Onkyo TX-SR502

Home theater receiver with Dolby Digital EX, DTS-ES, and Dolby Pro Logic IIx (Black)

  • Onkyo TX-SR502


  • Onkyo TX-SR502


  • Onkyo TX-SR502


Item #: 580TXSR502

Review Summary

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Our take on the Onkyo TX-SR502

by Barry Montgomery

Receivers: Your ticket to sensational sound

Your receiver powers your speakers and lets you connect and select your entertainment sources. But a great receiver does a lot more — it ignites your emotions. From the passion of a favorite musical artist, to the crossfire of a super-charged movie soundtrack, to the intensity and immersion of a fast-paced video game, your receiver is the key to experiencing and enjoying it in full.

Every time you sit down to watch a DVD or TV show, listen to your favorite music, or even play video games, the Onkyo TX-SR502 can make it a 6.1-channel, 360º surround experience! This receiver pairs 75 full-bandwidth-rated watts x 6 channels of home theater power with an advanced 24-bit processor that provides a wealth of decoding options. Dolby® Digital EX and DTS-ES® deliver all the three-dimensional sonic realism that the latest DVDs have to offer. You also get innovative Pro Logic IIx decoding, which lets you transform stereo music and older surround sources into convincing 6.1 surround sound.

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Onkyo's famous overbuilt construction ensures that you'll enjoy incredible A/V performance at all times. The 'SR502's beefy build incorporates oversized internal components and an anti-resonant chassis, helping to keep your multichannel sound pure and powerful. Onkyo's high-current Wide Range Amplifier Technology (WRAT) ensures signal accuracy with high-resolution sources like DVD-Audio and SACD. And for especially accurate home theater performance, CinemaFILTER adjusts the tonal balance of soundtracks mixed for movie theaters for optimal playback in home theater settings.

When it comes to building a great A/V system, the TX-SR502 has plenty of ins and outs to let you get the job done right. It boasts four digital inputs, component video switching, 4 S-video inputs, and a 5.1-channel analog input for multichannel audio. There's even a front-panel A/V input with S-video for quick hookup of a camcorder, game system, or portable audio player. The multibrand remote gives you easy control of this receiver, all Onkyo components, and other brands of TVs, DVD players, VCRs, cable boxes, and satellite TV receivers. Two sets of main speaker outputs let you hook up stereo speakers in two rooms.


    • 75 watts x 6 channels into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.08% THD
    • Dolby Digital EX, DTS-ES, DTS 96/24, DTS Neo:6 and Pro Logic IIx decoding
    • Wide Range Amplifier Technology
    • 96kHz/24-bit DACs for all channels
    • CinemaFILTER
    • component video switching: 2 in, 1 out (50MHz bandwidth)
    • digital inputs: 3 optical, 1 coaxial
    • 2 audio, 4 A/V (including 4 S-video, 1 front-panel, and one 5.1-channel) inputs
    • multibrand-for-video remote
    • adjustable subwoofer crossover
    • 2 sets of main speaker outputs
    • banana plug-compatible speaker posts for all main-room speakers
    • high-current, low-impedance amp design
    • aluminum front panel
    • oversized power transformer, filter capacitors and heat sinks
    • no phono input
    • 30 AM/FM presets
    • 17-1/8"W x 5-15/16"H x 15-7/16"D
    • warranty: 2 years
    • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

    Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

    Features and Specs
    Number Of Channels N/A
    Stereo RMS Power (watts) ---
    THD in Stereo ---
    Frequency Bandwidth (stereo) ---
    FM Sensitivity 11.2 dBf
    HD Radio Tuner No
    On-Screen Display No
    Auto Speaker Calibration ---
    HDMI Standby Pass-through ---
    Composite Video Conversion ---
    S-Video Conversion ---
    Component Video Conversion ---
    HDMI to HDMI Upconversion ---
    Internet-ready ---
    Apple AirPlay ---
    App Remote Control No
    Bluetooth-compatible ---
    USB port for iPod/iPhone No
    DLNA Certified ---
    MHL-compatible ---
    Multibrand Remote Control ---
    Learning Remote No
    LCD Remote No
    Width (inches) 17-1/8
    Height (inches) 5-15/16
    Depth (inches) 15-7/16
    Weight (pounds) ---
    Parts Warranty 2 Years
    Labor Warranty 2 Years
    Multi-room Audio--Video
    Powered Multi-room Audio Output No
    Preamp Multi-room Audio Output No
    Multi-room Video No
    Multi-room HDMI Output No
    Surround Processing
    Dolby Digital Yes
    DTS Yes
    Inputs & Outputs
    Phono Input No
    Audio-Video Inputs 4
    Audio-only Inputs 2
    S-Video Inputs ---
    S-Video Outputs ---
    S-Video Monitor Outputs ---
    Component Video Inputs 2
    Component Video Monitor Outputs 1
    Optical Digital Inputs 3
    Coaxial Digital Inputs 1
    Optical Digital Outputs None
    Coaxial Digital Outputs None
    HDMI Inputs ---
    HDMI Monitor Outputs ---
    Subwoofer Outputs 1
    Multi-Channel Analog Input No
    Multi-channel Preamp Output No
    Main Speaker Output Pairs 2
    Main Speaker Terminals Posts
    Ethernet Port ---
    USB Connections None
    Removable Power Cord ---
    Product Research
    What's in the box?

    Download owner's manual

    • Black AM/FM/Dolby Digital/DTS receiver
    • RC-567M Wireless remote
    • 2 "AA" batteries
    • AM loop antenna
    • FM wire antenna
    • Instruction Manual
    • Quick Start Guide
    • Product Registration/Warranty Card
    • Sheet of labels for cables

    Our Product Research Team

    At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

    Remote Control
    Inputs and Outputs Notes


    WRAT (Wide Range Amplifier Technology): This technology uses low-negative-feedback circuit topology for accurate signal reproduction, improved dynamic signal-to-noise ratio, and better delivery of power peaks.

    96kHz/24-Bit Digital-to-Analog Converters: To decode and playback high-resolution recordings, this receiver is equipped with 96kHz/24-bit DACs on all channels.

    New Surround Modes: The Onkyo TX-SR502 features Dolby Pro Logic IIx, a new surround mode from Dolby Laboratories, plus two combined modes using existing Dolby and Digital Theater Systems (DTS) surround modes:

    • Dolby Pro Logic IIx: This mode can create 6.1-channel surround from two-channel material (except 96kHz PCM). Dolby Pro Logic IIx has 3 modes: Movie, Music and Game (for 2-channel sources only). The DPL IIx Music mode can create 6.1-channel surround from 5.1-channel audio material.
    • DTS+Neo:6: This mode uses the Neo:6 decoder to create 6.1-channel surround from DTS 5.1-channel material. It can be used with CDs, DVDs, and LDs that bear the DTS or DTS 96/24 logo.
    • DTS+Dolby EX:  This mode uses the Dolby EX decoder to create 6.1-channel surround from DTS 5.1-channel material. It can also be used with CDs, DVDs, and LDs that bear the DTS or DTS 96/24 logo.

    Listening Modes: This receiver incorporates a wide variety of surround listening modes to bring you maximum enjoyment from your audio and video software. The surround modes include:

    • Dolby Digital EX
    • Dolby Digital
    • Dolby Pro Logic II
      • Music
      • Movie
      • Game
    • Dolby Pro Logic IIx
      • Music
      • Movie
      • Game
    • DTS
    • DTS-ES
      • Discrete
      • Matrix
    • DTS 96/24
    • DTS Neo:6
      • Cinema
      • Music
    • DTS+Neo:6
    • DTS+Dolby EX
    • Onkyo Original DSP
      • Orchestra
      • Unplugged
      • Studio-Mix
      • TV Logic
      • All channel stereo

    Basic Modes: This receiver has two basic listening modes, Direct and Stereo, for use with 2-channel sources. The Direct mode uses minimal signal processing to give you the purest sound possible. The Stereo mode is processed as a stereo signal and output to the front left and right speakers and the subwoofer.

    Adjustable Crossover: This receiver has a built-in crossover for the speaker system. This setting is available when you tell the receiver that there is a subwoofer being used, or when you set your front speakers to "Small". Depending upon the size of the drivers in the front speakers, you can choose from the following cutoff frequencies: 60, 80, 100, 120 and 150Hz.

    Audio Adjustments:

    • Double Bass: This function boosts the bass by feeding bass sounds from the front left and right channels to the subwoofer. This works well with mono and 2-channel sources, including 96kHz PCM.

