Onkyo TX-SR705 THX-Certified 7.1 Channel Receiver - Review

Onkyo TX-SR705 Home Theater Receiver
Onkyo TX-SR705 Home Theater Receiver. Photo © Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

Introduction to the Onkyo TX-SR705

The Onkyo TX-SR705 Home Theater Receiver is THX Select2 Certified, offers up to a 7.1 channel setup configuration, HDMI audio and video switching and processing, is both XM and Sirius Radio ready, and is iPOD Dock compatible.

Amplifier Characteristics:

Onkyo states the power output of the TX-SR705 as 100 Watts-per-channel (measured with 2-Channels Driven from 20Hz to 20kHz into 8-Ohms with .08% THD.

For more details on what the stated power ratings mean with respect to real-world conditions, refer to my article: Understanding Amplifier Power Output Specifications. Needless to say, the TX-SR705 has plenty of power for most home theater applications, and is up to to the challenge from any compatible source, including Blu-ray Disc.

Audio Decoding and Processing

The TX-SR705 features extensive surround sound decoding and processing options, including: Dolby Digital, EX, DTS DTS-ES, and DTS 96/24. In addition, DTS Neo:6 and Dolby ProLogic IIx processing enables the TX-SR705 to extract 7.1-channel audio from any stereo or multichannel source.

In addition, the TX-SR705 also has the ability to decode DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby Digital Plus, and Dolby TrueHD soundtracks on Blu-ray Discs and HD-DVDs received through its HDMI 1.3a compatible inputs. The TX-SR705 also includes Neural THX Surround processing, which allows access to surround sound programing that may be on XM satellite radio or other compatible sources.

Lip-Synch Adjustment and Audyssey MultEQ XT

The incorporation of Lip-Synch adjustment on the TX-SR705 allows the user to compensate for audio/video time discrepancies that may be encountered from various sources.

The SR705 also features an automated speaker setup function called Audyssey MultEQ XT. This system uses a microphone and series of test tones to determine the proper speaker levels, based on how it reads the speaker placement in relation to the acoustical properties of your room.

However, keep in mind that you may still have to some minor adjustments manually after the automatic set up is completed in order to conform to your own listening tastes.

Audio Inputs and Outputs

The receiver has six assignable digital audio inputs ( Three Coaxial and Three Optical), Analog stereo audio connections for a CD player and CD or Cassette audio recorder, and a subwoofer preamplifier output. The SR705 also has a set of 5.1 channel audio inputs to accommodate 5.1 channel DVD-Audio, SACD, Blu-ray or HD-DVD 5.1 channel analog audio connection options. In addition, the SR705 also has a set of preamp outputs for multizone operation.

Multi-zone Capability

Another useful audio feature is the ability for the TS-SR705 to be used in a full 7.1 channel configuration, or in a 5.1 channel configuration in the main home theater room, with simultaneous 2 channel operation in a second room (Zone 2. However, if you want to use the full 7.1 channels for your home theater environment, you can still run an additional 2-channel system in another room by using the Zone 2 preamp outputs. However, you will have to add a secondary amplifier to power the speakers in Zone 2.

Speaker Connections

Dual banana-plug-compatible multi-way speaker binding posts for all channels with color-coding for simplified wiring.

Bi-amping of front Left and right channels is possible utilizing both front left and right and surround back left and right speaker connections.

Video Processing

The Onkyo TX-SR705 features both Component and HDMI pass-through of high definition signals up to 1080p. Also, all standard definition video input signals are deinterlaced using Faroudja DCDi video processing and converted to progressive scan and pass output via the component or HDMI monitor outputs.

Video Inputs and Outputs

The TX-SR705 offers three HDMI 1.3a inputs and one output, as well as three HD Component inputs and one output. There are five Composite Video and S-Video inputs, two additional analog audio-only inputs. A front panel A/V input for connection of an additional source, such as a camcorder is also included. The TX-SR705 also features a VCR/DVR/DVD Recorder connection loop.

The TX-SR705 can also upconvert all standard definition analog video input signals to either component or HDMI video outputs to simplify Receiver connections to an HDTV (analog-to-HDMI conversion).

Front Panel Display and LFE Features

The front panel display makes setup and operation of the receiver easy and fast. Also featured is an adjustable crossover on the Subwoofer LFE (Low Frequency Effects) pre-out channel.

AM/FM/XM/Sirius Radio

The TX-SR705 not only has the standard AM/FM tuner, but also has built-in XM and Sirius Radio Tuners and has the capability of decoding XM 5.1 channel broadcasts with its Neural Surround decoder (previously mentioned above). Subscription and optional antennas are required for receiving XM or Sirius Satellite Radio Services. There are also 40 station presets provided that can be used for setting any combination of favorite AM/FM/XM or Sirius stations or channels.

iPOD Connectivity

With an optional iPOD dock, you can incorporate your iPOD listening right into your home theater system.

Performance and Final Take

The TX-SR705 is an affordable receiver that packs in a lot of features, while still offering great performance.

The front panel of TX-SR705 has an easy to understand layout with an extra-large LED display on the front panel is easily readable from most sitting positions.

I found the audio performance of this receiver to be excellent. The SR705 delivers more than enough power for a medium size room and sounds great with both both music and movies, even with modest speakers systems. This receiver offers extensive surround sound decoding options, including the incorporation of internal Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding, but the most important audio feature, to me, is the ability of the 705 to accept up to 7.1 channels of Uncompressed PCM audio via HDMI.

In addition, Audyssey MultEQ XT does a very good job as an auto speaker setup system. Using this system with different speaker systems connected to the 705, I found that the Audyssey does indeed take the different type of speakers, their characteristics, and distance into account. The only manual change I needed to make was to increase the center channel level by one or two decibels to accentuate the dialog level to my own preference.

With regards to video processing, here is where the 705 is a mixed bag. Although the TX-SR705 has excellent pass through of native 720p, 1080i, or 1080p video signals via HDMI, and also does well with 480i/480p conversion, the maximum video upscaling capability of this receiver is 720p. If you have an upscaling DVD player, I suggest using the 1080i/1080p upscaling function of the player via HDMI, rather than relying on the SR705's 720p upscaling.

In addition to the 720p upscaling limitation, on the audio side, the headphone output is stereo only as far as I could tell. It would have been nice to incorporate Dolby Headphone Surround, which I have used on other receivers, especially in this price range.

Another important point is that the unit does run hot. Install the SR705 in an area with good air circulation. I opted for the silver edition of this receiver since light colors reflect more heat, resulting in less heat collecting on the top of the receiver.

Taking all factors into consideration, this receiver delivers the goods in terms of audio/video connectivity and performance. I give the Onkyo TX-SR705 a 4.5 out of 5 Star rating.

For an additional up-close look at, and further explanation, of the TX-SR705, check out my supplementary Photo Gallery.

NOTE: Since the posting of the above article, the Onkyo has been discontinued after a successful 2008/2009 production run. However, you may still find it used on Amazon.

For current alternatives, check out my periodically updated listing of Home Theater Receivers priced at $399 or Less, $400 to $1,299, and $1,300 and Up.

Original Publish Date: 01/20/2008 - Robert Silva

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