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86 of 90 people found the following review helpful
on May 17, 2011
This receiver rocks! I bought a Dennon AVR-891 with a list of $799 and it sounded scratch like phase distorted. I have a tuned ear, played trumpet for many years and have been involved with high end car audio for over 25 years. I went to Best Buy and went into their magnolia room and there was a pair of B&W 61/2" book shelf speakers for $799 playing Simon and Garfunkle. It sounded scratchy just like the Denon receiver I just returned to Fry's. I asked which receiver was on and he pointed to the Dennon, I knew it, I asked him to put on the Pioneer Elite VSX-32 on and it sounded great. I started researching the Pioneer receivers and I came across the Onkyo TX-NR609 it is THX certified and has Qdeo video processor and started looking at that. The Specs looked clean at 100 watts .08% THD @ 20-20K hz.

Well the Fridays Fry's electronics ad showed up and it was their anniversary sale, there was an Onkyo receiver for $299. It was the HT-RC360. I looked at the specs and couldn't find any difference between this receiver and the TX-NR609 other than the THX certification. The unit has the same de-mentions, same specs so I picked it up. WOW is what I should say, I'm running Polk Rti-A3's for fronts mounted to the wall all in THX setup recommendations, Polk Monitor 30's for rear and Velodyne 10, Polk RMC center channel. room size is 10X13 with a 46" Samsung LN46c630 LCD.
This receiver is clean and capable of pushing some serious current to your speakers. Not only with movies but Madonna Blu-rays, Elton John Big red piano, you can really hear details that I couldn't with the Dennon or my old Sony ES. The piano's, horn's, vocal's are strong and clean at extremely high volumes. I am no longer considering the Pioneer Elite. Let me ad the functions are basic, not confusing with simple treble and bass adjustment. There is no multi-band eq, however I don't see that as a negative because I try not to introduce EQ's into my setups. This unit doesn't need an EQ with a balance of matching speakers. However if you are the type that likes to use Auddessy then you will be pleased. You will get your EQ there.

I recommend this receiver to even the audiophiles out there. It will surprise you.
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on August 7, 2011
Verified Purchase
I waited for a few weeks to give this system a fair amount of use before I wrote my review and I have to say that after using it for a while, I am very pleased with the design and performance of this HT receiver.

I have three HDMI inputs and one analog going in to the Onkyo (Home Theater PC/Server, Cable Box, XBox and Wii (analog)) and it is driving a 55" Samsung LED TV. I have 5.1 surround sound and a second zone which are my outdoor patio speakers.

The first thing is that if you have not moved to HDMI, do it. It makes half of your Home Theater life MUCH easier.

Setup:
This took about 2 hours total most of which was disconnecting my old non-HDMI Home Theater amp and re-routing all of the cables and remove the now unnecessary TOSLINK fiber audio cables. Once that was done, hooking up the Onkyo was pretty easy. Connecting the speaker wires is still kind of a pain to make sure that all of the wires are going to the right place, but the Onkyo includes a sticker sheet of lables to attach to your cable ends which was a nice extra.

The Audyssey sound setup is great. Put the included microphone on a camera tripod and put it in three different listening locations, press go in each point and in about 5-6 minutes your speakers levels and equalization are set. You don't have to do anything.

Features:
The On-Screen Display (OSD is nice and gives you feedback whenever you hit any of the controls. I was originally going to go with a cheaper HT receiver without OSD, but I'm glad I went with this instead. IMO, the OSD is worth it.

The ability to setup each input differently is a great plus. You can adjust Audyssey, Audio, Dynamic volume, display name, etc. for each source which is nice because the levels for each can be quite different. This way, can set it up so that when you switch from one source to the other, you won't get your ears blasted if one source's base volume level is higher than another.

As some have already mentioned, the DLNA streaming is great if you have a media server like Windows Media Player and an ethernet router. You just set Windows Media Player to allow streaming and then the Onkyo should be able to see all of your shared music folders. I set "NET" as the default source for Zone 2 and now I can let the kids watch a movie in Surround sound inside while listening to music outside. You can setup the Onkyo to drive the Zone 2 speakers as well, but then it is tied to the main amp and you can't adjust the volume of the main speakers and Zone 2 independantly. So, I send out the DLNA streaming audio to the Zone 2 line out of the Onkyo. I repurposed my old HT receiver to use as a dumb amp just to drive my outside speakers and take in the line signal from the Onkyo. Now I can have two completely separate audio streams going at the same time and control the volume of each independantly.

