Onkyo TX-NR509 – mini review

I’ve had the Onkyo TX-NR509 AV receiver for a few weeks now, at first I was running it with a pair of old Technics hi-fi speakers and it sounded good, then after some “auditioning” I narrowed down my speaker hunt to the Keff IQ70’s which I have to say are an excellent pair of speakers – I’ll post a mini review of those another time.

Onkyo TX-NR509

Onkyo TX-NR509

I use the TX-NR509 primarily for films & TV, listening to music & playing the odd Playstation game, the receiver makes this easy to connect them all up as it has 4x HDMI input ports & 1x HDMI output, when the receiver is switched on the sound is superb as its played through the IQ70’s, when its turned off the sound is passed through the HDMI and played via the TV’s built in speakers, so its very easy to use. Watch out though, this receiver does not upscale standard definition sources to HDMI, you’ll be wanting the TX-NR609 or higher models if you need that feature.

Setup is straight forward as the TX-NR509 features Audyssey 2EQ® which uses a supplied microphone, plays some strange sounds through each speaker individually, takes measurements & sets up the sound stage to the unique dimensions of your room to make everything sound great.

Today the TX-NR509 really came into its own when I connected it to my home network….

-Internet radio
This was really easy to get working, the receiver has a very large selection of online radio stations (including almost all national & local UK FM stations I could think of), its also very easy to add these to you “favorites” rather than needing to drill down through the many well organised categories. Quality was good for most stations, they seem to vary depending on the bit-rate the station is being broadcast (streamed) at. The TX-NR509 was also very happy to take my last.fm username/password off me & provided access to all the wonderful features last.fm has to offer!

-DLNA network streaming
The TX-NR509 immediately picked up the various DLNA servers on my network, this included my laptop & the Windows Media Center PC upstairs, I was also very happy to see it pickup the music collection on my Iomega Storcenter ix2-200 NAS device as this meant I didn’t need to leave one of the PC’s on just to serve the music from. Having seen how well this work I’m sure we will be loading the NAS up further additional music to choose from. You tend to find the menu structure on a DLNA server can make or break it, fortunately the Iomega did very well on this front and allowed me to choose (via the TX-NR509) music by artist, album, title, genre or playlist.

I liked how all of the “Net” features were available and perfectly usable via the LCD screen alone. Alternatively if you prefer, the attached TV screen can also be used when switched on, the main drawback I have found with doing this is the TX-NR509 does not show a “screensaver” so potentially could cause screen burn on some TV’s such as plasma.

I’ve not tested the receiver with an iPod yet but the manual suggests it can fully control & charge the iPod. There is an iphone & android application available too that lets you control all the main features of the receiver, unfortunately I wasn’t able to get the device to show up on my Android version of the app, I’ll have to spend some more time on that later.

You can connect the TX-NR509 to a wireless dongle if you dont have an ethernet connection handy, I hooked it up via cable as the router wasn’t far away. If you are looking to purchase this device as your first network ready 5.1 receiver, its a great purchase which I very much recommend & will allow you to upgrade your speakers over time.

Jason Vigus