"Onkyo TX - NR609 User Review"4.5 starson by S1Jefferson
Pros: Sound quality was excellent,
Superb Video up-conversion,
Menus are very easy to navigate,
Remote is very easy to use,
6x HDMI inputs, one in front, one output,
DLNA, THX certification,
Ability to upgrade firmware via internet easily.
Cons: No built-in HD Radio,
No PC control,
Summary: I purchased this receiver after about a month of research on internet forums and in local stores. I've owned the receiver for a week now and i'm very pleased with my purchase. I upgraded from a Sony STR-K700 home theater in-a-box (5 years old), which was a bottom-of-the-line receiver and speaker system.
While that system was of excellent quality for the price, I needed a receiver that could handle multiple HDMI sources to use with my Samsung UN55C8000 LED TV. The receiver arrived packaged very well. I was very impressed with the manufacturing quality of the unit. It looks like a very expensive piece of audio equipment.
I am using the same speakers that came with the sony unit (pretty low quality speakers, will upgrade in the near future) with a Polk PSW10 powered subwoofer and I could immediately notice a difference in the sound quality produced by this receiver. The sound quality was excellent right out of the box, and even better after the Audessey 2EQ calibration. I was a little concerned with the lack of MultiEQ calibration, but the 2EQ did an excellent job of calibrating subwoofer volume.
The calibration was quick and painless and makes the system sound excellent in my 17' x 12' room. I have used the receiver to listen to HD Cable television programing, video games on my PS3, and blu-ray movies on the PS3. All sound outstanding. There is a very dynamic range of volume when listening to blu-ray movies but dialog is always audible.
The video quality of HDMI sources is the same if not better than having the components connected directly to my Samsung UN55C8000. I am using Monoprice 6ft 28g high speed HDMI cables with ethernet. I also have an N64, connected via composite and displayed via HDMI, that looks better than a direct composite connection. HDMI switching is very fluid and takes almost no time at all. I have not experienced any HDMI handshake issues, although once I had to reset my cable box because it was not sending any signal via HDMI (not sure if this was due to receiver or my cable box). But its worked fine ever since.
On Screen Menus:
The OSD displayed over HDMI looks much better after I updated the firmware (sharper text). The menus are very easy to navigate and it makes setting up the receiver and adjusting settings very easy.
I set up the onkyo remote control to control my Samsung UN55C8000 television as well as my Motorola HD cable box. The remote is very easy to use with the receiver but its functions are a little more difficult to use with my other components. But compared to other AV receiver remotes, this one is excellent. The remote was not important to me when making my purchasing decision, but I was surprised by how easy it is to use and its compatibility with other components.
I have used the network feature to install one firmware update. Luckily, my wireless router sits right next to the TX-NR609, so I hardwired the receiver to the network. The firmware update completed after the first attempt in about 45min with no problems. I haven't used any music streaming programs yet but I assume based on my firmware update experience that the network feature works well. I am also working on setting up a media server to stream all of my movies and music over the network, so I can update the review when that is complete.
Overall I would highly recommend this receiver. Even to those who own iOS devices and want airplay. I've done a lot of research online that suggests the TX-NR609 coupled with an AppleTV does a much better job of streaming than the built-in airplay on competing receivers. At this price point, I could not find a better receiver than the Onkyo TX-NR609.
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Thank for reading and hope my review is helpful.