A truly excellent home cinema amp and a high bar for rivals to reach
Authoritative, dynamic sound
subtlety and detail in abundance
nice to use
eight HDMI inputs
good network functionality
No Apple AirPlay
The TX-NR709 is a high-spec, high-performance machine a clear gap above its £500 sibling, the awesome Onkyo TX-NR609. Power is up from 100 to 110W per channel, which translates into a more muscular, authoritative sound.
During the final scenes of Ninja Assassin, the Onkyo explodes into life, delivering round after round of punchy automatic gunfire. Effects soar and flit accurately and precisely between channels.
But this added venom and power doesn’t mean the amp has to sacrifice any of the refinement and detail that Onkyo has started to instil in its AV amps.
Trust is an intense film, and the NR709 communicates its harrowing realism with consummate ease. The sense of drama and despair in the voices of Clive Owen and Catherine Keeners’ characters is heartfelt and impressively authentic.
Generous set of featuresThe Onkyo loses none of its resolution and clout in stereo either, although we’ve yet to come across a multichannel amp that can trouble a similarly priced stereo one.
More after the break
Besides spoiling you for sound, the Onkyo is just as generous when it comes to features. Eight HDMI inputs have been fitted, as well as twin HDMI outs.
The NR709 is also THX Select 2 Plus-certified, and comes with Audyssey’s advanced MultEQ XT speaker calibration in tow.
An Ethernet connection allows for DLNA streaming and the ability to access vTuner internet radio, Last.fm and Spotify services.
Video upconversion is included, too, while the amp will upscale past 1080p right up to 4K resolution, even though punters can’t lay their hands on such content. Yet.
2011 is turning out to be a cracking year for Onkyo: the TX-NR709 joins the TX-NR609 to make a pair of truly exceptional home cinema receivers. Take your pick.