or Connect
AVS › Reviews › Receivers & Amplifiers › Component Receivers › Onkyo TX-NR818

Onkyo TX-NR818

100% Positive Reviews





I have owned the Onkyo TX-NR818 7.2 Channel Receiver for 6 months, it replaced a Denon 3808. I am using the 818 with Goldenear Triton 2's L/R, SS50C, Mirage OS1's X4, Mirage Omnisat Prestige X2, Monoprice in ceiling speakers, Belkin Power Conditioner PF30 and Sony S790 Bluray Player with Power Sound Audio XS 30 Dual Opposing 15 inch Subwoofer. Here is what i found......I am using the 818 in a 2316 cubic foot theater.

I usually like to own a new piece of gear for about a few months before I give my opinion so I can get to know its strengths and its quirks. With the 818 here is what I found......

There is a lot of high end for a mid priced receiver. Namely Audyssey's XT32 which woke my subwoofer (s) up. The bass is very low and very tight. I didn't have to turn the gain up past Audyssey's setting. It set my Power Sound Audio XS30 at -1.5db. Funny thing is I could not here a bass null as much as I did on the Denon 3808's Audyssey multi eq xt. You get THX certification. Now I know a lot of people scoff at this. The 818 integrated THX modes very well. With the HQV Vida 1900 video chip and Marvells Qdeo upscaler the 818 is offering a lot for my hard earned dollars. 192khz/24 bit DAC to. The sound seems more robust than my Denon 3808 did like using only a few cylinders in a new V8. You know the extra power is there when you hit the gas.

The 818's high end audio....

I converted all of my 4700 songs to 192/24 .wav on my Hitachi 1 terabyte external hard drive which I have plugged into the 818's rear usb port.

I prefer the SB over FH. I felt FH took away from the Front speakers and liked the fuller sound of surround back. With different source material this might change. For video FH works well with Dolby Digital. I am running 9.3 listening. I picked up an Onkyo m-5010. It was a hundred dollars off and I sold some stuff on ebay. It was $65 out of pocket. I feel now that if I went with 11 channel it would be nice but I would end up shutting the FH off for most source material..

Tori Amos: Flavor and Winter from Gold Dust. This is a great album for listening to the imaging and nuances of your speakers. Tori is accompanied by an orchestra for the entire album. The 818 seamlessly integrated Tori's piano into my listening area. Each key stroke was easily heard and if I closed my eyes I could almost picture her playing in my theater.

Sade: Soldier of Love: The 818 especially shines when Sade is played. Her voice with a deep bass track that the 818 produces shook the dining room dishes upstairs. My wife made me turn it down and it was only at 60.0. Thank you Audyssey.

Black Label Society: Another Spoke In The Wheel and Just Killing Time.
What can I say Zakk is amazing. The 818's detail let me almost see Zakk's fingers going up and down the scales on the stock of his guitar during ASITW.
JKT allowed the 818 to send super low bass to the sub and pounded my chest. This made me grin widely.

The Cult: Embers. Ian Astbury has the best voice in rock to me. I have seen The Cult Live many times. Embers is one of those songs that not many people will here but once they do they are hooked. The 818 made me get hooked all over again.

The Expendables 2 with the 11 channel DTS Neo X mix was why I love this 818. (I have 9.3, the 11th channel was mixed down to one of the other channels I guess) the separation and steering was great for the sound and the picture was superb.

The 818 high end video.....

The HQV Vida 1900 chip does a great job presenting the video. Nice colors and deep inky blacks. The Marvel Qdeo upgrades DVD's nicely as well.

My wife wanted to see Disney's Tangled very badly in 3d. The 818 handled this with professionalism. The 3d was jaw dropping. The lanterns seen in the latter part of the movie popped and were floating around the room. The 818 offers many video enhancement for the money. To tests Marvell's Qdeo I used a Cult concert from their Beyond Good and Evil tour. I like using this as it allowed me to compare black levels and upscaling to near 1080p. It wasn't quite as good as a blu, but that is to be expected. It was damn good though.

I used the Avengers 3d as well as a test disc and the colors the 818 produces is like art work on a wall. I ran the Sony S790 on through and compared. The HQV is the way I am going for now.

The 818 GUI:
I found it very easy to navigate and intuitive. When the 818 is first turned on it takes you through an initial set up wizard with ease. It then leads you to Audyssey's XT32 set up. I did all 8 positions and in a matter of 45 minutes or so I was up and running. Audyssey was spot on for all of my settings except the front speakers. The Goldenear Triton II's have to be ran at full band to get full bass. Audyssey set them at 40hz. Otherwise everything is icon based and easy to follow. Firmware updates are as easy as hitting the home button on the remote. Also the 818 allows itself to be set up for automatic update notification. Insta-prevue is a nice touch. Not something I use because I don't usually have multiple components running at the same time. I suppose if your a sports guy and have multiple cable boxes hooked up this would be ideal for you. Overall an excellent job.

