Onkyo TX-SR706 7.1 A/V Receiver


Onkyo TX-SR706 7.1 A/V Receiver In Use

Like most new receivers, setting up the TX-SR706 is relatively painless using the included microphone and the automatic setup routine. One simply selects the speaker impedance (4 ohm or 6+ ohms) and speaker mode (normal or bi-amp) and the receiver handles the rest. Most of the settings were spot on, but the crossover settings were a bit off. The system can independently set crossovers for the main, center, surround and surround back speakers. The automatic setup assigned different crossover frequencies for each type of speaker in my system with some of the crossovers higher and lower than I prefer. I manually reassigned all of the crossovers to 80 Hz for all of my evaluations. Getting all of the appropriate inputs mapped to the sources was also a cinch with the OSD. The Onkyo also allows you to rename your sources to help you keep things straight.

I used the Onkyo to listen to a variety of material and it was successful every time in delivering an enjoyable experience. I particularly liked watching HD DVDs and Blu-rays with the TX-SR706. Whether it was high-res PCM from the Dolby TrueHD soundtrack on the HD DVD of The Bourne Ultimatum or bitsream DTS-HD Master Audio from the Band of Brothers Blu-ray, the Onkyo always sounded excellent. My much loved Talking Heads DVD-Audio discs had a weighty and enveloping surround field that was a lot of fun to listen to on the Onkyo. I was impressed by the Onkyo's ability to handle big dynamics and to produce natural sounding orchestral instruments on Michael Tilson Thomas's SACD recording of Mahler: Symphony No. 1. I also experimented a bit comparing the "stereo" mode with the "Pure Audio" mode on Hot Chip's The Warning. As one might expect with the subwoofer engaged and the Audyssey working its magic, the "stereo" mode provided a fuller and richer sound which I preferred. The "Pure Audio" mode might have been giving me more detail and clarity, but the advantages were subtle at best. Finally, the Onkyo gave me great sound from my TiVo HD and Xbox 360 as well.