The Onkyo 506 is the smaller brother of the hugely popular Onkyo 606, and whilst it lack a a few of the features of its older sibling, at about £150 less, it is substantially cheaper. But is this saving really worthwhile?
If you want to make your first serious foray into the flexible world of home cinema separates, the Onkyo TX-SR506 should be one of your first ports of call. At around £250 it is Onkyo’s entry level AV Receiver, but for the money it certainly packs a lot of punch. The looks of the machine have been described as ‘retro’ by some, but we think the design is more ‘modern retro’ and seems to match a large variety of other equipment quite well. The receiver is well constructed and the buttons on the machine, and the remote have a nice feel. Whilst we’re on the subject of the remote, we thought it was very well laid out and felt like it was from a much more expensive machine.
The 506 has three HDMI inputs and one output meaning that it is ideal as the hub of your home cinema and gaming system. You could plug in your HDMI equipped DVD player, XBox 360 and Playstation 3 to the Amplifier and output in full 1080P HD to your HDMI equipped TV. Add on your component or composite connected Nintendo Wii and you are fully loaded! All you need then are speakers – and this amp has the wattage to power some pretty hefty boxes – to get a punchy surround sound. You can choose whether to make up a 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound set up, and the AV Receiver will decode DTS, Dolby Digital and Dolby Pro Logic II signals for you Wii owners.
Why you should buy the Onkyo 506
As the central hub to your home cinema system the Onkyo 506 makes a fine choice. It allows all your devices to be easily connected together and easily switched, as well as giving you the full immersive surround sound experience that we all love.
Why you NOT should buy the Onkyo 506
If you want to take full advantage of HD sound as well as HD pictures, this amp is not for you. The Onkyo TX-SR576 which will accept an HD audio signal, or the TX-SR606 that will decode it as well, are the ones you should be considering.
The Onkyo TX-SR506 is a fine AV Receiver and the sound and connectivity options it offers for the money are fantastic. If you can live without HD sound for the moment, it makes a great value purchase.