Onkyo TX-SR606 review preview

OK, so by now anyone who pays close attention to the Forums will know that we’ve been out and bought a receiver, just to bring you an Onkyo TX-SR606 review as soon as possible, writes Andrew Everard.

It’s been running overnight, and while that means we’re not ready to deliver a complete and comprehensive TX-SR606 test just yet – for our full review you’ll have to wait a day or two – I thought it might be handy to give a few first impressions of this very significant product, the successor to the What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision Award-winning Onkyo TX-SR605.

And it’s all good news so far, unless you were expecting the previous functional design to emerge butterfly-like in a suit of designer clothes. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to tell the two apart from the front – the badge is the only real giveaway.

But start to use it and the differences emerge, not least of which is the much classier remote control supplied with the new receiver. In place of the ‘605’s angular handset, the Onkyo TX-SR606 comes complete with a much more rounded remote, which sits more comfortably in the hand and looks a lot better in its glossy finish.

A small thing, agreed, but it makes all the difference when it comes to enjoying using the receiver.

And the rest of the initial impression is good, too; the two extra HDMI inputs are going to come in handy, and of course the built-in 720p/1080i upscaling is going to make the TX-SR606 even more appealing to many users.

At last you can route multiple HD and SD AV sources through the receiver and out to the TVs via a single HDMI connection, upscaling the SD ones to 720p/1080i. And thanks to the receiver's RIHD system, you'll be able to control Panasonic, Sharp and Toshiba TVs, too.

The Dynamic EQ system seems attractive, too, if it can get over those vanishing rear speakers as you turn the volume down for some late-night listening.

Not that we tend to watch at low levels much in our purpose-built listening rooms, but for the proper TX-SR606 review we’ll be running it at whisper level for a while to see how well this new system works.

So when do you get to read the full Onkyo TX-SR606 review? Just as soon as we've given it a good cooking – and since it’s currently blatting out the battle scenes of Letters from Iwo Jima that shouldn’t take too long.

Watch this space, as they say – we’re working on it…

UPDATE: Friday evening and we've almost finished listening and are about to start writing. Hope to have the review up on line tomorrow morning, as early as possible...

Technorati Tags: 1080i, 2007 Awards, 7.1-channel, Aquos link, Audyssey 2EQ, Audyssey Dynamic EQ, AV receiver, component video, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus Digital Plus, Dolby TruHD, DTS Master Audio, DTS-HD, HD Audio, HDMI 1.3a, home cinema receiver, Onkyo, Onkyo TX-SR605, Onkyo TX-SR606, Regza link, remote control, RIHD, upscaling, Viera link

Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.