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Onkyo TX-NR609 review: Onkyo TX-NR609

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Classic Onkyo excitement

Onkyo AVRs are known for having an exciting, visceral sound, and this model is no exception. It cuts with precision and detail, but sometimes betrays a slightly rough edge. Image placement is terrific, with aural effects rippling around the room. Surround-sound warfare in the Band of Brothers Blu-ray, seems terrifyingly real. We ran the AVR in a 7.1-channel configuration, without front side or height channels.

Of course, the TX-NR609 also has a musical side, best heard when fed Super Audio CDs in Direct Stream Digital mode. The clarity and bounce is infectious. Its stereo performance is a delight, but multi-channel music also sings.

The TX-NR609 certainly goes loud, but at high volume, with all channels driven, that rough edge comes to the fore. This is not a model that should be run hard.

Music streaming

Apple AirPlay may be the flavour of the month, but you'll not find it here. However iPod users can connect their device via USB -- there are extended music and video modes.

You can also search for music files across a network (there's no support for video or JPEG content). Support includes MP3, WMA, AAC, FLAC, OGG and WAV. Results can vary. Streaming from assorted NAS devices, the AV receiver failed to pick up artist meta-data, but, when directed at a PC running Windows Media Player 11, it was there to be seen. There was no album art support for albums across our network.

Like previous Onkyo receivers, the TX-NR609 runs hot. Onkyo has built in a fan to combat this, but the cabinet still gets pretty toasty.


Overall, the Onkyo TX-NR609 is a solid AV receiver. It sounds great when not stressed too hard, and positively creaks under the weight of features. For sheer functionality and value for money, the TX-NR609 takes some beating.

Edited by Jennifer Whitehead

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