Onkyo TX-SR576 Home Cinema Amplifier Review
The TX-SR576 sits at the lower end of Onkyo's home cinema amplifier range but the price does not tell the full story of its capabilities, as we find out.
Styled in a very similar way to the rest of the range, the Onkyo 576 is not to everyone's taste with its somewhat 'retro' styling. What this does do though is make it stand out against the mass of square black boxes and you could even grow to like the looks - we certainly did. We thought the black version looked a little better than the silver version, but it's all about personal taste and matching to your existing equipment. The Onkyo 576 goes for a big volume dial and input select buttons rather than a dial and has phono inputs for connecting an iPod or dock. Around the back of the 576 there are plenty of connection options to cater for most needs, including 3 HDMI inputs and 1 HDMI output and an additional set of speaker outputs if you want to go for 7.1 surround sound over 5.1. The remote control is much improved over the previous model with all the important buttons grouped together in the centre for easy access.
Connecting the amplifier up is a simple affair with all the inputs clearly marked, although we would have liked the speaker binding posts to be a little bit sturdier. This amplifier really earns its money though with the Audyssey 2EQ calibration system that is included. With this you simply plug in the supplier microphone into the front of the unit, position it in the optimum seating position and run the set up program and keep quiet while it does its set up.
Why you should not buy the Onkyo TX-SR576 Amplifier
Whilst the 576 is capable of playing high definition sound such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master, you will have to rely on your Blu-ray player to do the decoding for you. Frankly, this is not really a big issue for most people, but those people who would rather let their amplifier do the work should look the 576's bigger brother, the 606 instead. Also lacking is the ability to upscale high definition video, but at this price point we wouldn't really expect it. What we did miss though is the lack of an HDMI connection on the front.
Why you should buy the Onkyo TX-SR576 Amplifier
The Onkyo 576 sits just above the Onkyo TX-SR506 in the range, and arguably provides the better value with its high definition sound capabilities and punchy and dynamic sound.