Firing Squad Wed, 25 Nov 2020 23:02:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Wilson Audio TuneTot Review Wed, 25 Nov 2020 22:58:28 +0000 Wilson Audio TuneTot Review: The Best Bookshelf Loudspeaker…..For A Price…

This is a review of the bookshelf loudspeaker Wilson Audio TuneTot. The US-American luxury manufacturer Wilson Audio (1Opens in a new tab.) is famous worldwide for its uncompromisingly floor-standing speakers (5Opens in a new tab.) for precision, dynamics (4Opens in a new tab.), and sound (2Opens in a new tab.), which thanks to the AS housing (3Opens in a new tab.) are extremely heavy and unfortunately also quite expensive.

Uncompromising structure, perfectly processedNO CONS. The best in this price range for the bookshelf category.
Color and equipment individually configurable
High-value retention

Its current flagships, the WAMM and Chronosonic XVX, are huge and only change hands if a higher six-figure sum is transferred. But there is also this 2-way compact loudspeaker called Wilson Audio TuneTot, which, despite its modest dimensions, follows the same requirements.

Is this possible? Can it sound like a real Wilson? Result after a very detailed test: He can. We have to thank as usual the Audio department of El Corte Inglés to allow us for the testing in their facilities.

Let’s leave out the issues of money and common sense. The former should be easy to use for loudspeakers like these and at this point, we replace common sense with emotion, passion, and enthusiasm. If you are looking for purely rational reasons to spend a five-digit sum on compact speakers, you are wrong here.

The Wilson Audio TuneTot Review: Is The High Price Justified?

To better understand the TuneTot, a brief excursion into the company’s history is helpful. David A. Wilson II (died May 2018 at the age of 73) founded “Wilson Audio Specialties” in 1973 together with his wife Sheryl Lee and put his hobby for high-quality loudspeakers on a professional basis.

But in addition to loudspeakers, Wilson was also very enthusiastic about the art of music recording, which is why he founded the Wilson Audiophile Definitive Recordings label in 1977, also supported by his wife Sheryl Lee.

A loudspeaker manufacturer with its own recording studio? That calls out for an in-house development for listening devices. This is how the Wilson Audio TinyTot, WATT for short, came about. Relatively small two-way speakers with a housing shape similar to a truncated pyramid.

In addition to avoiding standing waves inside the housing, the unusual shape of the Wilson Audio TinyTot primarily had the purpose of tilting the front with the woofer/midrange and tweeter and thus compensating for the technical time lag between the high and mid/low frequencies.

The sound from both chassis should reach the listener’s ears at the same time. The Wilson Audio TinyTot was the smallest Wilson speakers to date based on this principle and won the hearts of many other studio professionals with their balanced and precise sound.

Wilson later added a bass module (Puppy), on which the Wilson Audio TinyTot could be placed, thus converting them into a two-part floor standing loudspeakers. Under the name of Wilson / Puppy, many model generations were created with ever more optimized technology, with them Wilson caused a sensation in the high-end audio world. Until today!

Only the two-part loudspeakers are now called differently: The latest generation bears the name Sasha DAW, with the addition standing as a reminiscence for the deceased company founder. David’s son Daryl is now continuing the company’s history.

Left is the original WATT / Puppy, right the current Sasha DAW (Photo: Wilson Audio)
And here the construction in the top model WAMM Master Chronosonic (Photo: Wilson Audio)

The “Time Domain Setup”, ie the alignment of the chassis to each other and to the listener, is still one of the basic principles of Wilson Audio’s loudspeaker philosophy.

The manufacturer practices this excessively with its top models, such as the gigantic WAMM or the hardly less spectacular and also six-figure expensive Chronosonic XVX.

The mid/high-frequency unit of the Wilson Audio Chronosonic XVX with the individually adjustable drivers for perfect “time alignment” (Photo: Wilson Audio)

The TuneTot Architecture

At the lower end of the Wilson product range in terms of price, the SabrinaX floor-standing loudspeakers introduced in 2020 and priced from $ 24,600, and the TuneTot compact loudspeakers discussed here are available at list prices from $ 12,000 per pair in the “WilsonGloss” Galaxy Gray, Carbon. , GT Silver or Quartz is available.

Also, a palette of 12 colors is available as an “upgrade color” at an additional cost, as well as other, particularly exclusive premium paint finishes. Custom colors from the RAL palette are also possible. Even the color of the front cover can be selected in six tones. Here is an overview:

The WilsonGloss color palette. Custom paintwork is also possible. For a natural color impression, Wilson dealers and sales have ready painted samples (overview: Wilson Audio)

The variety of colors is also due to the famous housing material of the Wilson speakers, which offers a particularly easy paintable surface.

The configuration options are not yet exhausted. For the installation of the TuneTot on a shelf or sideboard – or other non-resonance-optimized surfaces – the additional investment in the “IsoBase” is advisable. Even if this means an additional 2,000 dollars. More about the IsoBase below.

Of course, there are also feet that match the sound and color for free installation in the room. Depending on the paintwork, they cost from $ 3,750 a pair.

And there is more. With so-called trim rings – these are metal rings milled from solid, which can be placed magnetically in front of the woofers/midrange drivers – the optics of the TuneTot can be fine-tuned.

The Trim Rings are particularly recommended for users who like to operate their loudspeakers without a front cover and want to upgrade their appearance.

The dealer had only color white and “Carbon Black” and “Carbon Red”

In connection with the trim rings, the rear logo plate made of solid aluminum and the terminal can be matched in color. In contrast to the IsoBase, the rings have no effect on the sound. A pair of Trim Rings costs 650 dollars. Last but not least, the range of accessories includes precisely sewn fabric covers for the TuneTot.

The optional feet for the TuneTot (Photo: Wilson Audio)

For the test, I had what El Corte Inglés has in their store, which is not their flagship store either: Of the several devices available, one was a pair of TuneTot in carbon red (called Pur Sang Rouge) with IsoBases but without trim rings (the price of the test configuration around $ 14,100 ). This red color is an upgrade and it costs more.

The “carbon” paintwork (which has nothing to do with the typical carbon fiber braid so do not imagine a matte black look like a Lenovo Carbon) offers a wonderful visual depth with a subtle, but an easily recognizable metallic look on closer inspection. It belongs to the standard color palette (so it is not more expensive, while the red one that we have tested is more expensive) and looks ultra-classy. This alone shows why Wilson plays in the top division.

Perfect red color. This is the Pur Sang Rouge and costs more than the standard.

The construction in detail

At first glance, you might think that the TuneTot was just a Sabrina X cut off at the top, but that would be deceptive. The small two-way boxes have completely independently constructed housings, the asymmetrical walls of which are made up of Wilson’s X and S material.

Which of the various material mixtures developed by Wilson itself over decades is used is not decided at random or price, but based on the results of a laser vibrometry vibration analysis of the housing. A rather complex process that repeatedly requires new prototypes until the result is convincing.

In addition, an “internal reflection management system” is used inside the boxes, the purpose of which is derived from the name.

During the development process at Wilson, the housings are subjected to extensive measurements using laser vibrometry (Photo: Wilson Audio)

In addition to the spikes and numerous tools, the scope of delivery also includes the front covers mentioned above and color-coordinated when ordering.

The frame of the covers is not made of brittle wood but is also milled from Wilson’s typical X-material and carefully rounded. The coverings are attached with metal pins instead of magnets, as is often the case today. The fastening holes are located in the felt-clad areas of the front and are therefore hardly visible.

On the back, above the single-wire speaker terminals, there is an elongated tuning port instead of the usual round bass reflex opening. In order to avoid overemphasizing the bass in the case of installation close to the wall, the supplied accessories include suitable plugs. These were used in the test at times (up to the room acoustics measurement) with the desktop installation.

The tuning port above the solid terminals can be closed when installed close to the wall. But I noticed later that I have not tested it.

The chassis is one of the few things that Wilson does not make itself at its main plant in Utah. These are contributed by Scan-Speak according to Wilson’s specifications. It is a specialty of Scan-Speak to manufacture loudspeaker drivers according to customer specifications. As you can hear, Wilson is probably one of the most demanding customers of this Danish company

In concrete terms: the woofers/midrange drivers are only essentially a variant from the Revelator series from Scan-Speak. Their distinguishing features are membranes, which are provided with slits of different lengths in a slightly asymmetrical manner, which are then glued again. This reduces membrane resonances to a minimum.

The woofer/midrange speaker manufactured by  Scan-Speak. The membrane and dust protection cap are slit irregularly and then glued back together, which minimizes membrane resonance

The tweeters are also based on the Scan-Speak Revelator series but are extensively modified according to the product specifications in the Utah factory. The 26 mm silk dome is also framed by a star-shaped punched felt – also typical for Wilson – in order to suppress any reflections from the case and diffraction effects.

The silk dome with the typical Wilson felt damping of the surrounding baffle. Small drawback: dust tends to collect on the coating of the woofer/midrange

In certain environments or for reasons of taste, the level of the tweeters may need to be adjusted slightly. As with most Wilson loudspeakers, the TuneTot also offers a very consistent and audiophile option for this: Behind the thick aluminum plate on the back there is an 11.75-ohm resistor (so this is 2 X 23.5 ohm parallel).

If necessary, it can be exchanged for other resistance values ​​to adjust the level. Wilson offers suitable and precise resistors in the accessories program.

Not much can be learned about the crossover. Wilson is very buttoned up. Unscrewing is also not possible because the components are potted.

The spikes, however, are no secret. Hardly any other manufacturer has perfected this type of resonance decoupling for speakers as much as Wilson Audio. In many situations, spikes are not even the best sound solution, as we were able to experience ourselves in other tests.

But with Wilson loudspeakers, other coasters have mostly turned out to be the wrong way. Wilson speakers belong on the factory-supplied spikes. Point. For use without IsoBase, coasters that protect the floor are included in the scope of delivery.

On delivery, grub screws are countersunk as placeholders in the threaded sockets. These are intended to prevent dirt from penetrating the threads during transport because these are cut directly into the housing material and are not as hard and insensitive as threaded steel bushings.

