Pros: Smooth sounding, no distortion at high audio levels!
Cons: Heavy, expensive and remote not that well designed!
As a former professional broadcast audio engineering supervisor, I have always been aware of good and bad sound. I hate distortion and audio that is not perfectly clean, so when it came to selecting a receiver to meet these specifications, I picked this Onkyo TX-NR 3009. I could have gone with the high end 5009, but to me there was not enough of a difference to justify the increase in price of hundreds of dollars. The amplifiers were a little better, but would not create a better listening experience!
My contenders in the choice of a home theater receiver were Onkyo, Yamaha, Denon and Pioneer Elite. It is true that any of these manufacturers make great receivers, but to me, Onkyo stood out.
First of all, I liked the sound on the Onkyo. It was nice and clean without any harshness or sharp peaks. It was even right across the spectrum and sounded good with movies, radio stations and CD's.
Since today's high-end home theater receivers also act as massive switching systems, you cannot neglect the video processing either. Onkyo uses Qdeo Video Processing.
Qdeo™ is a suite of QuietVideo™ processing technologies that produces quiet and natural video free from noise and artifacts.
One important note is that the video processor does upconversion as well.
Since this receiver is so full of features and has so many modes of operation, I want to give you Onkyo's specs first just to give you an idea of what we are dealing with:
Amplifier Channels 9.2
Power (8ohms 20-20kHz 0.08%)
Power (8ohms 20-20kHz 0.05%) /Ch 140W
THX Certified (Ultra2 Plus)
Continuous 6ohms Rated
Certified 4ohms performance
All Discrete Circuitry
3-Stage Inverted Darlington Circuitry
Dual PUSH-PULL Design
Independent Block Construction (Amp/Preprocessor)
Toroidal Transformer /Independent Power Supply (4 Transformers)
Bi-amp Capability For Front
BTL Capability For Front
DTS-HD Master Audio
ONKYO GAME Surround Modes
DTS Surround Sensation Speaker
THX Processing Mode
Audyssey Dynamic EQ
Audyssey Dynamic Volume
192K/24 Bit DACs (Burr-Brown x 6)
isf Certified Calibration Control
Audio I/O 8 / 2
Digital Audio IN (OPT/COAX) -3 / 3
Digital Audio OUT (OPT/COAX)
Composite I/O 5 / 2
S-Video I/O 4 / 2
Component Video I/O 3 / 1
Front-Panel A/V L / R / V
Front-Panel Portable input (stereo mini jack)
HDMI I/O 8 (7 rear 1 front) / 2 (simultaneous out)
HDMI Version V1.4a (supports 3D video and Audio Return Channel)
Component Video Upconversion
Analog To HDMI UpConversion
1080i Upscaling (HQV Vida)
1080p Upscaling (HQV Vida)
Multi-Channel Input 7.1ch
Analog Pre-Outs 9.2ch (independant sub-outs)
Speaker A/ B
Zone 2 Line Out
Zone 2 Video Out
Zone 3 Line Out
iPod Ready (optional UP-A1)
HD Radio Ready (optional UP-HT1)
XM Radio Ready
SIRIUS Radio Ready
Internet Radio Capable:
Pandora, Rhapsody, Napster, vTuner, Sirius Internet Radio, MediaFly, Slacker, Last.fm, Spotify, AUPEO
Streaming Audio From PC (Windows 7 and DLNA compatible)
Streaming Audio From USB memory (iPhone/iPod support)
Integration Access RS-232 IR Input Ethernet
ONKYO-RI System Control 12V Trigger (Zone2/Zone3)
On Screen Remote Programming
Bi-directional Remote Setup via GUI
Activity Based Remote
Color-Coded Speaker Terminals
Auto Speaker Calibration W/Mic. (Audyssey MultEQ XT32)
OSD Out (all video outputs)
Solid Aluminum Front
Warranty 2 YEARS
So there you have basic specs for all of you audiophiles.
There is always an inherent problem when you write a review on a piece of equipment like this that can perform so many tasks and handles all sorts of formats. Do you take pages and pages and write about each and every feature, or do you give a general overview and explain how the receiver can benefit each person reading this review.
Well, I have decided on the latter. I will try and discuss what makes this receiver unique and why it might be a good choice for someone looking for a high–end home theater receiver.
First off, this is not an inexpensive receiver. It sells for about $2100, so not for the budget minded. An TX-NR609 or 809 are also good receivers for less money, but do not have the features the 3009 does.
Mostly I use my home theater set-up for playing BluRay movies and watching cable. I wanted a system that could equally handle both, and this receiver does. It processes my 7.1 channel surround sound beautifully and cleanly. It will automatically switch when it detects a mode change like dialogue in a TV show or a movie with surround sound. One less thing to worry about.
The universal learning remote control is fairly standard with backlighting and controls for all functions. I would like to see the remote laid out a little better with more room between buttons and a simpler layout, but it is okay as it stands. Nothing to wave a flag about however.
Whenever I write a review like this Epinions folks always ask if the equipment will fit in their allocated space, so here are the answers:
17 1/8" x 7 13/16" x 18 1/4" br>(435 x 198.5 x 463.5 mm)
As you can see, this is definitely a heavyweight receiver in more ways than one. It has to be supported on a hefty stand able to sturdily hold up the 55 pounds without shaking.
Hookups in the rear are fairly standard with front center, L/R, REAR, REAR SURROUND L/R. etc, so nothing shocking back here.
The receiver does have one interesting feature which is a Dolby Volume Control which can be set to off/low/medium/high. What this does is level out the sound between programming and commercials. Depending on what you select it can be an extreme level control or slight. I have mine set on medium, but it bothers me a bit with too much compression, so I think I will change it to light.
One feature they have greatly improved on this 3009 is the GUI, or Graphic User Interface. It is an on-screen display to help you through set up, equalization, speaker settings and everything to adjust the receiver to your liking.
Onkyo continues with their Audyssey Auto Set-Up system. You simply plug the enclosed mic into the front panel, stretch the very long cord to your favorite listening position and press start. The receiver will be set up according to the responses the mic receives from the sounds of each speaker with a test signal. It will ask you to perform this test about three times in three different locations to set all the listening positions together. A nice feature, but you can only use one position if you don’t want to go through all the tests.
Earlier I mentioned that I have my receiver set for my own 7.1 surround system. The receiver however is set up for a 9.1 surround system, including two front height speakers above the center and front channels. No source that I know of utilizes 9.1 as yet, but if it does come to fruition, the receiver is ready for it.
One item that I purchased with my receiver was the Wi-Fi dongle which goes into either the front or rear USB connector. This allows you to pull a signal from your wireless router to enable you to get Internet radio stations like Pandora, Napster and MediaFly. There are of course others, but it is nice to be able to access any of them without a hard wired connection, which by the way you can also do. The rear panel has a standard Ethernet connector as well.
One VERY IMPORTANT NOTE, that I learned from an Onkyo engineer;
ALWAYS do the firmware upgrade to the receiver before setting anything up. This will change the receiver’s software to the most current available. Just connect an Ethernet cable, find FIRMWARE UPDATE on the menu and hit start. It will take about 20-30 minutes depending on the speed of your ISP but it is well worth it to avoid any headaches down the road!
You know I can really go on and on for many more pages boring you with feature after feature, but Epinions is not about only specs, as I said it is real world reviews.
I really like the receiver and the way it sounds and operates. I do not like the remote and the way some interfaces work but other than that, I can heartily recommend this Tx-NR3009. The specs are great and 140 watts per channel is certainly ample amplification. I really don’t think you can do wrong with this receiver, and oh yes, it does have its own IPhone control App available on the Apple Store for free.