It takes the analog input video of the Wii and scales it up to 1080p for fullscreen on my TV which is very nice.

Sound:
The surround sound is MUCH better with the Onkyo than my old HT receiver because the Audyssey makes the audio setup so much easier. I could never quite get my old HT receiver to sound right because it was such a tedious process with my old amp so I gave up after a while.

So, in conclusion, this amp does a lot more than its price tag indicates. My only nitpick is that the greenish display looks pretty dated, but that is just an aesthetic issue that I can live with.
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57 of 61 people found the following review helpful
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I paired this HT-RC360 receiver with an Onkyo 7.1 surround sound speaker system Onkyo SKS-HT870 Home Theater Speaker System and took it for a week long test drive. The room I set everything up in was not really a room but a loft. Instead of four walls, I was dealing with three walls and a half wall for the back of the "room". This is a difficult arrangement for a speaker system but ultimately I was satisfied with the results. The floor space is roughly 14 feet wide by 12 feet deep. The arrangement is such that the TV and audio equipment are against one 14 foot wall and the listening chairs are against the opposing ½ wall. The two side walls are 12 feet and solid. The speakers are mounted fairly close to where Dolby Labs suggests except that the surround speakers are about 8 feet up and angled down toward the listening area. I did not use the rear surround speakers in a traditional 7.1 configuration but chose the "front high" option provided by Dolby Pro Logic IIz because I do not have a complete back wall. In fact, if the receiver did not have that option I would be stuck with a 5.1 setup.

SETUP

Physically setting up the system was a snap. The color coding on the Onkyo speaker wires matches the receiver speaker outputs. Inputs and outputs are clearly marked. I chose to use the provided cables and wires to see how things worked right from the box. If you connect your TV via the only HDMI out, programming can be done via the remote and displayed on the TV screen. At this point, I ran into two ugly traits. First, I could not go back up the setup level tree. I had to start from the top every time - very annoying. Then, 14 pages later, I was introduced to the function of the return button - very helpful in navigating the menu but introduced a bit late in the game. Second, the manual is not friendly to use or very complete for some basic tasks. After 15 minutes of reading the manual and trying, I was unable to do a simple thing like manually tune a radio station (finally I realized the TUNER button on the remote was not the same as the TUNER MODE button on the receiver and the instructions do not indicate where the buttons are physically located - lesson learned to check both). However, a complex task like connecting to the internet to update the firmware was easily done and well explained. Enough about the manual - certainly not the worst tech writing but could be better.

FEATURES

This receiver has a ton of features so plan on spending a week or two learning how to make the most of its capabilities. Below are some of the quick and easy features included that I have found useful:

- Plugging in a USB key into the front of the receiver to play content quickly and easily. The interface is very intuitive.

- Internet radio. Using vTuner was seamless and worked without any registration. Register if you want to create and manage favorite stations on your PC.

- Streaming music from my Windows Media Player 12 equipped PC over the network via dlna was quick to set up and effective.

- The Audyssey 2EQ is very user friendly and did a great job of testing out my room and calibrating individual speaker output. It saves a ton of individual settings (available in the regular menus). The surround effect when finished was outstanding for my 5.1 ATT Uverse and my 7.1 DVD player.

- The listening modes are grouped into four remote control buttons for Movie/TV, Music, Game, and Stereo. Since there are over 40 modes, having them grouped for usefulness is outstanding. Also, only the available modes are present - you won't get DTS-HD as a choice if it is not an option from your media being played.

MISCELLANEOUS

The advanced set up consists of 9 menus that lead to other menus that control and set everything including I/O assignments, resolutions, converting, digital audio, speaker assignment / adjustment and Audyssey configurations to name only some.

The receiver also has a second zone that will output most sources as an analogue signal to another area via a direct speaker connection or a left and right line out to connect to another amplifier/receiver. This allows playback from different sources in different areas. I recently finished wiring in-ceiling speakers in several zones so having the option for this receiver to provide input to another amp is fantastic. As soon as I can afford a 6 or 8 zone amp I plan to link it all together. Of note, if you connect two speakers directly to the receiver you will be limited to 5.1 when both zones are on. If you use the line out the 7.1 is retained.

SUMMARY

Over all, this is a very reasonably priced and versatile receiver with pleasing sound reproduction and network access. It has plenty of power to drive my 6 ohm Onkyo 7.1 speakers with clarity and the adjustments for different listening sources are ample. The combination produced vivid and convincing surround sound for movies and respectable stereo listening for two channel sources over the 7.1 setup. If you are interested, I will soon be posting a reivew on the speakers used here as well.