In addition, the spikes should of course be screwed in smoothly and gently. This is also very important because the spikes have no holes or beveled edges on which you could use a tool as a lever, should things get a little more difficult.

In the supplied “Tool Kit” there is of course also a suitable Allen key to remove the protective grub screws. Only then can the actual spikes be used.

Two short spikes with permanently integrated nuts and a defined screw-in depth, as well as two significantly longer spikes with multiple interrupted threads are supplied with each box. Depending on whether the boxes are to be tilted forwards or backwards, the short spikes go into the front or rear sockets. The angle of inclination is set with the lengths. The interruptions in the thread with markings in between are helpful for this so that the alignment is precise to the millimeter and without tilting.

The Toolbox included in the Wilson Audio TuneTot, comes with the spikes and a cuple of Allen keys.

Incidentally, the spikes are not extremely pointed but slightly rounded. This reduces the risk of injury and still offers an extremely small surface area at the tip.

And then there are the optional, but in many cases highly recommended IsoBase platforms. They are not just a visually attractive addition and protection for sensitive surfaces against the spikes, but an acoustically very effective measure to decouple the speakers from tabletops or shelf boards. The IsoBase can also be used as a supplement if you decide to set it up freely and purchase the TuneTot feet.

The platforms are made of different Wilson materials and have a carrier plate that sits in a sandwich between the two main plates, plus a cushioning plastic plate on the top that looks like black glass. The box is placed with the spikes in slotted openings on the top so that it rests on the middle intermediate plate.

Exploded view of the Wilson Audio TuneTot together with the IsoBase (Graphic: Wilson Audio)

Setup and practice: First the work …

First, let’s consider the nature of the TuneTot. With an efficiency of 86 dB, the little Wilson is at the upper end of what is common in hi-fi.

It is therefore reasonably moderate with the power supplied and therefore also harmonizes quite well with smaller, low-watt amplifiers.

Uncomplicated impedance curve always above the 6-ohm mark

This is also underlined by the impedance response, which, with the exception of the usual bass-reflex resonances, is pleasantly linear – and always stable above 6 ohms.

To set up: Instead of the original Wilson feet, I placed the TuneTot for free-standing living room setup, including IsoBase, on my height-adjustable stands from Sonus Faber, which have been tried and tested for ages and which are also optimized with the Audio Physic VCF II Magnetic plus decoupling feet tested here. Visually, it’s not a match, of course, but absolutely adequate for the test. We cannot choose the devices when we do the review.

Wilson has developed a very sophisticated process over the decades for determining the best possible placement and orientation. Wilson customers usually enjoy having this procedure performed by a properly trained dealer.

For the Wilson Audio TuneTot, many of the steps that are necessary for the larger Wilson loudspeakers are omitted because they simply do not have their setting options for the setup.

Simply placing speakers in places where they look good or don’t get in the way is not enough as you already know.. This is even more true of the Wilson Audio TuneTot. The goal is always to achieve the best possible timing and precision at the listening position in the sweet spot. After extensive testing, the little Wilson speakers ended up in the listening room where almost all speakers sound optimal – plus/minus a few inches back and forth, here and there.

Correct angling and turning towards the listening position is very important. As far as the alignment to the listener is concerned, the same applies to the TuneTot as to my reference speakers: the inside of the speakers should just be visible at the right spot. The incline is also set according to this scheme. The goal here is to just barely see the top of the case.

In this configuration, the TuneTot – measured via Trinnov Amethyst  – were heard against my reference loudspeaker on the one hand, but later also played on their own on the other. Several pairs of boxes standing next to each other are acoustically not ideal and, in practice, also not very likely.

Desktop Utilization

Since the TuneTot are explicitly intended as loudspeakers for “shelf installation” and as listening devices for your desktop, I later tried them out much more extensively on the desktop, where I could experience them as if they were on a desk at home. Sometimes with full attention and a high level, or just for background sound. There is hardly a better way to get to know a speaker.

Various test candidates from the last few months were used as electronics. Below that, the small Waversa Wslim LITE worked surprisingly well and the Lyngdorf TDAI-1120 with room measurement even better. Both devices in the $ 2,000 segment, which you would not normally combine with loudspeakers that cost around 12,000 dollars, but the latter combination, in particular, worked surprisingly well.

Perhaps the best and most luxurious “computer speakers” in the world. A great experience when everything fits. 

On the studio desk, desktop, or on the sideboard/shelf, the installation requirements are similar to those mentioned above. Especially when it comes to the angle and inclination setting. It may be difficult here with the optimal wall clearances. My workplace is no exception. The right speaker is very close to a back wall, the left one in front of a window sill.

In fact, this list turned out to be extremely critical. With the open ports on the back of the TuneTot, this was not possible. Completely overemphasized, booming bass and an overall very spongy sound.

The supplied sealing plugs for the ports improved the situation dramatically, so that with the small Waversa a really enchanting sound panorama unfolded, rarely seen before on my desktop.

Wilson Audio TuneTot In The Listening Room

In the listening room: During the (rather long) warm-up phase, it became clear that the TuneTot are real Wilson speakers. Like their bigger siblings, they are characterized by enormous undistorted maximum levels combined with fantastic fine resolution and coherence. But it is also clear that they are not bass monsters. That was not to be expected purely in principle.

Wilson specifies the lower limit frequency as a realistic 65 Hz (at the -3 dB point, measured in the room). Like many compact loudspeakers, the Wilson Audio TuneTot is also tuned with a slight bass boost to simulate more volume. However, this “sounding” is rather subtle. Overall, the speakers appear very neutral and balanced. An artificially inflated soundscape is not to be feared with them.

Bass fetishists should consider purchasing the next larger  SabrinaX  (floor-standing speaker), or an additional subwoofer. Two-way purists, on the other hand, will love the unadorned yet very powerful and complete playing style of the Wilson Audio TuneTot.

The accurate and extremely high-resolution acoustic stage between the loudspeakers is particularly striking. This is what distinguishes top speakers whose housing has been acoustically optimized with great effort. And that’s where the Wilson makers are known to be masterful. Less box sound, more music. That’s the motto.

Without this direct comparison, hardly anyone would have anything to complain about the brilliant brilliance of the TuneTot. It is pleasing to see how relaxed the TuneTot also master level orgies in the high-frequency range. There were times when Wilson loudspeakers were decried as tough and ruthless on this point. With the complexly modified tweeters used today, this is no longer an issue.

The mids are similarly airy, breathing freely and at the same time jumping, the timbre of which hits exactly the right point in order to attest to their grandiose naturalness. Whereby “timbre” is one of those unavoidable descriptions for an acoustic characteristic that cannot be measured completely objectively.

The description can best be compared with the color temperature in image processing in photography. With a RAW converter, the professional can determine exactly (and here also objectively measurable) whether the image should have a warmer, cooler, or a color that corresponds exactly to the ambient light. This is called white balance. To stick with this comparison, the TuneTot always succeeds in achieving a white balance that is close to natural light and does not dictate any flavourful or artistically desired tint.

In contrast to many common studio monitors, the TuneTot does not appear sober and soulless. With careful, precisely determined placement and a top front end, the speakers “resonate” wonderfully with the listener. This means that positive feedback that is difficult to convey and that gives you goosebumps.

Admittedly, it may sound crazy to even imagine such high-class transducers as “desktop speakers”. An area of ​​application where a HomePod or an Amazon Echo might do its job. But hey, look at it like this. Why should not one spend this precious life with the best possible music sound?

As a desktop worker for many years, I discovered this area a long time ago as a second hi-fi playground next to my listening room setup. After all, there have long been many good ways to set up a great near-field stereo triangle at the monitor workstation.

Not-too-large two-way systems, placed on decent pedestals, such as the IsoAcoustics Aperta Stands, powered by a high-class DAC / amplifier solution in a compact format (or active speakers), can turn this important living space into a place for the highest sound enjoyment.

Since the TuneTot together with the IsoBase is explicitly made for installation on shelf boards or table surfaces, it was obvious for me to try this out. … and it is really a good experience.

This is how Wilson Audio recommends to use their bookshelf speakers. Any sufficiently deep space is ideal for the Wilson Audio TuneTot with IsoBase (Photo: Wilson Audio)

The Wilson Audio TuneTot has a lot of power. As well as the IsoBase can compensate for any residual resonance of the housing, it does not protect the floor space – in this case, the tabletop – from direct sound from the drivers and from the tuning ports.

And as far as the work surface is concerned: First of all, of course, nothing should rattle. A bunch of keys or the like on the tabletop could become an unwanted accompanying instrument.

A useful calming measure is to attach heavy, vibration-absorbing acoustic mats to the underside of the tabletop. This helps. Nevertheless: if you give the Wilson Audio TuneTot its spurs, they can stimulate the tabletop to vibrate in the lowest frequencies.

A very positive feature of the Wilson Audio TuneTot: They have a fairly homogeneous, wide radiation. That means, if the head is moved back and forth, back and forth, the whole tonal balance does not change. The timbres keep their naturalness. This is particularly important in the near field.

Nevertheless, it also applies here that an exact alignment, as described above, is one of the basic requirements for a perfect location and exact timing. Strong movements in front of the speakers reduce the precision but do not immediately collapse the sound image.

Measured with the Lyngdorf TDAI-1120, the TuneTot produced a sound panorama that I had never seen on my desktop before. In general: A proper calibration with a system of at least the quality of the aforementioned Lyngdorf is extremely advisable for this type of application.

Without the calibration, I couldn’t achieve a result even remotely as balanced with any possible setup and alignment variant. With this correction, and thanks to the generous performance of the small, desktop-compatible Lyngdorf, the Wilson Audio TuneTot played more thrilling than anything I’ve ever heard at this table. And there were quite a few speakers on it – also from higher price ranges.

The TuneTot has an almost headphone-like precision, paired with constantly present sovereignty (even at low volumes) that otherwise only larger floor-standing speakers can convey.

The lowest registers can be supplemented with a subwoofer if necessary, which makes precise measurement all the more important. All in all: a wonderful experience, which did not come about without work (especially measurement).

Conclusion: The Best Bookshelf Loudspeaker If You Can Pay The Price

The Wilson Audio TuneTot is a real hands-on speaker. Indeed, their setup and positioning are quite uncomplicated compared to their bigger siblings, but they too reveal their typical Wilson qualities only under the best possible working conditions. But then they turn out to be “worth every penny”.

