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Onkyo TX-SR308 review

Working to a tight budget? The Onkyo TX-SR308 will do a perfectly good job Tested at £240.00

Our Verdict

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

For

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

Against

  • Sounds too sedate
  • lacks drive and punch

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

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

Pros

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

Cons

  • - 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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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.


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