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Onkyo TX-8522

XM Ready stereo receiver

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  • Onkyo TX-8522

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Item #: 580TX8522
 

Review Summary

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Original price $249.99
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Our take on the Onkyo TX-8522

by Dave Bar
Onkyo

Receivers: Your ticket to sensational sound

Your receiver powers your speakers and lets you connect and select your entertainment sources. But a great receiver does a lot more — it ignites your emotions. From the passion of a favorite musical artist, to the crossfire of a super-charged movie soundtrack, to the intensity and immersion of a fast-paced video game, your receiver is the key to experiencing and enjoying it in full.

For high-end stereo sound at a remarkably down-to-earth price, check out this versatile receiver from Onkyo. Boasting 100 watts x 2 channels of clean, high-current power, the TX-8522 delivers a powerful sonic punch that's sure to satisfy even the most demanding music lover. You'll also get advanced extras like optional iPod® integration and XM Satellite Radio capability that put you in touch with the latest digital entertainment.

At the heart of the '8522's impressive performance is Onkyo's renowned low-impedance amplifier design. Onkyo pays careful attention to detail with every aspect of this receiver's construction. Its oversized, shielded transformer provides maximum power capacity and stability with minimum hum. An efficient heavy-duty extruded aluminum heat sink ensures cooler operation and longer life from your receiver. Plus the rigid, reinforced chassis and aluminum front panel fight performance-robbing vibration. These details all add up to one thing — breathtaking performance, and the ability to drive virtually any speaker system with ease.

Read more

If you're a fan of XM Radio, you'll appreciate how easily you can add it to the '8522. Simply plug in an optional XM Mini-Tuner package and activate your XM subscription to tune in over 170 satellite radio channels. Plus, you can add Onkyo's optional DS-A2x control dock to enjoy listening to tunes on your iPod® through your stereo system. The DS-A2x also features a video output that lets you view your iPod's photos and videos on a TV. You can even use the receiver's remote to control your player while it's docked.

The '8522 provides plenty of inputs for your audio/video gear. Connect up to four audio source components (including a turntable), and up to 2 A/V components (VCR, DVD, etc.). The TX-8522 even offers video switching for added convenience. Two sets of main speaker outputs let you connect an additional pair of speakers. And when you're ready to listen to radio, use the receiver's 40 AM/FM presets or direct access tuning to jump right to desired stations.

Highlights:

  • 100 watts x 2 (stereo) into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.08% THD
  • 4-ohm capability allows use with a wide range of speakers
  • XM Satellite Radio Ready (requires XM subscription and optional XM Mini-Tuner package)
  • iPod integration (requires optional Onkyo DS-A2x control dock)
  • three front-panel display brightness settings (dim, dark, normal)
  • direct access tuning
  • 40 AM/FM presets
  • 4 audio inputs (including phono), and 2 A/V inputs (composite video)
  • rotary bass and treble controls
  • Pure Audio/Direct mode for cleaner sound
  • remote control
  • headphone jack
  • front-panel switching for two pairs of main speakers
  • anti-resonant aluminum front panel
  • high-current, low-impedance amplifier design
  • oversized power transformer, filter capacitors, and heat sink
  • discrete output stage circuitry
  • sleep timer
  • 17-1/8"W x 5-15/16"H x 13-3/4"D
  • warranty: 2 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Features and Specs
General
Number Of Channels N/A
Stereo RMS Power (watts) 100
THD in Stereo 0.08 %
Frequency Bandwidth (stereo) 20-20k Hz
FM Sensitivity 15.2 dBf
HD Radio Tuner No
On-Screen Display No
Auto Speaker Calibration ---
HDMI Standby Pass-through ---
Composite Video Conversion ---
S-Video Conversion ---
Component Video Conversion ---
HDMI to HDMI Upconversion ---
Internet-ready ---
Apple AirPlay ---
App Remote Control No
Bluetooth-compatible ---
USB port for iPod/iPhone No
DLNA Certified ---
MHL-compatible ---
Multibrand Remote Control ---
Learning Remote No
LCD Remote No
Width (inches) 17-1/8
Height (inches) 5-15/16
Depth (inches) 13-3/4
Weight (pounds) ---
Parts Warranty 2 Years
Labor Warranty 2 Years
Multi-room Audio--Video
Powered Multi-room Audio Output No
Preamp Multi-room Audio Output No
Multi-room Video No
Multi-room HDMI Output No
Surround Processing
Dolby Digital ---
DTS ---
Inputs & Outputs
Phono Input 1
Audio-Video Inputs 2
Audio-only Inputs 4
S-Video Inputs ---
S-Video Outputs ---
S-Video Monitor Outputs ---
Component Video Inputs ---
Component Video Monitor Outputs ---
Optical Digital Inputs ---
Coaxial Digital Inputs ---
Optical Digital Outputs ---
Coaxial Digital Outputs ---
HDMI Inputs ---
HDMI Monitor Outputs ---
Subwoofer Outputs None
Multi-Channel Analog Input No
Multi-channel Preamp Output No
Main Speaker Output Pairs 2
Main Speaker Terminals Posts
Ethernet Port ---
USB Connections ---
Removable Power Cord ---
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • AM/FM/Stereo receiver
  • RC-664S wireless remote control
  • 2 "AA" batteries
  • AM loop antenna
  • FM wire antenna (with push-on "F" connector)
  • Terminal tool
  • Stereo Receiver Instruction Manual
  • XM Satellite Radio Instruction Manual
  • Product Registration/Warranty Card
  • "Caution" sheet
  • XM Satellite Radio Connect & Play information
  • DS-A1 Interactive iPod dock information sheet

