denon is a brand that dates back to the early days of sound systems, but because it produces quality sound systems, it still owns the market. Denon products are quite affordable, with quality that outweighs the price. Although every product comes with its flaws, Denon produces those that can be easily overlooked. Although the build quality of Onkyo can be less than desirable, the vintage brand manufactures audiophile-grade sound systems. They are however costly.

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