Top positive review
225 people found this helpful
Best Bang for the Buck in Next-Gen Home Theater Receivers
on August 30, 2008
I'll start by saying I'm not an Audiophile. I just wanted a decent mid-range receiver that does all the latest lossless audio formats and has 7.1 channels so it's ready to take advantage of BluRay as that format evolves. So my primary focus is on a system that plays audio for movies and video games as it's primary function. Currently I have this receiver setup in a 5.1 configuration since that's the type of receiver it replaced. I have more speakers on order to expand it out but to be honest, right now if you're building a home theater from scratch, you only need 5.1 . The 7.1 specs aren't really supported yet and DVDs and Playstation/Xbox are all 5.1, so if you're starting from scratch save some money and setup for 5.1 first and expand as support grows.
I used the automated speaker calibration feature to setup all the channels. This is where you place the provided mic at ear level at three different listener positions. The receiver then sends out tones which will drive you and your dog nuts for about 15 minutes while the entire process goes on. Once it was done however, I was/am very pleased with the results.
I've heard some people ask about humming, i can detect no humming. I have some WiFi equipment close by which is 2.5 ghz and so far have not heard any humming. Some other people have said the Receiver runs hot to which I would ask those people, is this your first receiver? They do run hot ! This one runs no hotter than the old one i replaced from a different manufacturer so as far as I'm concerned, the heat issue is normal. I have it in a small component rack that's enclosed on the sides and back with a door on the front, it's got maybe half an inch space around the sides and 2 inches of space on top and so far everything is good.
The back has tons of inputs, but the primary reason I waited for the 606 over the previous model is the number of HDMI ports, the next generation audio/video cable which is a requirement for full resolution BluRay playback. They're rev 1.3a to support all the latest audio formats as well (none of which are currently supported by the discs themselves yet though). The receiver will pass through a 1080p signal from a BluRay or other high def video source. If you feed it a standard def 480i video source, it will upscale it to 1080i or 720p. It does a decent job but i would say upscaling isn't the receivers strong point, it does an acceptable job though. But lets face it, Onkyo doesn't build TV's, their bread and butter isn't video, it's audio.
I'm pleased with the performance and the styling of the receiver, it's just very basic and sleek. No built in graphical user interface and all that other nonsense that receivers 3x this price but no more times the performance come equipped with. This receiver for a mid end system for movies and video games just really can't be matched in terms of performance per dollar spent.
I have matched this receiver with some Polk Audio speakers. Specifically i have a Polk CSi3 center channel and six Polk RTi4 bookshelf speakers (all of which you can find at great prices here on Amazon where I ordered them from) and I am very very happy with the results. The Polk speakers like the Onkyo 606 receiver are over achievers for their price point, so they match together extremely well.
The only thing I have left to say is buy it, I wouldn't hesitate recommending this receiver to anyone looking for a solid movie/video game home theater experience.