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Onkyo Announces Four New AV Receivers

David Gilbert


Onkyo Announces Four New AV Receivers

Leading home cinema manufacturers, Onkyo, has announced the release of four new HD-capable home cinema receivers designed to offer “class-leading performance and features.”


The top-of-the-line model is the 7.2-channel TX-NR609 which will set you back £500. The TX-NR609 is the follow-up to the excellent TX-SR608 and offers a number of innovations to try and keep it top of the pile. Firstly it is the first home cinema receiver to employ Marvell Qdeo video processing technology to upscale standard video signals to state-of-the-art 4K (3840 x 2160) resolution to a compatible display.

On the neworking side of things, the THX Select2 Plus-certified TX-NR609 can access a range of internet radio channels including Napster and Last.fm. as well as bringing compatibility with Windows 7 and DLNA. Onkyo is also introducing the UWF-1 Wireless USB Adapter (price tbc) which is compatible with all Onkyo network-capable receivers with USB and allows a wireless connection to access music on a home network. All four models feature a front-panel USB port that offers a direct digital connection for PMP/phone, along with support for audio playback from USB mass-storage devices.

TX-NR609 Rear

The TX-NR609 boasts six HDMI inputs (one on the front) and a Universal Port for Onkyo-branded peripheral devices. Powered Zone 2 is another innovation, which lets users play a different audio source in a second room equipped with stereo speakers. The TX-NR609’s 7.2-channel configuration additionally includes two subwoofer pre-outs, enabling users to supply larger rooms with balanced, more powerful low frequencies. The provision of an analogue RGB video input allows users to send the video signal from a notebook or desktop PC directly to the receiver, which then sends it via HDMI to a compatible display.


The next model in the 2011 range, is the 7.1 channel TX-NR579 (£450) which includes most of the same features as the TX-NR609, but forgoes THX Select2 Plus certification, PC video connectivity, and the second subwoofer pre-out. It also has four HDMI inputs, rather than six.


The 5.1 channel TX-NR509 (£350), meanwhile, does not offer the 4K video up-scaling feature or the expanded surround sound options of Audyssey DSX and Dolby Pro Logic IIz. Rounding off the 2011 range is the 5.1 channel TX-SR309 (£250) which is targeted at users who do not require the networking, Zone 2, or Audyssey equalization features. It features three HDMI inputs and high-quality TI Burr-Brown audio DACs, along with Onkyo’s proprietary advanced music optimizer and gaming audio modes.


The NR609 and NR579 will both be available at the end of March, the NR509 will be available at the beginning of March and the SR309 will be available at the end of this month and all models are available in silver and black.

Neil Richardson

February 10, 2011, 9:12 pm

Gutted. Bought the 608 at Christmas and really would have liked the network connectivity the 609 will add.

Chris Beach

February 10, 2011, 10:47 pm

Do they have fully assignable inputs yet? I really don't see the need for the input source buttons to have names and restrictions...I just want x number of input presets that I can assign any of the video or audio inputs too...why should aux be limited to the front optical??? why is there still a tape or phono on my receiver. My current Onkyo is pretty good...at least it allows renaming so the display shows 360, PopCorn or whatever


February 10, 2011, 11:31 pm

@cjb110 > You'll have to check the user manuals for each model regarding fully assignable inputs. I have an older TX-SR876 and although it still has the standard labels for all the inputs you can completely change their name and actual analogue or digital inputs. I'd expect the same from these models.

Source components such as Phono and Tape are simply there to preserve what was available thirty or forty years ago when the first RCA phono sockets became standard analogue connections. Though most are redundant now the names are just different. I think removing composite video connections is long overdue.


February 11, 2011, 3:56 am

I assume the HDMI ports don't support the fast ethernet feature of HDMI 1.4 i.e. so the AV receiver acts as a ethernet switch for the devices {TV/Blu-ray etc} connected to it over HDMI {rather than each device having it's own ethernet connection}. Not many devices support this - but have to start somewhere...

Robert Elliot

February 11, 2011, 1:53 pm

I find it a bit frustrating that none of these A/V Receivers seem to include bluetooth A2DP as standard. Some of them you can buy an external A2DP receiver at inordinate expense, none of them have an A2DP transmitter.

I know that A2DP is relatively poor audio quality, but an A/V receiver is more than an amp - it's the hub of a home cinema system, directing audio and visual outputs and inputs to the right places. I'd like to be able to use A2DP headphones and know that whatever I'm using as an input (PS3, XBox, Sky HD, etc, etc....) I can hear the output through my headphones because the A/V receiver is sending it there. And I'd like to be able to send music to it from my phone or laptop or whatever A2DP transmitter I hapen to have some music on.

Tariq Pugh

February 11, 2011, 4:24 pm

Oooh they are PRITTEH! Like, actually pretty, not just for an Onkyo (which have previously been dog ugly). The new design ethic is up there with Pioneer or Denon.

@Robert - I absolutely concur on A2DP. Onkyo really needs to step up the AVR game and provide full Bluetooth compatibility. Particularly, the AptX standard solves the sound quality problem, and is starting to gain traction in the marketplace. If it's good enough for Sennheiser (BT360 headphones got 5* in What Hi-Fi) it's surely good enough for Onkyo?

Also, here's really hoping that the inevitable NR-709 with have dual-HDMI outputs. Currently, unless you go for a Yamaha (which have dual-HDMI receivers going for £400 street, but missing lots of other features), you have to pay £800+ street.

If the 709 can solve the above problems when it's released, and keep to it's price point, I'll be first in the pre-order queue!

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