By Ben Bowers
on 2.13.12

Onkyo has continually set the receiver bar when it comes to providing cutting-edge specs at obtainable price points, and with the 2012 TX-NR616, they show no signs of stopping. As the top of their mid-range offerings for the year, the 7.2-channel AV receiver boasts a graphical users interface, Audyssey DSX processing, THX Select2 Plus certification, and Marvell Qdeo video processing for analog video upscaling to 1080p or even 4K with compatible displays. If that doesn’t seem future-proof enough for you, round back you’ll find an ethernet port, two USB ports, eight 3D compatible HDMI inputs, including one front-facing MHL link that allows certain mobile devices to output 1080p video and 7.1 channels of surround sound, and even two HDMI outputs for connecting a TV and a projector.

The most interesting feature of all, however, is so-called InstaPrevue, which allows users to see a live picture-in-picture video preview of content on each connect component device before switching inputs. More importantly, this receiver first and all of the other whistles will be available in March for a street price of $700. That’s already a solid bargain in our book, but keep in mind that Onkyo’s list prices are typically much higher than what winds up being advertised on the street.

Editor’s Note: If you can live without the THX certification and 2 HDMI inputs, the lower-level TX-NR414 includes the same feature set for a mere $500 — making it possibly the best home audio value of 2012.

Buy Now: $700

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