Onkyo TX-NR838 (USA version)
- 7.2 channels
- 7.1 channel processing
- 130 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven)
- THX Select™2 Plus certified
- Dolby Atmos capable
- 4K Upscaling, 4K Passthrough
- AirPlay via optional Onkyo RI Dock DS-A5 (sold separately), DLNA
- Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
- USB and Phono inputs
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Onkyo TX-NR838 was introduced in 2014. It is equipped with 7 channel amplifier with 130 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz and 2 channel driven) power per channel and is capable of 7.1 maximum channel processing. It supports Dolby Atmos, passes 4K/60Hz and upscales up to 4K/30p (Marvell Qdeo) video signal.
We evaluated the a/v receiver and gave 85 overall score out of 100. Our ranking system is based on the amplifier specifications, audio and video features, connectivity, multizone capabilities, radio and many other details.
Pros and Cons
In this section we present pros and cons of Onkyo TX-NR838.
|Front Wide Channel Support|
|DSD via HDMI|
|Auto Speaker Calibration System with Mic.|
|New HDCP Version|
|4K or 8K Video Passthrough|
|4K or 8K Signal Upscaling|
|Analog To HDMI Upconversion|
|Many HDMI Inputs|
|Many Analog Audio Line Inputs|
|Composite Video Inputs|
|Component Video Inputs|
|Independent Power Supply|
|No Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization|
|No IMAX Enhanced|
|No Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer|
|No Dolby Vision|
|No Chromecast Built-In|
|Does not Work with Amazon Alexa|
|Few 8K Inputs|
|Old Bluetooth Version|
Here we are comparing Onkyo TX-NR838 to its predecessor TX-NR828 and displaying the major changes.
|UPGRADES||Onkyo TX-NR838||vs||Onkyo TX-NR828|
|Dolby Surround Upmixer||vs|
|Pure Direct Analog Path Mode||vs|
|Video Signal Passthrough||up to 4K/60p (YCbCr 4:2:0)||vs||up to 4K/30p|
|More HDMI Outputs||2 (1 Main, 1 Sub/Zone2)||vs||2 (simultaneous)|
|Zone 2 Outs||HDMI, RCA Pre/Line Out||vs||RCA Line Out|
|Zone 3 Outs||RCA Pre/Line Out||vs||RCA Line Out|
|Higher DSD Sampling Rate via HDMI||2.8 MHz, 5.6 MHz||vs||2.8 MHz|
|DOWNGRADES||Onkyo TX-NR838||vs||Onkyo TX-NR828|
|Dolby Pro Logic||vs||PLIIz|
|High Resolution Music Playback via USB||up to 96 kHz||vs||up to 192 kHz|
|High Resolution Audio Formats via USB||FLAC, WAV, WMA Lossless, Apple Lossless, DSD, AAC||vs||FLAC, WAV, WMA Lossless, Apple Lossless, DSD, AAC, LPCM|
|Audyssey Dynamic EQ||vs|
|Audyssey Dynamic Volume||vs|
|isf Certified Calibration Control||vs|
|Less HDMI Inputs||7 (1 front)||vs||8 (1 front)|
|Less Composite Video Inputs||4 (1 front)||vs||5 (1 front)|
|Less Component Video Inputs||1||vs||2|
|Less Powered Zones||2||vs||2 and 3|
|Bi-directional Remote Setup via GUI||vs|
|Activity Based Remote||vs|
For more detailed comparison between the models please visit Onkyo TX-NR838 vs Onkyo TX-NR828.
7 channel Amplifier
Onkyo TX-NR838 features 7 channel power amplifier. It is rated at 130 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven) and is able to drive 4 ohm speakers.
- WRAT (Wide Range Amp Technology): Onkyo TX-NR838 features Onkyo’s Wide Range Amp Technology (WRAT) circuit layout that prevents phase shifting by pushing the roll-off point higher than the listening-level frequency. Amplifying sound without phase shift creates an uncommonly well-focused and realistic audio image. If phase shift occurs and signal timing is not accurate, then neither is the resulting audio image.
