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on May 16, 2011
This is a nice receiver overall and a welcome replacement to my ageing Sony unit which was struggling with newer audio formats such as DTS.

The design is well laid out, very intuitive and quick to power on, snappy UI etc. It is of moderate build quality - the exterior surfaces are a bit sharp, with buttons and the volume dial feeling a bit thin / light / cheap :| Not a big concern however at this price point and remember it is the lowest model in the range.

I have mostly component gear (DVD and STB) plus a WD HD TV Live which uses HDMI. My expectations were that I could plug my old component gear into the receiver and use HDMI up to my TV via a DVI to HDMI converter (TV is pre-HDMI). This is not the case - it's like the receiver is actually 2 separate units internally - one analog (component) and one digital (HDMI): the component sources are only visible when using component out on the receiver and likewise, HDMI sources are only visible when using the HDMI out (to TV DVI in my case) - you can't combine all sources into one output so I have 2x sets of cables running up to my TV, no big deal really.

The OSD is also only visible over HDMI out - i.e. not on component out, you'll have to navigate via the single-line display on the receiver in that case (exact same menu).

I would recommend this unit to anyone after a decent receiver on a budget, just understand it might not do everything you expect .. and you likely won't know exactly what until you buy it / try for yourself.
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on July 17, 2011
I purchased this receiver to replace a 20 year old Yamaha stereo receiver which was failing and had no digital inputs or outputs. I highly recommend the Onkyo for use in an apartment or a small house (I'm in a one bedroom apartment) as it makes an excellent hub for all of your media center components and an A+B speaker setup. The Amazon price of $200 (including shipping) is an outstanding value for a receiver with so many features. Below are the features which I found most useful.
* You can select the A speakers only in 5.1 mode or A+B speakers in 2.1/2.0 mode.
* The digital inputs may be assigned to specific components. For example, I assigned the digital coax input for the VCR/DVR (which is my HTPC) to the HTPC's digital audio output.
* It's configurable with the built-in display or an external TV/PC monitor (via an HDMI cable).
* The front panel uses push-buttons for input selection, not a knob (which I prefer).
* My ancient One-For-All universal remote supports basic operations (power on, volume, mute, etc) with the Onkyo 0135 setup code.
* The USB port may be useful in the future.
* It sounds great!
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on July 8, 2011
I purchased the TX-SR309 to replace an ancient JVC receiver that had been in service since 1988, so my comments should be taken in perspective since I've entered a whole new world here! It has all of the right inputs to make for a media center hub. I no longer have individual components wired to the TV - it all runs through the Onkyo. The "assign" feature is handy for digital inputs - I happened to have both a fiber optic and digital audio coaxial cable that I was able to use to patch in my DVD player and cable box respectively. With some fiddling around, I was able to get my Comcast cable box remote configured correctly so that it turns on my entire system with one button (Cable Box, TV and Onkyo Receiver). I still use the Onkyo remote though to adjust the audio settings as I haven't quite figured all of that out - there are quite a few different settings and they are dependent on the signal coming into the unit. In addition to this receiver, I purchased a set of Sony bookshelf speakers and a Polk Center and Subwoofer, so I'm running this as 3.1 in a small condo and it sounds wonderful! Unfortunately my Samsung plasma TV is a pre-HDMI unit, so I'm not able to get the benefits of the HDMI outputs of the Onkyo, i.e. on-screen information for receiver settings and iPod data, but love knowing it's an option when the time comes. Overall, it's a very easy unit to set up and the price was right in my budget, so for me it's a home run!!
22 comments| 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
This is a good looking box with just one dial for volume. I have paired it with Polk Audio TL2600 speakers. The front display when turned on gives you the information you need to know -- it does not try to give you a light show. The overall footprint is a little large for the watts per channel. You would think modern electronics could shrink the size from something of the 60's tube receiver to a small toaster.

Well it's all about the quality of the sound. The Onkyo produces clean clear sound at any volume, with no distortion and no amp hum. The 65 watts of 5.1 sound are perfect for music and movie watching in a small to medium-sized living room. If you need big sound in your home you might need a lot more power to drive a bigger speaker system for a lot more cash. Some people live to damage their ears. The hdmi switching works well. It switches 3 inputs into 1 output to your hdtv. Everything works as advertised.

I can see why some people have a problem with the instruction manual. It is really easy to hook up and turn on, but adjusting the sound to perfection takes some tinkering with the different modes. That is where the manual is a little confusing, so tinker away, and consider it a science experiment.