Many ingenious details, such as the alignment that can be optimized with specially manufactured spikes, the optional IsoBase and Trim Rings, as well as the perfectly lacquered housing, leave no doubt about its luxury character.

In particular, if you opt for one of what I believe to be a particularly elegant matt finish, these speakers are absolute eye-catchers that enhance any tasteful interior, both visually and tonally.

But those who can afford these elegant compact speakers from the cult brand Wilson Audio probably have little to do with compromises in life.

Technical specifications

Concept:2-Way Bassreflex-Construction
recommended room size:up to a maximum of 25 square meters
Connections:Single Wiring
Efficiency:86 dB (1 W/1 M)
Weight:13.1 Kilograms
Dimensions (H x W x D):37,7 x 21,8 x 25,9 cm
Woofer size5.75 inches (14.61 cm)
Tweeter size1 inch (2.54 cm)
Woofer materialsRear Vented, Doped Paper Pulp
Tweeter materialsSealed, Doped Silk Fabric
Sensitivity86 dB @ 1W @ 1m @ 1k
Nominal Impedance8 ohms / minimum 6.61 ohms @ 172 Hz
Minimum Amplifier Power25 Watts per channel
Frequency Response65 Hz —23 kHz +/- 3 dB Room Average Response [RAR]
Height14.83 inches (37.67 cm) w/o spikes
Width8.61 inches (21.87 cm)
Depth10.19 inches (25.88 cm)
System Weight Per Channel29 lbs (13.15 kg)
Total System Shipping Weight (As appears in the shipping document)70 lbs (31.75 kg)
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Is The ATI Radeon HD 5870 Still Good Today? Tue, 24 Nov 2020 10:30:09 +0000 ATI Radeon HD 5870 Performance

Still, there are people using the ATI Radeon HD 5870 today. Is it still good in 2021? We will see.

All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near. Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him.
– Sun Tzu, The Art of War

If your enemy is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him. If your opponent is temperamental, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them. If sovereign and subject are in accord, put division between them. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.
– Sun Tzu, The Art of War

These quotes, lifted from The Art of War — ancient Chinese text written by Chinese general Sun Tzu thousands of years ago yet still required reading for military theorists and some business schools — aptly describe ATI’s cunning gambit with Radeon HD 4000 series more than a decade ago in 2009.

Just when everyone was counting ATI out of the high-end graphics space, NVIDIA included, they delivered a homerun product with the Radeon 4850 and Radeon 4870 that stunned the world. You could make an argument that the ramifications were perhaps as significant as ATI’s first DirectX 9 product, R300 (Radeon 9700) was over fifteen years ago.

Think about it. As any hardware enthusiast who’s followed the industry can tell you, before the Radeon 4800 series cards arrived on the scene, graphics card prices were going nowhere but up. While it may seem hard to believe now, NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 280 launched just two weeks before the Radeon 4870 at a staggering price tag of $649 MSRP. Its less powerful sibling, the GeForce GTX 260 carried an MSRP of $399.

That’s a steep climb up from the days when 3dfx’s original Voodoo Graphics card sold for $300. NVIDIA’s prior products, the GeForce 8800 Ultra and GeForce 8800 GTX sold for $829 and $599 respectively on their launch day.

Now before you think we’re out to get NVIDIA, they did give the mainstream segment one gem of a product in the form of the GeForce 8800 GT, and we said so when it debuted back in October of 2007: just in time for Crysis. What ATI pulled off with the Radeon 4800 series though was even more significant than the debut of the 8800 GT.

If you rewind back to the days in early 2008 ahead of the Radeon 4800 and GeForce GTX 200’s debut, you’ll remember that all the early rumors indicated that the Radeon 4850 would fall somewhere between the 8800 GT and 9800 GTX in performance, with pricing similar to the 8800 GT, while the Radeon 4870 would outperform 9800 GTX.

If you’re NVIDIA and you know you’ve got a performance behemoth like GT200 right around the corner, you’d be feeling pretty good about yourself and how your upcoming product will fare against your competitors. Some ATI fanboys were already blaming AMD for the supposed “death” of ATI’s high-end graphics and were ready to queue up Taps.

Ultimately, what ATI ended up delivering with the Radeon 4850 and 4870 was completely different in a good way. Priced at $200 (the same price NVIDIA’s 8800 GT sold for at the time), the Radeon 4850 delivered performance that was greater than the 9800 GTX, forcing NVIDIA to concoct the 9800 GTX+ as a counter to the 4850. Meanwhile, the Radeon 4870 had its sights set on the GTX 260, yet it was priced $100 less. NVIDIA was forced to counter this GPU with GTX 260 price cuts and rebate checks for early adopters who picked up GTX 260 and 280 cards ahead of the arrival of the new Radeons.

ATI Radeon 5870

To this day the 216-shader GeForce GTX 260 and Radeon 4870 1GB are still cutthroat competitors.

ATI’s “sweet spot” strategy of delivering smaller, more cost effective gaming GPUs for the performance segment and then scaling that tech up and down for the high-end and value markets was a real game changer for the industry, and their execution on this strategy was executed as if it was masterminded by Sun Tzu himself.

Enough about the past though. Now its time for the dawn of a new era of DirectX 11 gaming. Given the success of their Radeon 4800 series, ATI wouldn’t have the benefit of surprise this time around. Instead they’re essentially using lessons learned with GDDR5 memory, the development of DirectX 10.1 hardware, and TSMC’s 40-nm manufacturing process to give them a time to market advantage over the competition,

Being first to market didn’t help Sega’s Dreamcast, but it’s worked wonders for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 (I know, it’s a terrible analogy that oversimplifies things, but it’s the first gaming-related comparison I could come up with). Which scenario will ATI’s next-generation Radeon 5870 ultimately end up? We can’t answer that question today, but we can tell you how it looks and performs with today’s games…not to mention its breakthroughs in noise and power consumption…and don’t forget the OC’ing. Read on for the full details!

The specs

If the RV770 GPU inside the Radeon 4850 and Radeon 4870 was ATI’s first TeraScale graphics engine (an obvious nod to the GPU’s distinction as the first desktop graphics card to break the 1 TeraFLOP mark), then RV870’s TeraScale 2 has to be twice as good right? Right. In fact, Radeon 5870 more than doubles the compute power of Radeon 4870 (1.2 TeraFLOPS), boasting up to 2.72 TeraFLOPS:

Radeon 5870 Specifications

TeraScale 2 Unified Processing Architecture
1600 Stream Processing Units
80 Texture Units
128 Z/Stencil ROP Units
32 Color ROP Units

GDDR5 interface with 153.6 GB/sec of memory bandwidth

PCI Express 2.1 x16 bus interface

DirectX 11 support
Shader Model 5.0
DirectCompute 11
Programmable hardware tessellation unit
Accelerated multi-threading
HDR texture compression
Order-independent transparency

OpenGL 3.2 support

Image quality enhancement technology
Up to 24x multi-sample and super-sample anti-aliasing modes
Adaptive anti-aliasing
16x angle independent anisotropic texture filtering
128-bit floating point HDR rendering

ATI Eyefinity multi-display technology
Three independent display controllers drive three displays simultaneously with independent resolutions, refresh rates, color controls, and video overlays
Display grouping: Combine multiple displays to behave like a single large display

ATI Stream acceleration technology
OpenCL 1.0 compliant
DirectCompute 11
Double precision floating point processing support
Accelerated video encoding, transcoding, and upscaling

ATI CrossFireX™ multi-GPU technology
Dual, triple, and quad GPU scaling
Dual-channel bridge interconnect

ATI Avivo HD Video & Display technology
UVD 2 dedicated video playback accelerator
Advanced post-processing and scaling8
Dynamic contrast enhancement and color correction
Brighter whites processing (blue stretch)
Independent video gamma control
Dynamic video range control
Support for H.264, VC-1, and MPEG-2
Dual-stream 1080p playback support
DXVA 1.0 & 2.0 support
Integrated dual-link DVI output with HDCP (Max resolution: 2560×1600)
Integrated DisplayPort output (Max resolution: 2560×1600)
Integrated HDMI 1.3 output with Deep Color, xvYCC wide gamut support, and high bit-rate audio (Max resolution: 1920×1200)
Integrated VGA output (Max resolution: 2048×1536)

Integrated HD audio controller
Output protected high bit rate 7.1 channel surround sound over HDMI with no additional cables required
Supports AC-3, AAC, Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio formats

Speeds and feeds
Engine clock speed: 850 MHz
Processing power (single precision): 2.72 TeraFLOPS
Processing power (double precision): 544 GigaFLOPS
Polygon throughput: 850M polygons/sec
Data fetch rate (32-bit): 272 billion fetches/sec
Texel fill rate (bilinear filtered): 68 Gigatexels/sec
Pixel fill rate: 27.2 Gigapixels/sec
Anti-aliased pixel fill rate: 108.8 Gigasamples/sec
Memory clock speed: 1.2 GHz
Memory data rate: 4.8 Gbps
Memory bandwidth: 153.6 GB/sec
Maximum board power: 188 Watts
Idle board power: 27 Watts

2.15 billion transistors w/334mm2 die size
40-nm manufacturing process
256-bit GDDR5 memory interface
500 Watt or greater power supply with two 6-pin PCI Express® power connectors
recommended (600 Watt and four 6-pin connectors for ATI CrossFireX™ technology in
dual mode)

RV870 Architecture

RV770-RV870 Comparison
ATI Radeon HD 4870ATI Radeon HD 5870Difference
Die Size263 mm2334 mm21.27x
# of Transistors956 million2.15 billion2.25x
Memory Bandwidth115GB/sec153GB/sec1.33x
AA Resolve641282x
# of Texture Units40802x
# of Shaders80016002x
Board Power90W idle, 160W load27W idle, 188W max0.3x, 1.17x

If there’s only one key word to take away from the architecture of the new RV870 chip found inside ATI’s Radeon 5800 series cards it’s “2X”. Thanks to the smaller 40-nm manufacturing process, ATI can afford to double up on pretty much everything that made RV770 so special a year ago without having to charge double the price.

