Onkyo has a comprehensive range of AV receivers. In fact, it's got one of the largest line-ups going. The mid-range Onkyo TX-SR607 has a sensible price tag, and offers plenty of power and features worth shouting about.
For around £500, you get a superbly designed, well-specified AV receiver capable of driving your 5.1-, 7.1- or even 9.1-channel speaker system. It will also decode a multitude of audio codecs and pump out a serious amount of sound. The only question is: do we like it?
To us geeks, the TX-SR607 looks like a really funky piece of kit. We far prefer our black review version to the silver model. The inputs and outputs on the back of the TX-SR607 are, naturally, something of a nightmare. To reduce the horror, we'll go through it as logically as possible.
In terms of video inputs, you get five HDMI inputs on the back, with a sixth at the front. There are also two component inputs with a single component output. There are five composite video inputs as well, for use with older equipment.
With video out of the way, we can look at the audio inputs. For digital audio, you get a pair of coaxial RCA jacks and a pair of optical digital inputs. The analogue, composite video inputs we mentioned before are paired with matching stereo audio RCA jacks.
In terms of speaker outputs, you get stereo zone two outputs, which can also be used for the extra 'high' speaker channel (more on that later). Then there are the traditional surround 'back' and surround stereo channels. And then you get the front left, front right and, finally, centre channels.
If you're a bass lover, you'll be thrilled to see the two subwoofer outputs, which mean you can hook up twin subwoofers if you like. There's also an RCA stereo pair for hooking up to an amp in a second room -- handy if you want music in your bathroom or study.
The supplied remote control is quite simple, especially when compared with the one that comes with Onkyo's TX-NR906. It does the job though, and it's really quite pleasant to use. We just think it's a shame there's no backlight on this remote -- that makes it quite a challenge to change settings while watching a movie.
The most important feature on this AV receiver is the addition of Dolby Pro Logic IIz support, which allows you to add some more speakers to the six or eight you've already got. This is because Pro Logic IIz adds an additional channel of audio for front high speakers. These are essentially speakers that are mounted above screen height and designed to increase the sound field, making you feel even more involved in what's going on.
We like the flexibility of Onkyo AV gear. As usual, you get 7.1-channel speaker outputs, as well as a secondary, stereo zone, which can be used to connect speakers in another room. If, however, you want the front high speakers, you have a choice of either losing the second zone, or, if you prefer, the surround back speakers (used in 7.1-channel, but not 5.1-channel surround sound). That may sound confusing, but it's not all that hard to get to grips with when you start using the receiver.
Also new on this model is the proprietary 'universal port' on the back, which is designed to take a number of add-on accessories -- for example, an iPod dock. Obviously, not many peripherals have been designed for it at the moment. But expect that to change in the future.
Also worthy of note is the TX-SR607's set-up procedure. Thankfully, there's an on-screen menu, and this helps guide you through the process. We didn't find it difficult and were up and running in no time at all.