P.S. Check out The Hurt Locker in 7.1 - fantastic.
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44 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on November 10, 2011
Verified Purchase
This receiver was attached to a Sharp LED TV, a Sony Blue ray, and Polk speakers. I purchased it in late June 2011 and everything worked great till the end of August. One day out of the blue, I couldn't get any sound to come out of the speakers from any input. Even the self test/set-up function didn't work. So I had to take the unit to an "authorized service center". It is now November and the unit is still not fixed. The technician said he did find something wrong with it. It would have been nice if Onkyo would have replaced the 2 month old, faulty receiver back in August. I am still working with Onkyo and the repair facility. Why should I, as the customer, have to deal with this? It's a shame a name like Onkyo can't produce a quality product these days. If I had wanted to deal with cheap equipment, I would have bought cheap equipment in the beginning. Hopefully you have better luck with this receiver.

UPDATE: It is now 26 December 2011 and I STILL don't have this receiver back from repair! ONKYO CUSTOMER SERVICE IS WORTHLESS. THEY DO NOT STAND BEHIND WHAT THEY SELL AND THEY COULD CARE LESS ABOUT THEIR CUSTOMERS! I have tried to be nice to the customer service reps in dealing with this issue, but they really don't care what I have to say. I know this is a rant but I don't want anyone else to have to deal with this. Buyer Beware....Hope you're experience is better that mine.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on August 30, 2011
My wife got me this for my b-day (after I had sent her a link to the page on Amazon with a comment on what a great price Amazon currently had it for and that I really hoped to get it for my b-day :)

I am no audiophile so I will not try to state that the "sound" is that much better than my previous reciever which was a dated 2000 Panasonic mini-system combo, but having it paired with the Energy Take 5 Classic speakers (which I purchased via Amazon) I get great sound for both music and movies. The one issue I experienced with the reciever is that when I hooked up my PS3 to it, I got bunch of flickering/flashing when I was on the PS3 Cross-bar menu screen (and occassionally when watching movies). It drove me crazy because I didn't experience any flickering/flashing when the PS3 was hooked up directly to my TV. I had on purpose disabled the Onkyo's video processing because I didn't want the reciever to interfere with the signal coming from the PS3 (had it set up as "pass-through"), so it was hard to figure out "why" I got that flickering/flashing. After a lot of googling, I finally found out that someone had a similar issue with their PS3 and another Onkyo reciver and that they were able to fix it by disabling the "deep color" option on the PS3 (found under Settings > Dispay Settings). So I tried that and it worked!! Just wanted to pass on that piece of information in case others experience a similar issue between their PS3 and their Onkyo reciever. I sent Onkyo an email about the issue, so hopefully a future firmware update will fix this issue going forward.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on July 16, 2011
Verified Purchase
I bought this receiver based on online reviews and generally good opinion about Onkyo receivers. I have paired it with Energy 5.1 Take Classic Home Theater System (Set of Six, Black) speakers and I am thoroughly impressed by the sound quality so far. The speakers will take about 50 hrs to completely break in. So this is based on my initial impressions. In addition to the basic receiver quality the connectivity features attracted me to this specific model.

One of the killer features of this receiver is DLNA, which allows you to play music over wifi. I already have my entire music collection on a Western Digital My Book Live 2 TB Home Network Attached Storage Drive NAS drive with buit-in DLNA server. So I can play my entire music collection on my Android smartphone without worrying about keeping the PC/itunes etc running all the time. With the play to feature of this receiver I can select a song on the NAS drive from my phone and play directly to this receiver. The big benefit is that I don't need to turn on the TV or PC to select and play songs through the receiver. Since, DLNA works over wifi you don't need to be in the same room even. This will be particularly useful when I setup my Zone 2 speakers. The Onkyo documentation only mentions about play to feature from Windows 7 PCs. But since this is based on DLNA standard you can stream music from any phone with a DLNA player. On Android I am using the excellent 2Player Network Music Player app. The OnkyTroller app is useful for switching the input, powering off the receiver etc.

Another useful feature is the front hdmi port. With most of the new phones, cameras, camcorders and laptops coming with hdmi output, it is real easy to play the movies, photos and music from these devices through the hdmi port.

The front USB port can be used to connect a flash drive or iPod. If you connect an Android phone, you can play the music files by browsing to the appropriate folder and selecting the music file. However you do not get the album view, artist view, playlists etc. So if you have an Android phone the best way to play music is wirelessly through DLNA.

