Features are all important when it comes to home cinema receivers and there simply isn't another model at this price range that carries such an advanced specification as £400 Onkyo TX-SR605.
What really sets this receiver apart is the inclusion of integrated high-definition audio decoding supported by the latest HDMI 1.3a connections, which will accept the new HD audio formats used by Blu-ray players -- even if we're still waiting for more players that can fully appreciate this technology.
There are few budget receivers that can claim as many advanced features as the TX-SR605. There are seven channels each with a decent 140W of amplification, which can be used for advanced set ups to enhance stereo performance by bi-amping the front two speakers. Setting up the system is extremely simple using the advanced automatic calibration system augmented by basic Audyssey 2EQ and clearly presented menu screens.
The inclusion of the latest HDMI 1.3a connections -- with two inputs and one output -- allows video switching between compatible high-definition sources, which eases operation and reduces cable clutter. There is also HDMI video up-conversion across all other inputs. It's only deinterlaced as opposed to upscaled but still improves the image quality of your analogue sources.
The future-proof HDMI 1.3a connections will also accept Deep Colour picture enhancements and the latest HD surround formats including Dolby True HD and DTS-HD Master Audio that are carried on HD discs, which can be decoded by the receiver itself.
As impressive as the on-paper specification is, the TX-SR605 doesn't disappoint with a class-leading performance. The receiver delivers a refined sound that remains a rarity at this price, featuring superb dynamics that open up a surprisingly expansive sound stage. The battle scene during 300 is particularly all encompassing.