I did not test cable as I watch it upstairs on my Pioneer Plasma. So could not comment.

The back panel:

Onkyo like other manufacturers has eliminated some legacy inputs and cleaned the back panel up. I like this a lot. There are 8 hdmi inputs (one on front) 2 hdmi outputs. One with ARC capability and a second sub to hook up another tv. Nice touch. Two game inputs for multi console owners is nice. The speaker binding posts are logical. Left on left and right on right with center above. The classic Onkyo stickers with the name of the speakers and corresponding color are included. I see Denon is now copying with the X4000.

The 818's construction:

Onkyo is the only manufacturer using copper screws on its bus bar. The anatomy of the 818 can be seen best at avland.uk. Which has some of the best reviews of electronics I have seen. Also with the 818 I no longer have the ground loop I did with the Denon 3808. Onkyo's are known for running hot. The 818 has 2 fans for cooling. Mine has yet to get warm. With the 818's 40 pounds of muscle it made me feel like I was getting a lot of quality for my money.

The 818's app:

Onkyo's app is nice but needs some improvement. It gives basic functionality. Where it shines is when running music through usb. The songs can be seen ahead like it would appear on your tv. With a projector I don't want to waste lamp time when I am listening to music. So I like this app. The onkyo troller app would not recognize my 818.

The Remote:

It needs to be backlit. I am sure it does not cost that much to light a remote.
One problem with the remote is the usb. I would have put 2 buttons on the remote. USB (R) and USB (F). The way the remote is constructed now you have to point it in the couch cushion or your leg when switching back from receiver to usb. Otherwise it selects the other usb input (Rear or front). This is annoying. Thankfully the tablet app allows you to choose.

818 Improvements:

Only minor here...Sub EQ HT. Many forum members have educated me on this and I am sure it does its function well. But the step-up to the 1010-5010 is several hundred dollars more. I didn't think my ears would here that big a difference. Wireless capability for those that need it. That's it. Maybe airplay if you like apple products. Gapless audio. Back lit remote.

The 818 offers the high end for prices around $699. I imagine Onkyo has seen its sales of the 818 spike in recent days. The new TX-NR 828 is a step backwards for Onkyo. The TX-NR929 is this years 818, with a higher price tag of course. I did a lot of research in the two years it took me to build my theater. Many of the forum members educated me and answered my questions. All in all i feel that this deserves a 4.5 out of 5. Electronics are trade-offs, I guess like many things in life. With the 818 there are few.


Pros: High Power, 7.1, Audessy, HDMI

Cons: non-intuitive manual, non-backlighted remote

Bought this receiver last Black Friday (2012) replacing a Denon 3803. I wanted a bit more than the Denon's 110 WPC, and HDMI, and Audessy XT32. Paid about $699 which was a great deal. Using it in 6.1 configuration with Legacy Signature 3s and Silver Screen center, and Celestion 100s in the back.

This was one of the best buys I've made over several years in the home theater hobby. Everything works well on this unit - though to figure out how best to use it I've spent a lot of time on AVS Forums and other sources as the manual is not clearly laid out. It tells you everything you can do with the unit but it doesn't tell you why you would want to use one setting over another.

I do with the remote had backlighting on the keys - hard to use in low light.

Overall I'm very pleased with it.


Pros: Features for the price, Audyssey XT32, and easy setup

Cons: HDMI board may have issues and no included WiFi dongle

This is my first receiver so not much to compare to, but it is a great first receiver. I have owned this receiver for almost a year now and it has been wonderful to use and setup. I did a lot of research before buying this receiver and it had many great things like Audyssey XT32, 4K, and dual sub-woofer capability that usually you have to pay more for. That was enough to make me buy this over the Denon I was originally wanting, so far happy with my decision. I also like how you can dim the LCD and that the universal remote is mostly functional with other equipment. It does a good job at giving you the basics for your other devices. Audyssey XT32 does a good job with my KEF speakers and SVS PC12+ sub setup in my room, and the TX-NR818 powers the equipment without issue. The sound is good and makes a great hub for my TV, xbox, dish, and OPPO to connect through. At the price that it was selling during black Friday last year it was well worth it. I did wish that it had a WiFi dongle included to connect to my network, but my other equipment does most everything this one does so I just use those instead. I did update its firmware once with a USB drive which was easy to do. The receiver is big and has a good weight to it. I do like the aluminum construction and the amount of connectors in the back. I bought this so it will last through many years of use, hopefully. The features are nice and seems well built, but I do hope that the unit stays reliable.

I have had no major problems with it, but did have one instance of were I got sound with no video from it. After I cycled power on the receiver it has been problem free. Not sure how Onkyo support is but hopefully will never have to talk to them.


Pros: Looks, ease of use, functionality

Cons: Lack of DTS decoding for music; future reliability?

