Onkyo announces budget Atmos AV receivers, AirPlay 2 support for select products

Onkyo launches new budget AV receivers, announces AirPlay 2 support for select models

Onkyo's AV receivers always generate plenty of interest, and after the company introduced new entry-level 2019 models during CES in January, we now have full details of them, including UK pricing and availability.

Three new surround amps have been unveiled: the TX-SR393 (£350/$350), TX-SR494 (£450/$480) and TX-NR595 ($580).

The 155-watts-per-channel TX-SR393 can cater for a 3.2.2-channel speaker set-up for native Dolby Atmos and DTS:X playback, while the 160-watts-per-channel TX-SR494 supports up to a 5.2.2-channel Atmos/DTS:X layout.

Two key features of these two surround sound amps are Dolby Atmos Height Virtualiser (to be enabled via a future firmware update) and DTS Virtual: X, Both technologies claim to create 3D virtual surround and height effects for systems that lack multiple speakers.

Additionally, Dolby Surround and DTS Neural:X upmixing technologies allow legacy soundtracks to be played through any speaker layout, including those with height channels, too.

The '393 and '494 are fitted with four HDMI inputs and one ARC-compatible output with passthrough for 4K/60p and various HDR formats, including Dolby Vision, HDR10 and HLG.

A new on-screen display will show you audio and video data including the HDR format, video resolution, frame rate and audio codec attached to the incoming signal.

There's also Onkyo's AccuEQ Room Acoustic Calibration technology, optical and coaxial digital inputs, a selection of analogue inputs and Bluetooth connectivity.

Several new features debut on the TX-SR393 and TX-SR494, including a user-selectable Vocal Enhancer mode that can be used to raise or lower vocal frequencies. A Zone B line-out allows the passing of inputted audio to any component with an analogue RCA audio input. 

Available in black or silver finishes, the Onkyo TX-SR393 and TX-SR494 AV receivers go on sale in the UK in March.

The TX-NR595, meanwhile, is a 7.2 channel amp which gets the same Dolby and DTS audio tech as the two models mentioned above. It goes on sale this month and preliminary reports suggest this will be a US-only model.

The headline feature for this 2019 model, though, is Apple AirPlay 2 and all the multi-room smarts that come with it. That's in addition to all the wireless features that comes as standard, including Bluetooth, DTS Play-Fi, FlareConnect and Works with Sonos.

There is a slight catch, though - owners will have to wait until spring to get AirPlay 2 via a firmware update.

There's also a raft of music streaming services built into the Onkyo, including Amazon Music, Spotify, Tidal, Deezer and Pandora.

Six HDMI inputs should cater for all your HD and Ultra HD sources - they all support 4K/60p, 24-bit video pass-through and HDR (HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision).

Dual HDMI outputs give added flexibility while the amp can even upscale all your high-definition sources to 4K if required.

And the '595 isn't the only product set to get the AirPlay 2 treatment this year. Onkyo has announced AirPlay 2 will be coming to other models across its AV product range via the spring update. The list includes Onkyo's TX-L50, TX-NR686, TX-RZ730 and TX-RZ830 AV receivers, LS5200 home theatre system and LX-L20D and TX-8270 network stereo receivers.


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Andy Madden

Andy is Deputy Editor of What Hi-Fi? and a consumer electronics journalist with nearly 20 years of experience writing news, reviews and features. Over the years he's also contributed to a number of other outlets, including The Sunday Times, the BBC, Stuff, and BA High Life Magazine. Premium wireless earbuds are his passion but he's also keen on car tech and in-car audio systems and can often be found cruising the countryside testing the latest set-ups. In his spare time Andy is a keen golfer and gamer.