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Onkyo TX-NR906 AV Receiver - Onkyo TX-NR906 AV Receiver

By Danny Philips
Reviewed:

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  • Editors choice
Onkyo TX-NR906 AV Receiver

Summary

Our Score

10/10

Review Price free/subscription

In terms of looks, Onkyo has done a good job of making this beast of a receiver look stylish and friendly, giving you the option of black or silver (the former is more fetching). But be warned: it's so frighteningly heavy that you'll need a helper to lift it.

Most of the front-panel controls and connections are hidden under a flap at the bottom, but there's also a row of buttons above it that provide quick, direct access to the various inputs, plus a large, bright info display panel (which gratifyingly shows the name of the format being decoded in big, bold letters). No high-end receiver would be complete without a massive volume dial, and sure enough there's one on the right-hand side.

The rear panel looks like one of those old telephone exchange consoles, covering every single type of socket imaginable. There are four HDMI inputs and two outputs - all of which are v1.3 compliant with Deep Colour, x.v.Colour and Lip Sync support - plus three component video inputs, five S-video and composite inputs, three coaxial digital audio inputs, two optical digital audio inputs (and one output) and more analogue stereo sockets than you'll ever need.

In addition there are 7.1-channel analogue outputs and pre-outputs, with extra stereo pre-outs for second and third zone playback. What's more, when using a 5.1-channel setup, you can use the surround back channel speaker binding posts to bi-amp the front channels and increase the power. Other rear connections include Ethernet and RS232 ports, remote control ports and FM/AM antenna inputs.

On the front panel are more AV inputs and a USB port, which allows you to connect a flash drive or MP3 player, and because the NR906 is certified for Windows Vista (formerly known as Plays For Sure), you can play similarly compatible devices.

Despite its inherent complexity the TX-NR906 is surprisingly easy to install and use. The main reason for this is the inclusion of MultiEQ and the excellent on screen setup menu, which presents the vast array of options in a clear and logical way. But you can also access the setup menu from the front panel if you don't have the video outputs rigged up, and the clearly listed options make it an equally effective way of adjusting the settings.

We're also impressed by the backlit remote, which is predictably large and crammed with buttons, but it doesn't take long before you feel comfortable with the layout. You have to select different remote modes to control the unit's various functions, which results in some fruitless button pressing if you forget which mode is selected, but on the whole we don't think Onkyo could have done a better job.

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Hans Gruber

October 11, 2008, 6:01 am

Safe to say, you like this then. Even if it is a tad on the expensive side.

Chris Beach

October 11, 2008, 3:18 pm

well compared to the equivalent Denon or Yamaha its not actually that bad price wise.


My 705 was the cheapest of the three in the same feature set, in fact the onkyo trumped the Yammy (my previous make) in the video stakes.

Hans Gruber

October 11, 2008, 9:22 pm

How long, on average, would something like this sit in the average AV user's living room I wonder? I guess that's a better measure of economy:performance.





Note to TR staff: As an old Forum user, I can't sign up and re-register since my email provider is no longer accepted. Could you either provide a list of acceptable free domains as a forum post or um, re-enable some of the major free ones? Thanks.

Danny P

October 12, 2008, 2:15 am

Yes I absolutely loved it - it really is an awesome piece of kit.

Clarity

October 31, 2008, 1:59 pm

I am considering buying one of these, but have heard the Onkyo's have a tendency to run quite hot? I wondered whether Danny could comment on this and how quietly it runs?

Paul Bishop

November 3, 2008, 8:06 am

I have observed many folks making comment about higher power recievers running hot. Well the answer must be yes... This Onkyo is 7 channels x 230 watts.. 1630 watts !!! put 16 100 watt light bulbs in a box the same size and see if the box remains cool!!!! If it did run cool then I would want my money back. I paid dearly for real power.. not just some phoney number.. BTW. I do have a onkyo 700 series it is just great.. It lives upto everything it claimed it would..

Nice Guy

November 26, 2008, 6:49 am

I have an NR906 and the reason I 'took the plunge' on a complex piece of kit was my experience with Onkyo. It is a seriously reliable and well built product...across the range. Onkyo reminds me of a company that spends all its money developping a product and leaves nothing in the kitty to market its virtues. Not a criticism, opposite infact, it makes it appealing to people who do a bit of research.

t99krs1

December 26, 2008, 9:28 pm

I have a question, I'm considering buying NR906, I wanted to ask what speakers are recommended for the NR906.

bedwards500

February 22, 2009, 9:58 am

Hey, Danny P, great review! I'm trying to decide between this receiver and Pioneer's SC-07. Any chance you will be reviewing that receiver? Or perhaps comparing the two?


Thanks

Hary

June 29, 2009, 3:57 pm

Well I bought it after a long research on the net and reading users and professional reviews. I got it to replace my good old Kenwood receiver which served me for more than 13 years and still kicking good sound. I got the TX 906 to work with my old set of Bose speakers 601-series 3 + 301- series 3 + Kenwood wide center speaker and I added Bose 161 to complete the 7.1 formation along with Samsung LCD series 6 (Full HD). With the automatic set-up, I got a very low sound out-put, which give me a scare. After a call to the distributor/dealer technical adviser, I changed the set-up manually and I got the sound right with setting the picture to 1080p. It worked fine with my DVD and PS3 in term of sound, but the picture up grading did not really work which was the main purpose of the investment. I was very impressed with my old speakers as they giving me enough base eliminating the need for an additional subwoofer, but then I added Yamaha 900SW


not to give the system an execuse. All the surround sound options are available depending on the sources, i.e. you don???t get all options for all type of sources which defeats the purpose of buying it. I was disappointed with picture up-scaling which was the main reason for buying it to watch my old home movies (which were transferred into DVDs) with in HD resolution, but no effect what so ever. In general, the receiver delivers part of what it promise to do which I assume other in the same caliber will do the same since they all use the same technology (chips). To be fare, it did up-scalling on the analog sattelite receiver, but not on CDs,DVDs & VHS.If anybody can recommend anything to improve the picture up-scaling from any source and how to get DTS, DTS trueHD...etc., please do.

moveforward

July 29, 2014, 8:08 pm

I've had my Onkyo TX-NR906 A/V receiver for five years now and I've had problems with it the last nine months. The receiver started popping through my speakers and occasionally a loud blurting sound would come from the speakers and scare the hell out of everybody in the room. Now I lose sound in my right channel after it pops for a few minutes, and then I eventually lose sound altogether. Onkyo technical support basically suggested I reset it which I've done several times now. They emailed me a firmware update which they were not very comfortable with. It did not work twice. I've done all the normal troubleshooting like check all connecting cables, and bypassed the receiver by running my satellite dish Tivo directly to my TV and problems stopped. So I know the problem is with the Onkyo. Onkyo tech-support thinks it may be a digital signal processor DSP (which I believe should not go out after only five years). THIS WAS A $2000 RECEIVER! And yes, I do experience the same problem with heat, so I connected a PC fan to the 12 V trigger and run it automatically when I power the AVR up. I regret purchasing this receiver because I now have to send it off for an expensive repair or buy a new one.

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