Excerpt: With gas approaching $5 a gallon in some parts of the country, most consumers are cutting back on discretionary spending in order to make ends meet. If you have to drive an SUV (like I do), then a trip to the local gas station could set you back $100 to fill the tank. In times like these, your quest to find the greatest bang for your buck might even extend all the way to your equipment rack.
Excerpt: very year, Onkyo’s home cinema hubs top the bestseller lists, appealing to punters looking for an amp that delivers maximum bang for their buck. And this year, the company clearly intends to retain its position at the top. The 7.2-channel TX-NR609 is the most advanced model in Onkyo’s first wave of 2011 receivers, offering full network capability and a couple of exciting world firsts. Chief among these is its ability to stream music directly from Spotify.
Excerpt: On the whole, Onkyo receivers and amplifiers are excellent, especially for the price. Take last year’s TX-NR808 for example, a superb specimen of sonic sorcery – it’s 3D ready, got more bells and whistles than a cat and dog sanctuary, and delivers a punch like a boxing glove strapped to the front of a Land Rover Defender. So, why the need to upgrade, for you or Onkyo itself? Why do we even need a "9" designated refresh?
Pros: Hearty, tangible sound control, Spotify, Napster and Internet radio access, compatible with every format under the Sun
Cons: Audyssey Dynamic Volume ain’t all that, sister
Excerpt: Onkyo has a formidable track record in the field of home cinema amplifiers, and the TX-NR609 got off to a flying start back in our June 2011 issue. Back then, we earmarked this amp as an ‘authentic contender’ for class-leading status. Our opinion hasn’t changed. This is still one heck of an amp for the money – a real show-stopper. Fed the DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows , the Onkyo serves up surround sound of the highest order.
Pros: Excellent build, breathtaking sound quality, intuitive menus, fine upscaling, integrated Spotify service
Summary: The features-to-pricing ratio on the TX-NR609 could easily lead you to believe that Onkyo would had to have had cut corners somewhere on this receiver, but that’s plainly not the case. From the rich, detailed sound of the 7 channel amp to the painless mic set-up and slick Spotify interface, it’s a real winner. You’ll be hard pressed to find a better receiver in the sub-£500 price bracket than this one.