THX Select™2 Plus certified
Onkyo TX-NR838 is THX Select™2 Plus certified. This means that it is ideally suited for a room where the screen-to-seat viewing distance is approximately 3 to 4 meters, and the room size is approximately 56 cubic meters.
- THX™ Certification: THX™ Certification offers optimal performance, superior quality and seamless integration. THX works with partners from the ground up, so that certified products deliver professional quality audio-visual experiences right out of the box. They only certify the very best products with uncompromised quality, performance and consistency. They ensure that THX certified devices play well with lower performing devices and components. THX listening modes make the receiver to have one speaker set up for movies, music and games. They are tested for power output, bass management, signal-to-noise ratio and feature THX Loudness Plus, Boundary Gain Compensation, Timbre Matching and RE-EQ.
- Power Output: Power output is tested to ensure the receiver accurately plays source material at THX Reference Level in every input and mode and at every sampling rate for all possible playback combinations selected by the listener.
- Frequency Response: THX has strict requirements for frequency response to ensure that you hear all the details in high-resolution tracks, ensures dialog in movies, and vocals in music are clear while maintaining deep, impactful bass output that doesn’t overpower the listening experience.
- Signal-to-Noise Ratio: THX tests the signal-to-noise ratio to ensure the unit is designed to have low noise performance with very little to no audible hiss from the speakers.
- Bass Management: THX requires an 80Hz crossover point in the setup menu to ensure proper bass management in every THX Certified AVR. This setting confirms that the subwoofer handles low frequencies, freeing up the loudspeakers to handle mids and highs.
- THX Loudness Plus™: THX Loudness Plus™ is a volume control technology featured in THX Certified Dominus, THX Certified Ultra and THX Certified Select AV Receivers, and preamplifiers that automatically adjusts the front-to-back speaker level relationship as you turn the volume down. With THX Loudness Plus, home theater audiences can now experience the rich details of surround sound at any volume level.
- Boundary Gain Compensation: Sitting near a wall may result in increased acoustic levels at the lower frequencies. BGC corrects the way low frequency sound is perceived when seated near a wall. This results in a more accurate bass response.
- Timbre Matching: Your ears hear different tonal qualities in sounds coming from different directions. Timbre Matching restores the frequency balance between your front and surround speakers ensuring seamless and smooth panning between the front to back of the room.
- RE-EQ: Many movie soundtracks are mixed in studios for playback in large cinema auditoriums with an array of speakers. When played on home systems, they may appear abrasive and edgy. Re-EQ establishes a more accurate tonal balance when enjoying movies in your home.
Onkyo TX-NR838's 7 channel amplifier can be assigned for different speaker configurations.
- Dolby Atmos Configurations: The following speaker configurations are supported for Dolby Atmos:
- 5.2.2 with internal amplifier.
- Configurations without height channels: There are also other speaker configurations available which do not include height channels:
- 5.2, 7.2 with internal amplifier.
- Front Wide Channel support: Onkyo TX-NR838 supports front wide channels. With the presence of two front wide speakers you can enhance the front surround stage. The following speaker configurations are available for front wide channels - 7.2.
- Bi-Amp: You can bi-amp front left and right speakers. During bi-amplification two amplifiers are used for one speaker. One amplifier powers the midrange and tweeter section of the speaker and another amplifier powers the low frequency woofers. Each amplifier is less loaded and performs better. In order to use this feature speakers must have 2 pairs of connectors.