    • Late Night (Dolby Digital only): You can reduce the dynamic range of Dolby Digital material so you can still hear quiet parts even when listening at low volume levels. Loud passages, such as explosions, are subdued, so as not to disturb others.

    • CinemaFILTER: This function can soften the harshness or brightness sometimes experienced with movie soundtracks, which are typically mixed for reproduction in a movie theater.

    Sleep Function: From the remote, you can set the unit to automatically turn off after a selected amount of time. You can choose from between 10 and 90 minutes in 10-minute increments.

    Display Dimmer: The display illumination can be set to dim, dimmer, or normal brightness.

    Remote Control

    Multibrand Remote (RC-567M): The supplied wireless remote is an illuminated multibrand remote. The remote is pre-programmed to operate Onkyo CD player or recorder, DVD, MD, and cassette players connected via RI control cables. In addition, the remote is pre-programmed to operate other popular brands of equipment, including DVD players, satellite receivers, cable boxes, VCRs, and televisions.

    Inputs and Outputs Notes

    Assignable Digital Inputs: The TX-SR502 features 3 optical (Toslink) and 1 coaxial digital inputs. There are no digital outputs. Each input can be assigned to any input source except Phono and Tuner.

    Headphone Output: This receiver has a standard 1/4" headphone output on the front panel.

    Speaker Outputs: There are color-coded binding post connectors for the left front A (white), right front A (red), left front B (white), right front B (red), center (green), left surround (blue), right surround (gray), and surround back (brown). The binding posts are not 5-way because a plastic collar prevents their use with spade lugs. A sheet of color-coded speaker wire labels is provided.

    RI Remote Control Jack: The 1/8" RI remote control jack allows you to connect this receiver to compatible Onkyo components.

    Multi-Channel Input: The receiver is equipped with a 5.1 multi-channel input for compatibility with 5.1-channel decoders. The input consists of left front, right front, center, left surround, right surround, and subwoofer RCA inputs.

    Component Video Switching: In addition to composite and S-Video switching, this unit can switch between two component video sources. There are 2 component video inputs and 1 component video output; each input and output has jacks labeled "Y", "Pb" and "Pr". This feature allows you to connect, and switch between, high resolution video sources equipped with component video outputs. The component video bandwidth is 50 MHz. Note: This receiver does not upconvert between formats; video signals will be output in the same format as it was input.

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    Onkyo TX-SR502 Reviews

    Average Customer Review:

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    5 out of 5


    Written By hoser, Passaic County, NJ on Monday, April 04, 2005
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
    I have to say that when I recieved my Onkyo, I was very surprise what this level entry reciever can do that some other brands twice the priced couldn't even match. The setup menu is extremely easy for anyone who is not an audiophile like myself. The calibration settings you can do is really great as in you can set your speakers based on size, power, and distance. The dts ex sounds amazing, try hearing Star Wars Phantam Menace episode 1 the scene young Anakin is racing, then you'll see how amazing this reciever is. The only thing as always remember to get the best impact out of your receiver make sure you go with Optical or Digital Coax audio cables. I personally loved the THX Certified Optical cable and also the speakers are always important. On a final note the receiver is really quite and steps up to the plate whenever you want to listen to it's 5.1 channel inputs for SACD or watching a dvd or listening to the radio, i recomended to basic and audiophiles users. ONKYO N DENON RULE THE HOME THEATHER WORLD!!!
    14 out of 21 people found this helpful
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    4 out of 5

    Onkyo TX-SR502

    Written By Ryan, Warwick, RI on Sunday, March 20, 2005
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
    This little Onkyo receiver handles fairly well. It has very good sound at a modest wattage. There's something lacking in the center channel when watching a DTS DVD, something I've been meaning to contact the company about. It has more features than any receiver at this price should have.

    CD's sound very good in stereo mode, as well as the other listening modes, such as Dolby Pro Logic II Music and DTS Neo:6 Music. DVD's pack a wallop in either Dolby or DTS. Inputting your speaker information is surprisingly painless.

    The main cons I can think of aside from the slight sound defect in DTS 5.1 are that the remote could be built a little better (buttons are too close together and are poorly labeled) and the manual could stand to be a little better.
    181 out of 239 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No

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