Onkyo TX-NR807

The Onkyo TX-NR807 AV receiver hits the sweet spot within the price bands, coming in at slightly under $1000. Despite this model not belonging to the top range, consumers still demand and expect features and performance that are closer to the hi-end. Onkyo has entered the battle with a receiver that is reasonably powerful and loaded it with the latest cutting-edge features. It includes a full range of Audyssey technologies, new Dolby Pro Logic IIz height-enhanced listening mode, THX certification, Faroudja DCDi Cinema video processing, and more. It also boasts one added extra that not many mid-range models come in-built with-  it is network ready with an Ethernet port.

Update: This receiver has been superseded by the Onkyo TX-NR808

Onkyo TX-NR807 Receiver

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Design

Onkyo TXNR 807remoteThe Onkyo TX-NR807 gives a relatively good 1st impression. It’s not too bulky and finished in the standard sleek black. The front panel is split in to three sections, with all the control functions appearing on the top two. The display screen is of a decent size with an aqua-colored display, a volume knob at the right, and a row of source-select buttons across the front. Behind the flip-down door are many more controls, including a complete set of navigation buttons.  The rear panel has 11 sets of binding posts for 7 channels. Depending on your needs, you can connect 7  speakers without fussing with assigning channels in menus.

The remote control is very well organized and offers added functionality as it is programmable. 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. This enhances the usability, which reduces the time for familiarization.

Functionality and Perfomance

Setting up the Onkyo TX-NR807 is relatively easy and hassle free. The manual offers easy-to-follow instructions that are very clear . Initial setup will prompt you to run the Audyssey MultEQ auto-setup routine. It went without a hitch and accurately identified the speaker setup augmented by two smaller height speakers.

This unit performs well and has been acknowledged for its excellence in a large room set up, as THX have given it their ‘Select 2 plus‘ award. This means that the TX-NR807 gives an outstanding performance when used in a room where the audience is sitting over 10 feet away from the speakers. However, this does not mean its performance diminishes when employed in smaller rooms. In fact, quite the opposite happens. Even when the room is of an average size, sound quality remains just as good.

Actual user review:
“I’ve had a Sony (pro logic), HK, and an Outlaw 1050. I’m not sure if it sounds that much better than my Outlaw at 5.1, but after I added a couple of height speakers, it sounds pretty awesome. Dolby PLIIz is pretty impressive. i also tried Pandora and it works great, not sure if I’ll ever use the regular tuner. The Audyssey setup is great. No more playing with the sound level meter.” – R.Amano (USA)

To nitpick some shortfalls of this receiver though, Onkyo has given it 6 HDMI inputs, but only 1 HDMI output. This is not to say many will need 2 HDMI outputs, but those who have a projector and an additional LCD HDTV will have to switch cables around the back of the receiver depending which platform they are using. Not an ideal scenario. Also, while there’s a full set of multichannel analog outputs, there are no multichannel analog inputs. Therefore, some of the older DVD players might not be able to be used with this receiver.

By mentioning the fact that the  TX-NR807 is network ready, it would only be fair that we explain what benefits you will enjoy. One of the key benefits is that you can connect a PC to the receiver, and using the internet, you can subsequently connect to live streaming radio broadcasts. With the output being routed through the audio capability of this gadget, you will be able to listen to your favorite radio programs through your home theater system.

On the video output, Blu-ray and high-def sources prove problem free, offering excellent picture stability and virtually no jaggies. With the Dolby Pro Logic IIz enhancements in sound you will enjoy a totally new movie experience.  There is plenty of scope to mess around with the set up, but the pre-programmed options should more than suffice for the majority. If you have a large DVD collection you’ll be glad to know that Onkyo’s Faroudja DCDi scaler with ‘Cinema Enhancement’ performs standard definition to 1080p conversion with exceptional smoothness. It’s like a complete upgrade for your entire DVD collection.

The 7 multi-channel pre-outs offer additional choices to take the sound to a higher level by adding external amplifiers and tweak the sound to suit your preferences.

Conclusion

It certainly seems like Onkyo have got their fingers on the pulse, and whilst this is not the most expensive product in its class and is not part of the most expensive class on the market either, you will certainly be making a good investment. This model’s network capability is clever marketing. Finally, Onkyo’s attention to user interface, great features and top notch performance make the TX-NR807 an excellent buy.

Actual user review:
“Upgraded from a twelve-year-old Yamaha with lots of oomph but little in the way of current sound processing and of course no HDMI. Did a massive amount of research in advance, but in the end decided that the NR807 gave me everything I need for now and well into the future. One of the fullest and most immersive soundstages I’ve ever heard, a comparatively intuitive interface, auto firmware updates and PC audio streaming via its Ethernet port, more setup and configuration options than I knew existed, and a full half-dozen (!) HDMI inputs. And plenty of power sitting in reserve for those moments in a movie that are crafted to make you jump out of your chair. Never boomy or tinny or lacking, the unit simply sounds “fluid.” Yes, it has its bells and whistles, but this is by no means a “bells and whistles” receiver. “ – Gordo (USA)

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