Upgraded to the 818 from an HT-RC180 & can't really say if this sounds any better or not. After set up & running all 8 positions in Audyssey using a boom mic stand, listened to some of my fav cds/songs & since they were so familiar to me on the 180, not sure really what I expected but from all the glowing reviews etc, I guess I thought XT32 was going to make my speakers (Polk RTi A series) sound so much better than they do/did with the 180, & it just didn't happen. The music does sound a bit "cleaner", the sub is integrated a wee bit more for clarity of lows, & vocals are somewhat cleaner too, but I can't say it really justified the bump in price to achieve it. In the 180, Audyssesy could be used as an Equalizer, manual, or off; in the 818 it's either manual or off! I guess I could sit here with music playing & manipulate the EQ to my liking, much like I did with the EQ in my Trans Am, but it's such a subjective listening area to me. So guess I'll leave it on, but at 0 dB. The other thing I was so used to with the 180 was while listening to Sirius/XM on Dish, I had the listening mode always set to Orchestra & 2 ch audio to Neo:6 Music Audyssey DSX but the 818 has limited options for Neo/ DTS, one in THX mode which I don't care for. The up side to the 818 & listening to Dolby PLII Music Audyssey DSX mode is that it does activate the center channel & that was my main concern for using the Orchestra mode on the 180. But somehow, Orchestra mode on the 818 doesn't sound as pleasing as it did on the 180 so I'll give it some time, play with the buttons & eventually settle on what I like or don't. That's the name of the game! Overall, the 818 is a very competent machine, very heavy & looks great, much nicer than the 180. The fit & finish is better, seems to be a better quality of aluminum perhaps, nonetheless works. The 180 had a front panel that pulled down to open, the 818 you push the middle of the panel to open, looks nicer when closed. I did check the Onkyo website for any firmware updates & there was one from Oct '13, so downloaded that to a USB stick & plugged it into the 818 & took maybe an hour to install with no issues. Was a bit hesitant initially from all the things I've read, but really had nothing to fret over lol. Just want my unit to be as up to date as it needs to be & go from there! Hmm, 5 days into ownership, the 818 developed an audio issue. While watching satellite tv when the listening mode changed from program (Audyssey DSX) to commercial (PLII Movie DSX), my sub had a pronounced thump! Never had that prob with the 180, so turned off the sub, turned the A7s to Full Band & the thump was still evident with the A7s! So sent the avr back to OneCall for a replacement, arrives soon so am eagerly anticipating a trouble free listening experience for years to come! Update: After hooking up the replacement, some thump is still present when channel switching ugh. Bought new hdmi ferrite core cables & while that helped with pq & channel switching (old cables were 5 or 6 years old!), did notice the thump now & then, so must not be the avr. I have a Dish Network 722k DVR so went into the audio setup & played with the settings there, finally turning off volume levelling & the thump disappeared! Guess that is the fix?! Only downside to that is now the SD channels are way louder than the HD channels. All this troubleshooting gives me a headache lol. cool.gif onkyo818001.JPG 177k .JPG file onkyo818002.JPG 168k .JPG file
Onkyo TX-NR818

This Onkyo network receiver is a winner in three areas. Firstly, its video performance is unrivalled. An HQV Vida VHD1900 processor upscales content to 1080p, with Qdeo technology taking full HD out to an eye-popping 4K. An ISF system calibrates video from all inputs to industry standards, and the resulting picture is spectacular. Secondly, audio performance is unmatched, as proven by THX Select2 Plus certification. The receiver delivers er effortlessly through three-stage inverted Darlington circuitry and 192 kHz/24-bit DACs. Finally, you get more setup flexibility. There are eight HDMI inputs-including an MHL for smart phones-and two outputs. Two USB ports connect iPod/iPhone and LAN adaptor, enabling wireless PC and online audio. Three mind-blowing sound expansion systems are included-Audyssey DSX, DTS Neo:X, and Dolby Pro Logic IIz-assisted by Audyssey MultEQ XT32 room correction. Digital crossover processing, front channel bi-amping capability, and three-zone audio distribution grant the freedom to customize. With new InstaPrevue input selection technology and intuitive system control via iPhone and Android phone, now is the time to upgrade to an Onkyo.

FeatureTHX Select2 Plus Certified Dual Core Video Processing via HQV Vida and Marvell Qdeo Internet Radio and Cloud Music Streaming Service Connectivity with control via Onkyo Remote Apps MHL (Mobile High-Definition Link) and InstaPrevue Technologies iPod/iPhone Direct Digital Connection through USB and Firmware Updates via Ethernet and USB
Item Height7.81 inches
Item Length17.13 inches
Item Width17.13 inches
Package Height12.9 inches
Package Length22.5 inches
Package Weight46.95 pounds
Package Width21.7 inches
ProductGroupReceiver or Amplifier
TitleOnkyo TX-NR818 7.2-Channel Network A/V Receiver (Black)
UPCList - UPCListElement751398010545
Item Weight40.3 pounds
CatalogNumberList - CatalogNumberListElementTXNR818
Warranty2 Years Parts and Labor
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
AVS › Reviews › Receivers & Amplifiers › Component Receivers › Onkyo TX-NR818