Onkyo TX-SR608 review

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Reviewed:

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Onkyo TX-SR608 front
  • Onkyo TX-SR608 front
  • Onkyo TX-SR608 back
  • Onkyo TX-SR608 silver
  • Onkyo TX-SR608 remote control
  • Onkyo TX-SR608 front angle
  • TrustedReviews Awards 2010 logo
  • TX-SR608 A/V Receiver (Dolby Digital, DTS, Dolby Pro Logic IIz, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS HD, THX Select2 PlusFM, AM)

Summary

Our Score:

10

User Score:

Pros

  • Faroudja video upscaling
  • THX Select2 Plus
  • Generous connectivity
  • Well-built

Cons

  • No secondary HDMI output
  • No digital audio output

Key Features

  • 6 x HDMI 1.4 (3D compatible)
  • Faroudja video upscaling to 1080p
  • THX Select2 Plus
  • Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD
  • Audyssey DSX processing
  • Manufacturer: Onkyo
  • Review Price: £349.00

TrustedReviews Awards 2010 logo

Onkyo’s TX-SR607 was the best-selling AV receiver of 2009 and understandably so – not only did it deliver knockout sonics for a reasonable price, but it was also stuffed with cutting-edge features like Dolby Pro Logic IIz, which made its world debut on the SR607. This year Onkyo has replaced the SR607 with the TX-SR608, a similarly feature-heavy model with a few crucial upgrades, the most significant of which is 3D support.

Onkyo TX-SR608 front

Looks-wise very little has changed, but that’s no bad thing given the SR607’s living-room friendly design and outstanding build quality. The TX-SR608 shares the same sleek black (or silver) finish and busy fascia, which includes an easy-to-read display panel and a row of buttons discreetly concealed in a groove running the width of the unit. These govern sound modes, while the buttons below control input selection. As ever, a massive volume dial can be found on the right hand side.

Unlike Onkyo’s higher-end models, the lower section isn’t covered by a flap, so the headphone jack and auxiliary inputs are always exposed. These include an HDMI input, composite/analogue stereo input, 3.5mm line input and a plug for the setup mic.

Rear connectivity is superb. The biggest talking point is the provision of five HDMI 1.4 inputs, which makes the TX-SR608 well and truly ready to receive 3D signals from Blu-ray decks and pass them onto a compatible display via the HDMI output. The HDMIs are all clearly labelled by device (BD/DVD, Game, PC etc) and can be easily assigned in the setup menu. Of course, they also support the Audio Return Channel feature, plus HD audio bitstreams, multichannel PCM, Deep Colour, x.v.Colour, DVD-Audio, SACD…you name it, they handle it.

Onkyo TX-SR608 back

Further video connectivity comes in the form of two component video inputs (plus one output) and five composite video inputs (one output). Audio sockets include optical and coaxial audio inputs (two of each), six analogue inputs and two outputs, one of which is designated for Zone 2 use.

Unusually you’ll also find an analogue RGB input, which makes it easier to rig up a PC or laptop and play games on your living room TV. It’s joined by FM/AM antenna inputs, Onkyo’s RI (Remote Interactive) remote control port and two parallel subwoofer pre-outs – these allow you to bulk up and balance the bass output in larger rooms. Speaker connections are banana plug compatible binding posts, colour-coded for your convenience.

Completing the line-up is Onkyo’s Universal port, which allows you to add one of the company’s optional DAB+ tuners or iPod/iPhone docks. The UP-DT1 DAB module can be found online for around £110 while the UP-A1 iPod dock will set you back around £50.

Neil Richardson

August 25, 2010, 1:27 pm

56 Cubic feet? Has to be a typo yes?

Ed

August 25, 2010, 1:31 pm

Yup, fixed.

Neil Richardson

August 25, 2010, 2:03 pm

Excellent. Been waiting for your review of this unit and you've told me all I wanted to hear. Off I go to justify the price to the missus.

bristol paul

August 25, 2010, 4:54 pm

This might sound like a bit of a daft question but what is the difference between this type of AV receiver and a 'standard' hi-fi amp? Is it that this can do everything that a hi-fi amp can do, plus the HD video and surround sound? In which case could a decent blueray player connected into this act as an alternative to a CD and amp combo in a hi-fi and avoid the need for two systems?

Geoff Richards

August 25, 2010, 5:42 pm

@Bristol_Paul: it's not a daft question at all. An AV receiver arguably performs three simple functions:





1) Drives the speakers (like a 'standard hi-fi amp')


2) Switches between multiple inputs / outputs


3) Performs surround-sound signal processing like Dolby TrueHD (or plain old Dolby Digital 5.1) and DTS Master Audio





In addition, some fancy models will perform video upscaling from SD sources like an old Freeview box to 1080p HD.





To answer your question, yes, all Blu-ray players (and indeed, all DVD players) will play back an audio CD. So in that regard, you would not require two separate systems.





I'm not an audio purist when it comes to listening to music, so the above solution does me just fine. However, I know that typical home cinema speakers are not "optimised" for plain music listening and "won't sound as good". Personally, I think the size, space and cost savings of one system vs two outweigh any minute quality differences (assuming your home cinema setup is decent to start with).





Of course, you might prefer to listen to music in another room, away from your TV (requiring a separate hifi, or even just an iPod dock). But if you just want to pop some Sinatra on while you do some ironing, a home cinema setup gets the job done in my book.

