Onkyo TX-NR808 7.2-Channel Network Home Theater Receiver Review
Occasionally we go out of our way to get our hands on a unit that everyone else has the hots for just to see what all the fuss is about. I had to ring several people (Thanks David ) and do some beg/borrow/stealing to get my hands on this little baby. But boy was it worth it. Welcome to my review of the Onkyo TX-NR808 7.2-Channel Network Home Theater Receiver.
First of all let me say that the Onkyo TX-NR808 has so many options, possible configs and usages that we didn’t get to test everything (I had to give the unit back after all) but I think we gave it a good runout with a decent number of audio and video sources. A capsule version of the conclusion we came to was “This thing rocks, Onkyo have done it again”, the boys at Onkyo seem to be doing a good job of dominating the “Best in category” charts for AV receivers right now and the TX-NR808 is no exception.
The first thing I will say to the fashionistas is that this unit is big, damn big and to be honest a little bit on the “Brick faced” side of things. If you like compact, fashionable bang & olufsen style kit this unit will stick out like a sore tongue. Its face is simple and to the point but ain’t hugely Pretty and it also has a pretty big and unforgiving bootie too. Now for those of us who dont mind a girl with a big behind this amazing unit manages to accommodate just about every input, output, throughput and auxiliary connector that even the most serious of home theatre buffs could want. First of all there are 7 HDMI inputs (including one on the front panel) and a HDMI out. Then we have 5 composite video inputs and 2 component video ins, a Sirius radio input port and a single universal port with iPod dock & HD radio receiver options. In terms of pure audio inputs the Onkyo TX-NR808 also provides 3 digital coaxial and 2 optical inputs plus a phono input for the vinyl enthusiasts.
Finally are also provided with an RGB video input for you PC or laptop video feed. In terms of other computer/networking facilities there is also an Ethernet port which is windows DLNA 1.5 compatible & capable of streaming audio, downlaoding upgrades & of course internet radio. Like I said with all that you’d expect the back panel to be on the big side and that’s just the inputs.
As you’d expect the unit comes complete with a full set of color coded speaker terminals and also plus an additional set of speaker outputs for the 2nd zone. The TX-NR808 also has you covered for multi channel audio in which are included as along with a full set multi channel pre-outs if you are going to be using to use external amplification. One nice little bonus are the extra pairs of pre-outs for a couple of additional zones should you require them. So as I said earlier one thing this unit could never be said to scrimp on is in/out and connection possibilities.
So how does it perform? Well after what can only be described as a bit of a marathon plugging in session we are happy to report that the Onkyo TX-NR808 does not disappoint. Audio setup was a breeze using the Audyssey MultEQ room set-up and acoustic correction feature. The overall tone of this receivers audio is extremely good, it has the ability to kick out a bootload of power when it is asked but always maintains a refined, controlled and listenable edge. Even in scenes containing a lot of high end sonics you never feel like you are being rasped at or that your hearing is going to get fatigued, and in quieter passages you can hear the “openness” and natural sound of the unit very well. The soundstage is extremely good and gives you a definite feeling of your location in a scene. To sum up powerful, polished & very dynamic.
As regards the visual qualities of the unit Im glad to say that neither does it disappoint here. Both its picture processing & clarity are excellent. Upscaling is also top class with very solid and stable performance with older formats. The Onkyo TX-NR808 also allows for the usual video geek toys of nose reduction, contrast & hue tweaking, but to be honest 99% of users are never going to need these unless they have very particular visual issues as the default configuration with this unit is incredibly clear and watchable. One final thing to note is the Onkyo TX-NR808s full compatibility with 3D Blu-ray players and TVs, not many of us out there have this functionality right now but if you are thinking about the future its nice to have the knowledge that you are covered for this eventuality.
So there you have it, this unit quite simply doesn’t seem to have a downside. Massive connectivity, great audio and video quality, with a solid eye on future proofing. To quote Ferris Bueller “It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.”
