Onkyo TX-NR708

The Onkyo TX-NR708 is one of the new and keenly awaited network-capable A/V receivers from Onkyo. Although it is the cheapest model in the new ‘NR’ range, you are not short changed in terms of features and performance. It offers the latest video processing, support for multi-room set-ups, internet radio streaming, iPhone/iPod compatibility, and fully immersive 3D video playback with multidimensional surround sound to match.

You get 7 of the latest HDMI ver1.4a inputs. HDMI 1.4a brings compatibility with the new 3D video format, as well as an ARC (Audio Return Channel) from your display back to the receiver. And in recognition of its outstanding quality and performance, the TX-NR708 received the THX® Select2 Plus Certification.

Latest Update: The Onkyo TX-NR708 is shipping and Now on Sale at Amazon.com

Onkyo TX-NR708 AV Receiver

Onkyo TX-NR708 AV Receiver

Design

The TX-NR708 has the familiar black fascia with the subtle slant on the front panel made from high quality aluminum that is unmistakably Onkyo. The layout is simple and functional. The receiver is flanked by the On/Standby button on the left and a large volume control on the right. The light green fluorescent readout is clear with just the right brightness at the default setting. Below the display is a row of mode selection and source select buttons. These buttons have a nice tactile feel.

There are many options for you to connect your devices conveniently on the front panel. There is a HDMI input for your HD camcorder and a USB port for your iPod that allows for on-screen display of album art and navigation via the included remote. A headphone jack, mic input and a set of composite video and audio inputs complete the front face layout.

The buttons on the remote control are well organized and offer many useful functions when you learn how to program it. You will be able to store your favorite set up options and use them quickly at the touch of a button. The buttons are differentiated by color, shape, and layout which makes it easy to use.

Connectivity

Back Panel Connectivity Options

Back Panel Connectivity Options

You will not be found wanting in terms of connectivity options. For your HD sources, there are 7 HDMI inputs (one in front) and one HDMI out.

There are 2 component video inputs and 5 sets of composite video inputs. There is also a Universal port, an input port for Sirius satellite Radio as well as analog RGB input for video content from a connected PC. Onkyo currently offers an optional iPod dock and an HD Radio receiver for the Universal port.

Network capabilities are accessed though an Ethernet port on the rear and are Windows 7 compatible and DLNA 1.5 certified. You can stream networked audio, Internet radio, or download firmware upgrades directly from the Internet.

Digital audio inputs come in the form of 3 coaxial and 2 optical inputs which are all assignable. A full set of color coded speaker terminals occupy the bottom half plus an additional set of speaker outputs for the 2nd zone.

Also included are multi channel analogue audio inputs and a full complement of pre-outs if you plan to use external amplification.

Actual user review:
“The TX-NR708 is a great value in this price range. It has THX Select 2, three 7.2 sound fields; they include 7.2 discrete HD/EX, Dolby z, and Audyssey DSX wide. There are connections for up to 11 speakers. There are more than 50 listening modes to obtain the perfect sound for your room and source. For video processing, there are a total of 7 HDMI inputs – 6 in the back, 1 in the front. Digital audio inputs: 3 coax and 2 optical. The remote is easy to use and setup for your other components. Menus are relatively straight forward, though there is a learning curve, depending on complexity of your particular setup. This receiver also has network connectivity with Upnp, and a webpage interface, making it simple to change fields without your remote, enhancing the TX-NR708 network’s usability. With the release of future firmware updates, one can envision Onkyo adding features that will keep your home theater cutting edge. The power rating is 110 watts per channel, 8 ohm, @ .08% harmonic distortion, providing this receiver with enough power and clean sound for a small to medium sized room.” – K.E.Timper (USA)

 

Features

Since the advent of hi-definition playback, Onkyo have pressed on with the inclusion of the latest available technology into their AV receivers. They are always ahead of the curve compared to the rest not only in features but performance as well. The pictures not only look good, but they sound more than decent too.

A case in point is their use of WRAT which stands for Wide Range Amplifier Technology. Without going into too much specifics, what it does is that it delivers high instantaneous current enough to effortlessly drive even difficult low-impedance speakers for movie soundtracks to have sufficient dynamics and clarity.

All video sources, regardless of resolution, are upscaled to 1080p with the Faroudja DCDi Cinema processor. Audio processing incorporates 24bit/192kHz Burr-Brown DACs, lossless Dolby and DTS codecs, and the expanded surround formats of Audyssey DSX and Dolby Pro Logic IIz. Three-stage inverted Darlington circuitry and jitter-cleaning technology work to ensure precise and faithful audio reproduction. The TX-NR708 has 7 amplified channels and dual subwoofer outputs making it a 7.2 design.

