Onkyo TX-NR808

The scramble by industry leaders to launch products compatible with the 3D video format has now reached fever pitch. And Onkyo has been really quick off the blocks with a slew of AV receivers that are 3D capable right out of the box. Coming in the mid-range and priced at a sweet spot of just over $1000 is the 7.2 channel network ready Onkyo TX-NR808.

It is packed with the latest technology and a rich feature set which is the hallmark of Onkyo’s philosophy. It also comes with an extensive array of both digital and analog A/V connectivity options which includes latest HDMI ver1.4a inputs for 3D video playback.

Latest Update: The Onkyo TX-NR808 is shipping and Now on Sale at Amazon.com

Onkyo TX-NR808 AV Receiver

Onkyo TX-NR808 AV Receiver

Design

The TX-NR808 has the familiar Onkyo look with black aluminum fascia. The front panel is neat and the layout is simple and functional. The On/Standby button is conveniently located on the left with the large Master volume control on the right. The light green fluorescent readout is clear and does not intrude even in a darkened room. Below the display is a row of mode selection and source select buttons. These buttons have a nice tactile feel.

Tucked away under a flip down panel are many options for you to connect your devices and tuning/preset/setup/listening mode select buttons. 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 make it easy to use.

Connectivity

Back Panel Connectivity Options

Back Panel Connectivity Options

Onkyo has provided more than ample connectivity options to meet the needs of even the most serious home theater enthusiast. 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. If you are still into playing those smooth sounding vinyl records there’s even a phono input for your turntable.

Network capabilities are accessed through 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. There are additional pairs of pre-outs for a 2nd or 3rd zone.

Actual user review:
“I just purchased this receiver, and I have to say that the unit is really awesome. The long list of features is exhausting, and we haven’t begun to explore them all yet. While Onkyo hardware is technically spectacular and gets great reviews, their user manual is unclear at times and reads like an old IBM manual. When we called Onkyo tech support for advice, the guy who handled our call was very professional and helpful. A lot of time and patience to make it work right and to use all the features. If you afford it, hire a professional to set it all up for you! It’s worth it!” – M.Thomas (USA)

 

Features

Over the last 60 years, Onkyo has been passionately committed to developing audio products that deliver top quality and performance at fair prices for the average consumer. And they are always ahead of the curve in embracing the latest technologies. This has earned them the respect of not only consumers but also industry experts like THX. The Onkyo TX-NR808 has been awarded the THX Select2 Plus Certification.

For a receiver to be anything worth its salt, it must sound good. Onkyo has employed the use of WRAT (Wide Range Amplifier Technology). WRAT delivers high instantaneous current enough to effortlessly drive even difficult low-impedance speakers so that movie soundtracks 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-NR808 has 7 amplified channels and dual subwoofer outputs making it a true 7.2 design.

Here’s a summary of the extensive feature set of the TX-NR808:

  • Power Output: 135 watts into 8 ohms (20-20kHz) for each of the 7 channels.
  • HDMI 1.4a Support for 3D Video and ARC – the 7 HDMI 1.4a inputs let you simultaneously connect up to 7 Hi-definition / 3D sources.
  • 192 kHz/24-Bit Burr-Brown DAC – High-quality Burr-Brown DACs work to optimize analog audio performance on the TX-NR808. 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-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.
  • 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-NR808 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-NR808’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

Onkyo have certainly got their fingers on the pulse with the TX-NR808. It is decked to the neck with the latest technologies and features that will see it through the long haul. Although 3D playback may not hit the mainstream in the medium term, this receiver is ready when it does. You can use it not only for watching movies but as a media center for enjoying music.

Average User Rating:
More user reviews:

I bought this 135W A/V receiver to power a 5.1 set up with JBL speakers including 890’s for the fronts and 830’s for the surrounds. The set up was easy and the sound clarity, accuracy and other performance criteria were met superbly. The receiver’s 1.4 HDMI’s 3D performance was excellent. The Onkyo is pretty big and heavy though, measure your expected positioning carefully. All things considered, it does a great job and you could spend a lot more and get no better performance.” – G.Pealer (CA,USA)

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I purchased the TX-NR808 to replace my Onkyo TX-SR800 mainly just for the Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA decoding, but man was I blown away by the overall sound quality improvement with standard DD, DTS, and stereo as well! Highs, mids and lows all are perfectly represented by the 808. Sonic power and clarity is all I can say. With either format, Dolby or DTS, you get improved ambiance, harder hitting bass, and amazing dynamic range which creates an unequalled movie watching experience! No movie theater can even come close the the sound quality I now have in my home theater! To summarize, with all the features that this receiver has for the low price that I paid through Amazon I couldn’t be happier with the TX-NR808! This is bar none the best receiver that I have ever heard for under $1,500!” – D.Elliot Jr. (CA,USA)

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