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

By Danny Philips

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Editors choice
Onkyo TX-NR906 AV Receiver

Summary

Our Score:

10

In action the Onkyo delivers truly astonishing multichannel movie sound. After loading Cloverfield into the Samsung BD-P1500 Blu-ray player and letting the Onkyo get its teeth into the disc's 5.1-channel Dolby True HD track, we were instantly pinned in our seat by one of the most commanding and engrossing audio performances we've heard in a long time.

The centre channel voices dialogue with distinction and life-like clarity, allowing the words to easily cut through the booms and bangs as the monster stomps around Manhattan. Meanwhile rear-channel effects are guided with precision and perfect timing, giving sudden transient effects real bite and reproducing subtle ambience with due care and attention, all of which contributes to a captivating and expansive soundstage.

The sharp, strident midrange and treble are backed up by some immense bass work, which blends beautifully into the mix to create a coherent, solid wall of sound. It's the sort of inspirational performance that will make you fall in love with home cinema all over again, and will certainly give Onkyo's rivals something to chew over in product planning meetings.

We also had a quick blast of Army of Darkness on Blu-ray and the Onkyo's handling of its DTS HD Master Audio track is equally mesmerising - and call us shallow, but it's still a novelty seeing the DTS HD format's name appear in the front panel display.

The unit also delivers a fantastic performance with music, replaying a 5.1-channel Japanese jazz DVD-Audio disc with spine-tingling detail, drive and cohesion. It even turns in a top-drawer performance with CDs, squeezing out every last drop of sonic detail and giving the material a snappy, rhythmic feel that would make even the most staunch hi-fi purist nod along in enjoyment.

As for pictures, we fed a 576p signal into the HDMI port from a DVD deck and let the HQV chip ramp it up to 1080p. The results are impressive but the improvements over a decent upscaling DVD deck are too slight to make this the compelling reason to buy one. More remarkable are the ISF tweaks, which can make a big difference to picture quality and when calibrated properly could reduce your display's power consumption by up to 50 per cent.

Finally, the Onkyo's network functionality is loads of fun to play around with and works perfectly. The onscreen menus are straightforward and welcoming, making it easy to find the music you want, and after streaming some 320kbps MP3 files from a laptop via a wireless router, we were blown away by the clean, punchy sound quality. Internet radio is similarly easy to access, with loads of stations pre-programmed into the unit's memory, though sound quality obviously depends on the quality of the stream.

Verdict

With a vast array of features, neighbour-scaring power output and sophisticated audio technology, the Onkyo TX-NR906 is not a receiver for the faint hearted or those with a bad back. It is, however, perfect for people with ever-expanding systems who want to experience the very best sound quality from Blu-ray discs and DVDs. In short, the TX-NR906 is a phenomenal AV receiver that's worth every penny of its asking price.

Overall Score

10

Scores In Detail

  • Performance 10
  • Value 10
  • Features 10
  • Design 9

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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