As you just saw on the specs page, RV870 boasts twice the SIMD units as its predecessor, RV770. Each SIMD unit consists of 80 stream processors and one texture unit, so with twice the SIMD cores, you’ve got twice the number of stream processors (1600) and twice the number of texture units, 20 (80 effective). Now ATI and NVIDIA use different nomenclature for what they both describe as a “stream processor” — the actual physical number of stream processing units inside RV870 is actually 320 — but regardless of the term you use to describe them, it’s an impressive amount of compute power nonetheless, as the 5870’s 2.72 TeraFLOPS can attest to.

The overall layout of RV870 is similar to RV770, just bigger. See for yourself in this RV870 block diagram:

The 20 SIMD cores are depicted as the red squares in the center of the diagram. If you look a little closer, you can sit and count the individual stream processing units for yourself. Like RV770 each stream processing unit consists of 4 stream cores+1 special function stream core which are tied to a branch unit and general purpose registers. ATI has tweaked them to improve their IPC.

Tied to each SIMD core is its own dedicated texture unit, again, just like RV770. RV870 boasts improved texel fill rate, up to 68 (bilinear filtered) Gigatexels/sec and improved data fetch rate: up to 272 billion fetches/sec. ATI’s also improved the cache bandwidth of the L1 texture caches tied to the texture units. RV870 sports up to 1 TB/sec L1 texture fetch bandwidth, while peak bandwidth between the L1 and L2 caches tops out at up to 435GB/sec.

In comparison, RV770 featured up to 480GB/sec of L1 texture fetch bandwidth and up to 384GB/sec of bandwidth between the L1 and L2 caches.

Up at the top of the block diagram, you’ll notice another significant tweak ATI has made with RV870 is the addition of a second rasterizer in the graphics engine of the chip. With a second rasterizer, RV870 feeds more pixels into the engine than its predecessor; this is important when you’re dealing with a GPU that’s outfitted with 1600 stream processors. ATI’s also updated their tessellator for DirectX 11 compliance.

256-bit memory interface

Moving to the bottom of the block diagram, you’ll also see RV870’s four 64-bit memory controllers, just like RV770. This probably comes as a bit of a disappointment to those of you who were hoping for a wider memory interface and the potential performance boost it could bring under high resolution, high AA scenarios (especially since some of the rumor sites were saying earlier this summer that RV870 would possess a wider memory interface), but in speaking with ATI, they felt that a 256-bit interface with high-speed GDDR5 was the way to go given their die size and transistor budget constraints.

Obviously implementing a wider interface is going to drive those demands up, which would’ve required ATI’s engineers to give up some of RV870’s 20 SIMD cores to compensate and remain on budget. It’s a tradeoff you have to make: integrate more stream processors or go wider with a larger interface? Given the lessons learned with R600’s 512-bit memory interface (where ATI basically couldn’t tap into all the bandwidth the larger interface provided and decided to go back to 256-bit for RV670), ATI decided to stick with a 256-bit memory interface and instead integrate more SIMD cores.

The way ATI sees it, GDDR5 data rates (i.e. clock speeds) are constantly improving while GDDR5 prices continue to go down. This is a more cost effective solution to the problem than implementing a larger memory interface.

ATI has made tweaks to their memory interface for RV870 though. To ensure data is transferred without errors, the controller can perform CRC checks on data transfers. ATI says this offers improved reliability at high clock speeds. The L2 cache size has been doubled to 128KB per memory controller. ATI also says GDDR5 memory clock temperature compensation enables speeds approach 5Gbps.

Power management

Besides is smaller manufacturing process, which naturally helps to reduce the GPU’s power consumption, ATI’s also integrated tweaks to further reduce RV870’s power consumption. As listed on the specs on the previous page, the chip consumes as little as 27W at idle. Impressive for a GPU to contains over 2 billion transistors.

A new low power strobe mode has been added to reduce memory power consumption, while ATI’s aggressive at reducing clock speeds and voltages at idle. At idle, Radeon 5870 runs at just 400MHz core/1200MHz memory.

For CrossFire users, ATI has also added a new ultra low power state for multi-GPU configurations that comes closer to shutting the secondary GPU(s) down when not in use. The second card throttles down to just 157MHz core/300MHz memory.

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Onkyo TX-RZ820 Review Sun, 22 Nov 2020 23:03:40 +0000 In the AV receiver segment (2Opens in a new tab.), manufacturers and customers are always looking for the best ratio of features and price (1Opens in a new tab.). With the Onkyo TX-RZ820, the Japanese manufacturer (5Opens in a new tab.) is trying to mix a device in terms of multi-room, streaming, and video capabilities (3Opens in a new tab.) (4Opens in a new tab.) with a piece of solid amplifier equipment with nine power amplifiers and come up with a recommended price of almost 1,200 dollars. A bargain? Let’s have a look.

Our goal here is to review completely this receiver including the firmware update that it received in 2020. Is it a good idea now to buy the Onkyo TX-RZ820, several years after its launch, considering the firmware update of 2020?

Onkyo’s RZ series A/V receivers are now in their third generation, including the TX-RZ820 mid-range model. This raises the question: What’s new? The good news first: At 1,200 dollars, the RZ820 is exactly 100 dollars cheaper than its predecessor. So we have wondered what could have happened with the quality. Is it lower too? Let´s see.

Onkyo continues to update its TX-RZ AV receiver product portfolio. Already optically the TX-RZ820 for about 1200 dollars, alternatively in black or silver variant to have, gives itself clearly as “family member” to recognize.

And technically, the THX Select license, decoders for Dolby Atmos and dts:X, and a variety of multimedia features will make us happy. Seven powerful power amplifiers are on board the TX-RZ820. These are the highlights in the TX-RZ820:

  • THX  License
  • Firmware update in 2020
  • Dynamic audio amplification with 180 watts per channel
  • Frequency response 5 Hz to 100 kHz and Vector Linear Shaping Circuit (VLSC) on all channels
  • Support of Dolby Atmos and dts:X in maximum 5.2.2 (2 x subwoofer pre-out, 7 power amplifiers)
  • A total of 7 HDMI inputs in the rear and one in the front, 2 x HDMI out. Support of 4K/60p, HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision as well as HDCP 2.2
  • Dualband WiFi  with 2.4 and 5 GHz band
  • AirPlay, Spotify, Tidal, Deezer, Tune In, Fire Connect for wireless audio playback in multiple rooms
  • Zone 2 power output, Zone 2/3 preamplifier/line output, and 7.2 channel preamplifier outputs
  • Google Chromecast available
  • dts Play-Fi (via a firmware update, the latest was in 2020)
Onkyo TX-RZ820
Onkyo TX-RZ820: Timeless industrial design with clean lines

In accordance with its origins in the RZ series, this receiver has a clear, almost Bauhaus-like structure with cubist lines and round buttons. I almost feel it is a break in a style not to use a white matrix display for this, even if it is the satin green Onkyo tradition.

Operating elements and connections that the general user needs less frequently in everyday use, such as the connection for the measuring microphone for calibration or for headphones, are concealed under the bulky flap.

Here you can also access all menu functions for which you would otherwise need the remote control. The rear panel is richly equipped, from today’s standard HDMI inputs and double outputs with ARC for sound from TV without an additional stripe to a whole battery of analog inputs including two analog video inputs each as FBAS and component.

Important as an option for further expansions: All channels are also output as preamplifier signals, which allows the connection of better power amplifiers, active speakers, or even radio modules.

Onkyo’s TX-RZ810 impressed home cinema fans everywhere because of its excellent all-round qualities. So we have tested this one thoroughly in that area. What this one could do, the successor TX-RZ820 wants to make everything a little better. We test the AV receiver for you on these pages and we will discover if the promise is accomplished by Onkyo.

Onkyo has really impressed us with its RZ series: Here the top models of the Japanese manufacturer cover all the desires of movie and music enthusiasts from 7-channel to the full-grown 11-channel device.

We are taking a closer look at the mid-range model of Onkyo’s multi-channel receivers and putting the TX-RZ820 in our test analysis with the dedicated software in regards to home theater.

Onkyo TX-RZ820: Clearly structured design with discrete output stages with emergency forced ventilation

Pros And Cons


  • Balanced, powerful sound
  • Versatile Streaming/Multiroom
  • fast navigation


  • Despite the firmware update in 2020, we consider that the Denon AVC-X3700H is a much better option at the same price.
  • VHF reception is noticeably noisy

Equipment and Features Of The Onkyo TX-RZ820

In any case, from the previous TX-RZ81,0 the engineers did not cut back on the quality of materials and workmanship. The 14-kilo (31 lb) receiver comes with a chic front panel made of aluminum including an aluminum flap milled from solid aluminum.

The housing appears robust, is flawlessly manufactured and sharp edges shine through absence. There were also no cosmetic changes, except for the name lettering, the Onkyo TX-RZ820 is practically indistinguishable from its predecessor.

Under the flap, there are buttons for device control, an HDMI input as well as a headphone and microphone socket. The large volume wheel runs smoothly, but is not very handy.

On the left, there are practical controls for quick adjustment of the sound programs as well as bass and treble. On the right, there are buttons in a row for input selection, but they are quite small, which also doesn’t help the legibility of the labeling.

Of the 11 speaker connections of the Onkyo, only 7 can be active at the same time. Thanks to appropriate pre-outs, the Onkyo TX-RZ820 also supplies two additional listening zones with signals – one of these can be assigned to the second HDMI output. 2 fold-out antennas provide stable WLAN and Bluetooth.

With the connections on the backside, we see the first economy measure: From formerly 7 became 6 HDMI inputs. However, the remaining sockets are identical and the phono board has also been retained.

AM and FM antennas can be connected for analog radio reception. However, Onkyo has dispensed with the increasingly popular DAB+ tuner on the TX-RZ820, so it is on our short wish list – right next to an 11-channel processing. The new Onkyo can’t serve with that: Due to its 7 power amplifiers, the TX-RZ820 provides sound for a maximum of 7.2 or 5.2.2 speaker sets with 2 height channels. 7.2.2 or 7.2.4 configurations are not possible due to missing pre-outs.

