Onkyo is one of the leading brands right now in home theater receivers and this 2012, the company is offering a promising lineup of 3D Ready home theater receivers where many of the core features are present in all models. This means that if you are smart, you can go for a low-end Onkyo model like the Onkyo TX-SR313. A good advantage of getting a low-end home theater receiver is the lower power output per channel which will translate to some power savings along with the reduced cost of simply owning an AV receiver. The TX-NR313 is positioned as the most affordable 5.1-channel home theater receiver and it will succeed the previous entry-level model which is the TX-SP309. The Onkyo TX-SR313 will be have a price that is the same as the price when the TX-SP309 launched the previous year. While this AV receiver looks a lot like the high-end models, there are a few features that are missing which you should take note before you go on an buy this budget home receiver. Still, the good news is that Onkyo still cares about the budget market and always wants to make sure that there is an easy way for people to make their home theaters more immersive.
Design and Connectivity
Entry-level AV receivers looking like the big boys is actually a good thing because it the overall design and finish of the Onkyo TX-SR313 has nothing to do with the reduced price. Like other models, you have 2 designs to choose from so you can either get the black design to match the rest of your common home theater components or you can get the silver design if you want the TX-NR313 to stand out more.
The master volume is the only knob that is present in this design and there is a couple of rows of buttons for input sources and other common features that you would expect on an AV receiver. There are no drop down doors as the small amount of ports are already exposed. These exposed ports include the phones jack along with the standard aux input set and USB port.
The back of the Onkyo TX-NR313 shows the simplicity of this receiver which is actually a good thing if you never set up an AV receiver before. There are only 4 HDMI ports available and they are labeled so you have an idea on how to set up your home theater system. For instance, you can plug in a gaming console in one of them and a Blu-ray player on the other. Any HDMI device should work on any port so take these labels only as a guide. You can even plug a 3D Blu-ray to any of the ports because these ports support the Audio Return Channel and 3D Video. The previous model only had 3 HDMI inputs so it looks like Onkyo is aware that standard home theater configurations are getting bigger. Another difference between the Onkyo TX-SR313 and the TX-SR309 is the presence of one additional audio input and an additional composite input for the TX-SR313.
Below is the back panel layout. Click on image to enlarge for a clearer view.
One of the coolest features of the 2012 lineup of midrange and high-end AV receivers is the InstaPrevue technology which shows thumbnail previews of the input source for easier selection. This feature is not present in the Onkyo TX-SR313 and it is probably because of the low amount of HDMI ports available making confusion less likely. It is also not possible to control the TX-SR313 using your Android phone or iOS device so you are stuck with the standard remote control. Fortunately, this remote control is still useful because you can control the iPod or iPhone if you connect it to the USB port. The USB port is useful if you want the AV receiver to play back any MP3, AAC, WMA and FLAC audio files found on the iPhone or iPod. These tracks will get the proper enhancements so they sound very clear on your 5.1-channel system. Standard flash drives should work with the USB port as well so long as the supported audio files are present.
Don’t expect any fancy graphical interface either because the Onkyo TX-SR313 lacks an Ethernet port and it does not have any Wi-Fi support. This means you won’t be able to access the Internet or stream from computers using the home theater receiver alone. But on the upside, the TX-NR313 is still pretty easy to use because it uses an OSD or On-Screen Display for quick access to settings. You can still see the picture while you change the settings so you can see how the changes affect the image immediately.
The main highlight of this stripped home theater receiver is the proprietary WRAT technology that is exclusive to all new Onkyo receivers. Standing for “Wide Range Amplifier Technology“, this technology utilizes a low amplifier design with negative feedback to effectively reduce noise. Since the Onkyo TX-SR313 uses discrete transistors, this entry-level receiver should have the same lasting power of the pricier models.
Since the WRAT and 3D technologies are present, you can expect an exceptional performance when watching 3D titles. Just make sure that you connect modern Blu-ray players to the TX-SR313 through the available HDMI ports because there are no video upscaling technologies present. Fortunately, the Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio surround sound formats are present so you should be able to enjoy your favorite titles.
The Onkyo TX-SR313 really looks like a pale home theater receiver if you compare it with other models. But if you already have a home theater component like a Blu-ray player that has networking functionality, you won’t really need the networking features that the pricier TX-NR414 offers. The $299 is very attractive and donít forget that your TV may have networking features as well. The best thing about the cheapest model is that the number of HDMI ports is now sufficient and the WRAT makes this AV receiver better than other entry-level AV receivers.