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The future of High Fidelity
Jul 1, 2012
Review by dostres
Rated a Helpful Review
Great Feature set.
Good quality and value for the money.
Cons:DLNA and radio streaming have bugs.
Phono preamp is only mediocre.
The Bottom Line: It's not perfect, but I am still happy with my purchase. If Onkyo fixes the software/firmware quirks, it will be excellent.
Buying the TX-8050 was a bit of an impulse buy. I had been considering it, but when it was on sale for $100 off I jumped on it. I had been considering an internet radio device, but the thought of so many feaures in one package is what made me buy the TX-8050. I use XBMC to stream my music, but I was really interested to see if the TX-8050 could replace it. I am a geek and work in IT by trade, so I loved the thought of a 2 channel receiver with an ethernet port. I'm really glad that Onkyo still makes some proper stereo gear with modern features.
Recommend this product?
This receiver has some great features:
DLNA streaming support. Stream music files from your DLNA compliant NAS or media player (Windows Media Player, Media Monkey, FreeNAS, QNAP, etc) Apparently Itunes is not supported.
Internet radio streaming. Vtuner, Slacker Radio, Aupeo, Sirius Internet Radio, etc. It also allows you to enter in custom streams via the web interface on the receiver
HD Radio Ready. It requires an accessory to be purchases separately unfortunately.
Built in DAC with 2 optical and 2 coax inputs.
AM/FM tuner. For those who still want to enjoy the last form of analog entertainment. 40 presets.
WRAT amplifier technology. The amp has a really wide bandwidth and sounds great. This receiver is worth the price to use simply as a stereo amplifer.
Iphone and Android App. This allows you to tune radio stations and stream DLNA from your Apple Ipod/Iphone/Ipad device or Android phones and tablets. it also allows input selection and volume control.
Pure audio mode. Bypasses tone controls and turns off the display. The setting is customizable for different inputs, so you can for example use pure audio with the CD input, but use tone controls for FM radio.
Phono input for a turntable. Moving magnet only.
USB input for Ipods or external hard disks/flash drives
Overall this is a good looking piece of gear. I think the green display is really beautiful. A larger LCD display would be far more practical when streaming music, but I like the classy understated appearance.
Good sound quality. The sound is very open and dynamic with good separation between instruments, a wide soundstage with depth, and tight solid bass. I own a lot of receivers/amplifiers including some modded tube amps, and this receiver is still a good buy simply as an amplifier.
I like the Pure Audio mode because I don't like to leave the display on when not needed. This mode gives the receiver more of an integrated amp feel.
The on board DAC sounds pretty good, and is a nice feature to have.
The USB input works perfectly for Ipod. I was surprised to plug it in, choose the source and it just worked.
Made in Malaysia. I was blown away to buy something new that is not made in the monopoly known as China. Malaysia makes most hard drives on the market, which require super stringent quality control standards. I'm confident this is a fairly well built unit for the price. The build quality still does not compare to some of my higher end vintage amplifiers. However I have looked at modern amps costing over twice the price of the TX-8050 and this amp is built as well as those amps. Those more expensive amps still use plastic knobs, etc.
The networking took no special tech skills to set up and it recognized my DLNA server as soon as I plugged it in and selected the source.
he phono preamp is OK, but sound wise is the weakest part of the receiver. I found LP's lacked the air and 3d quality of other amps that I have. I think Onkyo should have left the phono input of of this receiver. Most users probably won't have a turntable, and those who do will probably end up using an outboard phono preamp.
The DLNA support is not good for those who have a large number of albums. The display is simply to small to scroll through my 600 FLAC albums. Also, the player will try to play non music files. For example, I have a JPG image of the cover art in each album directory. The receiver will try to play this file and errors out with "cannot play" I have to manually select the first audio file before pressing play. I hope Onkyo releases a firmware upgrade that addresses this. I assumed that this would not be as good as XBMC for streaming my FLAC library, so I am no so disappointed by this. You may be disappointed if you plan to use this to stream a large music library. This is not a replacement for something like a Squeezebox. However, it could be if Onkyo would fix the firmware/app.
The web interface is only useful for adding manual stream URLs. It does not allow remote control of the device, which is a real let down. It would be great to have a nice player interface for streaming music, creating playlists, etc.
Both the Iphone and Android app have a serious flaw. Instead of being able to scroll through an entire library seamlessly, you have to click an arrow to see the next page of music. This is no problem if you have say 50 albums, but with 600 it is not very usable. For example, I could probably find a CD and start playing in the time it would take me to scroll down to ZZ Top. The app has great potential, but needs a little work.
Some radio streams cause the device to crash. It requires unplugging and plugging back in to reset it. It works beautifully with Slacker Radio and Aupeo, and the streams that do not cause it to crash work perfectly as well. I've added a bunch of streams to Favorites that don't crash and I stick to those stations, Slacker and Aupeo and it works great. I would like to see this issue fixed in a firmware update also.
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