Here’s a summary of the impressive feature set of the TX-NR708:

  • Power Output: 110 watts into 8ohms (20-20kHz) for each of the 7 channels.
  • HDMI 1.4 Support for 3-D Video and ARC – the 3D-capable HDMI 1.4a inputs on the TX-NR708 let you simultaneously connect 7 high-definition sources.
  • 192 kHz/24-Bit Burr-Brown DAC – High-quality Burr-Brown DACs work to optimize analog audio performance on the TX-NR708. These DACs perform advanced 24-bit signal processing and support sampling rates of up to 192 kHz. They also work to reduce jitter so you get better sound for movies as well as for music playback.
  • Audyssey DSX and Dolby Pro Logic IIz – Two new surround-sound technologies from Audyssey and Dolby offers 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, allowing you to expand the width of the soundstage. These channels help to produce a more realistic soundstage and a more immersive listening experience. Alternatively, Audyssey DSX can reconfigure the TX-NR708’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.
  • Audyssey MultEQ® Room Correction – Audyssey MultEQ automatically determines the number of speakers connected, their size for purposes of bass management, optimum crossover frequencies to the subwoofer, and distances from the primary listening position. Audyssey MultEQ then removes the distortion caused by room acoustics by capturing room acoustic problems over the listening area in both the frequency and time domain. The result is clear, well-balanced sound for everyone.
  • Audyssey Dynamic EQ® – Dynamic EQ selects the correct frequency response and surround sound volume levels at any volume level.
  • THX Loudness Plus – It is a new volume control technology featured in THX Select2 Plus Certified receivers. With THX Loudness Plus, you can now experience the rich details in a surround mix at any volume level.  THX Loudness Plus compensates for the tonal and spatial shifts that occur when the volume is reduced by intelligently adjusting ambient surround channel levels and frequency response. This enables you to experience the true impact of soundtracks regardless of the volume setting.
  • New overlaid On-Screen Display – On-screen set-up menus appear overlaid on the video image you’re watching. This means you can adjust the settings immediately, without having to switch back and forth from a blank screen background.
  • Universal Port for Single-Cable Connection of Onkyo Dock for iPod or HD Radio Tuner (sold separately)
  • PC-compatible analogue RGB video input – Multimedia fans and gamers will now be able to route the video output from Desktop/Media Centre PCs or laptops directly to the TX-NR708 and then through to the TV via HDMI.
  • Front-panel USB input for direct connection – If you have an iPod or other MP3 player, you can connect it to the TX-NR708’s front panel for quick and convenient audio playback. Your player’s compressed digital music files can then receive a quality boost from the receiver’s Music Optimizer technology.
  • Play Different Audio Sources in Two Different Zones
  • Internet Radio Connectivity – Receive streaming audio from Pandora, Rhapsody, Napster, Slacker, Mediafly, Sirius Internet Radio, and vTuner.
  • Network Capability for streaming audio file formats that include FLAC, MP3, WAV, Ogg Vorbis, WMA, WMA Lossless, AAC, and LPCM.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a mid-range receiver that has all the features you can think of, the Onkyo TX-NR708 is probably it. But most importantly it is backed by a strong pedigree that has been known to deliver top notch performance. At a shade below $900, the TX-NR708 offers incredible value for money.

Average User Rating:
More user reviews:

I set this up in one evening with 5 HDMI sources and 1 Component source as well as set up the internet radio, AM/FM radio, DLNA connection to media on a home server, and the automatic tuning. All of this goes to a single HDMI (upconverted) out to a 46″ TV. My set up is a 5.1 system at the moment. I almost had no problems installing the above and have connections to spare. I have not messed with any settings yet and the sound is amazing. The On Screen Display is a God-send. Anyway, I highly recommend, if this is in your price range, you’ll have a ton of connections, lots of features (i.e. ethernet connectivity and OSD), and the sound is great without much fussing.” – Dr.K.A.Swartz (FL,USA)

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I love it! It sounds wonderful!! The sound at all volumes is even and accurate. Lower volumes seem full, and at higher volumes it doesn’t overwhelm. Audyssey setup is easy and straightforward. While the sound level correction is a slight disappointment, the other Audyssey features and sound more than make up for it. The main reason I picked this receiver was the VGA (DSub) input. I have a PC for the entertainment center, and this allowed me to use my existing PC without upgrading to HDMI. I was able to assign the audio input for digital and works perfectly. This is a great receiver for MS Windows Media Center. The price was a little more than I planned on spending, but now I don’t regret it.” – P.Talbert (USA)

For a mid level receiver, this receiver is great. Installation was easy. The menus are straightforward. After hooking up the wires to my existing speakers (NHT) and running Audyssey setup my speakers never sounded this good. The network works great as well. vTuner is awesome. It does not feel hot to the touch like some of the old Onkyo were known to be.” – T.M.Strong (TN,USA)

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