Meet Onkyo’s midrange powerhouse. The TX-NR808 earns its prestigious THX® Select2 Plus™ certification by blending the latest connectivity and processing technology with Onkyo’s renowned amplification prowess. As a network-capable receiver, the TX-NR808 is your gateway to streaming audio from your PC or Internet radio. Other connection highlights include seven HDMI® 1.4a inputs with 3D and Audio Return Channel capability; 7.1-multichannel analog inputs for legacy components; a Universal port for Onkyo peripherals; a USB port for iPod® models and flash memory devices; and an analog RGB video input for your PC. Employing two advanced 32-bit DSP chips and low-jitter 24-bit Burr-Brown DACs, the TX-NR808 effortlessly handles your audio-processing needs. Whether it’s lossless Dolby and DTs formats on Blu-ray Disc, or new-dimension surround formats from Audyssey and Dolby, your audio signals retain every lifelike nuance. All things considered, the TX-NR808 is a serious challenger for the middleweight crown.
Mid-ranged home entertainment with a pop-open front panel and SIRIUS Satellite and Internet Radio support with the Onkyo TX-NR808 7.2-Channel Network A/V Receiver.
HDMI® 1.4a Support for 3D Video and Audio Return
The seven HDMI 1.4a inputs on the TX-NR808 let you simultaneously connect high-def sources such as a Blu-ray player, a gaming console, and a cable/satellite tuner. A single output then sends a pristine signal to your connected high-resolution display. As the latest version of this connector, HDMI 1.4a adds the exciting possibilities of 3D video and an Audio Return Channel. 3D video is the next big thing in home entertainment, with movie, game, and broadcast content on the increase and 3D-compatible TVs coming to market. The TX-NR808 also offers the convenience of an Audio Return Channel via HDMI. Audio content received directly by your HDTV’s tuner can be sent “upstream” to your A/V receiver, without the need for a separate S/PDIF audio cable.
Windows® 7 Compatible PC Audio and Internet Radio
As one of Onkyo’s new breed of receivers that can link directly to the Internet or to your home PC via a local network, the TX-NR808 takes streaming audio and Internet radio to a whole new level. MP3, WMA, WMA Lossless, FLAC, WAV, Ogg Vorbis, AAC, and LPCM audio files—whether on your PC or from the Internet—can now be played back through your main system with unprecedented power and fidelity. The TX-NR808 brings to life a huge array of Internet radio channels from Pandora®, SIRIUS Internet Radio®, vTuner, and more*. As well as being compatible with earlier platforms, the receiver is compatible with Microsoft’s new Windows 7 platform, which includes the DLNA 1.5-specified “Play To” media-streaming feature. Another benefit of having the TX-NR808 connected to the Internet is that you can then easily update its firmware.
Audyssey DSX™ and Dolby® Pro Logic® IIz Surround Sound
The TX-NR808 handles two new surround-sound technologies from Audyssey and Dolby that offer exciting new ways to set up the speakers in your home theater system. Audyssey DSX lets you incorporate “front wide” speakers, in place of the usual surround back speakers, to expand the width of the soundstage. Set up at a recommended 60° off center, these channels help to produce a more realistic soundstage and a more immersive listening experience. Alternatively, Audyssey DSX can reconfigure the TX-NR808’s surround back channels to deliver “front height” channels. These channels carry ambient, non-directional audio that adds a new vertical dimension to your movies and games. Dolby Pro Logic IIz provides a similar front height speaker option that likewise works to create a more enveloping home theater experience.
A RI remote with 4 macro presets.
THX® Select2 Plus™ Certified
THX Select2 Plus certification is specified for rooms where the screen-to-seat viewing distance is 10 to 12 feet and the room volume is around 2000 cubic feet. To achieve THX Select2 Plus certification, the TX-NR808 had to meet the world’s most demanding standards for home theater audio quality and performance, and play at reference volume levels with minimal distortion
HDMI Video Upscaling to 1080p with Faroudja Dcdi Cinema™
When it comes to video processing, Faroudja Dcdi Cinema offers several advantages. This processor can accept any video signal, regardless of the source resolution, and upscale it to 1080p to match the native resolution of your high-definition display. What’s more, Dcdi Cinema effectively removes video artifacts such as jagged edges during the video signal deinterlacing process. You get to enjoy smooth progressive scan video images, even for fast-moving sports and action scenes.