Onkyo TX-NR838 supports Dolby Atmos. It is a cinematic audio format in which sounds exist as individual entities, called audio objects. In Dolby Atmos, any sound can exist as an independent audio object, free of channel restrictions. They can be precisely placed and moved anywhere in your room, including overhead, to flow above and around you in three-dimensional space. Through the use of audio objects, overhead sound, and all the richness, clarity, and power of Dolby sound, Dolby Atmos turns your room into an amazing place for entertainment. The format supports up to 128 simultaneous independent audio objects in a mix for rich, realistic, and breathtaking sound. It recreates the director's original concept through descriptive metadata to provide customized playback for home theater and delivers sounds above you through overhead speakers, special upward-firing Dolby Atmos speakers, or a Dolby Atmos enabled sound bar.
- Dolby Surround Upmixer: If the content is not mixed in Dolby Atmos then the Dolby surround upmixer will expand the audio to all channels including ceiling speakers. The upmixer has replaced the Dolby Pro Logic II family with improved upmixing algorithms.
- Advanced Music Optimizer: Compressed music enhancement in Onkyo TX-NR838 is done by Onkyo’s Advanced Music Optimizer. While MP3 or AAC files may sound fine through the headphones of your portable digital player, the limitations of these files can be exposed when played back through a quality home entertainment system. This is because a significant amount of high-frequency bit information is lost during the file-compression process. To counter this, Onkyo has designed the Advanced Music Optimizer to compensate for lost bit information and improve the quality of compressed audio signals. This results in a clearer and more expansive sound. Also included in this technology is a loudness correction feature that further improves the audio character of compressed files.
Onkyo TX-NR838 comes with AccuEQ room correction system and includes the calibration microphone.
- AccuEQ: First, AccuEQ detects the presence of speakers and evaluates the impedance of each. Next, it pinpoints their distance relative to the main listening position using the mic and sets suitable sound-pressure levels. Then it selects the optimal crossover frequency so that deeper bass rolls smoothly off to the subwoofer. Finally, AccuEQ performs frequency response equalization based on room-acoustic and speaker data collected via microphone. The sound-field is now tailored around the listening position, resulting in a more immersive and realistic in-film experience.
Onkyo TX-NR838 features 7 HDMI inputs. It has 2 outputs: 1 Main and 1 Sub/Zone2.
- 4K/60Hz Passthrough: All inputs pass up to 4K/60p (YCbCr 4:2:0) video signal.
- 4K Upscaling: Onkyo TX-NR838 can upscale up to 4K/30p (Marvell Qdeo) from HDMI and analog sources.
- Analog To HDMI Upconversion: The a/v receiver supports video upconversion, so you can connect your analog Component and Composite video sources and Onkyo TX-NR838 will output them via HDMI. This means that you will need only one HDMI cable to connect to your TV.
- HDCP 2.2 Copy Protection: All inputs and outputs are HDCP 2.2 compliant which is a requirement for 4K/HDR copy-protected content transmission.
- 3D Ready: Onkyo TX-NR838 is able to pass 3D video through HDMI.
Onkyo TX-NR838 offers multi-zone playback which allows you to play different input sources in 3 different rooms.
- Powered Zone 2: You can use the unit's 2 amplifier channels by connecting Zone 2 speakers directly to the speaker terminals. The remaining 5 channels will be left for main zone amplification.
- HDMI Output: Onkyo TX-NR838 offers HDMI output for Zone 2. This means that it can send two different HDMI signals to two displays.
- Audio Pre/Line Output: If you have a dedicated amplifier for Zone 2 you can connect it to the a/v receiver via pre/line outs and use "pre out" option to control volume from the a/v receiver or use "line out" option - send fixed signal and then control volume on the Zone 2 amplifier.
- Audio Pre/Line Output: If you have a dedicated amplifier for Zone 2 you can connect it to the a/v receiver via pre/line outs and use "pre out" option to control volume from the a/v receiver or use "line out" option - send fixed signal and then control volume on the Zone 3 amplifier.
Inputs and Outputs
- Phono Input: There is an MM phono input with built-in phono stage for connecting the moving magnet cartridge output of the turntable directly to the a/v receiver.
