If there's one company in the world that could afford to take some time off as reward for a job well done it's Onkyo. It's worked tirelessly to provide home-cinema enthusiasts with high quality AV receivers over the last few years and we think it's done a bang-up job. But there's no such laurel-resting for the company, which has announced a whole new range of receivers for 2010. Ranging from £250 to ten times that much, everyone should be able to find something to cheer up their TV audio.
Chivvying up TV sound is something we're passionate about, because the speakers that come with most televisions are nothing short of atrocious. If you want a better quality of raaah from EastEnders, take a look at the company's follow-on from its HTX-22HD, the similarly named HTX-22HDX, which improves its styling, and adds HDMI 1.4a support for 3D equipment.
In the mid-range, there's the TX-SR608, which we've already had our hands on, and are putting through its paces for a full review as we speak. We love the TX-NR607 -- it's currently powering the sound on our reference testing rig, coupled with a Pioneer Kuro and Klipsch 5.1 reference speakers. The 608 adds enough delightful features to make it worthy of your consideration, especially at its bargain price of £450.
For the high-end, discerning listener, the company offers the TX-NR5008, which costs £2,400, and the £1,700 TX-NR3008. These receivers are the flagship models, and promise some of the most impressive sound you can lay your hands on for the money. While there's no hiding that these are very expensive pieces of kit, we're believers in the adage that your sound setup should have as much money splashed on it as the visual side.
Both the 5008 and 3008 can power 9.2 channels in your lounge, with two subwoofers and extra effects channels for height using Pro Logic IIz. Alternatively, you can run 5.1 in your main listening room, and drive separate stereo sound out to a second or third zone. HDMI 1.4's audio return channel is supported too, so if you have a Freeview HD TV you can pass surround sound back to the receiver to handle. Both machines boast eight HDMI inputs and two HDMI outputs, which should be more than enough for most people.
All of Onkyo's AV receivers now include support for HDMI 1.4a, which means you can be sure that all 3D content will be passed to your TV without damaging the 3D information -- and crucially, the signal that tells the TV the video is 3D so it displays it properly. The receivers also feature Onkyo's Universal Port, which can accept add-on accessories such as the £60 UP-A1 iPhone and iPod dock or the UP-DT1 DAB+ tuner, which costs £130.