Onkyo TX-SR3100 5.2CH 8K Atmos Receiver For $400!?!
- Product Name: TX-SR3100 5.2 channel A/V receiver
- Manufacturer: Onkyo
- Review Date: November 24, 2023 00:00
- MSRP: $399
- First Impression: Gotta Have It!
Onkyo - Not so Atmos AVR
I’ll be honest, I got a lot of heat for my last Onkyo AV receiver article, the TX-SR383. The SR383 was a discrete high current 7.2 channel receiver for $400 that provided a choice of native 7.2-channel soundtrack reproduction or a 5.2-channel surround-sound layout with powered audio distribution to a pair of stereo speakers in Zone 2. It had some amazing audio and video features and really good room correction software for a mere $400. The problem was that Onkyo advertised the receiver as delivering 155 W/ch and insinuated that the receiver had the codecs for height channels. Neither was correct and in true Audioholics fashion, we called them out on it.
Now, Onkyo has released the all-new TX-SR3100 5.2 channel AVR for $400. The receiver is advertised at 80 W/ch (into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.08% THD, with 2 channels driven) which IS the correct nomenclature for power ratings. It also comes with the codec for both DTS:X and Dolby Atmos for a 3.1.2 system. It’s a bit misleading to call it an Atmos receiver when it can’t support at least a 5.1.2 speaker layout though. In most instances, we would recommend a standard 5.1 speaker configuration for this AV receiver and NOT bypass the surrounds for height channels.But if you don't have the ability to run rear surrounds and want a more immersive setup with Atmos or DTS:X decoding than this would be a way to do it on a budget.
Dolby Atmos and DTS:X formats give engineers the ability to map sound in three-dimensional space, newly updated sound quality delivers ONKYO's dynamic sound and content information in fine detail.
-- Akihisa Watanabe, Project Leader at Onkyo
20 years ago (about the time I started with Audioholics) I would have never guessed how entwined receivers would become between audio and video. They aren’t called AVRs for nothing, and the new receiver from Onkyo comes with the latest video technologies like HDMI 2.1a with 8K.
Onkyo TX-SR-3100 dual sub outs are parallel and do NOT have independent delay or level control
With HDMI 2.1a support, the Onkyo TX-SR3100 provides a wide range of video resolutions and refresh rates, including 8K60 and 4K120, along with support for Dynamic HDR formats, ALLM, VRR, QFT and SBTM(Source-Based Tone Mapping).
The combination of a 60Hz refresh rate ensures smooth and sharp viewing of high-speed action, while HDMI 2.1a with 8K readiness guarantees that your system is equipped for the clearest and most pristine picture quality available, both now and in the future.
The SR3100 also comes with video features such as Dolby Vision and HDR10+ which enhances the quality of your video content, helping to deliver crisp, clear visuals and more dynamic colors.
As for room calibration, the Onkyo SR1300 comes with AccuEQ Room Calibration. It does a good job of calibrating your setup, it’s no DIRAC or even Audyssey, but the innovative technology helps ensure that your receiver and speakers are calibrated to the room they're in by compensating for differences in speaker size and distance.
I personally haven’t heard Onkyo’s new Vocal Enhancer technology yet, but I’m intrigued to see what it can do. There’s nothing worse than having a killer new system and then you play your first movie and can’t understand the dialogue. The new feature from Onkyo emphasizes dialogue and vocals by adding the center element to your front left and front right speakers. According to Onkyo, this feature ensures that you “catch every word, even during action-packed scenes with explosions or quiet moments in intense dramas, regardless of the volume setting.”
Although the SR3100 comes with Dolby Atmos, it also comes with Dolby Atmos Height Virtualizer. This technology is designed to create a virtual surround and height effect from traditional speaker layouts which theoretically eliminates the need for additional surround or height speakers.
What we think…
You can find some decent receivers like Denon’s AVR-S570BT for under $400, but to find one with Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and all the newest video technologies that the SR3100 packs in will be pretty tough.
Onkyo says that the TX-SR3100 is “the ultimate home entertainment companion, offering a premium, immersive experience that will redefine your enjoyment of movies, music, and games.”
If you’re looking to start your Audioholics journey into immersive audio in a small to mid-sized room I would be hard-pressed to find a better receiver for the money. The Onkyo TX-SR3100 would be best suited for a small family room or master bedroom system where the goal is to add 5.1 surround to greatly improve the sound quality over the internal TV speakers or cheap mediocre soundbar. We recommend pairing this AVR with 8-ohm nominal loudspeakers as it is NOT best suited for 4-ohm rated tower speakers.
The TX-SR3100 is available to order now for $399 at authorized retailers and www.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.