What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Wed, 11 Aug 2010, 11:00am

Onkyo TX-SR308

Tested at £240
80100
4

For the money the ’SR308 does a good job. It just lacks that streak of brilliance required from a five-star product

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For

  • Price
  • three HDMI 1.4 inputs
  • clear, simple interface
  • controlled, inoffensive sound

Against

  • Sounds too sedate
  • lacks drive and punch

Recently Onkyo's £450 TX-SR608 blew us away. Gone was the traditionally big, bold, sometimes brash sound that we'd come to expect from Onkyo home cinema amps.

In its place was a more refined, mature and classy sound. But will the same qualities be evident in this ultra-affordable model?

Given the price, you won't be surprised to find a relatively modest feature count, although the 'SR308 is smart enough to offer you three 3D ready HDMI 1.4 inputs.

Good manners

Some budget amps can sound boisterous and bright, but the 'SR308 produces a very mild-mannered, considerate sound.

Tonally, the amp is nicely balanced and there's no hardness as cars accelerate, screech and occasionally explode during John Travolta's pursuit of a would-be suicide bomber in From Paris With Love.

The only drawback is that the amp sounds too restrained. Spinning U2's 360° At The Rose Bowl the Onkyo sounds unable to cut loose and display enough dynamics and scale.

If you're working to a very tight budget, the Onkyo will do a perfectly good job. However, if you can release some extra funds you can move into the realm of some seriously talented amps.

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