Movies like xXx: State of the Union might not win anyone involved an Oscar, but the scene early on in the movie where the underground base gets infiltrated is one of the most sonically exciting things we've heard. Explosions have a deep and powerful sound, but the TX-NR906 never fails to deliver crisp dialogue too, giving an experience that's as close to being in the cinema as possible.
So, is anything wrong with this receiver? Not really. At a push, we don't much care for the Audyssey set-up. The problem is that it not only takes ages to complete but the results are generally not brilliant. We'd suggest you sit down with a good demo disc and calibrate everything by hand. That's not anywhere near as hard as it sounds, and you'll get a more personal result. After all, a software algorithm doesn't know how well you hear and what sort of levels you prefer for each individual channel.
Apart from that, the TX-NR906 blew our socks off. We fell in love with the wonderful quality of Blu-ray movies on it, and it's a product that we'd be more than happy to go out and buy for ourselves.
We also tested the TX-NR906 with music. It's fair to say that not all AV receivers can cope well with music, but this one manages very well indeed. Although it's not quite as brilliant as a dedicated stereo system could be, the THX and Dolby music modes did an absolutely fantastic job with our favourite music.
The problem with reviewing great-quality equipment is that, sooner or later, you have to give it back. Having had the Onkyo TX-NR906 in the office for a few months now, paired with a wonderful set of Klipsch speakers, it's going to be upsetting to say goodbye. We have no problem recommending this set-up, and, with some clever shopping, you could probably bag it for around £2,000.
You could opt for a cheaper receiver. Onkyo, after all, has a very wide selection, and all the ones we've tested have performed brilliantly. That said, this is a receiver that will grow with you as your home cinema does. It's as future-proof as you can hope for and it's likely that it will last you for many, many years, if you take the plunge.
Edited by Charles Kloet