After yesterday's somewhat cryptic announcement of a new stereo amplifier and CD deck, Onkyo today returned to more familiar territory in announcing its newly updated range of multi-channel home theatre receivers that are due to be available next month. All the new models are housed within a newly designed case that features a larger volume wheel, wider display and more discreetly arranged buttons. As ever all will be available in silver or black.
Starting at the bottom of the range is the TX-SR307 (above). To retail at £250 or below, this 5.1 channel receiver boasts three 1.3 spec HDMI inputs and one output, adding support for Audessy 2EQ Room Acoustic Correction, Audyssey Dynamic Volume (volume levelling) Audyssey Dynamic EQ Loudness Correction technologies. This model also introduces a new set of gamer centric audio modes for RPGs, Action games, Music games and Sports games - these modes are present on all models
Above this model is the 5.1 channel TX-SR507, which adds support for Dolby True HD and DTS HD surround sound. This adds one extra HDMI input, bringing the total complement to four inputs and one output, as well as Onkyo's new 'Universal Port' connection. This accessory connection enables the connection of one of two accessories also to be released this year, an iPod dock and a DAB+ tuner. This model, like the others, will be available from next month at £350 or less.
Next in line is the £400 TX-SR577. A 7.1 channel receiver, this has the same basic input configuration as the SR507 and has all the features found in the previous two models, but also adds Dolby Pro Logic IIz support. This adds the option for "front height" speakers (see diagram above), creating more verticality in the soundscape that Onkyo and Dolby reckon is perfect for gamers. On a 7.1 channel receiver, such as this, it gives you the option to choose between two rear speakers, as is traditional, or two front height speakers. In 9.1/9.2 channel AVRs you could have both.
Finally, there's the TX-SR607 (above). This £500 AVR delivers all of the above features, but adds 7.2 channel support, five HDMI inputs, one HMDI output and one further HDMI input on the front. It also brings with it a new pre-programmable OSD to aid configuration.