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Features
Remote Control
Input and Output Notes

Features

WRAT (Wide Range Amplifier Technology): This technology uses low-negative-feedback circuit topology for accurate signal reproduction, improved dynamic signal-to-noise ratio, and better delivery of power peaks.

XM Ready: Using an optional XM Mini Tuner and Mini Tuner Home Dock, you can take advantage of the variety and sound quality of XM Satellite radio. XM offers over 170 channels of music, news, sports, and talk radio and even has weather and traffic information in several major markets. The channel number, channel name, artist name, song title, and category name can be viewed on the TX-8522's display. XM stations are stored as presets and recalled in the same way as AM and FM stations. A subscription to XM Satellite Radio is required.

iPod Compatible: The DS-A1 or DS-A2 Remote Interactive Dock for iPod (item #'s 580DSA1 and 580DSA2) provide an interface between an iPod digital media player and Onkyo TX-8522. Once the iPod is docked you can control basic functions such as volume control, play, stop, and skip via the Onkyo system's RI-compatible wireless remote control. The dock also charges the battery in the iPod, and allows you to view digital photos and video on an Onkyo system.

Pure Audio: In this mode, the display and video circuitry are turned off, minimizing possible noise sources for the ultimate in high-fidelity reproduction.

Direct: In this mode, audio from the input source is output directly, not allowing you to use the tone controls.

Sleep Function: From the remote, you can set the unit to automatically turn off after as much as 90 minutes or as little as 10 minutes; choices are presented in 10-minute increments.

Display Dimmer: The display can be adjusted to one of three brightness levels.

Remote Control

Remote Control: The remote controls this unit and compatible Onkyo cassette players and CD players.

Input and Output Notes

Headphone Output: This receiver has a standard 1/4" headphone output on the front panel.

Speaker Outputs: There are binding post connectors for the A and B speaker outputs. The binding posts are not 5-way because a plastic collar prevents their use with spade lugs.

XM: This proprietary jack is for use with an optional XM Mini Tuner Home Dock.

IR Input/Output: A commercially available IR receiver can be connected to the IR In jack, allowing you to control the receiver while you're in another room, or when the receiver is out of sight. An optional IR emitter can be connected to the IR Out jack to pass IR commands to other components.

RI Remote Control Jack: The 1/8" RI remote control jack allows you to connect this receiver to compatible Onkyo components.

 
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Onkyo TX-8522 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

17 people say:

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4 out of 5

Onkyo TX-8522

Written By Jonathan, Iowa on Thursday, September 11, 2008
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This receiver is just what I was looking for. It fit perfectly in the space I had for it, which was hard to find a receiver that wasn't too deep for my application.
The tuner works great! I have had other receivers and their tuners just couldn't pull it in for us out here in the country, this unit does it well.
The sound is clean and crisp for a reasonable price.

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5 out of 5

Excellent Value--Onkyo TX-8522 Receiver

Written By Steve, West Sayville, NY on Thursday, August 14, 2008
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I purchased this receiver along with the optional i-pod interactive dock to be used outdoors for a new deck I built. This receiver pushes a pair of Bose 51 Series outdoor speakers. Phenominal quality for such a cheap price. The only other item I need and would recommend to complete my ultimate outdoor system is the XM Mini Tuner plug-and-play package.
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5 out of 5