- Analog Pre-Outs: Onkyo TX-NR838 has 7.2 preamplifier outputs which allow you to connect the a/v receiver to the external power amplifier. You may want to use a high quality external amplifier for certain channels, usually for front L/R and center, and use the a/v receiver to power the rest.
- Analog Line Inputs: There are 7 line inputs for analog audio connection.
- Digital Inputs: 2 optical inputs and 3 coaxial inputs are available for digital audio connection.
- Headphone Output: There is a 6.3 mm (1/4") headphone output jack on the front panel.
- Inputs: 7 (1 front) Outputs: 2 (1 Main, 1 Sub/Zone2)
8K Inputs: 0
- Composite Video: Connect you VCR, Laserdisc player and other old video equipment with composite video cables.
- Inputs: 4 Outputs: 1
- Component Video: Component video connection gives you the higher quality video compared to the composite video connection. So in case your old DVD player and other equipment do not have an HDMI output but have Component video output use this connection over the composite one. Onkyo TX-NR838 supports up to 1080i resolution on Component video connectors.
- Inputs: 1 Outputs: 1
Here we list all the available features and specifications of Onkyo TX-NR838.
|Front Wide Channel Support|
|WRAT (Wide Range Amplifier Technology)|
|VLSC (Vector Linear Shaping Circuitry)|
|Optimum Gain Volume Circuitry|
|THX™ Certification||Select™2 Plus|
|Continuous 6 Ω Rated|
|Certified 4 Ω Performance|
|Discrete Output Stage Circuitry|
|3-Stage Inverted Darlington Circuitry||All Channels|
|Independent Block Construction (Amp/Preprocessor)|
|BTL (Bridged Transless or Bridging)|
|Digital Signal Processing (DSP) Engine||Dual 32-bit DSP for Powerful Advanced Processing|
|DAC Specs||192 kHz/24 Bit|
|Maximum Channel Processing||7.1|
|Air Studios Monitor Certification|
|Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization|
|Dolby Atmos Music|
|Dolby Digital Plus|
|Dolby Surround Upmixer|
|Dolby Pro Logic|
|Surround EX||also known as Dolby Digital Surround EX|
|DTS-HD Master Audio|
|DTS-HD High Resolution Audio|
|DTS-ES||Discrete 6.1, Matrix 6.1|
|Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer|
|Music Playback via USB||FLAC, WAV, Apple Lossless, WMA, WMA Lossless, Ogg, MP3, DSD, AAC, LPCM, Dolby TruHD|
|High Resolution Music Playback via USB and/or Network||up to 96 kHz|
|High Resolution Audio Formats via USB||FLAC, WAV, WMA Lossless, Apple Lossless, DSD, AAC|
|Multi-Channel Music File Playback via USB|
|DSD via HDMI||2-ch/Multi-ch Input|
|DSD via USB||2-ch Input|
|DSD to PCM Converter|
|Jitter Reduction||PLL (Phase Locked Loop) Jitter-Cleaning Circuit Technology for S/PDIF Audio|
|DTS Dialog Control|
|Dialog Level Adjustment|
|Tone Control||Front L/R Channels|
|Compressed Music Enhancer||Advanced Music Optimizer (bluetooth included)|
|High-resolution Music Enhancer|
|THX Processing Mode|
|Audyssey Dynamic EQ|
|Audyssey Dynamic Volume|
|Audyssey Sub EQ HT|
|Phase-Matching Bass Boost||for Deep Bass and Clear Mid-Range|
