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Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Onkyo Debuts Entry-Level A/V Receivers


Onkyo has introduced two affordably-priced A/V receivers for home theater and multichannel music reproduction.

The 80 watt-per-channel TX-SR576 and 75 watt-per-channel TX-SR506 are the lowest priced receivers ever to include the company's Powered Zone 2 capability and front channel bi-amplification features, and are among the first receivers available anywhere to include Audyssey's new Dynamic EQ loudness correction technology.

These receivers each include three HDMI inputs, Audyssey 2EQ automatic room correction, and also mark the company's first implementation of its new Music Optimizer software, which improves fidelity for MP3 and AAC encoded digital music sources.

The Onkyo TX-SR576 and TX-SR506 are the first receivers at these price points to include the company's dual-source Powered Zone 2 capability, which allows the receiver's rear surround amplifier channels to power stereo speakers in a second room while still listening to 5.1-channel sound in the main zone. The receiver is capable of processing separate multichannel and stereo sources simultaneously for the main and second zone, or processing a single source for both. There is also a Zone 2 pre-out that can be used in conjunction with a dedicated zone amplifier or receiver. Finally, for those with premium "biampable" loudspeakers, where the bass and midrange/treble drivers are each driven by separate amplifiers, the rear surround channels can be reconfigured for this more powerful operating mode.

Both receivers are suited for use with high-definition displays and source components, including 1080p Blu-ray players, HD set-top boxes, and the latest generation of gaming consoles. The TX-SR576 features HDMI 1.2a with single-cable connectivity for audio and video functions, and additional decoding for Dolby Digital Plus high-resolution audio. The TX-SR506 includes HDMI pass-through, which has the ability to transmit 1080p video and Deep-Color data, but requires a separate connection for audio signals.

The Audyssey 2EQ automatic calibration system featured on the Onkyo TX-SR576 and TX-SR506 receivers employs an included calibration microphone to analyze the system's acoustical output at three positions in the listening area. The receiver sends test signals to each speaker in turn, then uses the inputs from the microphone to adjust channel level and time delay settings for each speaker. By taking readings in three different positions in the theater room, the receiver can be calibrated to the speakers and environment, delivering optimal response throughout the room rather than just at the 'sweet spot' directly in front of the screen.

Additionally, these receivers are among the first products ever to employ Audyssey's Dynamic EQ algorithm, which adds moment-by-moment refinement to the receiver's frequency response and surround levels in order to compensate for volume-dependent deteriorations in the listening experience, particularly at low volume levels. When used in combination with the Audyssey 2EQ system, this feature tailors the receiver's output to correct for room acoustics, listening position, and playback-level distortions.

These are the first receivers to implement Onkyo's Music Optimizer technology, which improves the quality of compressed audio such as MP3 and AAC encoded digital music files.

Both receivers employ 32-bit DSP processing and 192 kHz/24-bit digital-to-analog converters on all channels. Each includes 7.1-channel surround processing for Dolby Digital EX, Dolby ProLogic IIx, DTS-ES, DTS 96/24, and DTS Neo:6. The receivers also include a user-selectable eight-setting subwoofer crossover adjustment for ideal integration of any subwoofer/satellite speaker system.

The Onkyo TX-SR576 and TX-SR506 will be available in April at suggested retail prices of $479 and $379 each, respectively.


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