Customer Review

61 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible sound!, June 10, 2011
This review is from: Onkyo TX-NR809 THX Certified 7.2-Channel Network A/V Receiver (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
I've had the previous generation 808 for several months, but had the need for a second receiver and wanted one I was already familiar with. Quite simply, I'm amazed at the sound quality of the 809. All music and movies sound much, much better - and the 808 is no slouch. The sound is richer, fuller and more balanced for all audio files - hi def files on my server, but also streaming music at low bit rates. Surround sound decoding and balance for movies is much improved and really adds to the "you are there" experience. The 809 helped me greatly with one of my major problems - subwoofers that don't have a lot of bark when Bruce Willis blows away the bad guys. Subs now sound much deeper and finally shake the floor and the only difference in my system is the 809. Onkyo has obviously put a lot of work into improving the audio processing technologies. GUIs are better - especially for the net function/button. I literally couldn't pull myself away from the 809 for hours after I set it up - I had to see how much better everything sounded. Couldn't be happier and consider the purchase worth every penny.
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Tracked by 7 customers

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Showing 11-20 of 29 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 26, 2011 4:57:36 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 26, 2011 8:33:36 PM PDT
M. Ali says:
The TX-NR809 is definitely worth the money. Newegg had it for $699 and I jumped on the deal. I have no regrets. The sound is superb. My TX-NR808 is driving THX rated speakers while the 809 is driving non-THX speakers. Both are powering Bowers & Wilkins subwoofers but the 808 is connected to the bigger sub. I feel the sound quality of the 809 is superior.

Both can handle the ESPN 3D broadcast. Thus, eliminating the one issue I had with the Pioneer VSX-1020-K. In hindsight, I did not realize the sound quality difference until the 809 was up and running.

Bottom line, the 809 is better.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 27, 2011 11:52:34 AM PDT
John Lindsey says:
Thank you for your review! I am currently saving money to buy this!

Posted on Jul 10, 2011 8:45:10 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Aug 6, 2011 6:50:45 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 17, 2011 8:15:35 PM PDT
M. Ali says:
Amazon has the 809 right now for $699. I would jump on this.

Posted on Aug 1, 2011 8:06:44 PM PDT
Rob, Have 809 and cannot get much volume from this unit. Get no sound until it hits around 45. I can max the sound out and still stay in the room. Is this just an adjustment or is this a defective unit? I am a novice and paid someone to set this system up. What you think? I am in Marietta and got this from Brandsmart @699.00.

Posted on Aug 3, 2011 2:01:56 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 3, 2011 2:02:48 AM PDT
MCM says:
You guys are very lucky in the states (considering the price for this receiver: I wouldn't want to trade on some other things though..;-)
In europe prices are over 1000,- euro, that is about $1400,-! Without taxes would still be around $1200,-
Would ordering this one in the US give any trouble considering 110V/220V? Is it easily switchable on the receiver?

Can anyone tell me if this 809 can compete with the Marantz 6005/Denon 2311? Or maybe even the Marantz 7005/Denon 3311?

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 13, 2011 3:45:50 AM PDT
e says:
52 is the level I use BTW! You can crank up your input levels in the setup menu for each source.

$699 at newegg this morning.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 16, 2011 2:45:08 AM PDT
Here's something I typed up earlier today, hopefully this will help you out: (originally posted here: )

Here's the follow-up of my comparison of the Yamaha A1000 vs. Onkyo nr809 vs. Marantz 6005 vs. Onkyo 705 as promised. Sorry it took so long to post a follow-up to my initial post on this, factors beyond my control delayed me in finishing an accurate listening and visual test between the units. This is of course a subjective opinions of mine, and people with different ears (or different components to their system) may have different opinions, and I am only posting this for the benefit of anyone who is on the fence between different units or between upgrading from their 705. I do like to think of my ears and eyes are sensitive to minute differences between audio and visual sources since I do graphic design full-time and sound mixing part-time for work, but everyone has different eyes and ears.

