“Let our rigorous testing and reviews be your guidelines to A/V equipment – not marketing slogans”
Facebook Youtube Twitter instagram pinterest

Onkyo TX-SR608 Receiver Preview

Onkyo TX-SR608 Receiver

Onkyo TX-SR608 Receiver


  • Product Name: TX-SR608
  • Manufacturer: Onkyo
  • Review Date: March 30, 2010 03:00
  • MSRP: $599
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool
  • Six 1080p capable HDMI inputs (V1.4 repeater) including 1 Front
  • THX Select2 Plus Certification
  • HDMI 1080p video upconversion by Faroudja DCDi cinema
  • WRAT technology and discrete amp construction for cleaner sound
  • TrueHD/DTS-HD decoding to support the latest Blu-ray technology
  • PC Input
  • Optional iPod Dock / HDradio module via U.Port
  • 4 DSP Gaming Modes: Rock, Sports, Action, and Role Playing
  • Audyssey 2EQ w/ Dynamic EQ & Dynamic Volume

tx-sr608_frontWell, if you haven't noticed the flood gates have opened. Manufacturers are falling all over themselves to get on the 3D bandwagon. TVs, Blu-ray players, and discs have all hit the market touting their 3D. No matter that there is very little true 3D content out there and that consumer actual use of 3D in the home is completely untested. But hey, that's not going to slow them down because right now people want products with 3D on the box even if they can't use it yet.

Receiver manufacturers are actually in a very good spot right now. The HDMI group has just announced that only their HDMI 1.4 spec will be enabled to pass 3D info. So receiver manufacturers have to do very little other than include HDMI 1.4 ports on their products to slap a big fat 3D label on the side of their boxes. We've seen Pioneer do this with their entire line of Pioneer-branded receivers and Onkyo is doing the same. While the Onkyo announcement actually came about a week after the Pioneer one, their receivers will both ship in April.

Onkyo's new line is the '08 models. Coming in at $599, the Onkyo TX-SR608 is the first that we've gotten much information on. The entire line, according to Onkyo, will include native decoding of all the current audio formats including Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD, 192-kHz/24-bit Burr-Brown PCM1690 DACs, on-screen overlaid GUI, and HDMI Thru.

HDMI Thru is a new feature for Onkyo receivers which allows content to pass through the receiver to the display even when the receiver is "off" (in standby mode). Many an Audioholic will shake their heads in confusion at this "feature" but take our word for it - there are those that occasionally don't want to use their surround speakers and sub. We know, baffling. We're not sure where this people live but we're thinking in the 1970's.

Like many of the newer Onkyo receivers, the TX-SR608 has two subwoofer outputs for 7.2 channels. The receiver is also THX-Select2 Plus certified and sports new 100 watt three-stage inverted Darlington output topology amps. Since Dolby already has a large presence, many manufacturers are supporting their ProLogic IIz with height channels. The TX-SR608 is no different through it adds Audyssey DSX support (DSX offers not only height but width channels). Video upconversion to 1080p is supported via HDMI using Faroudja DCDi Cinema. 


Looking at the back of the TX-SR608 you'll notice a few things. First, they've opted for the spring-type binding posts for the assignable speaker outputs (if you aren't going to use the surround back channels). There are five 3D ready HDMI 1.4 inputs on the back and one on the front. There is a PC Input (15 pin D-sub) for direct connection to your HTPC/laptop. Two component video inputs and one output is available as are a slew of composite video/analogue audio inputs. There are two each optical/coaxial digital audio inputs and a Sirius radio port. The Universal port has a few uses - all of which require you to make an additional purchase. Onkyo currently offers an iPod dock and an HD Radio receiver for the Universal port. We have no information of additional add-ons at this time. 

In order to use Audyssey DSX, a few more Audyssey features have to be installed. Included in the TX-SR608 is the Audyssey 2EQ auto-setup and room correction system. Also included is Audyssey Dynamic EQ and Dynamic Volume. Dynamic EQ is designed to keep the frequency response of your speaker as flat as possible across volume levels. Dynamic Volume is designed to keep your volume constant across time. Dynamic EQ is good for getting an accurate listening experience even at low volumes while Dynamic Volume is good for keeping those loud commercials or explosive scenes from waking up the family.


Onkyo has long been known as a feature leader in the receiver department. They certainly are looking to maintain that reputation with the TX-SR608. While the feature-set is a bit different from other new offerings at the same price point, it definitely seems to us that the TX-SR608 will be very competitive. The question is what features are most important to you? If you are looking for iPhone/iPod integration, you'll need an add-on for the Onkyo. But if you are looking for all the latest audio features including Burr-Brown DACs, Dolby ProLogic IIz, many of the latest Audyssey features including DSX, and dual subwoofer outputs plus 1080p video upconversion and THX Select2 Plus certification, the Onkyo has what you need.

For more information, please visit www.us.onkyo.com or check out testfreaks.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:
author portrait

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.

View full profile