Onkyo just released three entry-level home theater receivers priced from $400 to $600. The new A/V receivers begin with the 5.1-channel base model TX-SR343, then for $100 more you get 7.1-channels and Dolby Atmos compatibility with the TX-SR444, and for another $100 you get wireless connectivity and better audio processing with model TX-NR545.
The most affordable Onkyo network receiver to support Dolby Atmos, the 7.2-channel TX-NR545 features a 115 W/Ch high-current amplification system that extracts ultimate performance from the new Dolby Atmos audio format. The unit boasts Wi-Fi, AirPlay, and Bluetooth technology, and users can stream direct to the receiver using Spotify Connect, Pandora and others, or stream audio stored on mobile handset and online music services using the free Onkyo Remote 3 control app.
Ready for Ultra HD video and premium 4K content, the TX-NR545 features HDMI and HDCP 2.2 compatibility with one output that can pass 4K/60 Hz video complete with 4:4:4 color space and 21:9 cinema aspect ratio from source devices to display. A premium 384 kHz/32-bit hi-grade AKM DAC unlocks the full potential of all your audio, including multidimensional Dolby Atmos, DTS-HD Master Audio, and Hi-Res audio formats. It’s also very easy to use as a Quick Setup function lets you adjust settings without interrupting playback.
The TX-NR545 also features a USB port supporting multiple audio formats via flash-memory and the updated AccuEQ room acoustic correction easily calibrates and equalizes the speaker system to the room.
Slotting between the network-ready TX-NR545 and TX-SR343 base model, the 7.1-channel TX-SR444 delivers 115 W per channel through a discrete high-current amplification system. It is currently the most inexpensive Onkyo receiver to support Dolby Atmos and has been completely redesigned to simplify connection and operation for first-time users while still featuring HDMI and HDCP 2.2 compliance for 4k Ultra HD entertainment.
A selection of legacy inputs is included to connect older devices such as gaming systems, with HDMI up-conversion allowing for single-cable TV connection and neater installation. Keeping things simple, the receiver has a rear-panel Streaming Box port that supplies power to media streaming sticks, adding apps for on-demand media.
Recognizing that some consumers may find setting up and using their first A/V receiver a bit intimidating, the company took a fresh approach in designing its base model 5.1-channel A/V receiver, the TX-SR343. To that end, the rear panel has been completely revamped with input and output terminals clearly labeled and illustrated for easy setup. Because the receiver up-converts analog video, all media players (including VCRs and legacy gaming consoles) can plug directly into the receiver, with all video routed to the display via a single HDMI cable – eliminating unsightly, dusty cables running to a wall or stand-mounted flat-panel display.
Users can also add full wireless audio and video streaming capabilities (such as the Google Chromecast) via a dedicated rear-panel USB port supplying 5V power to the device. Adding to this capability is built-in Bluetooth with DSP Music Optimizer to enhance lower-quality compressed audio streamed from smartphone applications or PC.
As well offering DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD decoding with 100 W/Ch of discrete high-current amplification, the TX-SR343 comes with all the features expected of a modern A/V component, including 4 in & 1 out 4K Ultra HD / HDMI / HDCP 2.2; a high-quality TI Burr-Brown DAC, multiple DSP listening modes, Virtual Surround mode for 2.1-channel setups, and ample connections for media players.
Price and Availability
Onkyo TX-NR545 / USA MSRP $599 / CAD MSRP: $749/ Available Now
Onkyo TX-SR444 / USA MSRP: $499 / CAD MSRP: $629/ Available Now
Onkyo TX-SR343 / USA MSRP: $399 / CDN MSRP: $429 / Available Now