Onkyo TX-NR515 review

Onkyo is known for packing its AV amplifiers full of features, and the TX-NR515 is no exception. It might be the company’s mid-range model for 2012, but it has a more impressive specification than many of last year’s top-end systems. With support for 7.2 surround sound, 4K video up-scaling and a multitude of in- and outputs, it should have something for almost any home cinema setup.

Connectivity can make or break an AV amplifier, but the TX-NR515 delivers in spades. There are a whopping seven HDMI inputs on the back of the unit, as well as two HDMI outputs that let you connect a TV and projector simultaneously, meaning there’s no need to swap cables when you want to watch a film on the big screen. Four composite video inputs, one composite output and component video in and out let you connect older equipment that doesn’t support HDMI.

There are also plenty of audio inputs. As well as seven binding post terminals for surround sound speakers, with up to 130W power per channel, there are two Zone 2 spring terminal inputs to power a second set of stereo speakers and pre-outs for two subwoofers. A further five sets of analogue RCA inputs, plus two digital coaxial and two digital optical inputs should be more than enough for even the most dedicated audiophiles to connect all their equipment at once.

Finally, AM and FM radio antennae, Ethernet and a single USB port complete the selection, although there are more USB ports on the front of the system to make it easier to connect a portable device. The single HDMI input supports Mobile High definition Link (MHL), meaning you can connect your smartphone or Android tablet to display 1080p video on your TV, as well as charge your device at the same time. There’s also a composite video input for older devices, and a USB port for local multimedia playback, plus a 3.5mm jack for the bundled calibration microphone and a 1/4in headphone jack.

The amplifier's black brushed metal finish looks classy, and there's a silver option if you want to match the amp to your existing equipment. The one-line display, oversized volume dial and machined input select buttons mean the amp doesn't look too fussy, and most of the more advanced features are relegated to the comprehensive remote control. The amplifier also lets you use the iOS and Android Onyko Remote apps, which let you control the active input, adjust settings and wirelessly play audio stored on your Android smartphone or tablet through your home cinema setup.

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