|Pure Audio Mode|
|Pure Direct Analog Path Mode|
|Virtual Speakers||T-D (Theater-Dimensional)|
|Independent Subwoofer Outputs|
|Auto Speaker Calibration System with Mic.||AccuEQ|
|HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma)|
|BT.2020 color space|
|QMS (Quick Media Switching)|
|ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode)|
|VRR (Variable Refresh Rate)|
|QFT (Quick Frame transport)|
|Video Signal Passthrough||up to 4K/60p (YCbCr 4:2:0)|
|Video Signal Upscaling||up to 4K/30p (Marvell Qdeo)|
|Analog To HDMI Upconversion||Component**, Composite|
|Component Video Upscaling|
|Analog to Analog Video conversion|
|Component Video Maximum Resolution||1080i|
|isf Certified Calibration Control|
|MHL Input||Front HDMI|
|Works with Amazon Alexa|
|Works with SONOS|
|AirPlay||AirPlay via optional Onkyo RI Dock DS-A5 (sold separately)|
|Apple Product Connection||iPod and iPhone via optional Onkyo RI Dock DS-A5 (sold separately)|
|Remote App||Onkyo Remote App for iPod touch/iPhone and Android-Powered Devices|
|InstaPrevue Input Source Prevue|
|HDMI Inputs||7 (1 front)|
|HDMI Outputs||2 (1 Main, 1 Sub/Zone2)|
|USB Input||1 (Front)|
|USB DC Out Port|
|Analog Audio Line Input||7 (1 front)|
|Analog Audio Line Output|
|Composite Video Input||4 (1 front)|
|Composite Video Output||1|
|Component Video Input||1|
|Component Video Output||1|
|Front A/V Inputs||HDMI/MHL, USB, Composite Video, RCA Audio|
|Headphone Out||6.3 mm (1/4")|
|Zone 2 Outs||HDMI, RCA Pre/Line Out|
|Zone 3 Outs||RCA Pre/Line Out|
|Whole House Mode|
|+12V Trigger Output||1 (Zone2)|
|Remote (IR) Input/Output||1 / 0|
|On-Screen Display||Advanced "Home" GUI|
|Detachable Power Cord|
|ONKYO-RI System Control|
|RIHD (Remote Interactive Over HDMI)|
|On Screen Remote Programming|
|Bi-directional Remote Setup via GUI|
|Activity Based Remote|
|SiriusXM Internet Radio|
|Solid Aluminum Front|
|Large Speaker Terminals||11|
|Color-Coded Speaker Terminals|
|Transparent High-Grade Speaker Terminals|
|18mm Pitch High Grade Pre-outs|
|19mm-Pitch Audio Inputs|
|Gold plated RCA terminals|
|Power Supply||AC 120 V, 60 Hz|
|Independent Power Supply||2|
|H.C.P.S. (High Current Power Supply)||Massive High Power Transformer|
|Power Consumption||8.1 A|
|No Sound Power||90 W|
|Standby Power||0.1 W|
|Capacitor Bank||15,000 µF|
|ECO Mode / Hybrid Standby Function|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||435 mm x 198.5 mm x 400 mm|
17-1/8" x 7-13/16" x 15-3/4"
|Weight||15.5 kg (34.2 lbs)|
|Power Output (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2||130 W (0.08% THD)|
|Power Output (6 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 1 channel driven, JEITA)||145 W (0.08% THD)|
|Power Output (6 Ω, 1 kHz, 2||160 W (0.7% THD)|
|Maximum Effective Power Output (6 Ω, 1 kHz, 1 channel driven, JEITA)||215 W|
|Rated Power Output (6 Ω, 1 kHz, 1 channel driven, IEC)||180 W (1% THD)|
|Dynamic Power per Channel (3 Ω, Front)||300 W|
|Dynamic Power per Channel (4 Ω, Front)||250 W|
