For the past two Christmases, Onkyo has been the UK's best-selling AV receiver manufacturer, and as another Yuletide approaches the Japanese brand is hoping this year's line-up will once again bring them plenty of festive cheer.
It's not hard to see why Onkyo kit is selling like hot cakes. Lauded models like the TX-SR607 and TX-NR906 blend ultra-generous, cutting-edge feature lists with scintillating audio performance at prices that mere mortals can afford - and if that's not enough to secure a major chunk of the market, then we don't know what is.
So step forward Onkyo's latest stocking filler, the TX-NR807. If you thought the TX-SR607 was generously equipped, you ain't seen nothing yet. Just a glance at the long list of logos on the box suggests we're in for yet another trip through the A-to-Z of audio innovations; and in terms of power its seven x 180W rating is muscular enough to wake up a whole county, not just your next-door neighbours.
From an aesthetic angle, the TX-NR807 doesn't rewrite the rulebook but the sloping lines and brushed finish of our black model are undeniably fashionable (the alternative silver finish is almost as tasty). The arrangement on the double-layer aluminium fascia differs from the SR607, in that most of the buttons are concealed beneath a large flap, keeping everything nice and clean.
Beneath the flap is a wide assortment of buttons, which actually gets a little confusing when making up-close adjustments - you're better off with the remote, which is primed for maximum comfort and minimum confusion. It boasts intuitive button placement and clear labelling for every single key, and you can programme ‘Easy Macros' that carry out a sequence of commands at the touch of a button. Some of the buttons at the top even light up when pressed, making in-the-dark operation a cinch.
The unit's operational cogs are further greased by a series of easy-to-follow onscreen menus, output in colour over the HDMI socket. These aren't available through the S-video, component or composite video outputs but thankfully the front panel display is equally easy to use.
Front-panel connections include a set of auxiliary inputs - composite video, analogue stereo and optical digital - but surprisingly it lacks the front-mounted HDMI input found on the TX-SR607 and TX-SR707. All of unit's six HDMI v1.3 inputs are found on the back, alongside a single output to pass signals onto other equipment.