The Onkyo TX-8140 Two-Channel Network Stereo Receiver

Two-channel audio setup delivers great sound at a reasonable price

Onkyo TX-8140 Two-Channel Network Stereo Receiver
Onkyo TX-8140 Two-Channel Network Stereo Receiver. Images provided by Onkyo, USA

You need surround sound to get that home theater audio experience, and it is great for movies. However, many prefer a two-channel audio setup for serious music listening. With that in mind, the Onkyo TX-8140 stereo receiver is designed to deliver a solid two-channel audio listening experience at a reasonable, less than $400 price.

The following is a rundown of what the TX-8140 has to offer, with some additional comments.

Overall Design

The Onkyo TX-8140 has a traditional exterior design with a large, easy-to-read status display, with conveniently, and sufficiently large, onboard controls. The front panel includes both a headphone and USB port, along with input select and speaker A/B selectors, menu navigation cursor control, and a large master volume control. Traditional rotary bass, treble, and balance controls are also included. The TX-8140 measures 17 1/8-inches wide, 10 3/8-inches high, and 13-inches deep, and weighs in at 18.3 pounds, which is similar in size and weight to other stereo and home theater receivers in its price range.

Power and Amplification

Inside its traditional-looking exterior, the TX-8140 houses an amplifier configuration that is rated to deliver 80 watts-per-channel into 2 channels with a .08 THD (measured from 20Hz to 20kHz). For more details on what the above specifications mean for real-world performance, refer to our article: Understanding Power Output Specifications. However, to sum it up, the TX-8140 has enough power output for small and medium-sized rooms.

Physical Connectivity

Physical connectivity is limited for audio-only sources (there are no video inputs or outputs provided) which includes six sets of analog stereo inputs and one set of line outputs (which can be used for audio recording), as well as a dedicated phono input for connection of a vinyl record turntable (take note vinyl record fans!).

Added physical connections include two digital optical and two digital coaxial audio inputs. However, it important to point out that the digital optical/coaxial inputs only accept two-channel PCM. They are not Dolby Digital or DTS Digital Surround enabled as the TX-8140 does not have any built-in Dolby or DTS decoders.

For speakers, the TX-8140 provides two sets of left and right speaker terminals that allow for an A/B speaker configuration, as well as a preamp output for connection of a powered subwoofer. For private listening, a front panel headphone jack is provided.

Also, as is traditional with both stereo and home theater receivers, the TX8140 also includes standard AM/FM radio tuners (with the appropriate antenna connections provided).

Media Player and Network Capabilities

In addition to its salute to the past era of great stereo receivers, the Onkyo TX-8140 also adds some "modern" features that make it relevant for today's music listening needs. First, there is a front mounted USB port for direct connection of compatible USB devices (such as flash drives).

The 8140 also incorporates both an Ethernet and WiFi connectivity to support additional media player and network capabilities such for access to internet radio (TuneIn) and music streaming (Deezer, Pandora, Sirius/XM, Slacker, and Spotify) as well as audio content (including hi-res audio files) from DLNA compatible devices.

For even more content access flexibility, the TX-8140 also includes built-in Bluetooth for direct streaming from compatible smartphones and tablets.

However, it is important to note that Apple Airplay capability is not included. It is also important to point out that there is inconsistent information on Onkyo's website regarding Apple Airplay with regards to the 8140, but Airplay functionality is not listed in the official specifications, nor discussed or illustrated in the user manual.

To ensure that digital audio sources sound their best, whether listening to speakers or headphones, the TX-8140 incorporates an Asahi Kasei AK4452 DAC (digital-to-analog converter).

Control Options

To make control everything easier, in addition to the included traditional remote control and IR sensor input/output set, the 8140 can also be controlled by the Onkyo Remote Control App that is available for both iOS and Android users.

The Bottom Line

The Onkyo TX-8140 continues the modern resurgence of two-channel stereo audio. While it provides all of the traditional features of stereo receivers from the past, it also adds cutting-edge technology for access to today's digital and streaming music sources.

However, although you can plug in the audio outputs from video devices, such as TVs, Blu-ray Disc/DVD players, and cable/satellite boxes, as mentioned earlier in this article, the TX-8140 does not have any video connections - this receiver is specifically designed for dedicated two-channel music listening.

Also Available: The Step-up Onkyo TX-8160

In addition to the TX-8140, Onkyo also offers the TX-8160 as a step-up that adds a few extras. Although like the TX-8140, it does not include any video input/output connectivity, on the audio front, the TX-8160 adds Airplay and Zone 2 operation capability. You also have the option controlling Zone 2 volume in two ways (variable or fixed). If set to variable, the TX-8160 can control Zone 2 volume. If set to fixed, the Zone 2 system can control volume independent of the TX-8160.

The TX-8160 also incorporates more refined amplifier construction that is intended to provide cleaner sound (although you probably won't be able to hear the difference) but still has the same power output rating as TX-8160. Read our full report on the TX-8160 for more details.

If you are looking for additional suggestions, also check out our periodically updated listing of Two Channel Stereo Receivers.