PLL (Phase Locked Loop) Jitter-Cleaning Circuit Technology
Jitter is an unwanted side-effect of the digital-to-analog conversion process. Caused by fluctuations in the time domain of a digital signal, jitter has a detrimental impact on perceived audio quality. PLL jitter-cleaning circuit technology reduces jitter by comparing the input and output phases of the digital signal and creating an accurate clock waveform. This enhances the precision of digital signal processing and noticeably improves audio quality. Jitter-cleaning technology works both for digital signals input via HDMI and for digital signals converted from analog signals inside the receiver itself.
Playback of Different Audio Sources in Up to Three Rooms
With Powered Zone 2, you can enjoy surround sound entertainment in the main room, while playing back a different stereo source in a second zone equipped with a pair of speakers. Alternatively, you can use the Zone 2 and Zone 3 pre-outs to send separate, unamplified audio signals to amplifiers (and speakers) in a second and third room. Naturally, you also have the option of distributing the same audio source to two or three zones simultaneously.
RI Remote with On-Screen Setup and 4 Presets
The TX-NR808’s remote controller offers the convenience of controlling a wide range of other devices connected to the receiver. You can select your connected devices from an on-screen list and preprogram your desired settings for each device. The receiver itself can then send these settings automatically to the remote controller. Furthermore, the TX-NR808 lets you set up macro presets for up to four activity modes, which you can control via mode-key LEDs on the remote controller. A single button-press of “My Movie,” for example, can simultaneously turn on the receiver, display, and Blu-ray player to your preprogrammed settings and start playing a disc automatically.
THX® Select2 Plus™ certified
HDMI® (Version 1.4a to support 3D and Audio Return channel) with Deep Color™, x.v.Color™, LipSync, Dolby® TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio™, DVD-Audio, Super Audio CD, multichannel PCM, and CEC
7 HDMI inputs (1 front/6 rear) and 1 output
Audyssey DSX™ and Dolby® Pro Logic® IIz for new surround channels
PLL Jitter-Cleaning circuit technology
Audyssey MultEQ® for room acoustic correction
Network capability for streaming audio files (MP3, WMA, WMA Lossless, FLAC, WAV, Ogg Vorbis, AAC, and LPCM)
Internet radio connectivity (Pandora®, Rhapsody®, SIRIUS Internet Radio®, Napster, Mediafly™, Slacker, and vTuner)*
Certified with Windows® 7 and DLNA version 1.5
Firmware updates via Ethernet and USB
Pop open front-panel USB input for memory devices and iPhone®:/iPod® models (enables display of album artwork)
Powered Zone 2 and Zone 2/3 pre-outs for distributed audio playback in multiple rooms
135 Watts per Channel at 8 Ohms, 20 Hz–20 kHz, 0.08%, 2 Channels Driven, FTC
WRAT (Wide Range Amplifier Technology)
Three-stage inverted Darlington circuitry
H.C.P.S. (High Current Power Supply) Massive High Power Transformer
Linear optimum gain volume circuitry
Burr-Brown 192 kHz/24-Bit DACs (PCM1690) for all channels
Two 32-Bit processing DSP chips (DA830 and CS49834)
Dolby® TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio™, Dolby® Digital Plus, DTS-HD High-Resolution Audio™ decoding
