Home-theater-in-a-box systems are often associated with tiny speakers and underpowered AV receivers, but Onkyo (like Yamaha) bucks the trend, packing its home theater systems with big, boxy speakers and component-grade AV receivers. The company announced two new HTIB systems this week, both of which look impressive in terms of value, at least from the specification sheet. Let's take a look at the new systems:
Key features of the Onkyo HT-S3200:5.1 home theater system with 110-watts per channel Two-way front and center speakers, each with 3.25-inch woofer and 0.75-inch tweeter Smaller rear speakers, each with 3.25-inch woofer 110-watt subwoofer with 8-inch driver Component-style 5.1 AV receiver Audyssey Dynamic Volume and Audyssey Dynamic EQ Three HDMI inputs Two component video inputs Three digital audio inputs (two optical, one coaxial) Currently available in black, $380 list price
Key step-up features of the Onkyo HT-S5200:7.1 home theater system with 130-watts per channel Two-way front speakers, each with a 5-inch woofer and 1-inch tweeter Three-way center channel with two 3.25-inch woofers and a 1-inch tweeter… Read more
Sony and Yamaha have announced their midrange AV receiver lines, and today Onkyo announced three new AV receivers ranging in price from $300 to $600. The biggest news is that the new TX-SR607 ($600) will be the first receiver to feature Dolby ProLogic IIz sound processing, which can expand existing 7.1 soundtracks to 9.1, routing some of the audio to "front high speakers" which are positioned above your standard front speakers. Let's take a look at how all three models compare:
Key features of the Onkyo TX-SR307:5.1 AV receiver with 65 … Read more
Back in November, I asked the question, "What's the best midpriced AV receiver?"--but had to confess that we hadn't reviewed as many as we would've liked. Since then, Senior Associate Editor Matt Moskovciak and resident Audiophiliac Steve Guttenberg sequestered themselves in the CNET listening room and put several models to the test.
When the smoke cleared, the Sony STR-DG920 was at the top of the heap, with the Pioneer VSX-1018AH and Onkyo TX-SR606 impressing us as well. The Denon AVR-1909 sounded great and was packed with features, but that model's confusing remote control … Read more
Expecting great sound from a home theater in a box (HTIB) is almost always an exercise in frustration.
Even the top-of-the-line HTIBs, such as Sony's ES BDV-IT1000ES ($2,000 MSRP) don't hold a candle to an equivalently priced separates-based system. It's not even close.
Sound, schmound. Given that HTIBs are sold as lifestyle products, it's more important for them to look good than sound good. Product designers are compelled to make speakers that look slick hugging the wall next to a flat-screen display. That's why we're so jazzed by Onkyo's HT-S9100THX HTIB ($1,099 MSRP). Sleek, it ain't, but it sure sounds like a separates-grade home theater system.
The HT-S9100THX's largish shipping box hints at the reasons why. It weighs a hefty 144 pounds. Inside, you'll find seven bookshelf two-way speakers, a full-size subwoofer, and a 7x 130-watt-per-channel receiver with 1080p-capable HDMI v.1.3 connectivity, and complete decoding for the latest lossless, high-resolution Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio surround formats. You get four--count 'em, four--HDMI inputs, same as Onkyo's TX-SR706 receiver ($899 MSRP).
The HT-S9100THX's receiver also features Audyssey's 2EQ automatic calibration to tailor the sound of the speakers and the 290-watt, 12-inch powered subwoofer, and compensate for your room's acoustic anomalies. The front three speakers feature a 1-inch soft-dome tweeter matched with dual 5-inch woofers; the four surround speakers use the same tweeter and a slightly smaller woofer. The 17.5 by 14.9 by 16.8 inch subwoofer weighs 34 pounds. Compared to the 6-inch plastic poser subs that come with so many HTIBs it's the 800-pound gorilla. You'll feel the difference.… Read more
Update (February 12, 2009): Check out our follow-up story, with full reviews of all the products mentioned here.
I receive a lot of e-mail asking why we haven't reviewed many AV receivers in recent months. First off, let me say: mea culpa. Reviews coverage of this category has suffered, mostly because AV receivers are among the most time-consuming products to analyze (because they now need to be examined in detail for their audio and video performance). But enough of the excuses; here's what we're doing to remedy the situation. … Read more