Onkyo has teamed up with Spotify to let you stream music through its new AV receiver. As such, it's a pretty safe bet that Spotify will be integrated into all of Onkyo's new lumps of audio greatness before too long.
You'll need a premium Spotify account to access the service via the TX-NR609, which has just gone on sale, costing around £500. That's no surprise -- you also need a £10-per-month premium account to use Spotify on your mobile phone.
In addition to Spotify access, the TX-NR609 offers DLNA support, so you can stream music from your computer. You can also access thousands of Internet radio stations via vTuner, and Napster and Last.fm are supported too. Basically, there's loads of ways to feed the receiver with your tunes and draw attention to how rubbish your taste in music is.
You may be wondering whether an AV receiver can deliver music at the same quality as a good stereo system. It probably can't. But massive advances have recently been made by the likes of Dolby and DTS when it comes to handling music. AV receivers often now have special modes, designed by Onkyo, Dolby and DTS, that help them produce much improved sound.
We've been very impressed by the quality of Onkyo's 'all channel stereo' and Dolby's Pro Logic II music modes. Both steer music to all your speakers, making CDs sound like they were mastered in Dolby Digital to start with.
The TX-NR609 has plenty of other tricks up its sleeve too. It's THX Select2 Plus certified, so it can apparently fill a medium-sized room with sound that's true to the original mix at any volume level. It also has six HDMI inputs and can cope with both Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. Finally, the receiver has a new user interface that's a massive leap forward in terms of styling and ease of use.
It's almost certain that no-one will buy the TX-NR609 just to access Spotify. But, for those intending to invest in their home-cinema kit, Spotify access is likely to feature in their list of 'pros', just below 'CNET UK says I should get one'.