My system is as follows:
Samsung 52B750 52" LCD TV
Polk CS20 center
Polk Monitor 60's fronts
JBL cs6100bg sides and rear (7.1 system)
DirecTV H24 satellite receiver
LG BD570 Blu-ray player

Visual Appearance:
Marantz 6005: top by far, classy, elegant, perfect
Yahama A1000: Good, but funny looking, oversized lcd letters
Onkyo nr809: Good, but very old fashioned looking (green lcd)
Onkyo nr705: Ok, but again old fashioned looking

Sound (Music):
I feel like the Marantz 6005 really leaves the Onkyo nr809 in the dust for music playing all around - cd, mp3, pandora. With the Marantz, I can close my eyes and feel like I am in audio heaven during music. With the Onkyo, It's hard to describe, but I can tell that I am listening to music through a speaker system and I don't have the same out-of-body, feel-like-I'm-there experience as with the Marantz. Specifically, the transitions between notes on the Marantz is nice and subtle, without being overly smooth, and the bass response on the Marantz is perfect. With the Onkyo, I feel the Bass a little lacking and when I turn up the "Bass" setting on the options, it feels louder, but not better, and it is not as intertwined into the music as seamlessly as on the Marantz. Also with the Marantz, I can just play music and its perfect and simple, with the Onkyo, I constantly feel the need to adjust settings slightly between different genres of music.

If I was getting this system just for music, or even primarily for music, I would get the Marantz without question.

The Onkyo nr809 is not horrible with music, however, and is still much, much noticeably better than both the Onkyo 705 and Yamaha A1000. Going from the 705 to the 809, the music is crisper, cleaner, there is a better surround experience and the sides/rear speaker sound better utilized, and the bass is much improved. It is worth an upgrade from the Onk705 to 809 for music uses.

The Yamaha A1000 did not impress me for music and was on par with the Onkyo 705 and close in quality. Depending on your listening preferences, you may prefer one or the other, but going from the Onk705, its not worth moving to the newer Y-A1000 for music.

Sound (Movies and TV):
The Marantz 6005 and Onkyo 809 both takes the highest marks in this category in my opinion. They are both strong, and each preform better than the other depending on what is playing.

The Marantz 6005 has a more subtle effect with the sides and surround speakers which sound GREAT during movie and TV scenes that heavily incorporate the surround speakers and it all blends together flawlessly, bringing you into that scene. However, that same effect makes TV shows that don't use as much of the surround speakers to their full extent sound more hollow in that you pretty much it feels like you are just hearing audio out of the front and center speakers. In short, Marantz 6005 - great in surround sound heavy TV & movies (think something like LOTR), not as good in TV & movies that use surround sparingly (think something like American Pickers).

The Onkyo nr809 feels like it likes to inject a lot more surround effects louder and more vividly through the side and rear speakers. This makes TV & movies that may normally feel like a non-specular stereo affair turn into a full surround experience. On the other hand, with sources that like are surround sound heavy, the Onkyo suffers from the surround speakers overwhelming the center and front channels, leaving dialogue hard to understand at times, and making the surround speakers put out a non-natural sounding overloud experience that does not blend well together as a whole (as compared to the M-6005). In short, the Onkyo excels at TV & Movies that normally wouldn't sound great (think American Pickers) and is weaker in TV & Movies that use heavy surround effects (think LOTR or Leverage).

Dialouge (O-809 vs M-6005) - The Marantz wins because dialogue is always clear and sharp. I turn the center up +6.5 from Audessy's settings on the 809, and sometimes still have problems hearing dialogue clearly at times if there is too much going on with the surrounds. I was disappointed in the dialogue clarity (in ease of hearing, not crispness of sound) in the O-809 as compared to the O-705.

Bass Response (O-809 vs M-6005) - The Onkyo is louder, but the Marantz blends the bass more naturally into the overall effect of the TV/Movie in my opinion without sounding as out-of-place. Both do a great job with bass, however (there is a real, distinct improvement in bass clarity going from the O-705 to the O-809), and if you have a place where you can blast bass as loud as you want, you may prefer the Onkyo. If you have a limit on the noise that you are allowed to make (i.e. condo/apt), the Marantz does a better job of letting you feel the bass nicely without blowing the roof off. Both units do an amazing job with bass, however, and are far noticeably better than both the Y-A1000 and O-709. I do personally prefer the M-6005's bass.

Overall, both the Onk-809 and M-6005 sound great on TV & movies and both are far superior to the Y-A1000 and Onk-705 in my opinion. If I had to choose one, I would possibly choose the M-6005 by a hair since I like Blu-ray action movies (where the O-809 seems overwhelming at times, and where dialogue sometimes suffers) and because I feel like I need to simply do less adjusting with the Marantz 6005. However, I give the M-6005 and the O-809 a tie, because both have their strengths & weaknesses depending what you are watching.

The Y-A1000 and O-705 are both a good tier below the two aforementioned recievers in the TV & Movies department. The Y-A1000 may be slightly better than the O-705, but not enough for an upgrade. Movies and TV will come much more alive with both the M-6005 and O-809 and are worth the upgrade from the O-705 if that is the main use of your receiver.


