Onkyo TX-NR609 review




  • Editors choice

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Onkyo TX-NR609
  • Onkyo TX-NR609
  • Onkyo TX-NR609
  • Onkyo TX-NR609
  • Onkyo TX-NR609


Our Score:



  • Smooth, powerful sound quality
  • Astonishing amount of features
  • Attractive new external design


  • Could be a little more refined with music
  • No multichannel analogue inputs
  • Front sockets not covered

Key Features

  • 7.2-channel AV receiver
  • 160W per channel
  • THX Select2 Plus certified
  • 4K upscaling
  • Spotify, internet radio and DLNA support
  • Manufacturer: Onkyo
  • Review Price: free/subscription

Onkyo is starting to have a bit of a monopoly on our Home Cinema Awards, scooping Best Surround Sound product two years on the trot with the TX-NR906 and TX-SR608 AV receivers. But its success is not hard to understand, given the Japanese company’s uncanny ability to pack its products full of all the latest features and deliver superb sound quality while keeping its prices competitive. Signs are that the 7.2-channel, THX Select2 Plus TX-NR609 shares the same ethos, and as ever Onkyo has thrown in one or two groundbreaking features that set the trend for others to follow.

The TX-NR609 is the revamped version of the TX-SR608 and the switch from the letter S to N indicates this midrange model is now network-enabled, making it possible to stream content from PCs and access internet radio. But the main talking point is the NR609’s Spotify support, which puts an enormous library of songs at your disposal without the need to plug in an iPod or MP3 player.

Onkyo TX-NR609

But the big changes aren’t confined to the feature list. Onkyo has also given the external design a makeover, opting for a much more understated black or silver fascia with fewer jutting angles than its predecessor. It’s a great look, appearing minimal without leaving any of the key connections or controls on the workshop floor. All of the buttons are discreetly lined up along the nooks and crannies on the fascia, which means you don’t actually notice them until you get up close and personal – apart from the whacking great volume dial that is, which is accentuated by a white light.

The display panel is large and therefore easy to read, showing you all the crucial information, while along the bottom you’ll find one of the unit’s many HDMI inputs, a headphone jack, a composite video input, a USB port (for direct digital connection of an iPod/iPhone or USB storage device) and an input for the supplied setup microphone. These aren’t covered though, making them vulnerable to toddler attacks.

Onkyo TX-NR609

The back panel offers a wealth of other connections that should keep you covered for years to come. Our eyes are naturally drawn to the row of five HDMI inputs (that’s six in total) and one output, all of which are version 1.4 and can therefore receive and pass on 3D pictures, HD audio, sound from an ARC-compatible TV and anything else you care to throw at them.

You also get two component video inputs (one output), five composite video inputs (two outputs), four digital audio inputs (two optical, two coaxial), six analogue audio inputs (one output) plus powered and line-level Zone 2 outputs. Among the more unusual sockets is Onkyo’s Universal port for adding peripherals like the UP-A1 iPod/iPhone dock or the UP-DT1 DAB radio tuner and an analogue RGB input for PCs. All of the network features can be accessed via the Ethernet port, although Onkyo has launched a wireless USB adapter, which makes life a whole lot easier. The speaker terminals are colour-coded, banana plug compatible binding posts, not a springclip to be seen.


May 6, 2011, 8:46 pm

Hmm i'm never convinced by your Hi-fi reveiws, Onkyo's you have reveiwed well in the past actually in action in a average size room have been underwealming. Mostly Due to poor power supplies meaning they reach no where near there output figures and they struggle with reasonable size speakers.

Will be interested when there are more private reveiwers to see if this is the same.


May 7, 2011, 2:24 am

You can currently get a 608 for £330 very easily, and I got one for £290 last Monday.

I'd seen that the 609 had come out, but when I compared the specs there certainly wasn't £170-worth of differences.

For the USB play, if I decide I really want that, I'll probably be better off spending the £210 I saved on a DACMagic.

The network play is interesting, but personally I think that a PC UI will be better than one built into an amp. With services like Spotify the UI is crucial.

I'm very happy with the 608 so far by the way; an absolute bargain for the price. Get 'em while you can; they're starting to get scarce.


May 7, 2011, 3:52 am

"Attractive new external design"

Sorry, I know that is totally subjective, but compared with what exactly? Their hideous old units? Perhaps (I have a 605 btw). But compared with a Denon, Pioneer or Yamaha they look truly ugly. Actually I'd go as far as to say I personally prefer the look of Onkyo's older units...

I know performance, value and features are far more important but I don't think its wrong to want something to look reasonably attractive in your AV rack as well.

Ricardo Gonzalez

August 31, 2011, 11:47 pm

It my first ONKYO and being honest I think I play bad luck but...

Yesterday in the noon FedEx left my the new Onkyo TX-NR609, I was very happy for these, but after hours for read the manual, and connect the new AV Home theater, all the family has a big surprise, The sound reproduction is very, very bad, it was frustrating as the past 6 hours after work in the installation and calibration of equipment the sound is very low quality, lack of power in the sound volume, follow all instructions in the manual I and my child repeat them several times, we got the internet to research how to solve the problem, see if the problem of calibration of equipment and apparently is not, it's just that this ONKYO plays a total lack of brilliant sound and quality. I feel frustrated and not to do, maybe I could give advice on what to do with the TX-NR609.

Currently I have a T.V. Vizio LCD 42 "120 hz and a Home Theater brand JAMO DVR-50 ( http://www.jamo.com/na-en/products/dvr-50-description/ ) model with 2 Bose front speakers and 2 rear speakers, 1 front and Sub Boofer JAMO ( http://www.amazon.com/Jamo-A340-HCS7-Theater-Speaker/dp/B001211V5E ).

The Onkyo can not do the up scaling 4k, when is connect to Sat dish for a regular sound in TV program you need to put up 50% a loud volume. well One of the must important thing because I brought the Onkyo was for Marvel Qdeo chips but really doesn't work well, The PS3 has a better upscaling than onkyo.

Good Luck!


November 7, 2011, 4:37 am

10 out 0ff 10??? are you saying it sounds better then the NADT748? Which got a 8 out off 10 I think you need a hearing test. I have not heard a good Onkyo yet and this one sounds how it looks bloody horrible

Shawn OBrien

January 13, 2014, 9:02 pm

This model is prone to issues with the HDMI board losing all sound. It happens right at 2 years so it could be a intentional fault, it seems to be very common at 2 years! The recourse is 300 quid repair or a 300$ trade in for a new one.

Edgar Rollins

January 23, 2014, 2:49 pm

Just started doing this.Just purchased a new HDMI cable hoping that was the problem.Any solution for this ?Should i use rca cables .


January 24, 2014, 4:55 pm

No. you have to get the HDMI board replaced. If you call the company (or look on line) they will authorize a free repair as they know this is their problem. Even if its out of warranty. I think they did right by me. I am still waiting for repair as it will take a month.
You can try to replace the board yourself. I am sure its doable with a little effort on your part.

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