Onkyo Android App

So I rearranged my living room over the past weekend and decided to retire my (gasp) 9-year-old receiver. Wasn't looking to spend a fortune, but surround sound is a must, Internet access is a plus. Ended up going with The Wirecutter's recommendation of the Onkyo TX-NR509. It's got a rear Ethernet port (if that's how you roll), or an optional Wifi dongle that plugs into the front USB port -- and an added bonus -- a companion Android application.

Onkyo Android AppLet's really start off by saying that home audio is a pretty personal and finicky thing, and your setup will determine the usefulness of features. I've got an Xbox 360 and a Logitech Revue to handle most of my multimedia functions, so there's a good bit of what's the in Onkyo app -- specifically the music playback --  that I'll never use. You've pretty much got full remote capability, including switching inputs and sources. The app's layout's pretty intuitive, as are the settings. I'm not going to walk you through them as, again, your setup will vary from mine, and chances are you're a proper nerd and can do it yourself.

(I'll mention that the Onkyo has things like Internet radio and DLNA streaming, which is nice, but the on-screen UIs are so horrid that you'll likely not want to touch them.)

No, the one shining feature of the Onkyo Android app -- for me, anyway -- is the ability to change  the volume from another room. I've got kids. Two of 'em. The eldest is 5, and she can rock the Logitech Harmony One remote just fine to get her Dora on. But she's also going deaf, I'm convinced, because the TV will get louder and louder as she watches. Thanks to the Onkyo app, there's no more getting up from what I'm doing. No more arguing. I just turn the damn thing down, and no one's the wiser. (I can do the same thing with the Google TV Remote app, by the way.)

So that's what I'm rocking in the living room now, all connected like. (And it sounds good, too.) Onkyo says the app's compatible with all network AV receivers released since 2010, as well as the TX-8050 Network Stereo Receiver and the T-4070 Network Stereo Tuner. You may need to do a firmware update (mine took about 5 minutes) to get things going.

We've got screen shots and download links after the break.

Onkyo Android AppOnkyo Android App

Onkyo Android AppOnkyo Android App

Onkyo Android AppOnkyo Android App

Onkyo Android AppOnkyo Android App

Onkyo Android AppOnkyo Android App

 
There are 22 comments

Jet300 says:

Thanks for the quick write up Phil. Onkyo is sending me a TX-NR609 receiver as a replacement unit for a home theater in a box unit that had its HDMI board die after 7 months.

Looking forward to giving the Onkyo app a try!

Jaggrey says:

Off topic question: Which Onkyo home theater in a box receiver did you have that had the HDMI board die?

MrJazz says:

Good choice! Hope you got a deal since it's being phased out...

Robrasta#AC says:

Been using Onkyo app for a few weeks and surprised how much I use it. The app's GUI is much better than the receiver's display on the TV. Love pumping Spotify through my A/V setup versus PC (or "auxing" in) and being able to control throughout the house. Internet radio isn't bad once you've stored several stations as favorites.

shadowmasta says:

You can also add favorites via the receivers web interface if you know the URLs.

A bit confused...is this app developed by Onkyo for only their receivers or any manufacturer? The line with receivers after 2010 had me second guessing.

palmwebosfan says:

Only Onkyo receivers and it only works for 2010 models or newer.

maifimd says:

I chose the same model Onkyo over the Holidays in a Newegg sale.

I've dl'd the Able GTV remote app on my Droid Charge and GTab 10.1 as well as on the Sony Blu-ray GTV feeding the NR-509.

The Sony GTV remote control works OK, but the AMP selection times out after a few minutes and then defaults to the TV volume.

d2globalinc says:

Have the 609 here, i think the app is so damn ugly, not to mention your battery will be dead after using this app for about 15 min :-)

shadowmasta says:

If you do not turn off your screen and keep the app open it will keep your screen on. I use the app almost every day and have never had it kill my battery since I am usually using other apps as well.

palmwebosfan says:

I have the 609 and use this app almost daily. Turn the screen off on your phone when not using the remote. I've been using mine since August on a Droid Charge and now Galaxy Nexus and it works great on both phones.

Fahrenheit says:

Interesting review. Looks like Onkyo might be a consideration.

On another note, why are modern receivers so large? I swear, over the past 30 years, technology has shrunken down, but receivers are in the same old huge clunky form factor. You open these things up, and they're all air inside. What gives?

Kinglo says:

Heat. Lots and lots of heat; TVs can get away with it by spreading it thin.

andreo says:

Internet radio built into the receiver. Very nice. I've not kept up with receiver technology for years. I have an Onkyo now (sorry, don't remember the model and to lazy to go look). It has served me well for over 5 years and it's still going strong.
I may have to look into this as a upgrade when (/if) I ever get to upgrade my now 6 year old DLP television to something newer (which I've wanted to do for a year now).

palmwebosfan says:

I got my TN NR-609 for only $399 on Amazon. Free shipping, THX Certified etc...

I just bought the ONKYO HT-S5400 7.1.... 3 days ago and it doesn't have network abilities since everything I own has its own. my TV, blu ray, and my Google TV is the main attraction. But I got to say the S5400 for 400 with tax brand new is really awesome I've seen a lot of AV receivers at people's home and this thing kicks their ass easily.. well worth every penny. I'm more then happy is an understatement

Nosferatu524 says:

I'll have to try later I have a last generation Onkyo (TX-NR807) but has the ethernet port, DLNA, internet radio, etc. in it already. Cool find.

Cigar-Junkie says:

I found this last week for my TX-NR708 and love it. It works great with Pandora and my Gnex will display cover art and let me skip or change stations. The one thing that would make it a grand slam is streaming Google music from the cloud or my Gnex. Has anyone had any luck with this? When I go to the little droid music guy, all I see is my podcasts, no music files. I use my receiver to play music through the house by having zone 2 output to a secondary amp.

artnoc310 says:

I still have this "thing" for anything with an ethernet port. There's something about the click of an ethernet port that is just pure satisfaction. If I could find a toaster with an ethernet port I'd be in heaven. Wow.... I'm getting off topic now.

hwy101 says:

I have the TX-8050, use it mostly with pandora and music on PC. love the app and the abilities it offers being linked to internet. Didn't think I would use it much but found myself using it quite often.

John Pfohl says:

Hello,
I have the TX-8050 as well and running the app on a Galaxy S4 and it works for everything except network services. When I go to network services settings they (pandora, sirius, etc)are all there but when I just try to run network it says "connecting acquiring data" and never allows me to use it. Any ideas?

dantaipan says:

Too bad the guy that makes ORemote for iOS doesn't port it over. Soooo much better than the Onkyo app. One of the few apps I miss after making the switch. http://oremote.oriole.net/oRemote/iPhone_Screenshots.html