Onkyo TX-SR507 review

As entry-level machines go the TX-SR507 is inoffensive enough, but we've come to expect better from Onkyo Tested at £280.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

An inoffensive entry-level machine, but sonically uninspiring by Onkyo standards


  • +

    Nice to use

  • +

    doesn't sound overly aggressive


  • -

    Lacks dynamism, grunt and real sonic impact

  • -

    too safe-sounding

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.

Having reviewed many Onkyo home cinema amps over the years, it's fair to say they've tended to deliver a powerful, muscle-bound and exciting sound– a fine medium through which to play explosive action flicks.

Which is why we were left a tad dazed and confused by the TX-SR507.

It may be an entry-level amp, but you still find yourself seeking more sonic thrills than the Onkyo can deliver.

Detail levels are decent enough for the money and dialogue sounds perfectly clear by entry-level standards. Safe isn't usually a word that we'd associate with Onkyo, but you get the distinct feeling that the '507 isn't willing to take a risk and stamp its authority on movie soundtracks.

Audio sounds far too safe
Rival machines have a dynamic edge – during the musical numbers of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street, the best amps can reach the peaks and dive down to the troughs with greater purpose and desire.

Two-channel performance isn't especially strong with the TX-SR507, but this is hardly a surprise from a budget machine.

The '507's entry-level status means advanced features such as video upconversion and upscaling are missing. But the amp is still fitted with four HDMI inputs, Audyssey's auto speaker calibration system and a universal port for Onkyo's optional accessories such as an iPod dock.

Operation might only be a case of navigating an on-screen display, but it's still smooth and effortless, and works well with the remote.

We were expecting the '507 to put up a stronger fight, but its rivals deliver more of a killer blow.

See all our home cinema amplifier Best Buys

Follow whathifi.com on Twitter

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