Surround sound is awesome. It makes watching movies a truly exciting experience and teleports gaming into a whole new world. Crave recently had a pop at the new Colin McRae rally game, DiRT, and were blown away by the amazing surround effects, so we are especially excited to hear about these new TX-SR series AV receivers from Onkyo.
The new TX-SR home-cinema receiver range includes four THX-certified systems -- named TX-SR705, TX-SR805, TX-SR875 and TX-SR905 -- that also support HDMI 1.3a and both Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD, which means seriously amazing uncompressed surround sound.
All the models have Neural THX, which is designed to offer a full 5.1 surround experience from specially encoded stereo soundtracks. It also promises to extend 5.1 sound to 7.1 for gamers too, which will make for a very surround-y experience.
The £600 TX-SR705 offers THX Select 2 certification, which essentially means low signal-to-noise ratio and distortion figures, which means a better quality amp. The £800 TX-SR805 promises THX Ultra 2, which adds a few requirements, including THX Music, which should improve the music performance of the amp.
The receivers all offer HDMI in and out, how many of each depends on the model -- the 705 and 805 have three inputs and one output, the £1,000 TX-SR875 has four HDMI inputs and one output, and the £1,400 TX-SR905 has four inputs and two outputs.
The two top-of-the-range amps, 875 and 905, offer an ear-bashing 200W per channel. They will also upscale video to 1080p, which is a nice little bonus for those looking to get the best out of their DVD collection and swanky new TV. They're all out very soon, except the TX-SR705, which takes a bow next month. -Ian Morris