Will Onkyo’s latest super slim amplifier measure up to its bigger brothers?
Here at Richer Sounds I hear many an argument between couples regarding AV equipment. It is usually a cable related topic, but every now and again, its that AV receivers are generally big ugly black boxes that take up far to much space and I tend to agree with them – it is very rare you can look at one and think, “that looks lovely” its more, “where the hell am I going fit that”.
If this sounds all too familiar then the new Onkyo TXL50 could be an option for you. Coming in at a minuscule 70mm tall it is one of, if not the slimmest AV receivers on the market today, meaning it can fit nicely alongside a Blu-ray player or games console and not be the centre of attention. Slim line AV receivers are not a new venture, Yamaha have had a go, as have Pioneer, but none measure up to the TXL50, taking into consideration most AV receivers are on average at least double the size of the Onkyo. So have they sacrificed the all important sound quality in the search for a more living room friendly amplifier?
Taking a look at the build quality and features, Onkyo don’t seem to have cut any corners here – inside this slick minimal package is a class D amplifier pushing 80watts (at 4ohms) which is more than enough power for most living rooms. The nature of class D amplification means the Onkyo runs cool, ideal for tucking in an AV rack without the worry of over heating.
Another strange and I guess useful little feature is the addition of a passive subwoofer connection. I can’t for the life of me figure out why Onkyo have deemed this a necessity, but it doesn’t seem to do any harm, you can always use the more conventional subwoofer output located just next to it. Little quirks aside the TXL50 has all the important components you would expect from a full sized unit, with 4 HDMI HDCP2.2 compliant inputs and 1 output, Bluetooth and built in wifi with a whole host of wireless streaming options.
Using either Apple airplay, Google cast or Spotify connect, streaming your music wirelessly couldn’t be easier. If you are using Android the Onkyo can handle that as well, you can even take advantage of fire connect and create your own multi room system using other Onkyo components.
Bells and whistles aside I have got high hopes for the TXL50. As an Onkyo owner I have nothing but faith in the brand, creating such a small feature packed little box is all well and good, but if when powered up it falls at the first hurdle like many other micro AV receivers I have seen and tested before, then its just going to become another forgotten product. I shall reserve my judgement for when I can get my hands on one!
Lets hope Onkyo have taken plenty of inspiration from the slightly larger brothers and they could be on to a winner.
For more information or to arrange a demonstration, please pop in to any of our stores.
Author: Garrett, Plymouth store