Onkyo 2007 receivers deliver next-gen HDMI, surround-audio features

Onkyo's newly announced AV receivers include a host of groundbreaking upgrades--including HDMI 1.3 and onboard Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD decoding--at aggressive price points.

Onkyo TX-SR605
Onkyo TX-SR605: HDMI 1.3 and next-gen surround decoding, for an amazing $600 Onkyo USA

For the past 12 to 18 months, astute readers may have noticed an increased bit of hedging in our reviews for AV receivers. Yes, even low-end receivers offer more features and flexibility than $1,500 models did just three or four years ago and yes, there are plenty of great-sounding receivers available out there at great prices. But smart shoppers looking for a no-compromise, future-proof AV receiver have been stymied, even if they've been willing to pay upwards of $2,000.

At least, that was the case--until today. Onkyo has become the first mainstream manufacturer to officially announce an array of home audio products that offer the two big features that have been MIA on home audio products to date: HDMI 1.3; and onboard decoding of Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, and DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks found on HD DVD and Blu-ray discs. The news itself wasn't a surprise, as most of the details had been leaked on the Web earlier this month. And there is no doubt that other manufacturers will be announcing similarly equipped receivers in the next few weeks and months. But because specs, pricing, and availability have been confirmed, we can now say authoritatively that Onkyo looks to be offering some of the most exciting--and surprisingly affordable--A/V receivers seen in recent years.

Full specs for each of the seven announced receivers are highlighted below. In addition to HDMI 1.3 and Dolby TrueHD/DTS-HD support (on all but the two low-end models), most offer support for XM and Sirius satellite radio (with the respective subscriptions and accessories). All seven models offer Audyssey automatic speaker calibration, 7.1-channel analog inputs, at least two HDMI inputs and one output, and compatibility with Onkyo's iPod docks .

The 2007 Onkyo receiver lineup is as follows (note that this is nearly identical to the leaked specs published earlier this month, but with confirmed/official details and pricing; all models are available in black or silver):

TX-SR505 ($380, now available)
7.1 A/V receiver, 75 watts per channel
2 HDMI inputs (video passthrough only; audio requires separate connection)
Audyssey 2EQ auto speaker calibration

TX-SR575 ($480, now available)
7.1 A/V receiver, 80 watts per channel
2 HDMI inputs (video pass-through only; audio requires separate connection)
Component video conversion (composite/S-video converted to component output)
Audyssey 2EQ auto speaker calibration
XM- and Sirius-ready

TX-SR605 ($600, May 2007)
7.1 A/V receiver, 90 watts per channel
2 HDMI 1.3a inputs, with HDMI conversion of analog video
Onboard decoding for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio
Faroudja DCDi video processing
Audyssey 2EQ auto speaker calibration
XM- and Sirius-ready

TX-SR705 ($900, July 2007)
7.1 A/V receiver, 100 watts per channel
3 HDMI 1.3a inputs, with HDMI upconversion
Onboard decoding for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio
Faroudja DCDi video processing
THX Select2 Certified
Audyssey MultEQ auto speaker calibration
XM- and Sirius-ready
Multiroom functionality for two zones

TX-SR805 ($1,100, May 2007)
7.1 A/V receiver, 130 watts per channel
3 HDMI 1.3a inputs, with HDMI upconversion
Onboard decoding for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio
Faroudja DCDi video processing
THX Select2 Certified
Audyssey MultEQ auto speaker calibration
XM- and Sirius-ready
Multiroom functionality for three zones

TX-SR875 ($1,700, June 2007)
7.1 A/V receiver, 140 watts per channel
4 HDMI 1.3a inputs, with HDMI upconversion to 1080p
Onboard decoding for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio
HQV Reon-VX Video processing
THX Ultra2 Certified
Audyssey MultEQ auto speaker calibration
XM- and Sirius-ready
Multiroom functionality for three zones

TX-NR905 ($2,100, August 2007)
7.1 A/V receiver, 140 watts per channel
4 HDMI 1.3a inputs, with HDMI upconversion to 1080p
Onboard decoding for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio
HQV Reon-VX Video processing
THX Ultra2 Certified
Audyssey MultEQ auto speaker calibration
XM- and Sirius-ready
Multiroom functionality for three zones
Networking capabilities for Internet radio and WMA files
HD Radio
USB input for MP3 players

The whole lineup is impressive, but the sweet spot--especially for those on a reasonable budget--definitely looks to be the TX-SR705 and TX-SR605. Given their amazing feature sets (including options that were heretofore unavailable), their $900 and $600 price points are downright disruptive. While a hands-on evaluation is needed for a final determination--and, to be sure, CNET's on the list for one of the first SR605 review samples--the mere existence of both receivers makes anything else in the sub-$1,000 range pale by comparison (sorry, Yamaha ). Personally, I'd hold off buying any A/V receiver until we determine if these Onkyos--and their eventual competitors --can deliver on their groundbreaking potential.

Original sources:


About the author

John P. Falcone is the executive editor of CNET Reviews, where he coordinates a group of more than 20 editors and writers based in New York and San Francisco as they cover the latest and greatest products in consumer technology. He's been a CNET editor since 2003.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Don't Miss
Hot Products
Trending on CNET

HOT ON CNET

Is your phone battery always at 4 percent?

These battery packs will give your device the extra juice to power through all of those texts and phone calls.