Onkyo has introduced a line of three new entry-level home theater receivers that include networking capabilities and a "Made for iPod/iPhone" USB interface for the first time at such low prices. Previously, these features were only available in the US on models with suggested retail prices of $899 and higher. The release includes the 7.2-channel TX-NR609, the 5.1-channel TX-NR509 and the 5.1-channel TX-SR309. The models designated "TX-NR" are network-capable and all three have front-panel USB connections.
The two network-capable receivers support streaming PC audio and Internet radio, and provide compatibility with Windows 7 and DLNA. The Internet connection provides future updates to the receiver's firmware. These networking models can also take advantage of Onkyo's free Remote App for iPod or iPhone to control the A/V receiver.
Onkyo has also introduced its UWF-1 Wireless USB Adapter that will be compatible with all Onkyo network-capable receivers with USB and introduced in 2011. It provides an IEEE 802.11b/g/n connection to access music on a home network.
This front-panel USB port also offers a direct digital connection for an iPod or iPhone, along with support for audio playback from USB mass-storage devices. All Onkyo receivers incorporate an implementation of HDMI that includes compatibility with 3D video, HDMI Thru, and an Audio Return Channel. The latter allows audio content received via an HDTV's tuner to be sent upstream via HDMI to the receiver, without the need for an extra cable from the display.
Other features shared by these models include PLL jitter-cleaning circuitry to reportedly preserve signal clarity; lossless Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding; an overlaid on-screen display for easy adjustment of settings; and a new front panel design.
The most advanced model in this group is the THX Select2 Plus-certified TX-NR609, the latest in Onkyo's "600 series" A/V receivers. When it comes to video processing, this receiver is reportedly the world's first to employ Marvell Qdeo to upscale video signals to 4K resolution.
Along with the aforementioned USB port, the TX-NR609 boasts six HDMI inputs, a Universal Port for Onkyo-branded peripheral devices, and a raft of popular digital and analog A/V jacks.
Another connectivity highlight on the TX-NR609 comes in the form of Powered Zone 2, which lets users play a different audio source in a second room equipped with stereo speakers. The TX-NR609's 7.2-channel configuration includes two subwoofer pre-outs.
Read more about Onkyo's new receivers on Page 2.
The TX-NR609 features a PC-compatible analog RGB video input--ideal for
gamers and fans of PC-based media. This 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.
Among its audio-processing highlights, the TX-NR609 supports decoding
for Audyssey DSX. This technology allows users to reconfigure the
surround-back speakers in a seven-channel set-up as either front-height
or front-wide speakers. The TX-NR609 also supports Dolby Pro Logic IIz,
which offers a similar front-height surround-sound option.
The TX-NR609 incorporates a suite of Audyssey technologies--2EQ,
Dynamic Volume, and Dynamic EQ--to simplify set-up, and a new overlaid
graphical GUI for in-session adjustments to settings. A stylish
illuminated volume control knob makes it easy to adjust the volume in
The TX-NR509, meanwhile, offers a choice to users who do not
require the 4K video upscaling feature or the expanded surround sound
of Audyssey DSX and Dolby Pro Logic IIz. It offers 4 HMDI inputs and
the same range of networking and audio processing as its higher sibling.
Rounding out this release is the TX-SR309. This 5.1-channel A/V
receiver is targeted at users who do not require the networking, Zone
2, or Audyssey equalization features, but who still seek a modern and
budget-friendly home theater centerpiece. It features three HDMI inputs
and TI Burr-Brown audio DACs, along with Onkyo's proprietary music
optimizer and gaming audio modes.
The Onkyo TX-NR609 will be available with a manufacture's suggested
retail price of $599; TX-NR509 at $399; and TX-SR309 at $299. The Onkyo
UWF-1 wireless adapter will cost $39. All of these products will be
available at retail in early April.