With its 7 built-in amplifiers, the Onkyo TX-RZ820 fires a 7.2 or 5.2.2 speaker setup as standard. Thanks to 11 speaker terminals, 2 treble and 4 surround speakers can be wired simultaneously. However, if the treble speakers are active in 3D sound, the back-surrounds remain muted. If a normal 7.1 signal is present, the Onkyo switches off the treble speakers and fires all four surround speakers.

By pressing the “Q” button on the remote control, you can access the “short menu” of the on-screen display, where you can choose between active treble or back-surround speakers under “Speaker Layout” in the “Other” tab. Both together is not possible.

The Quick “Q” button on the remote control lets you choose between treble and back rear output via the on-screen display. The Onkyo will activate or deactivate the corresponding pair of speakers as desired – regardless of the incoming signal.

For example, stereo music blown up via the Dolby Surround upmixer can be listened to either with treble speakers or switched on back surround boxes. Of course, we also wanted to know if the Onkyo can be extended to an Atmos setup with 7.1.2 channels thanks to 9 preamp outputs, in the speaker configuration menu this option is offered.

But as with the TX-RZ810, the socket labeling of the corresponding pre-outs with “BACK or HEIGHT” didn’t bode well: So the TX-RZ820 also puts the height signal on the pre-outs when the treble boxes are activated, and the back rear signal when the back surround boxes are activated. So you are still spoilt for choice between 7.1 or 5.1.2 channels.

Unused power amplifiers can also be used for active sound reinforcement of a second listening room or for bi-amping the two main loudspeakers. Using the pre-amp outputs, the Onkyo outputs sound signals to two secondary rooms.

THX Certification Included

At decoders, Onkyo used DTS:X and Dolby Atmos. Of course, the DTS Neural:X and Dolby Surround upmixers are also on board, but cross-format upmixing, i.e. playback of the respective competitor format – is not possible with Onkyo. But the TX-RZ820 can offer a THX certification, which has become rare.

The “THX Select” seal of approval guarantees that the Onkyo TX-RZ820 has a home cinema-suitable signal post-processing and sufficient power for normal living room sizes.

In addition, there are of course the THX sound circuits like “Cinema”, “Music” or “Game”, which, however, refuse to work with 3D sound signals. A D/A converter from AKM (AK4458 with 384 kHz/32Bit) is responsible for the conversion of the digital signals into analog ones.

With the out-of-the-box configuration, everything remained the same: For example, setting the distances with 3-centimeter increments is sufficiently accurate, but not perfect.

The level setting is more precise with steps of 0.5 decibels. The crossover frequencies can be set between 40 and 200 Hertz for each channel group, but the two RCA outputs of the subwoofer channel cannot be controlled separately.

The equalizer is a success, offering 15 frequency bands between 25 Hz and 16 kHz for all channel pairs except the subwoofer, 9 of which can be used simultaneously. The subwoofer channel controls with 5 bands between 25 and 160 Hz.

The THX menu controls the subwoofers and loudness without issues, in my opinion.

Calibration And AccuEQ System

All speakers are calibrated by Onkyo’s AccuEQ system, which, with Accu-Reflex, also has phase correction for top speakers. However, AccuEQ only takes one measuring point into account, whereas the competition takes up to 8 measuring points.

9 of the 15 EQ bands can be activated simultaneously. Unfortunately, only pairs of speakers can be controlled.

Press the Quick Menu button “Q” on the remote control to access the Quick Menu, which is superimposed on the current image.

There you will find the most important audio settings, including the lip-sync function, activation of the AccuEQ calibration and equalizer, late-night switching, the music optimizer, and the Re-EQ circuit for smooth treble reduction.

Via the short menu, you can access the most important sound circuits like AccuEQ, Equalizer, and Re-EQ.

Design And Ergonomics In The Onkyo TX-RZ820

The bulky design remains unchanged, from the outside it is hardly distinguishable from its predecessor, the Onkyo TX-RZ810, and is most clearly recognizable by the changed model name.

On the right side of the metal front is the large volume control, above which the many small buttons for source and zone selection are arranged in a row. In the middle of the aluminum front, are the display and a large metal flap, behind which eleven device keys and a centrally positioned control pad for operating the receiver are revealed.

Connections for a headphone and the measuring microphone as well as an HDMI input are available here.

Unfortunately, you will not find a USB interface here. On the far left of the front panel, the two rotary knobs with the pushbuttons above them provide direct access to the sound options and different playback modes.

With the inconspicuous “Pure Audio Button” you can get the best possible sound out of the TX-RZ820. Approximately 14 kilograms (31 lb) of combat weight, a large transformer, and a 14-cm housing fan mean that high-performance reserves can be expected.

It is similarly tidy and yet full to bursting when you look under the sheet metal hood. The entire electronics of the front panel are locked behind a Faraday cage and thus cannot induce any disturbing alternating fields into the power amplifiers, which supply the power inside the cage.

In order to make them also fully gas-proof, their massive cooling fins are air-conditioned in the heat case by a fan which is almost suspended in super-soft rubber buffers.

Even under full throttle, I could not provoke disturbing wind noises or even grumpy vibrations. Simple, but well solved.

Onkyo TX-RZ820 App, here on the iPad

Onkyo offers a wide variety of digital program sources, and all major streaming services can be controlled directly with the app.

Digital Internet radio or “normal” streaming via DLNA/UPnP can be handled easily with the on-screen menu and the infrared remote control. The same applies to classical multi-zone music, which the receiver itself controls.

If you want to control other streaming devices in the same house via Fireconnect, it can be done, and this is the only feature that I have not tested.

The somewhat noisy FM reception, on the other hand, seems a bit unloving and dusty.

Onkyo TX-RZ820 App in an IPad

A well-designed step-by-step wizard with lots of clear text and graphics helps with connecting and setting up the system. Markings and graphics on the connection panel are also helpful to the layman.

There are many ways to assign the output stages. In channels for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X playback, it is a bit bulky with only one pair. To be honest: With a surround system in this price range, the sound result is usually much better if you invest your budget in fewer and better speakers, i.e. 5.1 or 7.1.

This also applies to the limited energy reserves of the power supply unit, which can provide more thrust even with less loaded channels per power amplifier.

The already proven BW 805 D3 that we have utilized here, made little trouble for the powerful Onkyo, and played well balanced with a three-dimensional spatial image without any conspicuous features.

The HDMI board switched through all signals up to UltraHD with all options like HDR without complaint.

Pleasant is the ergonomically compact remote control. For this one, I would have wished for a home cinema-friendly button illumination at best.

The Japanese manufacturer now has the in-house calibration function called AccuEQ under control, and the results of the automatic measurement and configuration no longer required any significant post-processing.

The integrated streaming player seems to use a quite potent processor, which at least suggests the snappy and fast navigation even in very large file amounts.

Let’s now turn to the optical effect and processing of the Onkyo TX-RZ820. Another optical characteristic has been the green display of the black version for a long time. RZ style elements can be found in the form of the device feet with the grooves, the volume control knob, which also has grooves and the “keyboard of small buttons” on the right side of the front panel.

The TX-RZ820 is solidly built, and no doubt it looks good, but you have to like the completely different design compared to competitors. The front panel is accurately fitted, but unfortunately, the position of the volume knob does not meet our expectations. Typical RZ look: Small source selection buttons, large volume knob, and special device base

Controls for listening mode and sound adjustment. Slightly sluggish, and not rasterized.

Seen from the front, on the left, there are very nicely rastered and very good in the hand, smaller knobs for the listening mode and tone control. If you want to select the desired source directly on the device, you can use the small direct selection buttons on the right of the front panel.

Internal Architecture

The back is perfectly finished and corresponds to the level of the price range. We cannot fully subscribe to this for the enclosed remote control. Although it shines through its simple operation, it does not seem manufactured with noble materials. I think that it looks cheap. Furthermore, home theater aficionados will miss the backlighting of the keys when they are in the middle of a film

It’s good that the TX-RZ820 can alternatively be controlled with the graphically pretty and easy to understand Onkyo AVR app. The inner workings of the TX-RZ820 look quite clear. Few peculiarities of the chassis, no division of the interior into several chambers – some reason for “grumbling” can already be found.

And why the TX-RZ820 needs a fan as big as a fan for an entire one-room apartment remains Onkyo’s secret. Let’s hope that the huge fan at least runs quietly – that’s the only reason we can think of why Onkyo relies on this enormous size.

We really like the passive part of the cooling. A black lacquered aluminum heatsink is praiseworthy, even in this price range, some competitors rely on sheet metal heatsinks, which are not as efficient in heat dissipation as their aluminum counterparts.

Onboard are AK D/A converters (AK4458 with 384 kHz/32-bit), which are responsible for a precise conversion from digital to analog audio signals. As a speaker calibration system, Onkyo relies on AccuEQ, which after a not very enthusiastic start has now become quite good, despite modest adjustment and post-processing options.

The AccuReflex technology is used to integrate top firing modules into the overall acoustics with particular success. Those who use the Onkyo TX-RZ820 with Top Firing modules for the reproduction of the object-based audio formats dts:X and Dolby Atmos can of course also enjoy the two polishers Dolby Surround and dts Neural:X.

Pre-Out and Multi Zone Outputs

Speaker cable screw terminals


Everything that is essential can be found at connections. The AV receiver comes with a dedicated phono input and has 6 HDMI inputs on the rear (with support for Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG). Another HDMI input is located on the front panel. There are also two HDMI outputs. The TX-RZ820 also upscales Full HD video signals to 4K

The Onkyo TX-RZ820 is fully equipped for multimedia. FireConnect is integrated for multi-room audio. For playback of streamed signals in other listening rooms, you can use the optionally available Onkyo FireConnect NCP-302 speakers.

As a further multiroom standard, dts Play-Fi is available via a firmware update, being the latest update in 2020. Google Chromecast is already on board.

This means that Onkyo, just like Pioneer, is pursuing a comprehensive streaming/multiroom strategy with the support of FireConnect, dts Play-Fi, and Google Chromecast.

It hardly needs to be mentioned that of course a WLAN module (dual-band and Bluetooth) is also included. Of course, Apple AirPlay is not missing either.

