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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.
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on December 9, 2013
Very good stereo. Anyone buying this model is clearly looking for network capibilities. It's clunky and difficult to use the internet radio features from the controls on the front itself. You really will want to control with a smart phone/tablet app. I have both a Kindle and an iPod. The Kindle app works great and I have no difficulties controlling. The iPod version gets hung up at times trying to use the vTuner (listening to internet radio stations). That likely will be fixed in the next app update.

The bigger problem I had was that I bought this together with the Onkyo USB WiFi adapter. That make it look easy but I would not use this combination again. With the USB WiFi adapter it did not connect to the home network until you turned the stereo on and then turned it into net mode. Then it took time to initialize network. The problem is that you must complete these steps to be able to connect to the network and therefor need this to use your app to control it.

I then went out and bought a $29 WiFi range extender with an ethernet port. Configured it for my network and then connected the stereo to the network by using ethernet into this range extender. Now it stays connected to the network even when turned off. At this point I'm considering moving the reciever into the my basement since I never need to actually touch the box ot control the music playing throughout my house.
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on August 16, 2011
Bought this receiver and matched it up with a pair of Paradigm Atoms w/ Auralex speaker platforms. This was for a bedroom set-up and the unit and speakers sit on a 2x dresser. I was expecting an average sound and got much more.

Pros:
1. Plays FLAC via a NTFS USB Powered Hard Drive. The hard drive I use is 640 GB. It reads the Hard Drive relatively quickly (15 sec) and scrolls through the folders very quickly.
2. Adding the receiver to the network is easy - just enter your WEP - done. You can stream WMP and with the program Jamcast you can stream Spotify, MOG, etc via DLNA. Has Pandora, MyRhapsody and some other programs already installed on the receiver. Entering your username and password for those services using a dial is probably the most painstaking effort for setting it up.
3. Most important - it sounds GREAT. I was worried about having a lean sound with Atoms and Onkyo. However, it's actually quite warm. It could be that it's in a carpeted bedroom, but whatever works. The sound optimizer for playing MP3s works well overall in smoothing out the clipping MP3s have especially in those low kb bit rates from Pandora, etc. There's only so much that can be done on low bit rate streaming.

Cons:
There are several, but minor and wouldn't change my mind from recommending it. None of these issues are related to the sound, but just convenience.
1. No subwoofer cut-off capability. I don't feel my set-up needs a subwoofer, but if it's important to you.
2. No backlighting on the control.
3. Hard Drive doesn't shut off when the receiver is off. You'll have to unplug from USB when you are done.
4. The Android App really doesn't do much except change the volume and change the input. It does play songs off the Android, but with all the other options, don't really see a need for it. Would be nice to link Spotify, MOG, etc to the Onkyo via Android App.
5. On Pure Audio, would like the display to come back on when changing folders, input, stations, etc. Have to scroll through the sound options (5 total) to get back to pure audio after changing an option.

Other than that, to reiterate I was really impressed by the sound, esp ~$600 set-up. I have a dedicated listening room with a Squeezebox, DAC, SACD, room treatments, turntable, etc. Although this Onkyo + Atom combo doesn't beat out the dedicated listening room set-up, for computer audio it comes really close.
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on December 20, 2015
Update --
I've had the fixed receiver for a few weeks now. I went to turn it on using wi-fi and it could not be found by the app. I was forced to reboot the receiver so it could be discovered. This appears to be a consistent problem for me with this receiver. I am again forced to add a neo remote to remotely unpower and reboot the unit so I can operate it remotely without going into the house to do this manually. I'm down grading from 4 stars to 3 due to this issue.

Update --
After my initial review, Onkyo replied to my review, notifying me my unit may have a known defect and regardless of warranty status, would repair the unit. I went to their site per their instructions and submitted my claim. A few days later, I received a shipper from FedEx with pre-paid shipping for me to send my unit to Onkyo. Included in the box was tape, the shipping label, instructions, etc. Everything I needed. I shipped it off and about 2-1/2 weeks later, my receiver is up and running. I've not had good experience in the past with Onkyo customer service. Perhaps they are learning from their past mistakes . This time, the service ans speed of service were exemplary. To get to 5 stars, I'd need a few more features on the unit. Overall, now very happy.