|Dynamic Power per Channel (8 Ω, Front)||150 W|
|THD||0.08% (20 Hz - 20 kHz, Half power)|
|Damping Factor||60 (Front, 1 kHz, 8 Ω)|
|Input Sensitivity and Impedance (Line)||200 mV/47 kΩ (Line)|
|Input Sensitivity and Impedance (Phono MM)||2.5 mV/47 kΩ|
|Rated Preout Level and Impedance||200 mV/470 Ω|
|Maximum Preout Level and Impedance||4.6 V/470 Ω|
|Phono Overload||70 mV (MM, 1kHz, 0.5% Direct)|
|S/N Ratio (Line, IHF-A)||106 dB|
|S/N Ratio (Phono MM, IHF-A)||80 dB|
|Frequency Response (Analog In)||5 Hz - 100 kHz/+1 dB, -3 dB (Direct Mode)|
|DSD Sampling Rates via HDMI||2.8 MHz, 5.6 MHz|
|DSD Sampling Rates via USB||2.8 MHz|
|Video Input Sensitivity/Output Level and Impedance||1 Vp-p/75 Ω (Component Y)|
0.7 Vp-p/75 Ω (Component PB/CB, PR/CR)
1 Vp-p/75 Ω (Composite)
|Video Frequency Response||5 Hz - 100 MHz/+0 dB, -3 dB (Component)|
|Wi-Fi Standard||IEEE 802.11 b/g/n|
|Wi-Fi Terminal Frequency||2.4 GHz|
|Bluetooth Version||2․1 + EDR|
|Bluetooth Frequency||2.4 GHz|
|FM Frequency||87.5 MHz - 107.9 MHz|
|AM Frequency||522/530 kHz - 1611/1710 kHz|
* - 480i/576i and 480p/576p only
** - 480i/576i only
*** - no 1080p/24 upconversion
**** - 1080p signal is not converted
In 2015 Onkyo TX-NR838 was replaced by TX-RZ800. Let us now have a look at some important changes that the successor brought.
|UPGRADES||Onkyo TX-RZ800||vs||Onkyo TX-NR838|
|VLSC (Vector Linear Shaping Circuitry)||All Channels||vs|
|Independent Block Construction (Amp/Preprocessor)||vs|
|Higher DAC Specs||384 kHz/32 Bit||vs||192 kHz/24 Bit|
|DTS Dialog Control||vs|
|More Advanced Auto Speaker Calibration System||AccuEQ Advance||vs||AccuEQ|
|BT.2020 color space||vs|
|AirPlay||AirPlay||vs||AirPlay via optional Onkyo RI Dock DS-A5 (sold separately)|
|More HDMI Inputs||8 (1 front)||vs||7 (1 front)|
|More Analog Audio Line Inputs||8||vs||7 (1 front)|
|More Analog Audio Line Outputs||1||vs|
|More Optical Inputs||3||vs||2|
|More Component Video Inputs||2||vs||1|
|Higher Power Output (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven, FTC)||135 W (0.08% THD)||vs||130 W (0.08% THD)|
|Higher Power Output (6 Ω, 1 kHz, 1 channel driven, IEC)||185 W (1% THD)||vs||180 W (1% THD)|
|Higher Rated Preout Level||1 V/470 Ω||vs||200 mV/470 Ω|
|Higher DSD Sampling Rate via USB||2.8 MHz||vs||2.8 MHz|
|DOWNGRADES||Onkyo TX-RZ800||vs||Onkyo TX-NR838|
|Front Wide Channel Support||vs|
|Video Signal Upscaling||vs||up to 4K/30p (Marvell Qdeo)|
|Component Video Maximum Resolution||1080i||vs||1080i|
|MHL Input||vs||Front HDMI|
|Less Coaxial Inputs/Outputs||2||vs||3|
|Less Composite Video Inputs||3||vs||4 (1 front)|
|Front A/V Inputs||HDMI||vs||HDMI/MHL, USB, Composite Video, RCA Audio|
|Zone 3 Outs||RCA Line Out||vs||RCA Pre/Line Out|
|Smaller Power Supply||7.8 A||vs||8.1 A|
|Lower Power Output (6 Ω, 1 kHz, 1 channel driven, JEITA)||215 W||vs||215 W|
|Lower Damping Factor||40 (Front, 1 kHz, 8 Ω)||vs||60 (Front, 1 kHz, 8 Ω)|
For more detailed comparison between the models please visit Onkyo TX-NR838 vs Onkyo TX-RZ800.