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Onkyo TX-NR609 THX Select2 Plus 7.2 Network Receiver Preview

Onkyo TX-NR609

Onkyo TX-NR609


  • Product Name: TX-NR609
  • Manufacturer: Onkyo
  • Review Date: February 14, 2011 01:00
  • MSRP: $599
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool
  • 7.2 Channels
  • THX Select2 Plus Certified
  • Windows 7 and DNLA Compatible
  • 6 HDMI 1.4 inputs (3D, ARC, HDMI pass thru) / 1 Output
  • Front HDMI and USB inputs
  • Powered Zone 2
  • Audyssey 2EQ Room Correction
  • Audyssey DSX/Dynamic Volume/Dynamic EQ
  • Dolby ProLogic IIz
  • Marvell Qdeo upconversion to a 4k resolutions
  • PLL jitter-cleaning circuitry
  • Lossless Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding
  • Overlaid on-screen display

Buzzwords. You got to love them. Suddenly people that didn't know anything about a product suddenly sounds like an expert. You tell a friend you got a new receiver and he asks, "Yeah, but can it do 3D?" Um... no. Because receivers don't "do" 3D. They pass 3D like a gall stone but they don't "do" it. Then they look at you like you're stupid and walk away convinced that they fact that it has a huge 3D on the side of the box means that it does, if fact, do 3D. 


Well, one of those buzzwords that has been around for a while but now is starting to gain some understanding is "Networking." Onkyo has long been known to shoehorn everything they can into their receivers to the accolades of their fans. No they are looking to bring networking to the masses with entry level receivers starting at $399. The two new "NR receivers are the TX-NR609 ($599) and TX-NR509 ($399). We'll be focusing more on the fuller-featured NR-609.


The Onkyo TX-NR609 features 7.2 channels with 5-way binding posts for the five of those and spring-type for the surround back channels. There are six HDMI (one on the front), 2 component video, one PC (RGB which will be converted to HDMI by the receiver), and four composite video inputs and one output for each. The HDMI ports are version 1.4 and support 3D video, HDMI Thru (in standby), and an Audio Return Channel. The TX-NR609 sports two each digital optical and coaxial audio inputs and six analogue audio inputs. Zone 2 audio is supported by pre-outs (as are the dual subwoofer outputs) or powered through the surround back channels but there are no other analogue inputs or outputs for integrating legacy gear or external amplification. What there is, however, is a rear Ethernet port and a front USB. The USB port offers a direct digital connection for an iPod or iPhone, along with support for audio playback from USB mass-storage devices. In the case of the TX-NR609 the USB port even support album from your iPod/iPhone.

The TX-NR609 supports streaming over a wired connection and is compatible with Windows 7 and DNLA. When connected to the network, you can much more simply update the firmware of the receiver (something that manufacturers are moving more and more toward) and use Onkyo's free Remote App for iPod/iPhone to control the receiver.

On the technical side, the Onkyo TX-NR609 has Marvell Qdeo upconversion (same as in the new Oppo BDP-93 BD Player) and upscaling all the way up to a 4k resolutions - something that no current home displays can do. It has PLL jitter-cleaning circuitry to preserve signal clarity, lossless Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding, an overlaid on-screen display for easy adjustment of settings, and Dolby ProLogic IIz (front height) and Audyssey DSX (front height/width) support. Audyssey 2EQ is on board for room correction as is Dynamic EQ and Dynamic Volume. 

The Onkyo TX-NR509 has most of the NR609's features except it lacks the advanced upconversion, two of the HDMI inputs, Audyssey DSX/Dolby ProLogic IIZ, and two channels of amplification (probably excluding a powered Zone 2). 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.


Seeing networking as low as $399 is pretty impressive. Seeing the feature set of the $599 Onkyo TX-NR609 is even more so. While a trained audioholic will easily spot the corners they cut, they'll also just as quickly realize that they were the best ones to cut. We wished they could have gotten one of the more advanced versions of the Audyssey room correction in there but that's about it. We love the Mavell Qdeo upconversion, the powered Zone 2, the six HDMI inputs, the front mounted USB that word with iPod/iPhone, and the overlaid on-screen display. The PC input and 4k upconversion will speak to the techie, the room correction and Audyssey Dynamic EQ/Volume and overlaid OSD will speak to the neophytes, and the 3D, 7.2 Channel, and price will speak to those that love buzzwords and deals. If you are planning on buying a receiver, either for yourself or your family, and know that once it is installed it won't be touched until it is replaced, this is a fantastic option.

For more information, please visit www.onkyousa.com.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
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As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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