When Onkyo announced the TX-SR607, the company made a big deal that it was the first AV receiver to include onboard Dolby Pro Logic IIz processing. Dolby's new format relies on "height" speakers--two satellite speakers situated above the standard front right/left speakers--to create a more "airy" soundscape--or at least that's the idea. We tried our best to enjoy the extra atmospheric effects, but the reality is our ears had a tough time hearing anything beyond placebo effects. But honestly, who cares? The Onkyo TX-SR607 is a great midrange AV receiver without Pro Logic IIz, offering up six HDMI inputs and excellent sound quality at a street price that is already down to $500 online. If you're looking for more video-centric features like a graphical user interface or high quality analog video upconversion, it may be smart to hold off until the Sony STR-DN1000 and Pioneer VSX-1019AH are released. But if you'd rather maximize your HDMI connectivity and sound quality on a budget, it's tough to beat the TX-SR607.
The trend in home audio is to make gear smaller and sleeker, but Onkyo receivers are unapologetically big and bulky. Coming in at 17.13 inches wide by 6.94 inches high by 12.94 inches deep, the Onkyo TX-SR607 is available in black or silver finishes. You'll want to leave plenty of space in your home theater rack to fit the receiver, especially since it tends to run hot.
Front panel HDMI port
The front panel offers the standard assortment of buttons and knobs, but it also features an HDMI port; the TX-SR607 is the first receiver we've seen with a front panel HDMI port.
The TX-SR607's six HDMI inputs are outstanding at the price range. We've previously seen six HDMI inputs on high-end receivers like the Sony STR-DA5400ES, but this is the first time we've seen that many ports on a midrange AV receiver. We were also impressed that it's possible to connect eight simultaneous HD sources, which means there are enough input "slots" to cover all six HDMI inputs and the two component video inputs. The rest of the connectivity standard at this price range, although there are some notable omissions.
What it's missing
There are no S-Video inputs on the TX-SR607--which is becoming common--but there also isn't a 7.1 multichannel analog input, which may disappoint some buyers with older gear. Like most receiver in this price range, the TX-SR607 also lacks a phono jack.
The Onkyo TX-SR607's Audyssey 2EQ automatic speaker calibration system uses a microphone to analyze the speakers and subwoofer's sound from three listening positions in your room. The Audyssey 2EQ checks the wiring polarity for each speaker, adjusts each channel's volume level and time delay setting, determines the speaker "sizes," and subwoofer crossover settings. The Audyssey 2EQ also provides equalization corrections to the speakers.
The include remote control is the same as last year's and we generally like its simple design. Instead of offering all the functions directly on the remote, the TX-SR607's clicker uses a simpler design that relies more on navigating onscreen menus. While some old-school home theater fans may prefer having all the buttons at their fingertips, we felt like this design was much less intimidating for the average user.