HDMI video upscaling to 1080p with Faroudja Dcdi Cinema™
4 DSP modes for gaming: rock, sports, action, and RPG
Music Optimizer™ for compressed digital music files
Direct mode and pure audio mode
A-Form listening mode memory
Universal port for single-cable connection of optional Onkyo dock for iPhone®/iPod® or HD Radio™ tuner
Component video switching (2 inputs and 1 output)
4 S-Video inputs and 2 outputs
Analog RGB video input (D-sub, 15 pin) and audio input for PC
6 digital inputs (3 optical and 3 coaxial)
5 A/V Inputs (1 front/4 rear) and 1 output
Color-coded, 7.1 multichannel inputs
Video output (monitor)
1 audio input
Color-coded, 7.2 multichannel pre outs
RS232 port, IR (In/Out), and 12 V trigger outs (zone 2/3)
Color-coded, Banana Plug-compatible speaker posts
RIHD (Remote Interactive over HDMI) for system control
SIRIUS Satellite Radio® ready** and HD Radio ready
Overlaid graphical on-screen display (OSD) via all video outputs
Audyssey Dynamic Volume™
Audyssey Dynamic EQ® for loudness correction
Crossover adjustment (40/50/60/70/80/90/100/120/150/200 Hz)
A/V sync control function (up to 250 ms in 5 ms steps)
40 FM/AM/SIRIUS random presets
Compatible with RI (Remote Interactive) dock for iPod
Bi-Directional, preprogrammed, and customizable RI remote control with on-screen setup, Mode-Key LEDs, and macro presets for four activities
What’s in the Box
Onkyo TX-NR808 7.2-Channel Network A/V Receiver, indoor FM antenna, AM loop antenna, speaker cable labels, speaker setup microphone, instruction manual, quick start guide, remote controller, AA (R6) batteries (2).
Front L/R – 135 W/Ch (8 ohms, 20 Hz–20 kHz, 0.08%, 2 channels driven, FTC)
Center – 135 W (8 ohms, 20 Hz–20 kHz, 0.08%, 2 channels driven, FTC)
Surround L/R – 135 W/Ch (8 ohms, 20 Hz–20 kHz, 0.08%, 2 channels driven, FTC)
Surround Back L/R, Front High L/R, Front Wide L/R, or Zone 2 L/R – 135 W/Ch (8 ohms, 20 Hz–20 kHz, 0.08%, 2 channels driven, FTC)
Dynamic power – 300 W (3 ohms, front), 250 W (4 ohms, front), 150 W (8 ohms, front)
THD (Total Harmonic Distortion) – 0.08% (rated power)
Damping factor – 60 (front, 1 kHz, 8 ohms)
Input sensitivity and impedance – 200 mV/47 k-ohms (line), 2.5 mV/47 k-ohms (phono MM)
Rated RCA output level and impedance – 200 mV/470 ohms (pre out)
Maximum RCA output level and impedance – 4.6 V/470 ohms (pre out)
Phono overload – 70 mV (MM, 1 kHz, 0.5%)
Frequency response – 5 Hz-100 kHz/+1 dB, -3 dB (DSP bypass)
Tone control – ±10 dB, 50 Hz (bass), ±10 dB, 20 kHz (treble)
Signal-to-noise ratio – 110 dB (Line, IHF-A), 80 dB (phono, IHF-A)
Speaker impedance – 4 ohms-16 ohms or 6 ohms-16 ohms
Input sensitivity/output level and impedance video
1.0 Vp-p/75 ohms (component and s-video Y)
0.7 Vp-p/75 ohms (component PB/CB, PR/CR)
0.25 Vp-p/75 ohms (s-video C)
1.0 Vp-p/75 ohms (composite)
Component video frequency response – 5 Hz-100 MHz/0 dB, -3 dB
Tuning frequency range
FM: 87.5 MHz-107.9 MHz
AM: 530 kHz-1,710 kHz
FM/AM/SIRIUS preset memory – 40 stations
Power supply – AC 120 V~, 60 Hz
Power consumption – 7.5 A
Dimensions (W x H x D) – 17 1/8″ x 7 13/16″ x 17 1/8″ (435 x 198.5 x 435.5 mm)
Weight – 40.3 lbs. (18.3 kg)
Carton dimensions (W x H x D) – 23 1/8″ x 13 1/4″ x 21 3/4″ (587 x 337 x 553 mm)
Shipping weight – 49.6 lbs. (22.5 kg)
List Price: $1,099.00 (Check Current Pricing on Amazon)