There are also eleven pairs of speaker binding posts, far more than your average AV receiver. That’s because the TX-NR807 offers Dolby Pro Logic IIz and Audyssey Dynamic Surround Expansion (DSX) – the former allows you to add ‘front height’ channels where non-directional ambient effects are directed to the front of the soundstage, while the latter offers front wide or front height channels. In both cases you have to sacrifice the surround back channels, but the results are a fuller and more immersive soundstage, and with the right material the results can be very effective.
The surround back terminals can also be used to bi-amp speakers if needed, plus you can power stereo speakers in Zones 2 and 3, making this the ideal receiver for multi-room setups. Elsewhere the connections are extensive, featuring more than enough digital and analogue audio inputs/outputs to satisfy the busiest of setups, as well as loads of component, S-video and composite video sockets for your video switching needs. There’s even an Ethernet port (more on which later), two subwoofer pre-outs (making it a 7.2-channel receiver) and a universal port that lets you connect peripherals like a DAB+ tuner or Onkyo’s ND-S1 iPod/iPhone dock. With the latter, the TX-NR807 supports its onscreen menu feature, which makes it easy to find the video and audio files you’re looking for.
The TX-NR807 has been rigorously scrutinised by the good folk at THX, who have deemed it worthy of Select2 Plus certification. Not only does it meet the company’s exacting home cinema standards (including the ability to fill rooms up to 56m3) but it also features a bunch of THX’s own listening modes, such as Cinema, Music and Games.
Chuck any format at the Onkyo and chances are it’ll play it. The full complement of Dolby and DTS formats are supported (Dolby True HD and DTS Master Audio HD being the important ones for Blu-ray owners) plus you get more listening modes than you can shake a stick at – DTS Surround Sensation, Theatre Dimensional, DTS Neo:6, Dolby Pro Logic II/IIx and eleven Onkyo DSP modes.
Among these are four new modes for gamers that are tailored towards different genres – RPG, Action, Sports and Rock (for music games like Guitar Hero). The processing grunt needed to deliver this audio wizardry is supplied by Texas Instruments’ Aureus DA830/DA788 DSP chips.
But if you prefer a more organic approach for your sound then no problem – the Direct and Pure Audio modes strips away all the processing, and the use of eight-channel Burr Brown 192kHz/24-bit DACs mean your audio signals are in safe hands. There’s a mode to satisfy every conceivable listening preference, making this the most versatile Onkyo receiver yet.
And the features don’t stop there. It’s also DLNA 1.5 compatible, which means you can plug that Ethernet port on the back into your home network and stream audio files from remote PCs, as well as access internet radio stations and retrieve firmware updates.
One final feature to mention (although there are lots more we haven’t touched upon) is 1080p upscaling courtesy of the onboard Faroudja DCDi chip, which comes with a wide range of picture adjustments (such as edge enhancement and noise reduction). There really is nothing this receiver can’t do, beside wash the dishes or bake a cake – although it would probably have a damn good try.