Kevin

August 25, 2010, 5:55 pm

HDMI 1.4 cables worry me as I have got 1.3 cables channeled in the wall and don't want to do that every time the standard changes! So, can someone explain to me if I actually need 1.4? I'm not bothered about the audio return and I understand the 3D passthru simply means you dont have to switch the tv to it's 3D option. Is there anything else that I might regret not having?





thanks,


Kevin

Orinj

August 25, 2010, 6:36 pm

@Kevin > Your HDMI 1.3 cables will handle the 3D content just fine. You don't strictly need HDMI 1.4 at all for 3D video. It'll work with HDMI 1.3 cables and AV equipment just fine, although the 3D flag may not trigger if the video pass-through isn't as clearly configured as hoped. HDMI 1.4 is a marketing shambles and mostly just adds Ethernet connectivity.

Kevin

August 25, 2010, 7:46 pm

@Orinji - thanks for the reply. Pity no-one thought to use Ethernet cables in the first place.

TechVegan

August 25, 2010, 8:39 pm

@Kevin:


Indeed, wouldn't our lives all have been cheaper and easier if they had!

RazorA

August 25, 2010, 10:03 pm

@Orinj - Good to know, I often thought what the point was of all these different standards in cables especially when they end up duplicating what another existing cable is able to do anyway.





@Ardjuna - yeah but then that's the beauty of capitalism. We're often told to buy things we don't really need. Remember the mess we have with mobile phone charges (that are only recently being addressed).

Frankf9d

August 25, 2010, 10:19 pm

@Geof & bristol_paul.





Surely the most significant difference between an amp and a receiver is the inclusion of a radio tuner, which will 'receive'. When I was a lad those amps with an FM tuner were known as 'tuner/amplifiers' but the American expression of 'receiver' took hold eventually.





I do believe a receiver is a better bet (subject, of course, to audio standards) for free software 24/7 and exposure to other musical genres.





I do appreciate you can use a Sky box (for instance) to provide radio stations through an amp, but a receiver it is not.

theDman

August 25, 2010, 11:09 pm

@RazorA Just like how I SEETHE with anger when I see headphones that have a large "iPod compatible" sticker/logo on them! AAARGH. Drives me insane.

ffrankmccaffery

August 26, 2010, 1:43 am

I'd just like to know what others think of video upscalers built into receivers? I've heard others describe them as gimmicks on all but the high end models. I myself have an Anchor Bay chipset built into my Denon 2310 and chose it primarily for that reason.

Gok

August 26, 2010, 2:18 am

Great review, TR!


Anyhow, I would like to get some answers regarding some features that are important to me:


Is this receiver network capable in any way (ethernet port,built-in wi-fi)?


Does it have USB port?


Can it play flac files through ethernet/wi-fi/USB?


Answers expected and appreciated!

GoldenGuy

August 26, 2010, 3:18 am

I've never looked at twice at AV receivers before but looking at that feature set with the 7.2 support and the elite THX certification, and the plethora of HDMIs all at the latest version, even I know this is outstanding value. Looks great in silver too.

rdsh

August 26, 2010, 9:17 am

@Gok


Page 1 of the review includes an image of the rear of the unit (click to enlarge) which shows no ethernet or USB ports. Also, the features page on the Onkyo website at http://www.eu.onkyo.com/produc... and the manual (which you can download from the Support page) make no mention of Wi-Fi.





You could however connect a PC/Mac as a workaround. The unit has a dedicated PC input socket (for video) which is output via HDMI OUT, as well as PC/Mac audio inputs.

TechVegan

August 26, 2010, 2:18 pm

@RazorA:


True dat.





@theDman:


Or like those monitors with Windows 7/Vista compatible logos - they would drive me insane if I wasn't already ;)

LetsGo

August 26, 2010, 3:23 pm

Does this receiver get hot in everday use?

Geoff Richards

August 26, 2010, 3:36 pm

@LetsGo: generally all receivers like this get "warm" with use, as there is a lot of circuitry under the hood that needs heat dissipating.





I have the Onkyo 705 and when watching TV at moderate volumes it gets merely warm (with clear air above it). However, crank up the volume and ask it to process 5.1 HD audio and it gets "hot" and the internal fan kicks in.

CountryBumpkin

August 26, 2010, 9:47 pm

I am really backward asking this question, but would an AV receiver if one purchased a speakers and a tv?

TrustedPhrontis

August 26, 2010, 11:39 pm

I have been waiting ages for Onkyo to do a 60* that also plays music fairly well, as well as doing the home cinema bit as well as they do. They now come out with one that not only plays film and music well but it at a really really good price; and I get made redundant! What a pi**er.

binishkumar

November 22, 2010, 4:56 am

hi.....i bought boston xs 5.1 speaker, am planning to buy onkyo tx-sr608...i wanna to knw the abt the combination? hope tis is a gud combination? and also i bought n exrra boston subwoofer n 2 speakers. can i b able to get 7.1 effect? but then how abt the second subwoofer? is it possible to connect 2 subwoofer in the same same room itself? if then can u tell me abt the placement of 2 subwoofer..?


plz help me replying to this thread at the earliest..!


thanks, Binish

vati

November 25, 2010, 8:11 am

How could one receive streaming internet radio with this unit, please?

speedalini

December 1, 2010, 5:37 pm

I've got an old school Humax PVR 9200T connected to my Samsung LE40C650 TV via a scart lead. How would I rig it up to this bad boy? (there's no component connection) cheers

corbius

December 23, 2010, 7:24 pm

Hi, after reading the review, I'm very excited about this product, but I'm unsure if it will suit well the JBL 4311 that I have. Also, is it possible to connect a turntable to it? I didn't see GND at the back of the amp. I would appreciate if anyone has an idea. Thanks, Corbius

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