Onkyo TX-NR3009 review

Comprehensive specification and seriously rewarding surround sound Tested at £2000

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

A seriously desirable, sonically rewarding machine – and feature-packed to boot


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    Elegant design

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    built to last

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    refined, fluid sound

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    immense scale and dynamics


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    Some rivals serve up a touch more detail

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

We’ve been making steady progress through Onkyo’s range of home cinema amps over the past few months, And each one has hit the surround-sound spot.

The TX-NR3009 is a hefty slab of home cinema gorgeousness, and weighing in at the best part of 30kg, you’re going to need a friend (and a sturdy kit rack) to install it.

As you’d expect at this money, the Onkyo is packed to bursting point with sockets and full to the brim with features. If your system is overrun with high-definition sources the Onkyo’s eight 3D-compatible HDMI sockets should more than suffice.

Twin HDMI outputs are included for connecting to different displays, and one of them can also act as an Audio Return Channel so you can feed sound from a TV with a compatible input back into the amp.

It’s Windows 7 and DLNA certified, ready to stream all manner of files, including FLACs and WAVs.

Streaming and internet radio
There’s also a wealth of internet radio stations on tap and connectivity to music streaming services including Last.fm and Spotify.

The front USB socket will take a feed straight from an iPod or iPhone or USB hard drive. ISF video calibration ensures you can tinker with the picture yourself or get a pro to come in and set it up for you.

There’s even built-in Marvell 4K upscaling and a top-notch HQV video processor. It will be a while before a compatible screen is available to make full use of this.

However, it will still manage 1080p upscaling for standard-def sources.
The results are as good as we’ve seen at this money, and worth a look.

Detail backed by masses of power
There’s scope to power 11 audio channels, including front-height and -width speakers in addition to twin subwoofers. Audyssey’s MultEQ XT32 calibration system configures the amp to cope with room acoustics and multiple seating positions.

Spin The Expendables, and the Onkyo doesn’t hold back. Explosions are delivered with bone-jarring weight and equally impressive precision.

There’s texture and detail aplenty, together with dynamic dialogue as the main characters attempt to shout over the volleys of gunfire expertly placed in the soundstage.

That expert precision and dynamic ability helps with music too. Whether you’re streaming one of your Spotify playlists or spinning a high-definition multichannel music Blu-ray, the driven delivery ensures you’re duly entertained.

And so, Onkyo’s consistent run of form continues with the TX-NR3009. For the money, its spectacular specification and performance will be tough to beat.

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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, Reading 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.

Read more about how we test