While researching Onkyo, I read some reports of Onkyo not handling the pass thru feature correctly and not being able to handle the hdmi output from a PC correctly. I am happy to report, there are no issues in connecting a PC over the hdmi port. I have a Dell Inspiron Zino HD Piano Black Desktop PC - Windows 7 Home Premium, 1.6GHz AMD Athlon 2850e Processor, 6GB Memory, 320GB Hard Drive, ATI Radeon HD3200 Graphics, 8X DVD+/-RW Drive pc connected to the receiver. The video is displayed in full 1080p resolution and the Dolby surround sound in DVDs and movie files are decoded correctly by the receiver.

The pass thru feature is a mixed bag. I think the pass thru feature itself is working correctly in stand by mode. It's the switching part that doesn't work in stand by mode. If I switch on the TV without turning on the receiver, the video and audio from cable box is directly to send to TV correctly. However, if I need to switch to the PC input I have to first turn ON the receiver before I can switch. I don't know if all receivers work the same way. I wish there was a way to activate the switcher without activating the surround sound also.

I have also noticed that the volume of the speakers when connected to the Comcast cable box in not very good. The volume of the surrounds overpower the center speaker making it difficult to hear the dialogs. However, I haven't noticed any such issues when playing movies from my HTPC. This makes me think it is more of a Comcast box issue than the receiver issue.

I hope this receiver will last quite a while as I am mostly happy with the sound quality and feature set of this receiver.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2011
Verified Purchase
I bought this receiver several weeks ago when it was at it's lowest price point on Amazon (I assume to compete with the sale Fry's had at the time), and after having the thing set up for a few weeks now, I can confidently say that I would have been more than happy with this purchase had I even payed $100 more.

Pros:

+ Size. I suspect the relatively small depth and height of the device will allow it to fit in a lot of entertainment centers. I think I have a pretty restrictive space for these types of devices in my entertainment center, but this fit beautifully.

+ Power. In spite of the fairly small size, this AVR is pretty beefy in terms of weight (nearly 25 lbs). While that may seem like a con, this typically indicates that it has a nice and potent power supply. Those per-channel power ratings aren't always reliable since manufacturers have non-standardized ways of rating the output of their amps. But between the specs of this receiver and my personal listening tests, I think this thing has plenty of power.

+ Audyssey. I used this feature to configure my sound setup for my listening area, and it seems to have done a beautiful job. Just make sure you follow the instructions of putting the microphone at ear-height, and disable all other sources of sound (AC, noisy HTPCs, etc). People have practically completed PhD's on how to best take advantage of Audyssey, though, so there is a lot more you can do if you really want to get the most out of this.

+++ Feature set. Oh my goodness, I don't think anyone can match what Onkyo offers here for the price. Network connectivity with internet radio, SIX HDMI ports including a front aux port (although I probably will never have use for more than three), Audyssey, 7.2, powered zone 2, every codec in the book, video upscaling, IntelliVolume, dynamic volume, an intuitive on-screen display and menu, the list goes on and on. Maybe I'm just overwhelmed coming from a five-year-old receiver... things have improved a lot in that time, heh. But I did my research, and this is about as good as it gets for the price.

+ Sound quality. I was about to not even list this because I really don't think that there is any appreciable difference in sound between any reasonable quality receivers these days (in fact there have been studies that essentially prove that the vast majority of people are incapable of telling the sound of one receiver from another even when comparing units on opposite ends of the price spectrum, and with high-end speaker setups), but I know some people have themselves convinced that sound quality is a key differentiating component of AVRs. So I will say I have not been the least bit disappointed with the sound of this receiver. Between the ample power output, Audyssey setup, and support for all kinds of audio calibration and every HD audio codec, you can be sure this offers just about the best sound you can get. If you're determined to get the best sound money can reasonably buy, then I say get this receiver and focus the rest of your resources on tuning the acoustic properties of your listening area, and on high quality speakers and subs.

Cons (all minor IMO):

- OSD. Certain aspects of the on-screen display irk me a bit. For example, when you mute the receiver, the "Mute" message on the screen never seems to go away. Also, I think the volume change display stays up just a bit too long. Keep in mind it is possible to turn off the OSD, but I don't want to turn it off completely, I just want to be able to configure certain display features differently.

- HDMI handshaking issue. Every once in a rare while, when using my HTPC, there seems to be an issue where I get no video to my TV after switching components on the AVR. Now I can't say for sure whether this is a problem with the receiver, my 5770 video card, or my TV, but I did not have this problem before getting this receiver. Either way, it doesn't bother me too much. I can fix the problem by switching inputs again, and then switching back, which is easy enough.

