Onkyo TX-SR393 amplifier review
The Japanese company Onkyo was founded in 1946 by Osaka Denki Onkyo. Launched in 2019, the Onkyo TX-SR393 amplifier is an entry-level, cheaper price range.
Let’s see what are its main features!
The nice brushed, rigid black aluminum interface of the small -8.2 kg audio device won us over. At the bottom is a microphone connector, concave-shaped power and volume control dials, 3 equalizers for treble and bass, AccuEQ measuring microphone input and music optimization button. On the back there is Bluetooth, 4 HDMI inputs, 1 HDMI output (ARC), USB input, 5 audio inputs, 1 digital optical and coaxial, 2 for Zone B, and parallel subwoofer output. Speaker columns for the 2 front speakers and spring clips for the center and rear speakers are also located on the rear panel. Unfortunately, these spring clips are not very stable, they easily lose contact. The small size of the amplifier makes it easy to move, but care must be taken to position it as proper cooling must be ensured. The 5.2-channel AVR promises 155 watts of power per channel, but in reality this is only available at 6 Ohms, with 10% total distortion.
A separate, high-current analog amplifier system with a 4 Ohm drive. It can also convert Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, HDCP 2.2, 4K / 60p video. DSD is not available via USB, only via HDMI. It has AM / FM antennas and a calibration microphone. It is also equipped with Vocal Enhancer, Advanced Music Optimizer, subwoofer EQ functions. The remote control is pretty cheap, gives the impression of plastic, but is easy to use. That’s pretty much all it’s worth listing about Onkyo’s features.
Unfortunately, we also need to mention the shortcomings. I really miss the built-in Chromecast, Wi-fi, Ethernet connectivity, no Phono input and no internet radio, Spotify, Deezer, Amazon Alexa… etc. available. In this price range, among the entry-level amplifiers, these shortcomings may still be excused. The menu system that appears after commissioning is quite outdated, but it is easy to set up. Neither Audyssey Dynamic EQ nor Volume, instead Onkyo’s AccuEQ room correction system helps you adjust. The AccuEQ can be adjusted in about 5 minutes, so there was no problem with speed, but it set the speaker crossovers a bit low.
We started testing with a 2019 movie. Brilliant actor legend Robert De Niro plays the lead role in the exciting story “The Irishman”. If the amplifier is already Japanese, we have paired it with a pair of Japanese-brand speakers, the Yamaha HS5 monitors. We tested the device in a cinema room in the basement of a condominium in Budapest. The acoustic repair has already started by the owner, but there is still room for improvement in this area. It will be absolutely necessary to place diffuser panels for ideal acoustics. The amplifier produced a surprisingly good sound. The basses were also in place and sounded loud enough. We experienced a detailed, spacious stage image. It was a pleasant surprise for such a small and less advanced device.
In 2001, the American war romantic film Pearl Harbor, which we watched in Blu-Ray quality, was a great success. The Onkyo TX-SR393 amp performed well this time as well, we had clean, quite intense depths. The realistic experience was further enhanced by the audio device, and it seemed as if the fighter jets were zigzagging over our heads.
In favor of the owner’s children, we chose Frozen 2 animated, family film. The amplifier also reproduced the sounds of soundtracks and songs clearly and evenly. Sure, we’ve had a better and more perfect sound when testing other amps (Anthem, Denon), but let’s not forget that Onkyo is much more affordable than mid-range amps. The dialogues were understandable, the melodies, music inserts, and sound effects were dynamic and balanced.
The Onkyo TX-SR393 entry-level amplifier came as a really pleasant surprise, despite the fact that it neglected many of the features that can be considered almost basic features of the more expensive amplifiers. If you are not deterred by puritanism and minimalist equipment, feel free to choose this device. The toroidal transformer would have come in handy, and cooling should be considered when placing the amplifier. The room correction system can be set up quickly, but the settings are not perfect at first. The sound, on the other hand, is quite correct, the basses also sounded intense, we got a detailed, wide stage picture. Among the entry-level amplifiers, the Onkyo is a great and outstanding model, and the price is affordable.