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.
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.
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.