Awesome Receiver

Written By Chuck, Cibolo, TX on Sunday, August 10, 2008
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This is a wonderful sounding receiver. I wanted a stereo receiver capable of pounding out great sounds (music and DVD's) with my Klipsch RF-82 speakers.
After talking with Levi (Crutchfield rep) he helped me pick the receiver that would best fit my needs and my pocket book. I am very pleased with the
performance of this receiver and I am also very pleased how the receiver looks in my entertainment center (gorgeous). The sound of my DVD movies and CD's are very rich, crisp and pleasing. The 8522 is a terrific value and performs to my expectations. Set up was a breeze. I also purchased an Onkyo 6 disk CD player and they perform terrific together. I could have spent a lot more money on other 2 channel receivers but I'm tickled with the 8522. If you're not into the surround stuff this is a terrific receiver that will fill your home with wonderful sounds. Thanks Levi.
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5 out of 5

Onkyo TX-8522

Written By Ken, Los Angeles, CA on Monday, August 04, 2008
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
My Sony amp of 20 years blew a channel. I went to my local big electronic ourfits to find out they had no idea how to help a guy with three sets of speakers, a turntable, cassette player and cd changer. I called Crutchfield and explained that I wanted to power all my speakers and be able to control the volume seperately. Ringo suggested piggybacking two of these Onkyos. When the amps arrived Crutchfield tech support helped me put it together over the phone. Jacks for all my needs and crisp, clear sound with seperate volume control has my house rocking. I paid less for two amps instead of one and have amazing sound and control.
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Just what was advertised and a bit more.

Written By clh, Raleigh, NC on Monday, May 26, 2008
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I wanted a 2 channel quality receiver that had XM, I-Pod and a phono hook
up to run the audio portion of my system. The Onkyo TX8522 delivers
everything I wanted at a value price. Everything works as advertised and
set up was easy. Sound quality is clear and crisp, exactly as advertised.
One note: It would be helpful if the buttons on the face were illuminated as
they are small and require illumination to be seen clearly in a dark or dim
room. Small item and does not detract from my complete satisfaction.
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Onkyo great value

Written By Rex, Balt, MD on Monday, May 19, 2008
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I bought this to drive my outdoor Polk Atrium 55 speakers. This is an
awsome recIever for the price. Having the XM feature is cool for parties. I
purchased the IPOD docking station as well. This is a solid made receiver at
a great price. The only draw back is the minimal sound controls - BASS,
TREBLE, BALANCE. Buy it!
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5 out of 5

Onkyo TX-8522

Written By Dennis, Cincinnati, Ohio on Sunday, May 18, 2008
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Hi,
I purchased this amp as a replacement for a Technics, that I got 12 good
years of service out of; but this Onkyo has out done it by a mile. This is a
good sounding amp, with great clarity. It has all the right inputs for the Old
School people still left in the world. I don't play vinyl anymore, but I have
the turntable hooked up just the same. Most of the newer amps lack this
feature, along with the cassette deck input, but this amp has them all. The
remote is no nonsense and layed out well. A fine product at a low budget
price. And you can't go wrong with Crutchfield Customer Service.

Dennis
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Onkyo TX-8522

Written By Bill, Tucson, Az. on Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This is a great receiver for those of us that are quite ready to move up to Home Theater sound. It has a great sound and all the flexablity I need for now.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Onkyo TX-8522

Written By James, West Monroe, LA on Sunday, January 20, 2008
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I've had the Onkyo TX8522 receiver since Dec. and I think it's the best receiver I have ever owned. Crutchfield is the best place anywhere to buy top quality gear at very reasonable prices. Thank You Crutchfield!!!
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Decent alternative

Written By Luis, New York on Thursday, January 03, 2008
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This receiver is just about the best alternative to a pure integrated amp pure audio fans like me have left. I have no use for the tuner, but I have even less use for a home theater receiver. I bought mine as a replacement for an excellent 20-year old 125W/ch Kenwood integrated amp that was the best thing in the reasonable price range. My only complaint about this unit would be that it totally lacks even one miserely digital/optical connection. Twenty years ago that would have been acceptable.
4 out of 4 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Fully meets & often exceed expectation

Written By Harris, Perinton, NY on Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Excellent product that fully met my needs. Crisp sound; good match with Infinty Speakers; and is one of the few with connections for a turntable.
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Great price

Written By Thomas, State College, PA on Friday, June 15, 2007
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I bought this receiver to power 2 outdoor speakers for listening to music and watching movies on a projection screen. For the price paid it is an excellent receiver without all the bells and whistles of a 7.1 system. It also puts out a more full signal than other, cheaper, 2 channel receivers. Overall I am satisfied with the sound, and changing between sets of speakers I can go from very harsh and shrilly to flatter speakers. And Crutchfield's price is the same as no name vendors, so that was a plus.
9 out of 10 people found this helpful
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3 out of 5

Onkyo TX-8522

Written By mike, Aiea, HI on Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I bought the Onkyo as a replacement for a broken Yamaha receiver. The price was excellent. I find that the sound is a little harsher and less controllable than the Yamaha, which had a warmer, more airy sound. It is adequate and well worth the price, though.
10 out of 13 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Clean - Powerful - Uncolored - Well Defined

Written By Bill, PA on Saturday, January 13, 2007
 
Been a long time Onkyo customer. This receiver is very touchy on the volume knob, when using bookshelf speakers.

