Who is Integra?

Review: Integra DRX 8.4 11.4 Ch Network AV Receiver – NEW 2023 FLAGSHIP AVR
Review: Integra DRX 8.4 11.4 Ch Network AV Receiver – NEW 2023 FLAGSHIP AVR

The Japanese manufacturer Onkyo is finally back in France with new 8K A/V receivers. This comeback also marks the return of the Integra brand, the Japanese specialist’s premium branch. Until now, Integra has only been distributed through integrator networks and is now available to the general public for the first time. What are the differences between Integra and Onkyo? Which brand should you choose?

Integra: Onkyo’s Lexus

Integra’s history is closely linked to that of its parent company, Onkyo. As early as 1969, the term Integra was introduced by the Japanese manufacturer to differentiate its most prestigious electronics. Thirty years later, in 1999, Integra became a brand in its own right, while remaining under the umbrella of specialist Onkyo. It represents the high-end segment, with even more comprehensive solutions designed for integration and smart home control. For a long time, the Integra brand was very limited and was only distributed by a small network of integrators. With the acquisition of Integra by the Premium Audio Company, which also owns Klipsch, Jamo, Onkyo and Pioneer, Integra’s premium solutions are finally available for sale to the general public.

Integra: A/V receivers

For its arrival in France, specialist Integra offers three new A/V receivers: the Integra DRX 2.4, Integra DRX 3.4 and Integra DRX 5.4.

Integra DRX 2.4: 7.2 channels

The Integra DRX 2.4 A/V receiver is Onkyo’s entry point into the high-end segment. It shares a number of features with theOnkyo TX-NR5100, including 7.2-channel or 5.1.2-channel Dolby Atmos and DTS:X compatibility. Although both models offer 80 watts into 8 ohms, the Integra DRX 2.4 differs in that it features low impedance amplification coupled with a more massive transformer. The components are stated to be of better quality for a more transparent and more musical sound.

The Integra DRX 2.4 receiver really stands out for its more complete connectivity. Of its six HDMI inputs, three meet the HDMI 2.1 standard for support of 4K UHD streams at up to 120 fps and 8K UHD at 60 fps. Gamers will get a head start on their opponents with the Automatic Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and Quick Frame Transport (QFT), each designed to reduce delay and enhance the gaming experience. Variable refresh rate (VRR) technology is also included to reduce image tearing and improve overall accuracy.

To meet the requirements of integrators, the Integra DRX 2.4 also includes an RS232 port and infrared connectors to control a remote projector. There are also three programmable trigger outputs and an IP control system. The additional assets of this Onkyo integrated amplifier bring the price of the Integra DRX 2.4 to €1,499.

Integra DRX 3.4: 9.2 channels

The heart of the Japanese specialist’s range, the Integra DRX 3.4 A/V receiver is a 9.2 channel or 5.1.2 and 7.2.4 channel model, compatible with DTS:X and Dolby Atmos. Its seven inputs and two outputs are certified HDMI 2.1 for support of 4K 120 fps UHD and 8K 60 fps UHD streams, as well as VRR, QFT and ALLM gaming standards. Unlike the Integra DRX 2.4, the Integra DRX 3.4 supports Dolby Vision streams, in addition to HDR10 and HDR10+.

While Onkyo receivers are based on the AccuEQ calibration system, the Integra models use Dirac Live technology. More comprehensive, the latter allows you to automatically calibrate the sound using your smartphone and the included wired calibration microphone or using a computer with a USB microphone (not included). The system is able to optimize the sound according to the characteristics of the speakers used, while taking into consideration the acoustic properties of the room. A major difference from the AccuEQ system is that Dirac Live technology offers many customizable settings from the computer or smartphone app.

Naturally, the Integra DRX 3.4 receiver is designed for home automation thanks to its IP control, RS232 port, infrared connectors and trigger outputs. Crucially, the Integra DRX 3.4 also features a 9.2 channel pre-out for connecting to external power amps.

The Integra DRX 3.4 A/V receiver is available for pre-order at a price of €1,799. It is positioned in the same category as the Pioneer VSX-LX505, which also has 9.2 channels and very similar functions.

Integra DRX 5.4: the most musical

The Integra DRX 5.4 A/V receiver is also a 9.2-channel model, but it differs in that it has a higher amplification power, going from 100W to 120W into 8 ohms in stereo. It benefits from an even more advanced design, with a total separation of the analog and digital circuits to limit interference and promote transparency. In addition, jitter reduction technology ensures more accurate and precise sound during digital-to-analog conversion. Finally, the oversized transformer is combined with 15,000 μF capacitors to maximize dynamism and responsiveness.

The Integra DRX 5.4 receiver also has a THX certification, highlighting its dynamic capabilities and power. It retains the IMAX Enhanced compatibility introduced with the Integra DRX 3.4, allowing it to automatically adapt its settings to deliver DTS:X sound that matches the original mix desired by the film’s director.

The Integra DRX 5.4 receiver’s connectivity is very similar to the DRX 3.4, with seven inputs and three HDMI 2.1 outputs, as well as numerous ports for smart home automation and remote control. The pre-out section remains, but is expanded from 9.2 to 11.2 channels, allowing for a more complete audio system.

The new Integra DRX 5.4 A/V receiver is also available for pre-order at a price of €2,299. Like the other models, the first arrivals are scheduled for late November 2022.

Integra: DTS Play:Fi streaming

Like the Pioneer and Onkyo receivers, all Integra models take advantage of the DTS Play:Fi ecosystem for DLNA music playback and access to streaming services like Amazon Music, Spotify, Deezer and Tidal. All DTS Play:Fi devices can work in multi-room mode to enjoy music in any room of the house. This can also be done with AirPlay 2 compatible devices.

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