Onkyo TX-NR5008 review

This new flagship model from Onkyo is no slouch. In fact, we can't find anything to fault here, and that means a full five-star recommendation Tested at £2400.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

If you’ve the money and suitable partnering kit, you’ve got to hear this . It’s everything you’d expect – and much more


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    Amazing build, sound, spec and value


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Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

Few AV receivers exhibit the menacing countenance of an Onkyo, but its new flagship model, the TX-NR5008, wears its thickly hewn slabs of aluminium alloy especially well.

It's a leviathan, the most extensively specified of its kind we've ever tested and, with nine channels, each rated at 220W (albeit using flattering criteria). It's one of the most powerful, too.

Extremely versatile
So, just what can an NR5008 do for you? The short answer is ‘everything'. With eight 3D-capable HDMI inputs, highly effective 1080p-capable HQV Reon-VX video processing and twin USB and DLNA 1.5-friendly ethernet inputs, it's more than up to the challenges of modern multimedia connectivity.

It'll also handle every relevant form of surround audio and, as you'd expect, comes comprehensively equipped with options, including Dolby Pro-Logic IIz, Audyssey DSX and every mode incorporated by the latest THX Ultra 2 Plus standard.

And, should you want to take advantage of its extensive network features, it'll even decode most key digital music formats (save Apple Lossless) and give you easy access to Last.fm, Napster and internet radio. There's even provision for modules to support DAB+ or an iPod.

Astounding sound quality
Speaker optimisation is automatic, courtesy of a thorough (if laborious) Audyssey MultiEQ XT32 room-correction system. And sound quality… well, it's astonishing.

You'd expect a receiver this big to sound substantial, but the TX-NR5008's scale goes way beyond mere expectation.

It's an amazing listen: recently, only Anthem's £16,000 Statement combination has elicited quite the same drama from our Monitor Audio reference system.

Spin The Dark Knight and you'll be wowed by the power of the soundfield, the precision of the effects placement and the staggering scale of each dynamic peak it generates.

At times, and most especially with Watchmen's opening sequence, the effect is almost bestial, the Onkyo daring you to crank the volume in search of its limits.

Of course, there are weaknesses. Higher-end rivals such as the Anthem will reveal more detail, and they'll surpass the Onkyo in stereo too, although the TX-NR5008's no slouch. But amps like that don't cost £2400. As odd as it might sound, that has to make this one of the biggest bargains around.

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What Hi-Fi?

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, Reading 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.

Read more about how we test