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Onkyo TX-NR807 review

The Onkyo TX-NR807 is a good amp, that with greater subtlety could be a great amp Tested at £800.00

Our Verdict

A powerful amp that takes no prisoners in the sound department. A good amp, that with greater subtlety could be a great amp

For

  • Stamps immense weight and authority on movie soundtracks
  • very good steering of surround effects

Against

  • Can be unruly and uncompromising
  • lacks the subtlety and low-level dynamics of class-leaders

The Onkyo is competitively priced as AV amps go in this sector of the market, and it has an exhaustive list of features. There are six HDMI inputs at your disposal. It's also THX Select2 Plus and DLNA-certified.

On paper, the 'NR807 is a seven-channel amp, but these can be used in different configurations, thanks to the inclusion of technologies such as Audyssey DSX (Dynamic Sound Expansion) and Dolby Pro Logic IIz.

The former allows you to use front wide speakers, the latter allows front height speakers – both in place of surround backs. This helps promote a greater spread of sound and if you have the space and extra speakers, it's worth experimenting with.

Set-up is simple enough and the Onkyo's menus are clear, crisp and easy to follow.

The Audyssey MultEQ system is accurate enough, although it did get the size of out centre speaker wrong. We found that turning off the Audyssey EQ settings and Dynamic Volume helped give a clearer sound.

A big beast of an amplifier
This machine enjoys nothing more than flexing its muscles, impressing you with almost scant disregard for your neighbours.

During the Incredible Hulk, this amplifer brings the action right into the heart of your living room.

Explosions sound ridiculously powerful and violent – this amp packs an impressive display of bass weight. Even during the opening credits of the film, you are hit with an incredible sense of drama that brings you to the edge of your seat.

The only drawback is that this relentless approach prevents the Onkyo from relaxing during slower-paced scenes.

Instead of ebbing and flowing, as the soundtrack requires, this amp seems to force itself on you without much room for negotiation.

The Onkyo provides one of the biggest bangs possible for this kind of money. All we ask for is a touch more subtlety to bring some balance to what is already a very capable machine.

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What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, New York and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.


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