Onkyo TX-SR600 review: Onkyo TX-SR600

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CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Relatively inexpensive; has the latest 6.1 Dolby EX and DTS ES surround-decoding chips; A/B speaker switching.

The Bad Spring-clip connectors for the B speakers.

The Bottom Line Incredibly enough, Onkyo somehow continues to drop prices and still make great-sounding receivers.

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Onkyo has snagged the latest blip in the format wars and endowed its new midpriced receiver, the TX-SR600, with Dolby Digital EX. Yes, EX Surround has been on the market for a couple of years, but you could find it on only THX-certified receivers. Now, Dolby Digital EX is available on less expensive, non-THX models such as this Onkyo, which also offers a host of useful features and boasts above-average sound quality. Onkyo has snagged the latest blip in the format wars and endowed its new midpriced receiver, the TX-SR600, with Dolby Digital EX. Yes, EX Surround has been on the market for a couple of years, but you could find it on only THX-certified receivers. Now, Dolby Digital EX is available on less expensive, non-THX models such as this Onkyo, which also offers a host of useful features and boasts above-average sound quality.

It's getting better all the time
For the uninitiated, the EX 6.1 format adds a rear-center channel to fill out surround effects in ways that standard 5.1 multichannel sound cannot. Beyond Digital EX, this receiver also supports DTS-ES and Dolby Pro Logic II processing, so it covers all current surround-format possibilities. On top of that, the SR600 is outfitted with six 80-watt, high-current power amplifiers that won't be fazed by tough-to-drive or inefficient speakers.

This receiver won't let you down when you're ready to move up to HDTV; its 50MHz component-video-switching capabilities are up to the job. The SR600's solid-aluminum front panel sports a complete set of composite and S-Video inputs, left/right audio inputs, and an optical digital-input jack for convenient connection to a video camera or a game system. Overall, however, the connectivity choices are only average; there's a smattering of A/V inputs, a 5.1 input for DVD-Audio/Super Audio CD, and four digital-audio inputs but no preamp outputs or phono input. Another small gripe: while the main-set speaker connectors are of reasonably good quality, Onkyo went with cheap spring clips for the B speakers.

As far as the remote goes, it's big and fairly easy to use. A few of the most frequently used buttons are backlit--no complaints here.

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Where to Buy

Onkyo TX-SR600

Part Number: TX-SR600

Pricing is currently unavailable.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Response Bandwidth 10 - 100000 Hz
  • Color black
  • Additional Features digital signal format auto detection / auto switching
  • Functions AV receiver
  • Sound Output Mode Surround Sound
  • Type AV receiver