Onkyo HT-RC180

Just in case anyone was getting worried that there were not enough AV receivers in the world, Onkyo have released yet another offering in the form of the Onkyo HT-RC180. This is a mid to top range product that falls just short of being in the sub $1000 category, but isn’t that far above making it still quite affordable for those who want to make sure they are buying a quality piece of kit. The box has arrived in our offices and like 5 year olds on Christmas morning we are bouncing with excitement (we really don’t get out much) as we carefully open the packaging revealing the newest piece of kit to come into the test laboratories. Will it out perform expectation or will we be putting it back in the box with a sigh of disappointment at the end of the day?

Onkyo HT-RC180 Receiver

Onkyo HT-RC180 | More Details Opens in new window

Design

The Onkyo HT-RC180 is one chunky piece of kit – it seems unusually deep fronted but this could just be an optical illusion as in reality it isn’t much different to other AV receivers that they offer. It does have a lovely clean front panel that is free from clutter and has very few buttons and thankfully is jack free at the front, and any regular readers will know we hate jacks on the front panel. Ok, they make it easier for the user to reach to plug in things, but hanging wires are just a massive visual faux pas darling, and we so refuse to get on board with them. Anyway, we digress. This is a really solid looking unit that has simply a LCD screen, one large control dial and a series of little buttons along the front, which achieves a lovely neat look – so that gains the design team at Onkyo a valuable point or two.

The rear of the unit is on first glance pink – for some reason they have chosen pink as their major connector coloring, but hey it works – and you don’t have to look at the back anyway! It is also clean and well organized, and the diagrams and labels make it easy to identify what you are plugging and where.

Actual user review:
“The Onkyo HT-RC180 is an excellent addition to a home theater setup. I’ve wedded the receiver to a 42-inch 1080p Vizio, Polk Audio RM705 5.1 speakers, a Tivo HD, standard DVD player, and Wii. This unit is a beast. As another reviewer mentioned, it is about the same height as a DVD box and is over 17 inches deep. I had to purchase a new TV stand to accommodate it, but it was worth it. “ – A.Scarfone (WA,USA)

 

Functionality

Ok, let’s get the bad and the ugly out of the way first. For some reason this unit lacks some backwards compatibility functions, which is disappointing, so if you still have a home theater PC or an old style DVD-audio player you are not going to want the Onkyo HT-RC180 as it just doesn’t have the multi-channel analog inputs. A strange decision, although we assume Onkyo figure the older technologies are dying so by making a unit that cannot support them you will give them up sooner rather than later – a dicey gamble we feel, and could well be the reason that this AV receiver doesn’t make it big – but we will wait and see.

This is also a tricky AV receiver to review as it is so close in functionality but falls short on nearly every point to their own Onkyo TX-NR807, which is only $50 more expensive yet plays the trump card time after time – and $50 is hardly going to break most banks. We can’t help wondering if the lovely people at Onkyo have shot themselves in the foot a bit with the HT-RC180 and left it floundering as it seeks out a target market to call its own.

Performance wise we did get what we expected. It was a good overall performance. This is a standard 7.2 channel AV receiver and each channel packs an impressive 110 watts – again falling short of the 135 watt on offer from their next model up.

It does have the prestigious THX certification which we have said before is no mean feat as the awarding body are seriously difficult to impress, and the audio quality is excellent, being well supported by both Dolby and Audyssey technologies. And as we know, these are cracking pieces of magic when it comes to AV receivers.

Bottom Line

The Onkyo HT-RC180 does what it says on the box, and we were more than happy with the tests we held. In isolation we would have been seriously impressed with this piece of kit, and our only gripe would have been the lack of multi channel analog. However, we just cannot ignore what else there is on offer, and it seems a bit ironic that the product we would recommend to beat this one also comes from Onkyo. It’s almost like 2 people at Onkyo thought they both had the job of making an AV receiver in this category, and no-one remembered to point it out that they didn’t need two – seriously a marketing disaster, we feel.

Average User Rating:

  • “The Onkyo HT- RC 180 is an outstanding home theater system. I was able to replace my old receiver with the Onkyo in about 15 minutes and had my HDTV, Blu Ray, and Cable Box all connected via HDMI and functioning perfectly. I did have a small issue with the sound balance at first so I called Onkyo Customer Service and the tech I spoke with was awesome, patient, and he knew EXACTLY what to do to resolve the issue. Two thumbs up for Onkyo customer service. The remote is excellent. I had that working all of my devices in 5 minutes, and the step by step directions that teach you how to “teach” the buttons on the Onkyo remote commands from an existing remote are extremely easy to follow. This is really cool, especially the features from the cable box DVR commands. I highly recommend this device to anyone who is looking to upgrade their home system.” – S.Lipson (USA)
  • “You get a lot for your money from Onkyo. I had been a lifelong Sony fan, but the HT-RC180 is an advanced receiver with plenty features and great sound. The onscreen display is great — makes customizing your settings easy. Audessey setup was a breeze and took the sound in my living room to a new level. Although I haven’t been able to figure out how to pull music files from my PC via my home network, the Pandora and Vtuner net music options are awesome. Worth all of Amazon’s very good price.” – A.Chris (USA)

 

Click Here for Latest Offer on Onkyo HT-RC180
Enjoy Free Shipping & Secure Shopping