Onkyo TX-SR608 Home Cinema Receiver Review

Article written by Steve May Onkyo took a long time to become an overnight sensation in the AV receiver market. Back in the day it couldn’t give kit away. Then something miraculous happened – it began to offer cutting-edge features before the competition and brought price points crashing down. The brand has been a dominant force ever since. The TX-SR608 continues to tout the same miraculous recipe. You can pick one up for around £450, but the spec belongs to a model twice the price. It’s a great upgraders choice: 3D compatible with THX Select2 certification and both Audyssey DSX height/width channels and Dolby Pro-Logic IIz processing. There’s all the other essential stuff on board too. Connectivity is first class. It has five backside HDMI inputs, plus a bonus on the front for easy console hookup. Not only does the AVR sport HDMI v1.4a connectivity, it'll also pass AV through the HDMI link to the TV when the receiver is asleep (which is surprisingly helpful). Of course you don't get everything and the kitchen sink for this kind of pocket change. There's no multichannel audio inputs (which could rule the SR608 out for those with legacy SACD or DVD-Audio players) nor network media playback. This is a movie fan's receiver first and foremost. While music lovers will find much to enjoy here, the presentation could prove a little too forward for comfort. In full flight, this AVR has tremendous energy. Edge up the volume and you can feel its excitement. However, dialogue remains smooth and clean, never getting lost amid all the whams, bams and pans. For sheer dynamics you’ll struggle to find a receiver offering more for the money. With seven powered channels on board, you get the choice of adding extra front height/width speakers or rear-back boxes. If you can get away with filling your listening room with so many speakers, it's worth experimenting to see which configuration you like best. There's also plenty of muscle available. Onkyo AVRs do have a reputation for running a little warm, and this model is no different. But it does have a 'silent' fan to keep things the right side of combustible. There is a new model of this receiver available: Onkyo TX-NR609

What to consider before you buy the Onkyo TX-SR608 Home Cinema Receiver

If you don't the full 7.2 capabilities of this model, you may want to consider the lower specced, and lower cost TX-SR508.

Why you should buy the Onkyo TX-SR608 Home Cinema Receiver

Overall, we think this is an excellent value AV receiver. It delivers a huge entertainment return for what is a rather modest financial investment. Rating: 4.5/5

Buy the Onkyo TX-SR608 Home Cinema Receiver