Article Index
Onkyo TX-NR3030
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page 3
page 4 Sound Quality
page 5 Conclusion
page 6 Measured Performance
All Pages

   Not everyone can put speakers into their ceiling, and so Onkyo have also introduced SKH-410 Atmos speakers with full-range drivers that are placed on top of your existing front/rear speakers. They fire upwards, and ‘bounce’ overhead sound to your ears via the ceiling.  The result is a clear step forward from the conventional 5.1 and 7.1 systems we’re used to at home – and an improvement over Dolby’s own Pro-Logic IIz (which offered a basic ‘height’ capability). 

   Up to three pairs of  these purpose-designed Atmos height speakers can be accommodated by the TX-NR3030 in its full eleven-channel-plus-two-subwoofers (11.2) configuration, although the Atmos spec allows for as many as 34 speakers in total! Since Atmos is scalable, though, you can get away with 5.1 plus one pair of height speakers. The more speakers you have, the more precise the positioning. Two pairs of the aforementioned SKH-410s – assigned to front and surround-height – were employed for this review. Accurate matching of timbre is essential to preserve realism – especially considering that effects ‘move between’ speakers.



These are the dedicated ‘Atmos-enabled’ speakers that Onkyo sells for use with AV receivers like the TX-NR3030. Based on an 8cm. full-range driver, they’re placed on top of the relevant 5.1/7.1 speaker, and fire upwards. The ceiling reflects the ‘height’ channel audio to the listener.


Thankfully, the TX-NR3030’s ‘AccEQ’ auto-calibration system – powered internally by twin 32-bit DSP engines – looks after all this stuff, as well as room-acoustics and speaker configuration/layout. Plugging the mike into a dedicated front-channel input kicks off the menu-driven process. This lurks under a flap, as do basic controls and a sensible brace of connectors – HDMI, headphones, optical digital/analogue stereo audio and composite video. Although the fluorescent function display is bright, the control/connector legends are difficult to make out in subdued lighting. 

   Onkyo would rather you used the remote – which is rather baffling on first encounter, as many buttons have multiple functions depending on what mode the receiver is operating in. Thankfully, a very good app (which will also stream music from your mobile device via Wi-Fi) is available as an alternative; RS232 control is another possibility. 

   As the TX-NR3030 is designed to be networked – wirelessly or via Ethernet – it shouldn’t shock you to learn that some functions can also be controlled from a web page. Networking also facilitates DLNA playback, streaming music services like Spotify and Internet radio stations. Still on the wireless-music tip, Bluetooth is also on board.

   The remote is busy, but so too is the TX-NR3030’s rear panel. To this mighty collection of terminals can be connected an awful lot of peripheral devices. The eleven binding-post terminals will deal with more modest speaker complements, the channels unused for surround being redeployable to jobs like bi-amping large front-channel speakers and/or driving up to two pairs of speakers in adjacent rooms (‘zones’ 2 and 3) from different audio sources. All decoded channels have line-level outputs too, with front-channel balanced XLRs to feed – for example – an audiophile-grade system, possibly in another room.

   Then there are the inputs. Seven HDMI inputs, plus three outputs (one for Zone 2) jostle for panel-space with seven analogue inputs (one of which, ‘Phono’, is reserved for a turntable with MM or high-output MC cartridge).  


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