Video: Onkyo TX-SR606 Home Theater Receiver
Julie Govan is the Brand Manager at Crutchfield, and has been writing about consumer electronics since 1999. Her areas of expertise include home theater, surround sound, digital cameras, and HDTV. In her spare time, she also writes book reviews and fiction. She earned a B.A. in English from Davidson College, and went on to receive a master's degree in English literature from the University of Virginia.
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Steve Kindig has been an electronics enthusiast for over 30 years. He has written extensively about home and car A/V gear for Crutchfield since 1985. Steve is also a volunteer DJ at community radio station WTJU, where he is a regular host of the American folk show "Atlantic Weekly," as well as the world music program "Radio Tropicale."
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Home theater experts Julie and Steve highlight some of the coolest features of Onkyo's TX-SR606 receiver.
Steve: Hi, I'm Steve.
Julie: And I'm Julie. And we're here today with the Onkyo TX-SR606 home theater receiver. Now Onkyo receivers are known for build quality; they're also known for having excellent amplifiers inside.
Steve: That's right, they have high-current amplifiers built in which means that they can drive higher-quality loudspeakers than some other receivers in this price range.
Julie: That's right. Actually, when I started here at Crutchfield 8-1/2 years ago, I heard so much about Onkyo receiver build quality and amp quality that I bought an Onkyo home theater receiver. And I have to say, I have used it for the last 8-1/2 years without a single problem.
Steve: And your system rocks!
Steve: But this receiver has some cool high-def-oriented features that really weren't even around when you bought yours.
Julie: That's true.
Steve: It has decoding for the latest surround sound formats, like Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio.
Julie: That's a really nice feature. You don't see that in receivers at this price range all that often.
Steve: Definitely not. And it's great especially if you have a Blu-ray player, because that's where you find those formats.
Julie: Yeah. And another thing that this one has that mine certainly didn't have is it actually has four HDMI inputs.
Steve: That's so handy, because more and more video components have HDMI connections. So with this receiver you can run all of your components into the receiver, and then a single HDMI cable from the receiver to you TV.
Julie: Oh, that's really convenient.
Steve: And also, it gets even better than that because this receiver has built-in video upconversion to 1080i. So even your non-HD sources — like, you know, your old VCR or a camcorder — you just plug them all into the receiver and you still just have to run a single HDMI cable to your TV.
Julie: That's a really nice feature. And there's another thing that I particularly like about this model — it has an auto-calibration system. It comes with a microphone and you plug it into the jack on the front panel there, and you can actually just set the microphone in some of your primary listening spots, and it will let the receiver set speaker levels, speaker delays, things like that for you, so you get the best setup for your room.
Steve: It's goof proof. One other cool feature — we've been talking about surround sound a lot, but if you still listen to stereo music, you know, CDs, this receiver is great because it has built-in biamping capability. If you have some, you know, high-quality speakers that are biamp-capable, you can take two of this receiver's channels — it has seven channels of amplification, most people will only use five for their surround sound — so you can take the other two channels and run them into your front speakers as well so you're doubling the power. And the sound quality and dynamics are fantastic.
Julie: And that's a really great choice for audiophiles who want to spend about this amount of money?
Julie: Excellent. Alright, and that's the Onkyo TX-SR606 home theater receiver.