Difference Between The Onkyo TX-RZ820 And The Onkyo TX-RZ720

It should also be mentioned that the Onkyo TX-RZ720 is a cheaper alternative to the TX-RZ820 in the portfolio. With 999 dollars the TX-RZ720 is 200 dollars cheaper. We have listed the differences between the two models here briefly:

  • Different design in the style of TX-RZ1100 and TX-RZ3100
  • The front panel, flap, and volume control made of aluminum
  • VLSC technology on all channels
  • 5 watts more power per channel
  • 7.2-Channel Pre-Outs
  • “Whole House” mode for simultaneous music playback in different zones.

Initial Setup

Now, what about setting up the TX-RZ820? As usual, there is a wizard for the 7-2 channel AVR to assist with the initial setup.

Step by step, the initial setup wizard guides you to your goal with easy-to-understand graphics and explanatory texts.

Onkyo’s AccuEQ and AccuReflex calibration procedures for Dolby Atmos-capable loudspeakers ensure fast and very effective adjustment of the speakers used in the listening room.

The calibration procedure works very well in practice; we only had to manually readjust the distance between the subwoofer and its level. The subwoofer was clearly set too loud for our taste.

Overview of commissioning AccuEQ insert is being prepared Graphics provide support for the initial setup wizard Choosing the right speaker setup Tips for setting up the microphone As always: During the calibration process there should be silence in the listening room Speaker recognition Connection setup Network connection Cable-based or wireless Now the Onkyo is in the network Multizone function yes or no?

HDMI-ARC Almost everyone can find their way around the clearly structured assistant.

The setup was completed without problems and the TX-RZ820 was put into operation. The AccuEQ calibration system works properly and offers a well-balanced sound after the calibration, with a clean front-rear balance.

Moreover, thanks to technical tricks, the top firing modules are integrated virtually seamlessly and effectively, whether the material is native or polished up via dts Neutral:X / Dolby Surround.

Features & Technology

Six HDCP 2.2-capable HDMI inputs and two HDMI outputs are available on the rear panel, one less than the predecessor offered.

The Ethernet socket and a USB port with 5 volts and amps charging current are located at the same height. The TX-NR820 offers the now rather unusual connectors FBAS and component in a double version.

Eleven pairs of speaker terminals sit side by side on the back of the device, whereby the Onkyo can only supply seven channels with power at the same time. Anyone who wants to, can use the 7.2 preamplifier outputs and use the 820 as a pure preamplifier, for example, to drive even higher quality or more powerful power amplifiers or to convert to active speakers.

The RS232 interface, the IR-in socket, and the 12-volt trigger output allow integration into home control systems.

Three listening zones can be sounded in multi-room mode, of course with different contents, whereby “zone 3” is served via pre-out and “zone 2” draws its power from the TX-RZ820’s onboard resources.

Dolby Atmos and DTS:X are offered by the TX-RZ820, although unfortunately there is no possibility of using more than two Dolby Atmos speakers. As a maximum expansion stage, the 820 allows a 7.2 setup or a 5.1.2 configuration.

Alternatives To The TX-RZ820

Without a doubt, the Onkyo TX-RZ820 is an excellent AV receiver. It sounds dynamic and offers a very good level of stability. Its features are lavish and it looks like a real AV device. It is easy to operate, so where is the “but”?

It is quite expensive and does not set any new highlights. The latter is not too bad. It is already everything fine at Onkyo these days, as the two “masterpieces” TX-RZ3100 (11-channel AV receiver) and PR-RZ5100 (AV preamplifier) prove. These two components are exorbitantly powerful and mark the affordable peak of what is currently technically possible.

Onkyo will certainly digest the fact that we see the TX-RZ820 in the league around 1,000 to 1,200 dollars, far ahead, but not lonely at the top.

Above all, the competition from the extremely harmonious and at the same time enormously powerful Yamaha RX-A870 is too great.

The Aventage receiver is also very lavishly and sensibly equipped and even comes with an increasingly popular DAB+ radio tuner. Moreover, in 2021, AV receivers costing just under 700 dollars are already extremely good: the Denon AVR-X2700H proved this to us in a major practical test, and we also did it many years ago with the X2500H.

It is powerful, sounds lively and at the same time very pleasant, has an extremely respectable video section and lots of HDMI terminals of the latest specification. So tough and comparatively inexpensive competition – it turns out that every manufacturer sets the standards in different classes every year.

Onkyo currently in the upper class/luxury league, Pioneer is also there, Yamaha is a power in the 1,000 dollars league and Denon is a major player in the popular middle class in 2021.

Video, Multimedia, And Streaming

Unlike its predecessor, the Onkyo RZ820 accepts HDCP 2.2 copy protection on all HDMI sockets; HDR formats HLG, Dolby Vision, and HDR10 are also supported.

The video scaler and sharpness function introduced in the previous model has been abandoned by the newcomer – the Onkyo outputs signals as they enter the device.

The free “Controller” app from Onkyo, which allows you to operate the receiver with your smartphone or tablet, is a great success. Multiroom functions via FireConnect or DTS Play-Fi can also be conveniently controlled.

With FlareConnect (formerly FireConnect) and Google Cast, the TX-RZ820 supports AirPlay, Bluetooth, and WiFi-Direct, as well as other wireless protocols that allow streaming to the amp or compatible speakers.

Besides the free TuneIn web radio, the pay services “Tidal”, “Deezer” and “Spotify” are on board. The USB socket also reads Hi-Res formats like FLAC, WAV, AIFF, ALAC, and DSD.

A 384-kHz/32-bit AK4458 DAC from Asahi Kasei enables HiRes audio playback of 192-kHz/24-bit FLAC formats or DSD files at 2.8, 5.6, and 11.2 MHz via USB or wired network. Streaming DSD files via WLAN is not an option.

A playback of Dolby True HD is possible, but this only works via the USB interface. The Onkyo plays almost all known audio formats via USB or network.

All major streaming services can be operated directly with the free app on a tablet in a comfortable and clearly arranged way. With the small infrared remote control, which gets along with pleasingly few keys, and the on-screen menu this also works of course.

Internet radio is of course possible, even a classic FM radio is on board. And practically, the receiver also makes music via WLAN, Bluetooth, and AirPlay. Users of the Onkyo TX-NR820 only have to do without DAB+.

As usual with Onkyo & Pioneer, video capabilities are limited to the upscaling function, which upscales Full HD material to 4K.

This is done quite accurately, with good detail and natural sharpness. In the 007 film “A Quantum of Solace”, the relatively low tendency to scaling noise is pleasing, and the solid image stability is also to be praised.

All in all, an upscaling function that can be used calmly, if e.g. the Blu-ray player is already a bit older and uses a device of the entry-level class or from the lower middle class as Ultra HD TV.

Technical Analysis

Like its predecessor, the Onkyo TX-RZ820 performs well with the testing software: Two times 207 watts into four ohms and 143 watts into eight ohms are available at the speaker terminals.

At five times 75 watts into eight ohms and five times 29 watts into four ohms, the multi-channel measurement is over. Don’t panic, that’s because of our tough measuring conditions and the Onkyo receiver’s fast-response protection circuitry.

We are already familiar with this peculiarity from other models in the RZ series, and just like these, the TX-RZ820 shows no performance deficits in practical use.

All other measurement values are very good thanks to the bench, and the low power consumption in operation (80 watts at 5 x 1-watt output power) and standby (0.1 W) are also convincing.

Onkyo TX-RZ820 Problems

The issue here was that a user was watching a movie, and suddenly it stopped and no image appeared on the screen. It was a handshake issue with HDMI. Onkyo solved the problem in the TX-RZ820 in 2020 releasing a new firmware (1Opens in a new tab.)

Onkyo tx-rz810 problems


Stereo and multi-channel, the Onkyo TX-NR820 shows no weaknesses. It pulls through powerfully without exaggerating and pleases with its always agile yet balanced pace. Spatially, the AV receiver shines with its accurate staggering of actors in the width and depth of the virtual stage.

Whether jazz, pop, or rock – the Onkyo can do it all and convinces with many details, finest resolution, and its purified pace. We let all Dolby Atmos trailers run through and are thrilled how the Onkyo extends the listening level upwards with only two ceiling speakers.

With the action cracker “Mad Max: Fury Road” this also works perfectly. In this film, it quickly becomes clear that the 820 knows its craft: The Onkyo masters low-frequency rumbling, the rich engine sounds, floating word fragments throughout the room, and adrenaline-pumping special effects with flying colors.

The TX-RZ820 even surpassed the high power reserves of its predecessor by a few watts in the power measurement: On 7 channels it provided a proud 107 and 100 watts at 4 and 6 ohms load and increases to a lush 231 watts in stereo mode (4 ohms). In the listening test, the Onkyo played airy, slag-free, and dynamic to the point with active Pure Direct circuitry.

Orchestral music in a multi-channel mix filled our listening room, even at higher levels, powerful and tonally free of harshness.

The calibration with AccuEQ did almost everything right but set some crossover frequencies a bit too high. The equalized target curve gave the sound a more fundamental tone without brightening.

The automatic configuration that AccuEQ performs set the subwoofer level a few decibels too high for our hearing. For individual sound tuning the extensive equalizer can also be activated for calibration.

The well-functioning “Late Night” circuit for dynamic reduction can now also be activated for DTS, while the “Re-EQ” function for discreet reduction of treble did not work for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.

Atmos-Trailer brought the amp into the home cinema in a spacious, closed, and with a plastic sound backdrop – almost like a big one. Even in the effective DTS:X action scenes like in “Jason Bourne” the Onkyo was a real hit with its massive but still precise sound, which didn’t sound sharp or strained even at XXL levels.

When it comes to music, the Onkyo is also appealing to difficult metal recordings.

Jazz sounded with dry and tight bass, audiophile recorded female voices with melodiousness and authenticity (I always test with music from Diana Krall). Since the TX-RZ820 did not cause any unpleasantness even when playing electro-pop or classical music, the Onkyo can boast of being a multi-talent.

A solid, very pleasing performance by the Onkyo TZX-RZ820 to say it clearly. It does not set any new records, but it will confidently establish itself among the best in its price league. The careful separation of effect levels also proves that the TZX-RZ820 was built with great care in design.

