Top positive review
122 people found this helpful
Just what I was looking for!
on October 13, 2011
I recently built a workshop in my backyard and wired it up with a network connection and stereo speakers while I was at it. The whole time I just assumed that good networked stereo receivers would be easy to come by for not much money - but it turns out I was wrong.
After a fairly extensive search, I finally came across this little bad boy. I've never owned an Onkyo product before, but I do know they have a good reputation - so I went ahead and pulled the trigger.
Just so you know, my main usage includes listening to AM & FM as well as networked radio stations and music from my local music collection that's already on my network.
After having said all that, here are the things I like about the Onkyo TX-8050:
1) The sound is excellent! I have it hooked up to a pair of Polk OWM5 speakers and they sound very good. Just what I was looking for in my workshop.
2) The Internet radio options are very good. With the vTuner, I can tune all of the radio stations I typically listen to, and they sound better than the AM or FM broadcasts. It's easy to organize network radio stations into named categories and the station names themselves can also be renamed. Overall, it's extremely easy to keep everything organized and easy to look up.
3) Configuring this receiver to play music off my network was simple. It's simply a matter of turning on media sharing on the PC where the music files are loaded and then scrolling down to that PC in the DLNA menu. I am sharing my music from a Windows 7 system. The hard drive and USB options are great - but I prefer using the network so I don't have a bunch of USB dongles hanging off the front of the receiver...
4) There are options to tune in just about any Internet music source you can think of, including: SiriusXM Internet Radio, Pandora, Rhapsody, Slacker, Mediafly, Napster, and Last.fm. Those are in addition to the vTuner option I already mentioned that lets you tune in radio stations that are also streaming over the Internet.
5) The favorites menu can be configured over the network. If you don't feel like scrolling from character to character, manually renaming everything - just load up the TX-8050 in an Internet browser and you can do all the renaming and configuring from there. This also lets you set URLs for manually streaming radio stations that haven't been added to the vTuner service. The way to do this is to get the IP address from the setup menu (such as 192.168.1.100), and then type it into your web browser like: "[...]".
6) Did I mention that the sound is excellent?!
Although, for the most part, everything is working great - I do have a few minor complaints:
1) The AM/FM reception is mediocre at best. This would be a bigger deal if my stations weren't available for Internet streaming.
2) The favorites menu is kind of cool - but the standard organization is so good that it just adds clutter in my case. It would be better if manually entered stations could just be integrated into the vTuner categories instead.
3) The network startup time is fairly long. Forget just hitting the switch and getting networked tunes in a few seconds. In my case, it takes close to a minute - and that's over a hard-wired network.
4) Setting this up was a piece of cake for me, but I wonder if someone without any networking skills would fair as well. In other words, this probably wouldn't make a great gift for dear old grandma who's just looking to listen to the radio...
Overall, this receiver is exactly what I was looking for. I wanted something with better sound than a SqueezeBox; yet with at least the same number of networking options - and the Onkyo TX-8050 pulled that combination off nicely.
I would highly recommend this if you're a techie person who wants great sound combined with all the networked music options you could want.