Update: I updated the drivers on my video card, and this problem seems to be gone. I guess it was AMD's problem, not Onkyo's.

- No 8mm remote input port. This would allow for a slightly cleaner and more reliable setup with my remote's RF base station. For some reason, Onkyo seems to be one of the only manufacturers that still won't include this on their lower-end models. Maybe next year...

Conclusion:

Excellent receiver. It has the kinds of features that just a couple years ago would have been only found in the highest end, $1000+ units. It's easy to set up, and it just works wonderfully. I highly recommend it.

****************************************
*************** UPDATE *****************
****************************************

As of today (1/2/14), the receiver has officially died on me. It had given me minor issues for a while where I would turn it on, and get no signal or no audio. Then recently, I began experiencing a more-than-minor issue where the audio would never work except every 4th or 5th time I turned the receiver on, so I had to start leaving it on even when it was not in use. NOW the audio just never works at all.

I suppose the fact that it did it's job well for over two years should earn the product two stars instead of one, but that is still FAR less time than I expect something like this to last. Onkyo's quality really has taken quite a tumble since my last purchase. I can no longer recommend this receiver, or any product from them, and I will be looking elsewhere for my next receiver.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on June 21, 2011
Verified Purchase
I've only had the unit 3 days so I'm a little iffy about posting a review this soon. BUT, I really like the receiver. My old Sony system was in dire need of an upgrade but I've been putting it off. Buying a blu-ray player and an HD Tv pushed the need to replace the receiver.

It took about 2 hours to set everything up. To be fair, most of that time was spent pulling apart the old system and replacing the front speaker wires. Hooking up the HT-RC360 was a breeze. Turned it on and everything just worked, no messing around at all. Tried out the Audessey quick setup and am really impressed with the balance. I've played with manual setup of the surround system in the past and never gotten it to sound that good.

One negative, in Audessey setup, the remote doesn't seem to work, I had to use the front panel controls. I couldn't find anything on this in the manual and spent some time playing with the remote and going through the manual before stumbling on the front panel controls. If there is anything about this in the manual I couldn't find it.

One of the reasons I was interested in Onkyo (I was looking at the RC270 at one time) is that there was a phono pre-amp built in. The RC-370 has this (according to the docs anyway) but the 360 does not. I had been looking at the 370 but couldn't justify the price, saw the great reviews for the 360 and decided to go with that. Was a smidge disappointed to see the lack. So I bought an external one for $20. That's my fault for assuming, not the product.

I've seen comments about the heat from this receiver. I have mine in on a shelf by itself with an inch or so on either side and probably 6+ inches clear above it. The unit does get a little warm from time to time but nothing worrisome and certainly no worse than my old Sony.

Bottom line: great sound, easy setup, great price. Time will tell how reliable it is.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 20, 2011
Verified Purchase
I purchased this receiver after my 10 year old Sony gave up the ghost during a long hot summer day - the front channels blew and it was time for a new unit. I wanted a network receiver and this seemed to have the feature set I was looking for - DLNA | Pandora | Other Network services | Plenty of HDMI input.
Set up was simple, used the enclosed microphone to calibrate.
Once setup I tested and all components worked without Issue
Then I encountered my first Issue - updating the firmware. I decided to do this using the NETWORK option - the receiver and documentation indicate that this can take up to an hour....
2 hours later the firmware did update - not too impressed at that process so I will try via USB. I have a cable connection with 20M down so it wasn't a network Issue.
Once the firmware was upgraded I had to power the unit off a couple of times to get the HDMI functining correctly. Note do not use the feature which allows you to control the TV via receiver interface (I can't remember the name of the feature as I write), unless your TV is certified as this can cause Issues and require a reset power down and reconfiguration of the receiver before you get functionHDMI function back, there are only a few TV's that function with this feature my LG was not one of them.
NETWORK functions work well have used this a few times with UPandP on my android tablets to make playlists from a NAS device it works very well.
Using with a harmony remote the included one is typical of a receiver function over form but it does a job.
All in all I am please with the product but it could be a little frustrating for someone who is not so tech savvy and just wants a product to work without tweaking!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 2013
When you pay 300 some dollars on a gadget you expect it to last more than 5 years. But this junk, 2 weeks ago, failed on me after two years of use. No audit output. Tried to upgrade the firmware to fix it but now it just died completely without any video and audio outputs at all.

Will I try another Onkyo.. hell no..
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