Onkyo TX-NR818

The first thing that strikes you as you unbox the Onkyo 818 is how big it is, but the front is clean and rather smart compared to other AV receivers. The remote is typically full of buttons, but the few buttons you are likely to use are in intuitive places and labelled logically. The amp is furnished with every feature you are likely to expect at this price point although you do need an optional dongle to connect to the internet wirelessly. A decent quick start guide is provided and the rest of the manual in on a disc.

Once you have connected all the speakers you can start the auto set-up process. The set-up process is one of things that they have improved over the older model. It attempts to guide you through the set-up with better explanations and pictures, and it is a lot better than than previous models, but it still isn't perfect. There are areas where a little more information would be useful.

The sound from the 818 is excellent in both home cinema and stereo, detailed and open, but not fatiguing. We used the KEF Q700 as the front speakers and were impressed with the overall performance. One thing we weren't so impressed with is the Onkyo remote app, which is awkward to set-up and use, but the internet features are reasonably easy to use when viewed through the TV if a little sluggish to react to commands.

Conclusion: Great sound and features with only a couple of minor gripes.