With hi-res files in FLAC format (stereo), the TX-RZ820 proves that it can also convince in two-channel mode. In Mark Knopfler’s “Basil” in 192 kHz/24-bit, it delivers a solid presentation of Mark’s voice and also reproduces the acoustic guitar very precisely. The resolution ability makes critics fall silent, but a 150 dollars cheaper Yamaha RX-A870 is not really worse.

This proves how good AV receivers in the $ 1,000 to $ 1,200 league have become. Diana Krall’s adaptation of the Eagles classic “Desperado” in Flac 48/24 is also pleasing, Diana’s charismatic vocal presence can be felt in the listening room at all times. Dynamic, with a stable stage, the Onkyo puts its weight into it. Jonas Kaufmann sings the legendary aria “Nessun Dorma” from Puccini’s opera “Turandot”, and the TX-RZ820 scores with a fine emphasis on vocal nuances.

Without question, the Onkyo can handle voices very well, and it doesn’t matter whether they are male or female voices. The multi-channel operation has already made this clear, and the Japanese remain true to this high level of vocal competence even in two-channel operation – fortunately.

And now we will listen to the Blu-ray of “A-Team” in dts TrueHD (English soundtrack). Using dts Neural:X we polish up to 5.1.2. In the dark warehouse where Hannibal is being interrogated, the TX-RZ820 creates a dense atmosphere.

The subwoofer is driven vehemently, the music score is expressed spatially vivid. The Onkyo brings out dynamic differences with impulse. As the individual members of the A-Team are introduced, the TX-RZ820 brings out the different environments with their background noise very well.

The TX-RZ820 takes it calmly when you listen with a clearly elevated level. As far as the performance of the power amplifiers is concerned, it also has to deliver. After all, there are already models in its price range with nine power amplifiers, which can also drive in a 5.1.4 speaker setup. Dialogue scenes show that the TX-RZ820 emphasizes voices cleanly and integrates well into the overall acoustic context. Well, we noticed some nice features on the TX-RZ820, including the massive presentation of rap music.

But what specifically distinguishes the 7.2-channel AVR? That you can drive decent levels, you can count on a solid spatiality, and that the impulse fidelity is impeccable: You can assume that at a purchase price of 1,200 dollars.

Moreover, Onkyo has had a small odyssey in recent years with regard to the overall acoustic design. From very homogeneous, harmonious, trimmed for safety in the high-frequency range to too much brilliance, a slightly metallic sound – we could observe many things acoustically.

Now a very pleasing compromise has been found, as we could already hear with the large models. Of course, we tested all current Onkyo speakers on the identical speaker setup (Nubert nuLine set) in order to have direct comparison possibilities – and listen: Even in action-packed scenes, the TX-RZ820 remains master of the situation, shootings, vehicle noises, voices, and screams, the music score: Accurate differentiation is made here, the numerous spatial levels are excellently sorted.

The events on the screen are always depicted with emphasis but at the same time with high precision in the A-Team film. If the action is quieter, as in the dialogue sequences in the black minivan typical of The A-Team, the Onkyo TX-RZ820 still provides a convincing spatiality.

Also from the beginning of the film, we listened to the Ultra HD Blu-ray of “San Andreas” in Dolby Atmos. The Onkyo TX-RZ820 delivers an excellent resolution and is even better than older models. Very good are also here, with a native object-based soundtrack, the two modules integrated into the overall sound. This is also noticeable in the expressive music score.

Everything in the Onkyo seems so natural, sovereign – without being able to equate this with “boring”. When the young lady has an accident with her Subaru Forester, the violent landslide is expressed with vehemence. Flying debris and rocks do not cause any problems for the Onkyo TX-RZ820, and quieter elements such as the young lady’s loud, hectic breathing are also very well integrated.

The power amplifiers are spontaneously available and unfold their performance in an outstanding manner with their direct response. The TX-RZ820 divides up acoustic events taking place in parallel with solid balance.

What do we learn from this? Acoustic quantum leaps are hardly possible today, the overall sound level has been too high for several years, especially in the upper price ranges. Improvements are made in detail but are so minor that owners of a device from 2015 or 2016 do not have to worry and immediately think about buying a new one.

If you own an older A/V receiver from before 2015 and now want to switch to playback of object-based audio formats, the TX-RZ820 is a perfect choice. Its homogeneous and coherent overall playback, coupled with excellent dynamics and appealing level stability, is, without doubt, the hallmarks of the new Onkyo.


A real superior device in the upper-middle-class: The Onkyo TX-RZ820 costs $1200 dollars and convinces with solid workmanship and impeccable material quality.

These two positive characteristics go hand in hand with an almost complete set of equipment and features.

However seven and not nine final stages are active inside the housing, but nine final stages will not be necessary for each home cinema friend compellingly still for a long time.

The seven power amplifiers of the Onkyo RZ820 offer an excellent performance potential and ensure a powerful and dynamic sound.

The equipment of the multi-channel receiver is sensible and comprehensive, the HDMI connection section supports practically all current standards. Overall, we like the TX-RZ820 for its balance, but at the same time, it proves that it’s difficult to raise the bar in its class every year.

The Onkyo TX-RZ820 looks great and brings enormous power in its sleekly designed case. This helps it to achieve a very controlled reproduction with the best spatial imaging and a rich low-frequency foundation. This and its extensive streaming and multi-room capabilities make it the top-sounding universalist for movies and music.

The Onkyo TX-RZ820 is clearly optimized for modern streaming integration and multi-room users. Its capabilities as a surround machine are great in terms of sound, but it’s more designed for users with a classic 5.1 or 7.1 speaker setup without ambitions towards immersive audio.

The timeless industrial design and the exemplary tidy remote control speak for long use, especially since the streaming and video capabilities are on the very latest level.

Therefore: Maybe not a great bargain, but a solid choice. Ample power as well as many network and streaming functions make it an excellent all-rounder. At 1,200 dollars, it also costs one hundred less than its predecessor, the Onkyo TX-RZ820 without actually losing any quality. 

Technical Specifications


  • THX Certified Select-Reference Sound (good for home theater fans)
  • Dynamic audio amplification with 180 W / channel, a frequency response of 5 Hz-100 kHz, and VLSC on all channels
  • Support for 5.2.2ch Dolby Atmos and DTS: X
  • 7 HDMI inputs (1 front * 1) / Main output / Zone 2 output to support Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG, and 4K / 60p pass-through as well as HDCP 2.2
  • Support for built-in Chromecast technology * 2 and DTS Play-Fi * 2
  • 5 GHz/2,4 GHz Wi-Fi, AirPlay, Spotify, TIDAL, Deezer, TuneIn*4
  • Multi-room wireless audio playback with FireConnect * 5, Zone 2 power output, Zone 2/3 preamp/line output, and 7.2-channel preamp outputs


  • THX Certified Select for volume and sound in cinema-quality
  • HDMI connections with support for Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG, BT.2020, and 4K / 60 Hz pass-through as well as HDCP 2.2
  • Zone 2 HDMI output (4K / 60 Hz / HDCP 2.2) for video playback in other rooms
  • Support for 5.2.2ch Dolby Atmos Playback and Dolby Surround upmixing
  • Object-based DTS: X audio playback and DTS Neural: X upmixing for older soundtracks
  • AccuEQ acoustic room calibration with AccuReflex phase alignment technology for Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers
  • Integrated intuitive operation with Onkyo Controller in several rooms * 6
  • 5 GHz / 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi for stable network connection
  • Wireless audio streaming with built-in Chromecast technology
  • DTS Play-Fi for music transfer from apps to receivers and wireless speakers
  • AirPlay audio streaming from iTunes and iPad, iPhone and iPod touch
  • Support of high-resolution audio formats including DSD 11.2 MHz * 7, DSD 5.6 MHz / 2.8 MHz * 7, 192 kHz / 24 bit FLAC, WAV, AIFF, and ALAC as well as Dolby TrueHD * 8
  • Support of the music services Spotify, TIDAL, TuneIn, and Deezer
  • FireConnect for playback of network audio sources and analog sources in multiple rooms via compatible wireless speakers * 9
  • Zone 2 power outputs for speakers and Zone 2/3 preamp/line outputs with dedicated D / A converter to support network, S / PDIF, HDMI, and analog audio playback * 10
  • 7.2 channel preamp outputs, 12 V trigger output, and IR input
  • Bluetooth wireless technology for connection to mobile devices, laptops, and PCs (version 4.1 + LE, profile: A2DP v1.2, AVRCP v1.3)
  • Bi-amping support for front left / right channels in a 5.2-channel speaker arrangement
  • Advanced Music Optimizer to improve the sound of compressed digital sources, also with Bluetooth playback
  • 480i de-interlacing (480i to 480p) for older video formats


  • 180 W / channel (6 ohms, 1 kHz, distortion factor 1%, 1 channel driven, IEC)
  • Dynamic audio amplification system with a frequency response of 5 Hz-100 kHz
  • A power supply unit with high power reserves (High Current Power Supply EI Transformer)
  • VLSC noise filter technology (Vector Linear Shaping Circuitry) for all channels
  • Optimum Gain Volume Circuitry
  • Amplifier circuit without phase shift for clear and detailed reproduction
  • Discrete output stage design for low distortion


  • Sound reproduction with Dolby Atmos and DTS: X (5.2.2 channels)
  • HDMI with support for 4K / 60 Hz, HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision, 3D, Audio Return Channel (ARC), Deep Color, xvColor, LipSync, Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD, DTS: X, DTS-HD Master Audio, DSD, DVD-Audio, Super Audio CD (SACD), multi-channel PCM and CEC
  • 384 kHz / 32 bit multichannel DA converter from AKM (AK4458)
  • PLL circuit (Phase Locked Loop) for cleaning up clock inaccuracies in S / PDIF audio
  • A 32-bit digital signal processor
  • THX playback modes for movies, music, and games
  • Virtual surround function at the theater level
  • Direct mode for almost identical reproduction of the original sound quality
  • Tone controls (bass/treble) for the front left / right channels, as well as independent tone, controls for zone 2 and zone 3, balance control, and volume control