I like the Onkyo sound system and would recommend it. I wish I could shrink it some, but that's it. Remember to purchase the best quality speakers you can afford to reproduce your sounds. Onkyo gives you good performance for your dollar. Time will tell about durability.
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on June 14, 2011
From the moment I opened the box to the completed install was less than 20 minutes. WIth an old OLIVIA HD TV 32 inches and bad speakers I wound up with a new set, all I had to do was hook up two shelf speakers I had on an old sound system and I was in seventh heaven. Saved the TV and got excellent sound quality from just two speakers. With HDMI cables the picture in HD is even better that old component cables. Way to go Onkyo.
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on April 12, 2012
Got this from Amazon and unlike others have had no trouble after one week of solid use. I've got an Integra processor for two of my systems and home and LOVE them but needed a small receiver to support a smaller system in another room. I was on a serious budget but needed HDMI switching, return audio for TV and subwoofer management. My plan is to only go with a stereo pair of speaker and a sub possibly add the center and rear speakers later. With this system, I was looking for low cost solution to the HORRIBLE speakers in the TV. Who can listen to those horrible built-in speakers anyway?

The unit came quickly from Amazon was packed well and worked perfectly out of the box. The setup is easy and the on screen menu was a nice bonus. I was able to setup the Mission MV-4 Bookshelf Speakers (Pair, Blackwood Vinyl) and the MartinLogan Dynamo 300 Home Theater and Stereo Subwoofer sub with few problems. I would have liked to have 5 way binding posts for the speakers, but at this price, I can deal with spring loaded connectors.

Sub setup was easy, by selecting "Small" for my front speakers I was able to set the crossover at 90 Hz and this allows the receiver to use much less power to drive my main speakers. With only 65 watts/channel I wanted to make sure the system could maximize output. This worked very well as the sub had more than enough power to fill in the low end. It also prevented any phase issues from messing up the bass sound in my room. Note: for the crossover to work, you MUST select small for the front (and center if used) speakers.

The sound is good, but not nearly as good as the Integra components. The Onkyo is a bit brash and harsh where the Integra is smooth, rich and accurate. Note mission speakers are anything but harsh sounding, so I know it is the receiver. Also the imaging is a bit flat, no depth at all. Considering the Integra processors cost well over $1000 and this receiver is less than $200, I am very happy. If you are listening to music for a long time, you may become fatigued with the harshness, but honestly, nothing in this price range is going to sound any better.

In my small room the 70 watts is enough for me. With a little planning you will be happy with limited power. Focus on high efficiency speakers, look for high SPL numbers. The higher the SPL, the more efficient the speakers and the system will not have to work as hard to play loud. A sub will help make the most of your 70 watts as well.

This thing runs hot, so if you are planning to put it in a cabinet, make sure you ventilate. Do not place anything on top or it will over heat. Make sure it has room. Nothing heat producing underneath as well. I bet that is the problem most folks are having - overheating.

The video is very good. because there is no processing, what you see is what you get. I did not do a careful comparison, but I could not see any difference in the video when directly connected to the TV or when using the Onkyo for switching. I wish the Onkyo would have an option to remove the sound from the signal going to the TV, as it is I have to turn the TV sound down. Not a real big deal though.

The remote is easy to use, but I would have LOVED a programmable remote. One bonus, the remote does provide some control of my iPad when connected though the USB port. And the DA converter is really quite good, much better than playing through the headphone plug on the iPad. The USB port would not recognize my Android (phone as a storage device so I was stuck playing that through the headphone output. Still sounded nice.

Over all for the price this thing is a great deal. I've had no problems with switching, sound or setup. It is versatile and sounds very nice. How do they make and sell these things for so little? You can't go wrong for the money.
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on August 14, 2011
Bought this receiver to replace my defective Yamaha RX. The onkyo has slightly less bass, but much better treble. Overall sound is very musical. The volume knob is a little annoying as you must rotate the knob a lot before the volume increases at all. The speaker connectors are really cheap and will not work with thick speaker cables. Also no switching power outlets to plug in my CD player.
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on August 2, 2011
I replaced an old Sony (approximatly 20 years) that had a lot of sound functions that were not often used and was a little worried that a lower end unit might not sound as well, but this unit has a great sound. I have Bose 301s for the front speakers and Infinities for the back. No sub woofer is needed for my older ears with this setup. We always listen to the TV through this receiver and speaker setup.
Great receiver for the money, would by again.
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on February 16, 2014
Bouth this unit from Amazon 2 years and 2 months ago. Unit came with 2 yr warranty. Of course the sound failed after warranty expired. At first sound was intermittent then finally no sound at all. No response from Onkyo support to see if they would still honor the warranty. Read many reviews of this receiver complaining of same issue. There is a newer version on market today but I would suspect same problems will persist. I like the receiver but would not buy another Onkyo.
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on May 25, 2012
This Receiver is a great update from my old receiver which I purchased in 1986. This unit allows you to join todays technology with ease and comfort. I'm able to get all my componients(DVD, CABLE Box, Apple TV) using HDMI to play through the reciever. I have 2 sets of speakers(2 outdoor) which can be played together, or each by themselves. The HDMI thru is also a great feature where if you want to play the TV and not use the stereo(kids and wife), the stereo can remained powered off. The USB for an Iphone, Ipod or Ipad is also a great feature to play your music. Setup is simple as long as you have enough HDMI cables(purchsed seperately). Very happy with my purchase!!!!
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