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Onkyo TX-NR515 - Performance and Verdict

By Danny Phillips


  • Recommended by TR
Onkyo TX-NR515


Our Score


User Score

Review Price £499.99


Although there isn’t a major step-up in quality from the TX-NR609, the TX-NR515’s performance with blockbuster Blu-rays is fantastic. What makes it so special is its ability to deliver absolutely punishing levels of power and bottom-end oomph while making everything else sound crisp and composed.

Onkyo TX-NR515

It’s this combination of grace and grunt that makes it such an irresistible proposition. It gets the pulse racing when required, but then holds your attention throughout with its meticulous detail and texture.

We tried out Super 8’s pivotal train crash scene and the Onkyo makes it a true spectacle, effortlessly conveying the excitement and drama of the scene with fiery effects, smooth, speedy steering and gut wrenching bass. There’s also a great deal of detail poking its way through, from the top-end twang of metal on metal to the crackle of fire in the aftermath.

Its sense of scale is immense, creating a soundstage that’s high, wide and spacious (even without the vertical expansion of Dolby Pro Logic IIz), yet the effects within it are accurately placed and dialogue is pinned firmly to the centre channel.

Onkyo TX-NR515

It blasts out crashes and explosions that make you cower in fear with their sheer potency without descending into a wild, harsh mess. It’s not coloured, thin or boxy – just a slick, sophisticated and powerful performer that has the talent to breathe new life into your favourite movies.

It’s also a dab hand with music, no matter what you throw at it and what you use to throw it. FLAC files from a USB stick sound pristine, regular MP3s are never less than enjoyable, and provided the broadcast is up to scratch internet radio sounds great. This sort of quality across the board makes the TX-NR515 a wonderful audio epicentre, no matter what you’re into.


Despite its similarities to last year’s models, we can’t recommend the TX-NR515 highly enough. It’s packed with features, chief among which are a healthy range of network streaming services, backed up by fantastic sound quality, decent music format support and useful on-board audio processing.

The spec is terrific for the money, and although stuff like MHL and 4K2K upscaling aren’t exactly essential they’re a nice bonus. The operating system could use a little work, as it can be a little tricky to find music and navigate round certain areas.

But when it comes to features and core audio performance the TX-NR515 is already the AV receiver to beat in 2012.

Scores In Detail

Sound Quality

Our Score


User Score

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August 15, 2012, 5:34 pm

I looked long and hard at this Amplifier and on paper it is very very good indeed, the features for the money are extremely impressive. However at the last moment, just before pressing the "buy" button I spotted the flaw.

There's no airplay. And for me on a new AV Amp that's going to last a few years that was a killer.

Instead I've purchased the Yamaha V773. slightly more expensive, but it had everything I needed and also a superb iPad / iPhone app.


August 22, 2012, 8:13 pm

I agree with the comment above. The lack of Airrplay is a real loss.
I presume the licensing is too expensive, but this will put a lot of customers off, myself included.


November 27, 2012, 3:27 am

Those two people up their aren't too smart. The Onkyo NR-515 can be had for $300. That guy's Yamaha V773 costs over $700. So for that extra $400 dollars, he got... AirPlay. Everyone should understand that receivers shouldn't have AirPlay. They have clunky interfaces and hard to navigate menus. For only $100, they could have purchased an Apple TV which offers not only Audio AirPlay, but Video Airplay, all in a slick interface.

Inwall AV

December 17, 2012, 7:23 pm

Lack of AirPlay is relevant but consider the cost differences of moving up and you might find a deal by just adding AirPlay via one of the Apple Airport Express blocks. This is how I used the Express:



May 12, 2013, 8:10 pm

The Onkyo Remote for apple or android
is quite good for adjusting some of the settings on the amp and has
an extra feature that allows you to stream any MP3's on your phone (mine's a note2) to
the 515 over your home network (DLNA). I found this to be a nice surprise and it
worked quite well.


February 24, 2014, 8:02 am

Can you explain how to set it up

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