Original Review ---
Full disclosure, I haven't had good luck with Onkyo products. This is the third Onkyo product I've owned that broke. I don't abuse them, they just don't seem to like me. I bought this from Amazon in March of 2013. Here it is, December of 2015 and it decides to no longer output any sound, or connect to the network. Ran through the trouble shooting guide but no joy. I have the unit inside my house and have speakers both inside and on my porch. I've used the Apple iPhone wi-fi enable remote to turn it on when I was outside. I could control the volume, on off etc. which was very convenient. It worked and sounded great, with just one flaw, it kept dropping off the network. Unplugging it and restarting always fixed it. But eliminated the convenience of using my iPhone to control it. I added a neo wifi outlet to turn let me turn off power to it from outside whenever I couldn't find it on the network. 30 seconds later, I was good to go.

Today is another story. No sound. This is my last Onkyo. Having 2 different model receiver have a similar loss of sound issue seems a little too much like a trend for me. If you are lucky, your unit may be great. If you are me, it will work until the warranty expires, then you will have the pleasure of shopping all over again for a new stereo.
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on February 25, 2015
I bought this receiver specifically for the phono input. My previous set up required a separate power amp for my turntable and that caused all sorts of unwanted hum and buzz that i wasn't able to get rid of despite hours of trouble shooting. Setting this thing up was quite easy and took maybe ten minutes. I immediately tossed a record on and switched over to the phono input... NO BUZZ! YES! I played with the audio settings and the "EQ" (treble & bass only) and was surprised by how good it sounded... especially for the money. I use this exclusively for playing vinyl and watching TV/movies and had no complaints at all about the sound. Initially, my only gripe was that unless you specifically set a "sleep time" it stays on indefinitely. My cheaper Sony receiver would shut off after about 30 minutes if not in use, not only saving your power bill but also saving the receiver from unnecessary wear. I used the Onkyo daily for both TV and music for about a week before leaving on vacation.

When I returned two weeks later, I threw a record on and when I switched over to the "phono" input it was buzzing and humming pretty badly. Initially, I thought that maybe I had a bad RCA cable but even after completely disconnecting the turntable the noise continued. On top of the noise, there was significant (80%) sound loss from the right side. I switched it to the TV input to see if the problem carried over and not only was there no unwanted buzz or hum, there was also no sound loss from the right speaker. I turned everything off and disconnected / reconnected everything. I also swapped out the RCA cables running from my turntable to the receiver just in case. When I fired it back up and put a record on the buzzing and humming was gone. "Great!" I thought. About a minute in to the record playing, the buzzing, humming and subsequent sound loss returned. After a few minutes, it disappeared again... then returned. It's been doing this ever since.

I have scheduled a return with Amazon and luckily their exchange policy allows for a replacement to be shipped and delivered before the defective model needs to be returned so I'll at least be able to use it for surround sound until then. Either way, I'm pretty bummed out that I can't listen to records because the receiver I just bought and used for a total of maybe 15 hours is having problems. This is my first experience with Onkyo and it doesn't instill much confidence in their brand. It honestly makes me question why I shouldn't just return this all together and spend an extra hundred bucks on the Yamaha that's available. What if the replacement has issues two months from now once Amazon's return policy has expired? I honestly don't know if it's worth the headache.

UPDATE: The replacement hasn't even arrived and I've requested a return. I'm going with the Yamaha. I don't think I could ever be confident in the longevity of this product when my first experience with it involves it crapping out after a few hours of use. Sorry, Onkyo.
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on April 19, 2016
I don't have a clue why the smaller percentage of reviewers are rating this receiver less than stellar. I replaced my old Yamaha 5-channel with this, and WHAT A DIFFERENCE in sound quality. I set up networking with a wired connection and changed the address to a static IP, It works flawlessly. I use Pandora and DLNA. Streaming my computer music is a breeze. Also got the Android app and it works, period. Time will tell, but after using a Harmon Karden and Yamaha surround sound receivers this one blows away those others in sound quality and hook ups, I registered the Onkyo on their site and it was easy. This is more like the sound I heard in the 70's with integrated amps. Don't let this one pass, it's a great value.