  • 7 HDMI inputs (6 rear, 1 front), main output, and zone 2 output
  • Powered USB port (5 V, 1 A) for audio playback
  • 2 composite video inputs
  • 2 component video inputs
  • 3 digital audio inputs (2 optical, 1 coaxial)
  • 6 analog audio inputs
  • Phono input (MM) and equalizer for connecting a turntable
  • 7.2-channel preamp outputs
  • 2 subwoofer pre-outs
  • LAN input with support for IP control for smart home systems and setup via connected PC
  • Serial RS-232 interface for external control commands
  • 12 V trigger output (main, 100 mA) for the integration of external component control
  • IR input for remote control
  • 6.35 mm headphone jack (front)
  • Speaker connections with hand screws
  • 3.5 mm input for loudspeaker measurement microphone and microphone


  • The aluminum front panel, volume control, and flap
  • Setting the subwoofer crossover frequencies for each channel (40/50/60/70/80/90/100/120/150/180/200 Hz)
  • AV synchronization (up to 500 ms in steps of 5 ms at 48 kHz)
  • Graphic user interface with overlay on-screen display (OSD) via HDMI
  • Brief instructions for set up via the user interface and an easy-to-understand connection diagram on the rear of the device.
  • Energy-saving features for HDMI pass-through and network readiness
  • Three-level display dimmer (normal / dark / darker)
  • FM / RDS and MW station memory for 40 stations
  • Rack-Montage-Kit (Optional)
  • Standard-sized, user-friendly remote control

General data

  • Power supply: 220-240 V AC, 50/60 Hz
  • Power consumption: 650 W
  • Power consumption: (mute) 70 W
  • Power consumption: (standby) 0.15 W.
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 435 x 201.5 x 395 mm

* 1 No support for 4K / 60p / 4: 4: 4/24-bit video, HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG, or BT.2020 on the front HDMI input.
* 2 Requires a future firmware update.
* 3 Pandora is only available in Australia and New Zealand.
* 4 The availability of the services may vary by region. Please check before purchase. An additional subscription may be required.
* 5 FireConnect is a technology based on Blackfire and is provided by Blackfire Research Corp., USA. Sampling rates of 44.1 kHz and 48 kHz are supported.
* 6 For iOS and Android devices. You can find the requirements for the operating system and device in the App Store or Google Play.
* 7 DSD playback via WLAN is not supported.
* 8 Dolby TrueHD playback only via USB input.
* 9 Playback via external analog inputs arrived via a firmware update in 2020.
* 10 Audio playbacks via S / PDIF or HDMI is not supported in Zone 3.

Price in dollars1200, 800 used in 2021
Dimensions (W x H x D) in mm435/202/395
Weight (in Kg) / front panel metal (M)/ plastic (K)14/M (31 lb)
Stereo power, PCM stereo (4 Ohm/8 Ohm), 0.7% THD (in W):207/143
5-channel power, Dolby Digital (4 Ohm/8 Ohm), 0.7% THD (in W):29/75
Signal-to-noise ratio PCM stereo, front, 5W, 1kHz (in dB)98.2
Signal-to-noise ratio Dolby Digital, Front, 5W, 1kHz (in dB)95.9
Distortion factor Dolby Digital, Front, 5W, 1kHz (in %)0.013
Distortion factor PCM stereo, front, 5W, 1kHz (in %)0.003
Channel separation, DD, 1kHz; F/F, F/C, F/R (in dB)77.4/88.8/91.3
HDMI version2.0a
Damping factor64
Power Conn. Standby/Passthrough/at 5 x 1 Watt output power (in W)0.1/0/80
Max. Temperature increase above room temperature (in °C)20
Decoder for all sound formats/THXYes /Select2
Dolby Atmos / DTS:X / Auro-3DYes / Yes / No
Formats USBMP3, WMA, WMA Lossless, FLAC, WAV, Ogg Vorbis, AAC, Apple Lossless, DSD 2.8/5.6/11.2 MHz, LPCM4 and Dolby TrueHD
Formats NetworkMP3, WMA, WMA Lossless, FLAC, WAV, Ogg Vorbis, AAC, Apple Lossless, DSD 2.8/5.6/11.2 MHz, LPCM4 and Dolby TrueHD
DSP programs/autom. calibration4/ Yes
Takeover freq. f. Subw./per channel/man. Equalizer11/ Yes /15-Band
Front port: FBAS/HDMI/Audio analog/digital/USBNo / Yes / No / No
Input. Audio: analog/phono/multichannel/optical/electrical6/ Yes /8-K./2/1
Video inputs: FBAS/YUV/HDMI2/0/8
Outputs: analog/optical/electrical/YUV/HDMi0/0/0/0/2
Pre-Out: Front/Center/Rear/Subw./SB/FH/FWYes / Yes / Yes / Yes / Yes / No
Video Convert/Scaler/4K Passthrough/UpscalingYes / Yes / Yes / No
AV sync/analog level adjustment/input renamevar./ No / Yes
Multiroom (A/V)/iDevice compatible/AirPlayYes / Yes / Yes
Tone control/switch-off/headphone out2/ Yes / Yes
FM Tuner/Internet Radio/Sleep TimerYes / Yes / Yes
Remote learn/pre-progress/OSD via HDMIYes / Yes / Yes
Network function/trigger outputs/RS232 or similarYes / Yes / Yes
Decoders/power amplifiers/housing colors7.2/7 analog/black, silver
MiscellaneousOnkyo AccuEQ / AccuReflex, Tidal, Chromecast, DTS Play-Fi, FlareConnect, IR Input, 12V Trigger Output (assignable) and RS232 Port
Price/performancevery good
++ Dolby Atmos and DTS:X
++ opulent surround sound
+/-– maximum 2 height channels possible
Class:Top class
Test result:outstanding
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Firewire To HDMI Sat, 21 Nov 2020 10:45:12 +0000 Is There Such a Thing as a Firewire To HDMI cable?

We discuss here the connection of Firewire to HDMI cable, adapter, or converter (3Opens in a new tab.). Firewire, iLink, and 1394 are the different names for a bus for serial data transfer (2Opens in a new tab.) (4Opens in a new tab.). 1394 is the name of the IEEE standard (1Opens in a new tab.). FireWire is the corresponding trademark of Apple (9Opens in a new tab.), while ILink is the trademark of Sony (10Opens in a new tab.). Firewire was mostly used in audio and video technology (professional audio and video cards) (5Opens in a new tab.), but also to connect external mass storage devices (8Opens in a new tab.) such as DVD burners (7Opens in a new tab.), hard drives or to connect consumer electronics components (6Opens in a new tab.). On the other hand, HDMI is an interface developed since mid-2002 (11Opens in a new tab.) for digital image and sound transmission in entertainment electronics (12Opens in a new tab.). It standardizes existing procedures, can produce higher quality, and also has a coherent copy protection concept through DRM (13Opens in a new tab.). Therefore, is there something like a Firewire to HDMI connection?

The answer is no. There is no FireWire to HDMI cable or Firewire adapter except for Smart TVs as they have an input HDMI connection. The solution is to utilize an expansion card like a PCI-X card, an output device with SDHC / SDXC memory cards, or built-in Firewire in the receiver device.

Firewire to HDMI Cables

While the FireWire port is usually for export and import of data, the HDMI port found in a computer is an output-only port and therefore it may not receive data:  it can only send data to another device. For this reason, you will need a FireWire to USB converter.

There are no cables that connect a Firewire port to an HDMI port, so no Firewire to HDMI cables. The two connections have different purposes that cannot cooperate in one cable.

Data is transported via Firewire in a similar way to via USB, it doesn’t matter what kind of data it is. Only pictures and sound are sent via an HDMI connection.

firewire to hdmi

Firewire to HDMI Adapter

HDMI slot in your computer is for display output. However, there is HDMI input on a television or a smart TV. 

The Firewire to HDMI connection can only be done with Smart TVs with an adapter. While Smart TVs have an input HDMI interface, laptops have an output HDMI connection.

This adapter will perform a conversion of the FireWire digital video to the input HDMI format that is understood by the Smart TV or television. It looks similar to a cable but it is called an adapter.

If you want to connect two devices via Firewire and HDMI, it is not possible even with an adapter from Firewire to HDMI. We’ll tell you why that is and what alternatives are available.

 Many people used to transfer their videos via the firewire interface, nowadays they all use laptops that do not have a firewire input but an HDMI input. 

Also, this is a problem for music composers that want to transfer digital information from their usual composing hardware to their laptop in particular some Cakewalk products like the Sonar Power Studio 

Modern laptops only have an HDMI connection, Firewire is slowly dying out. If you still have a somewhat older laptop, you can retrofit a Firewire connection with such an Expresscard . With desktop computers, the connection can usually always be retrofitted with a PCI Express card .

Solutions To Transfer From FireWire Devices

A Firewire Expresscard is the best solution for old cameras. I recommend an FW800 card right away because it is twice as fast as USB 2.0 and is compatible with FW400. You then only need a cable that goes from FW800 to FW400 with 4Pin.

firewire to hdmi

HD cameras or memory cards are standard these days.

Real-time recording via FireWire or HDMI is not really a must if you just want to edit videos – get a camcorder that records to SDHC / SDXC memory cards, and then insert the cards into the notebook’s card reader. As an alternative, these cameras usually also allow video transfer via USB.

Nowadays you can safely ignore Firewire for new acquisitions in the video sector.

Otherwise, an external PCI slot can cost $10 and you will also need a FireWire PCI card that can cost something like $20. Likewise, you should have a mini PCI slot available in your computer to perform the connection with the incoming device.

Another solution is to take Pinnacle USB500, download the latest Windows drivers from the Pinnacle homepage. Then leave the analog inputs on the left (do not use, for DV tapes the worse way compared to Firewire. if you still have VHS, you require a converter here as well). Then plug the camera into the Firewire port at the aforementioned box. There is no conversion of the video material, the Firewire port is nailed through 1: 1, so that pretty much every Firewire device should run. At least with camcorders, it works perfectly, including the camera control from the recording program. In other words: In addition to the AD converter, the device also has a USB Firewire bridge in it.

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