I almost wish I would have gotten the 50W version so that I could have some knob range, but for only $50 more on sale over the 50 Watt model, what can you do?

The sound is much fuller with more body than an old vintage, early 80s JVC receiver I had been using for a short time. Its the wider dynamic range (power swing).

I see someone claimed that this receiver seems flat. For an Onkyo, I tend to agree with that. It is not however flat dynamically though, only in coloration from treble and bass controls, etc.

I am using it in the "pure audio" mode, which turns everything off anyhow, the display, and bypasses the tone controls because I have chosen to connect a 10-band EQ, which may be heresy to audiophiles, but I still like to taylor my sound to my liking.

Ive never liked Onkyos blurry, and bland, green, alphanumeric displays. That is the only big thing Ive never like about their products. They also use a nice blue color nowdays for certain indicators, but the green displays just clash.

As for their amplifiers, Ive had Integra M-508 amps, and integrated amps from Onkyo during the 80s, and I also use a 7.1 surround receiver from them.

They are as good as it gets sound wise for big box, or production amplification. I have tried Yamahas too.

I find Yamaha too flat, and constrained with lower dynamic range. Side by side, Onkyos have warmer, richer sound to me.

Anyhow, the build quality is excellent, and this receiver is quite heavy for a 2-channel, but a loudness button would be welcome
26 out of 26 people found this helpful
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2 out of 5

disappointment

Written By Rick, Fort Worth, Tx on Saturday, December 02, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
After conducting extensive research on the purchase of my next receiver I decided to take the plunge and buy the TX-8522. I have owned the Sony STR-DE135 receiver for almost ten years now and have been very satisfied with its performance and reliability. Although it is a great receiver for the price I wanted something with a little more oomph to drive my Bose 301 series III speakers. I don't want a multi-channel set up, just a good quality stereo system that I can enjoy for years to come. Unfortunately, once I hooked everything up I was quite disappointed with the TX-8522. The sound was unbearably flat with minimal bass and the unit produced poor highs. For years I was under the impression that Onkyo developed superior amplifiers until I discovered this receivers shortcomings especially since the unit is marketed as a "100 watt x 2, high current receiver". The pure direct mode struck me as totally useless. Once activated, this feature degraded the sound quality further. The treble and bass controls didn't seem to have any substantial effect on sound quality either. After playing around with the controls for several hours and getting no results I decided to call Crutchfield and request a refund. There were no questions asked and my refund was processed quickly and they even took care of the return shipping costs. As for the receiver, if your looking for a good 2 channel stereo receiver with enough power to drive a pair of entry level tower speakers or high wattage midsize bookshelves I would look at other brands. I would be willing to bet that you'll experience disappointment as I did. In the end, I determined that my little Sony receiver sounds much better.
27 out of 45 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Good value in a basic stereo receiver

Written By Sally, Fremont, CA on Monday, November 13, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
We bought this unit to replace a 15 year old NAD receiver with worn-out control switches. We wanted a basic stereo unit for listening to music (CDs and records) and radio - no "home theater" use, no need for more than two channels. This unit fits the bill well. It has basic - even minimal - controls and an uncluttered display.

The price is good in comparison to that of comparable units, and Crutchfield's price was among the lowest offered by any on-line vendor. (We would much prefer to buy from Crutchfield than from some unknown vendor offering something for $5 less!) We spent less than we expected we would have to for a replacement receiver. (Less than we did on our old receiver 15 years ago!)

Power is much more than adequate for our fairly efficient Advent boookshelf speakers. FM radio reception is good, but not quite as good as our old unit. We can no longer get one public station with a fairly weak signal, but others come in well. And we even get one we couldn't before -- go figure! (There are many in our area, and being able to listen to them is an important consderation for us. We use a TERK powered FM antenna, which helps a lot.) Sound quality when listening to CDs is excellent.
25 out of 25 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Excellent Replacement

Written By Glenn, Carlsbad, NM on Monday, August 07, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I needed a new Receiver to replace my 13 year old Onkyo TX-890. My TX-890 had been an excellent unit and had logged many, many hours for our enjoyment.

When I looked for a replacement, I wanted one with about the same outpout power (100+ watts per channel) but without a few of the bells and whistles. The Onkyo TX-8522 just fit the bill.

I was pleasantly surprised at the (low) price.
99 out of 123 people found this helpful
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