Adding a little more info. It's been a couple more weeks since I posted, and the receiver is still great. I'm liking the controls, the app, and mostly the "sound of music" lol. Onkyo had a recall on this receiver a while back. You can still check with them to see if your serial number was included, but it shouldn't be for newer units. Mine was not in the recall. I successfully updated the firmware to the newest release (this year) via usb. They are only providing the update that way and not through the Internet. Very nice!
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on February 20, 2014
Like T. Wright below:

It worked great until it didn't work at all. Sent it in for warranty repair 2 months ago. Part is on backorder.

A warranty really isn't worth much if they can't get the parts to fix it.

==
I had it for 8 months with very light use, then one day it wouldn't turn on. Repair shop has had it for two months to date. So, in the 10 months I've owned it, it has been out of my possession 20% of the time and still counting. I will never buy another Onkyo product again.
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on April 2, 2015
Using with Onkyo C-7030 CD player (http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B004UR487A/ref=cm_cr_ryp_prd_ttl_sol_20) and the Polk Audio TSx 220B Bookshelf Speaker - Cherry (http://smile.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-TSx-220B-Bookshelf/dp/B00CHHCD0E). Sounds very nice!

My first CD/Stereo/Speaker setup in a number of years (instead of using a computer).

Also supports USB for use with iPads/iPhones, etc. Easy to setup and use.
review image
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on April 25, 2016
UPDATE 2: Unquestionably one of the worst products I ever had the misfortune to purchase. It constantly disconnects from the stations, switches stations randomly, locks up constantly. B/C it is so frustrating to use, I will discard it rather than donate it. Even for free, it's not worth it.
Amazon Echo, here I come.

UPDATE: After two months (past the 30 day return window) the unit froze solid. Absolutely non-responsive. Now dealing with shipping it to a repair center, at my expense. Quite sorry I bought thus unit. Product support says they have no reports of this problem. That's odd, I found videos on YouTube describing it.

From the perspective of a audio geek's dream/engineering marvel, it's great.
From the perspective of navigating through totally inadequate printed or online instructions it is absolutely the pits.
Forums aren't much of a help either.
I assume Onkyo believe purchasers enjoy puzzles. Endless puzzles.
I will say that ultimately (many hours or even days later) the unit works even marginally OKl.
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on January 8, 2014
I think I've finally gotten this receiver to work with a TP-LINK WN-722N USB wireless adapter. "Think" because I just finished config and need to give it a few days to see how it holds up.

I have this working with broadcast SSID (will not work without but that shouldn't be a concern- hiding SSID does nothing for security). The TP-LINK allows WPA2/AES security. Supposedly the Onkyo USB adapter does not. A frustrating Onkyo bug: You can use special characters in your wireless key during receiver wireless configuration but it won't work! It took me a long time to figure this out, by trial and error. I had an ampersand in my password and security only worked when I replaced it with a letter. Seems like something that could be fixed in firmware.

Another negative thing about the "end-to-end" experience: Big reason why I got this was because there's an IOS app for it. The app crashes every time you try to connect to the receiver. I finally discovered that I could make it work by configuring a Spotify user (!) directly on the receiver or using the Android app. Then the IOS app works. After that the app is not great, but it does what it needs to do.

UPDATE, after 1.5 months of wanting to make this work: The unit is HORRIBLE. Or rather, it may be a good receiver, but we bought it for its advertised wireless capabilities and it just doesn't work. Unless you're happy completely reconfiguring your Spotify and internet radio settings every other day. It probably all comes down to bad software design. The unit is going back. Don't bother with Onkyo for this, they don't know how to make apps.
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