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Onkyo TX-NR709 7.2 Channel Networked THX Receiver Preview

Onkyo TX-NR709

Onkyo TX-NR709


  • Product Name: TX-NR709
  • Manufacturer: Onkyo
  • Review Date: April 18, 2011 01:55
  • MSRP: $899
  • First Impression: Gotta Have It!
  • HDMI Support for 3D Video and Audio Return Channel
  • Marvell Qdeo Video Chip for 4K Upscaling and Processing
  • Network Capability Delivers Internet Radio and Network Streaming
  • THX Select2 Plus Certified
  • Direct Digital Connection of iPod/iPhone via Front-Panel USB Port
  • Audyssey MultEQ XT Advanced Room-correction and Speaker Calibration
  • Audyssey DSX and Dolby Pro Logic IIz Add New Dimensions to Surround Sound

If you ever needed proof that the receiver market is a cutthroat business that only the manufacturers with the deepest pockets and best engineers can survive in, here it is. The Onkyo TX-NR709 replaces the Onkyo TX-NR708 that we talked about not nine months ago. That's right, back in July we were touting the virtues of the NR708 and here we are doing it again. Plus, the price points haven't changed. So, new receiver, more features and same price point with a nine month turnaround? Yeah, that takes a bit of cash.

Well, Onkyo has it because the TX-NR709 is here and scheduled to ship this month. The 709 is a 7.2 channel networked receiver which supports 3D and Audio Return Channel through its eight (one front mounted) HDMI 1.4a inputs and dual outputs. There are five composite, four S-video (why?), and two component video inputs and Marvell Qdeo upconversion from analogue to HDMI. the Marvell chipset is also boasting conversion to 4K resolution which is akin to saying that it can do 1,000,080p. It might be you don't have a display that can support it so you'll never know. Honestly, it's a bogus spec that, while technically supported by the chip, we doubt could even be realized except for pass-through of a source at that resolution.

The Onkyo TX-NR709 is THX Select2+ certified which means it has been tested to fit medium sized rooms. The amps are rated 110 watts per channel at the traditional measurement of 8 ohms, 20 Hz-20 kHz, 0.08% THD, and 2 channels driven. The discrete amps use Onkyo's WRAT amplifier technology and the front channels can be bi-amped using the back channels. The receiver is 17 1/8" x 6 7/8" x 14 15/16" and weighs just under 27 pounds. It sports a solid aluminum front plate and a ton of options on the back.


There are a few things we like to see in a receiver these days and the Onkyo TX-NR709 has almost all of them. There are 7.2 channel outputs for adding amps later. The speaker terminals are all in a line at the bottom which makes it much easier to use a bare-wire connection. There are extra speaker terminals (four extra pairs) so that you can have more than one type of speaker connected at the same time making switching configurations an issue of settings and not manually changing wires. There are 7.1 channel inputs for integrating legacy gear. There is even a phono input for you extreme old-schoolers that just can't let that vinyl go. There are enough inputs that you could probably connect all the gear you own plus most of your neighbor's gear (unless you live next to us that is) as well. There is a front panel HDMI input as well a a front-panel USB port for digital link-up of iPods/iPhones. 

it wouldn't be much of a networked receiver without an Ethernet port and the TX-NR709 has that covered. It is Windows 7 and DLNA compatible, it can stream content from your networked devices as well as Internet radio, Last.fm, Pandora, Rhapsody, Napster, SiriusXM Internet Radio, Slacker, Mediafly, and vTuner. If you absolutely can't get a wired connection to your home theater, the TX-NR709 is compatible with Onkyo's new (optional) UWF-1 Wireless USB Adapter which will provide a wireless connection. 

If DSP and extra speakers are your thing, the Onkyo TX-NR709 has you covered. Audyssey MultEQ XT room correction and automatic setup solution is onboard as are their Dynamic EQ/Dynamic Volume solutions. If you are interested in adding speakers to the front of your room, you can choose between Dolby's ProLogic IIz height channels or Audyssey's DSX with its width or height channels. Of course, if you're just looking for a second zone, you can either use the dedicated pre-outs or the internal amps. Since you can connect so many speakers to the NR709, you can actually run a 7.2 system most of the time and just reassign the back channels to Zone 2 when you have the need. Of course, you can access all this from the GUI overlaid over HDMI whenever you want.


We're shocked at how much Onkyo is giving you in the sub $900 TX-NR709. We expect 3D and many of the features but not all of them. We can honestly only count less than a handful features that aren't included in this receiver. 3D, ARC, DSX PLIIz, MultEQ XT, Marvell Qdeo, the alphabet soup goes on. Add to that an i-App for control, integral iPod/iPhone support via a front mounted USB, eight HDMI inputs and dual outputs, dual subwoofer outputs, 7.1 channel inputs and 7.2 channel pre-outs plus Zone 2 line outputs, 11 pairs of speaker connections... there is just too much to mention. For this price point, the TX-NR709 looks to be the receiver to beat.

For more information, please visit www.us.onkyo.com.

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

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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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