New Onkyo entry-level AVRs promise simplicity of setup
TX-NR545 and TX-SR343 release in May
The fruits of the endeavours of the newly established Onkyo & Pioneer Corporation have resulted in two well-specced but highly affordable AV Receivers.
The Onkyo 5.1-channel TX-SR343 and 7.2-channel TX-NR545 AV receivers deliver surround-sound for movies and games while having power, sensitivity, and control to play physical or streamed stereo music.
The TX-NR545’s discrete 120 W/Ch high-current amplification system is Dolby Atmos compatible and it’s their most affordable product yet with support for the new format. The TX-NR545 boasts Wi-Fi, AirPlay, and Bluetooth technology and you can also stream direct to the receiver using Spotify Connect, or stream audio stored on mobile handset and online music services using the Onkyo Remote 3 control app.
Native support for DSD 5.6 MHz and 192/24 Hi-Res Audio via DLNA with smartphone control is also included, with an upgraded 384 kHz/32-bit AK4458 DAC from Asahi-Kasei using unique digital filtering technology to reduce noise and jitter for transparent and lifelike sound.
On the video side, both receivers feature 4K/60 Hz-compatible HDMI 2.0a terminals with dedicated HDCP 2.2-ready HDMI inputs for streamed or optical-disc-based UltraHD video.
The TX-NR545 also features a USB port supporting multiple audio formats via flash-memory device, AccuEQ room acoustic correction to calibrate and equalize the speaker system, and HDMI-overlaid OSD with Quick Setup for adjustment of settings without having to pause the program.
Onkyo realises that, for many, setting up theirs first AVR can be a daunting prospect, so they’re also releasing the stripped back TX-SR343, which they promise will be a breeze to install. The rear panel has been completely revamped with input and output terminals clearly labelled and illustrated for easy setup.
Because the receiver upconverts analogue video, all media players -including VCRs if you still have one - and legacy gaming consoles can plug directly into the receiver, with all video routed to the display via a single HDMI cable. So, as well as reducing connection complexity, users no longer have to put up with unsightly cables running to a wall- or stand-mounted flat-panel display.
Users can also add full wireless audio and video streaming capabilities simply by purchasing an aftermarket dongle (such as the Roku or Fire Stick) with a dedicated rear-panel USB port supplying 5V os power to the device.
Adding to this capability is inbuilt 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 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.
The TX-SR343 5.1 channel A/V receiver with Bluetooth is available in May, in either black or silver and priced at a very affordable £249. The TX-NR545 also in ships in May, again in black or silver, and will set you back around £449.
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