As we saw with the other models, the latest 2010 range of Onkyo amplifiers have been upgraded significantly over the previous models, and the Onkyo TX-SR508 is no exception, and has a few very worthwhile differences which may make it worth you spending a little more money.
Despite having been around for over 60 years, and the fact they are very well respected in home cinema and hifi circles, Onkyo are still not well known in the UK consumer electronics market. Their systems are distinctive, and the TX-SR508 is no different with the trademark styling being something you either like, or you don’t. We’ve always liked the retro look, and prefer to get a good value feature filled system than one that is all style and no substance.
Sitting one model up from the entry level TX-SR308, the TX-SR508 is physically the same size, but the additional circuitry and components in the Onkyo TX-SR508 make for a slightly heavier amplifier. The main addition on this model is the additional two channels giving you a 7.1 system rather than a 5.1 system – this also means you can bi-amp your front speakers if you prefer to stick with 5.1, and squeeze every little bit of quality out of the amplifier. The inclusion of WRAT (Wide Range Amplifier Technology) adds to the output quality, and the addition of the amazing Audyssey 2EQ automatic calibration system ensures that everything is set up just right. If you listen to DVD-Audio or SACD discs, the TX-SR508 also has a ‘Pure Audio’ mode. Of course being a receiver, it also has a built in radio, in this case an RDS system with 40 presets.
The other slight difference is an additional HDMI input on the rear, giving a total of four sockets. They are all HDMI 1.4a compatible so you’ll be able to pass through 3D video, as well as Dolby® TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio high definition audio, which you can have the Onkyo TX-SR508 decode, or accept a pre-decoded signal from your Blu-ray player.
There is a newer model of this receiver available: Onkyo TX-NR509
What to consider before you buy the Onkyo TX-SR508
We’ve said it before, but the only thing that could really put you off a fully featured and great value amplifier like this is the looks – if you live with them, or like them as we do, then is it a great buy.
Why you should buy the Onkyo TXSR508 Home Cinema Receiver
At around £70 more than the entry level, the 508 is quite a lot more expensive but the additional features you get does mean that you get a more capable, and serious amplifier. The choice of going 7.1 or bi-amping is the deal maker for us though, and is why we would choose this over the 308. Another winner fron Onkyo. Rating: /5
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