Onkyo Shows Budget Dolby Atmos/DTS:X Receivers

Surely, an Atmos/X receiver is on your wish list. But how to pay for such a pricey item? Onkyo might have an answer or two.

The TX-SR494 and TX-SR393 are entry-level AV receivers, at least if your definition of "entry level" is $500 or less. Both provide the all-important feature of Dolby Atmos compatibility. The TX-SR494 has a bigger model number so naturally it provides 7.1-channel playback with 160 Watts/channel. The lower-numbered TX-SR393 provides 5.2-channel with 155 Watts/channel.

Both can be configured to provide Dolby Atmos/DTS:X-compatible playback with either 5.2.2 channels (494) or 3.2.2 (393) front surround. Both provide Atmos Height Virtualizer (it is my understanding that this feature will be enabled via a future firmware update) and DTS Virtual:X to create an immersive "3D" listening environment without installing physical overhead or additional surround loudspeakers.

Both receivers provide four HDMI inputs, one ARC-enabled output, vocal enhancer feature that lets you raise or lower midrange frequencies via front panel or remote control buttons, pass-through for 4K/60p, Dolby Vision HDR10, HLG, and BT.2020, and 4:4:4 subsampling. You will also find optical and coaxial digital audio inputs, RCA analog audio inputs, and Bluetooth input. An Advanced Music Optimizer helps restore fidelity to data-compressed music files. There is a USB power output.

Both receivers provide Onkyo's AccuEQ room acoustic calibration which sets sound pressure levels, EQ, and subwoofer crossover frequency by detecting speaker response, room size, and setup distances. There is also a Zone B line output for listening in a second room. An onscreen display lets you view setup details such as HDR format, video resolution, audio codec, and frame rate.

Prices: TX-SR494 ($480) and TX-SR393 ($350).