75 of 86 people found the following review helpful
Onkyo's Powerhouse Receiver,
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This review is from: Onkyo TX-NR818 7.2-Channel Network A/V Receiver (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
I'm going to be honest, this is my first Onkyo receiver. As a owner of other great receivers from Denon & Yamaha, I was looking for a new powerful receiver, the Onkyo TXNR818 was just what I was looking for. Is 1 of 4 high-end audio receivers from Onkyo (2012), this is a 7.2ch receiver with 135w x 7ch of pure muscle. It packs the latest surround formats including the new DTS NEO: X and has the latest Audyssey MULTEQ XT32 calibration tool on which you'll get outstanding performance and some improvements over the original MULTEQ. At this price range Onkyo was able to put as many features as possible including; THX Select 2 Plus Certified, HDMI Support for 3D Video, 9.1 Pre Outs for audio and future expandability, Dual Core Video Engine with HQV Vida and Marvell Qdeo Processing just to name a few.
Before I let you know how this receiver performs , there are some minor drawbacks you should know. First, this receiver lacks AirPlay Support, wi-fi and bluetooth (a wireless and bluetooth adapter is sold separately) which I found inexcusable at this price; take note Onkyo, the new Sony STR-DN1030 offer these great features for a unit half the price. Second, the remote control is not fully backlit and while the GUI display is easy to navigate is far from the quality of those found on Yamaha or Denon receivers, in fact its a shame that it has a low resolution GUI and the icons are very ugly. This is one heavy receiver, over 40 pounds, 17 inches (wide) x 17 (depth) x 7 1/2 (heigth), is even deeper than my Def Tech StudioMonitor 65, so a very strong space in your entertainment center should be considered. Another thing that capture my atention was that the volume knob felt a bit loose and to soft. For some strange reason every time you adjust the tone controls the receiver cuts the audio for about a second, this issue has been reported in some forums.
There are a lot of Blu Ray movies that can be used as reference for audio and video, Battle LA & MI: Ghost Protocol are an example of pure surround madness. The alien invasion sounded clean, powerful and robust. The battle scene on the highway bridge is spectacularly loud and bombastic, the DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack rattles walls with a thunderous, authoritative low end. The rear effects are discrete and precise, generating an immersive 360-degree soundfield. The explosion of the Kremlin in MI:GP will shake your ground, and talked about the sandstorm scene in Dubai, you better have some goggles like Tom Cruise had. The sound of the wind and sand particles moving across my living room was an experience. 03/16/2013 Update - Listen to these other BD chapters; Transformers Rise of the Fallen / the fight in the forest is simply awesome and crunching, Looper / sweet deep bass in chapter 13, Minoroty Report / the force wave shotgun, one word Boombastic!!!. The 2012 version of Red Dawn sounded magnificent, the fire fight scenes and explosions are a thrilling experience and the TXNR818 will make you run for cover. Also Air Force One is almost two decades old, back in 1997 it was impresive on the DVD format and now the Blu Ray version is no exception. It's still has one of the most powerful and engaging surround sound mixes ever recorded, believe me.
Listening to Jason Mraz's The Freedom Song (live) sounded natural, the TXNR818 rendered it all very clearly and in distinct with excellent separation of the instruments, you can close your eyes and literally feel the music right in front of you, also the voices are heard clean and vivid. I love Latin jazz so there is nothing better than listening to Eddie Palmieri's Album CD "Arete". Congas and timpani discharge have a fascinating sound and to some extent may feel natural bass that emit between the clash of the Palm of the hand and the leather of the congas, the detail that capture the TXNR818 is amazing. Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon is a powerful rock album, from the opening clock sounds to Mason drums to Syd guitar solo, "Time" sounded just stunning on the 818.
In conclusion the TXNR818 is a great overall receiver, it has excellent video performence, powerful clean sound and plenty of inputs. So far I have been playing with this monstrous AVR for over seven months and I have done 2 firmware updates with no problems to report. I could be talking about other great features, like ISF calibration tools, XT32, DTS Neo: X, THX and more, but I'm the kind of person that will tell you to test this great AVR for yourself and make your own judgement. Some people have complaint about faulty units, but make sure you buy one from an authorize dealer to avoid any upset. Onkyo has done a great entrance in the audiophile world, and even that there are plenty areas were Onkyo can improve, they have done an excellent job to have a truly high-end receiver below the $1,000 mark.Like they say "High-End Home Theater Performance Starts Here" and sure it does.
Tracked by 3 customers
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Showing 1-10 of 16 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 23, 2013 6:50:41 PM PST
Great review. Just one question. Could you please tell us what speakers, subwoofer and blu ray player you are using.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 23, 2013 7:11:18 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 15, 2013 3:59:23 PM PST
Right now I'm using Definitive Tech BP8040 Super Towers, both of the them have a 8 inch 300watts subwoofers with (2) 8 inch passive radiators. The center channel is a Def tech 8060HD with built in subwoofer and the surrounds are Def Tech SR8080BP, for the front height surrounds are 2 Def Tech ProMonitor 1000. The blu ray is a OPPO 103 player. All speaker connections are with Kimber Kable. Also I have a Monster Cable HTS 3600 Power Center.
Posted on Feb 3, 2013 6:35:13 PM PST
Just bought one and love it. Replaced my Denon 2809.
Posted on Feb 15, 2013 7:58:44 AM PST
I'm in the market for a new Onkyo to replace the one I now have. this article helped me make my decision
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 15, 2013 8:01:53 AM PST
I promise you it is worth it.
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 15, 2013 3:50:49 PM PST
This is a great receiver, it's been almost 7 month since I got mine and it still impress me, also the video capabilities on the TX NR 818 are superb. You should get one PRONTO!!!
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 15, 2013 4:20:18 PM PST
For anything under $1500, this receiver can't be beat. I have had them all.
Posted on Feb 22, 2013 6:09:41 AM PST
D. Haardt says:
"First, this receiver lacks AirPlay Support, wi-fi and bluetooth (a wireless and bluetooth adapter is sold separately) which I found inexcusable at this price" Why is that? If you're using a receiver with that price, you probably want to have the superior quality of wired connections anyway. The wireless stuff may be convenient, but high quality it is not.
Posted on Mar 10, 2013 6:50:12 AM PDT
Does this unit use 4 or 8 ohms out to speakers?
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 10, 2013 6:54:20 AM PDT
Either. There is a setting for 4 or 6-higher ohms in the speaker settings.