Receivers

Onkyo TX-SR706 7.1 A/V Receiver

ARTICLE INDEX

Design of the Onkyo TX-SR706 7.1 A/V Receiver

The Onkyo TX-SR706 is a moderately sized receiver at 14 13/16” deep, 6 7/8” tall, 17 1/8” wide and 27.2 lbs. The overall design of the front panel is conservative, but effective with controls that consist of a large volume knob and a host of buttons. I always prefer having the option to operate a component from the front panel and the Onkyo’s design offers complete control of the receiver. The front panel is completed by a headphone output and an input cluster with analog audio, optical digital audio, composite video, and S-video. The Onkyo is well equipped with four HDMI 1.3a inputs, but despite offering as many or more HDMI inputs than any of its competitors, I still wish it had more. Maybe I am in the minority, but I could really use six or more HDMI inputs, since I would rather run all of my sources on HDMI. I would happily give up a few of the S-video and composite inputs for some more HDMI inputs.

Analog video inputs on the Onkyo consist of two component, four S-video and four composite video inputs. Digital audio is handled by three coaxial and two optical inputs. For analog audio, the Onkyo has five stereo, a 7.1 multichannel and, most interesting, a phono input. I do not personally listen to records, but this is becoming a more popular format for many users and it is a nice addition. Speaker outputs for the seven main speakers and an additional pair of “Zone 2” output are all on 2-way binding posts. The Onkyo TX-SR706 can handle 4 ohm speakers by using a 4 ohm mode and also offers the option to bi-amp the front speakers in place of running surround back speakers, both of which can be very useful features. In addition to the speaker outputs, there are 7.1 channel pre-amp outputs and a line level output for “Zone 2”. Pre-amp outputs are important to me in a receiver as they offer the user a clear upgrade path with the option of adding an external amplifier for more power. The rest of the back panel is made up of radio antenna inputs (AM, FM, XM and Sirius) and control inputs and outputs (IR and RS-232 input, 12V trigger).

Onkyo TX-SR706 Receiver

The clean and functional design of the Onkyo TX-SR706 makes it a pleasure to use.

Processing Features

The Onkyo TX-SR706 sports all of the current low-res and HD Dolby and DTS codecs. The Onkyo can also handle multichannel PCM and DSD over its HDMI inputs for Blu-ray, DVD-Audio and SACD. In addition, the Onkyo can layer the THX Cinema, Game or Music processing over any of the previously mentioned formats. The purists will be happy that they can also forgo all of the additional processing for both stereo and surround with a “Pure Audio” mode that turns off the video circuitry and “Direct” mode which leaves the video circuits on. There are also “Mono” and “Stereo” modes for sources of those respective types. Finally, the Onkyo has a few generic, “Onkyo Original”, processing modes, which include a useful background music mode called “All Ch Stereo” for parties. With all of the processing options, it is nice that Onkyo allows you to configure a default processing mode for each input and source type (Analog/PCM, Dolby or DTS).

Video processing is handled by a Faroudja DCDi Cinema chipset that can deinterlace scale all of the sources up to a 1080p resolution for output on HDMI. The video processing will not scale sources for the component video output. The HDMI video output can be optimized with picture controls, noise reduction, zoom and deinterlacing mode options. There is also a “lip sync” delay that is adjustable in 5 ms increments from 0 to 250 ms.