I would not even have included this category if the Onkyo 809 didn't do such an amazing job in improving your video. TV from DirecTV, Movies from Blu-ray, and video/pictures from the Laptop are all much, much noticeably better going from either the O-705, Y-A1000, or M-6005 to the O-809. While the Marantz 6005 slightly beats the Onkyo 809 in some audio categories, I feel like Onkyo 809 kills the Marantz in video quality. For those who use their receiver primarily for movies and video, they may notice the difference in video quality much more than the difference in audio quality between these two receivers.
(I did have some issues with the Onkyo nr809 making the picture much darker than it was initially, but adjusting the brightness on the receiver options fixed that problem)


Between these 4 receivers, for those (with a similar home theater system to mine) who are looking for a receiver primarily for:

Music - I would wholeheartedly recommend the Marantz 6005 clearly above the 3 other competitors.

Movies/TV 50%, Music 50% - I would give a slight edge to the Marantz 6005 over the Onkyo 809 due to the strong music performance of the Marantz, but both system will perform great.

Movies/TV (with lots of HDMI inputs, Wifi (extra $30), Internet Radio, or more features being very important to the user) - I would recommend the Onkyo 809. It has much more features than any of the other systems, including more physical inputs, more licensing (better audessy set-up, dolby volume + dynamic volume [most have one or the other, if at all], etc), more internet connectivity options (pandora, spotify, wifi for $30, etc), 2 sub outs, and just a list more features.

Movies/TV (looks of the receiver are very, very important to the user or HD radio needed) - I would recommend the Marantz 6005. (Havent tried the Harmon Karmon in home, but those are also beautifully designed receivers). The HD radio works great on the Marantz and sound much better than normal radio on the Onk809. The HD Radio on the Y-A1000 has a known problem and I could only pull 1 station (and something like 20 with the M-6005). The M-6005 is also a little smaller than the other receivers (and looks a lot smaller because of the sloping sides), which is very nice.

Movies/TV (and the user doesn't know what is important to them because they are new to buying this stuff) - I would wholeheartedly recommend the Onkyo 809 because it is a great all around receiver that does a bit of everything and had a ton of features. The Onkyo 809 is the most future proof of the other receivers because it has more features than you need so if you add more parts to your system in the future like a second sub or tons more hdmi components, or want to add wireless connectivity, or start blasting the sound loud, etc, the nr809 offers a lot for what you get.

* I apologize for any typos that I may have made, did not have time to proofread before leaving the computer.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 16, 2011 3:19:01 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 23, 2011 2:27:47 PM PDT
MCM says:
THanks Christopher for this insightful review! I was torn between the Onkyo 809 & Marantz 6005 (& tried Denon 2311, but was less impressed, although it should be a clone of the Marantz. If you read around, you'll see that a lot of people do find differences between these: there must be some elements that are different). I have had the 809 for over a week and agree to what you've written.

I found the Marantz to give me more of a "soundbubble" and plays the sweeter mid-lows to my ears. As for the ultimo bass, the Marantz can iron out the wrinkles of my trousers too, but that might be because of the excellent SVS PC+ sub I'm using [grin;-].

As to video, colors seem to be great through the onkyo, it has some ISF presets for which "daylight" gives (oddly?) the best result in my fully darkened small theatre. But, I sometimes see a hickup, a missing frame or something which was not there when I tested the Marantz.

Onkyo has the Audyssey MultEQ XT, which has greater EQ resolution in the rear channels compared to Audyssey Multeq, but I did not notice that much of a difference (I did do 8 measurements). I guess this will depend on your room acoustics: if it is already pretty good, EQ-ing can only make it so much better. Not that my room is that good, but I do had it acoustically treated.

I chose the Marantz 6005, based on the "musicality" and bigger soundbubble in my room, and the lower sales price now in Europe made it complete.

However, if you find the networking capabilities and the 2x HDMI out important, there's no other choice than Onkyo between these ;-)

EDIT: my setup:

Dynaudio Audience 82/122C/42W through Inakustik Black&White 1202
Sony BDP-S550 / Popcornhour A110 through HDMI (don't know the brands used)
SVS PC+2039 subwoofer
CD Tag McLaren CD20T on AV32R 192 7.1 BP, through SignalCable Analog2 (= Coleman cable with a mask, don't know type)

Room is 3,5x4,0 meters, acoustically treated ceiling, some parts of the walls, carpet on concrete floor.

Posted on Aug 23, 2011 1:58:21 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 23, 2011 2:00:25 PM PDT
What kind of speakers do you have (brand/model)? Sound quality varies greatly depending on your specific speakers and listening room -- so your review isn't very helpful without this info. What sounds great with your speakers may be terrible driving mine.

Also -- receivers don't amplify subwoofer signals....

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