Skip to main content

Onkyo TX-SR576 review

A capable machine but it lacks the all-round quality, and specification, to trouble the best Tested at £300.00

Our Verdict

A capable machine but it lacks the all-round quality, and specification, to trouble the best

For

  • Solid build and design
  • thorough automatic set-up
  • some HD audio support, multichannel inputs
  • familiar bold sound

Against

  • It lacks a little control and detail

Onkyo doesn't do things by halves when it comes to its range of AV amplifiers. There's a unit for every price-point – this model slots in between the entry-level TX-SR506, and the excellent TX-SR606, at £400.

As you might expect for your extra 50 notes, this model offers a few noticeable upgrades over the '506 in terms of specification. On the outside the two machines look nigh-on identical, but under that bonnet is where you'll find the crucial upgrades.

Most notable is onboard decoding of Dolby Digital Plus and the ability to accept high-definition audio as linear PCM via HDMI. The highest quality codecs, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, aren't accepted, however, so you'll need a Blu-ray player that can decode onboard to sample those.

Again, there's no upscaling of video content either.Take a peek round the back and you'll find three of the all-important HDMI inputs and one output, plus a couple of coaxial and optical digital input.

You also get audio outputs for connecting another zone of music and 7.1-multichannel inputs. It's the same remote control as seen on other models, and you also get the benefit of Onkyo's Audyssey 2EQ calibration system, as seen on higher-end amplifiers.

Distinctive and dynamic
We load up the all-action Blu-ray disc of The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, and send some PCM audio to the Onkyo. There's no mistaking that Onkyo AV sound – it's up front, powerful and no nonsense. Again there's plenty of bass weight, though it could be a little more articulate.

Indeed, the level of detail on display could be better all round. It's also apparent that the '576's control and insight is not up to the standards of the class-leaders at this price-point.

As we attempt to enjoy Mamma Mia! it's clear that the Onkyo isn't as deft and musical as it could be, while busier scenes find the receiver struggling to keep a lid on everything on screen.

It's a similar story with two-channel tunes, where the very best in this class have a little more flair and simple ability, the comparative lack of detail hindering the overall musicality.

It remains a solid performer, and if you have a BD player capable of doing the audio decoding, then this Onkyo's multichannel inputs will come in handy. Sonically, however, it's just not quite as capable as the elite at this price point.

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, New York 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