As I was in the market for a large screen, high definition TV recently, I decided to also buy new speakers. I settled on a Samsung 46″ HDTV after a couple of years of research. No kidding. So now, I had to get up to speed on the high definition landscape and that also included the audio aspect.
I wound up buying the Onkyo 7.1 Channel Home Theater Speakers after driving myself nuts, once again, with the research. And, I have absolutely no regrets with the purchase of this system.
The limiting factor, as always, is the budget (read: wife). My accountant (wife) authorized $300 or so for the purchase. I was prepared to spend $500, but agreed on the lesser amount. As it turns out, I spent even less than my wife allowed.
Years ago, you were lucky to see an ad in a magazine or get a brochure from a store salesman. Now, thanks to the Internet, you can easily gather information on your planned purchase. Tons of information.
I started with an audiovisual forum to see what the techies were buzzing about. That alone sent my head spinning, but gave me insight into the home theatre speaker systems and their opinions on them.
The Onkyo speakers popped up on a number of threads on the forum, and that intrigued me as I bought an Onkyo receiver for my home theater system. Sometimes compatibility makes a difference, so I searched online stores for these, eventually going back to Vann’s where I bought the HDTV and the Onkyo receiver. I’m glad I did. The entire set, brand new, only cost $249 and that included speaker cables.
If you’re not familiar with the current home theatre jargon, there’s a curious “dot” in the advertising: 3.1, or 5.1, or 7.1, etc. The first number is the total number of speakers, and the “.1” is the subwoofer. So my 7.1 system has seven speakers plus the subwoofer.
The Onkyo SKS-HT540(B) system includes the following:
+ Power Rating: 130 Watts All, Except Powered Subwoofer–230 Watts
+ Nominal Impedance: 8 Ohms All, Except Subwoofer–15 kOhm/Line
+ Front (2)/Center (1) Speakers: Dual 5.00″ OMF Diaphragm Woofers, 1.00″ Balanced-Dome Floating Tweeter
+ Surround (4) Speakers: 3.13″ Cone Woofer, 0.75″ Ceramic Tweeter
+ Subwoofer: Bass Reflex, 230-Watt Powered, 10″ Cone
+ Crossover Frequency: 4.5 kHz (Front/Center), 10 kHz (Surround)
+ Frequency Response: 55 Hz-50 kHz (Front/Center), 60 Hz-20 kHz (Surround), 25 Hz-150 Hz (Subwoofer)
+ Cabinet Design: Two-Way Bass Reflex (Except Subwoofer)
+ Magnetic Shielding: Front/Center
+ Mounting: Bookshelf Or Wall (Brackets Not Included), Subwoofer–Floor
+ Sensitivity: 86 dB/W/m (Front/Center), 82 dB/W/m (Surround)
+ Subwoofer Auto Standby/On
+ Color-Coded Terminals And Cables
The set up was extremely easy, as Onkyo has color coded each of the terminals and the 8 speaker wire sets. Again, if you’re not familiar with the home theater sound system set up, you have two front speakers (left and right), a front center speaker, two center surround speakers (left and right) and two rear speakers (left and right), plus the self-powered sub-woofer for low frequency effects (explosions, deep bass, etc.).
After hooking everything up, I turned on my HDTV and was amazed at the sound! My expectations weren’t real high, due to the low price of the speakers. But the performance blew me away. And I didn’t even have the center or rear speakers set up yet.
I have a Playstation3 hooked up to the HDTV, so I played World at War to see how that sounded. It was awesome. All of the sounds made for a very realistic game experience. The subwoofer had no problem with the massive explosions! Speaking of the subwoofer, it is self-powered at 230 watts, unlike many others. You plug it in and connect to your receiver and it will go into a standby mode. Whenever there are low frequency effects present, it comes on instantaneously.
If you are in the market for a very reasonably priced home theater speaker system, be sure to check this one out. I bought mine online at Vann’s, and they even offered free shipping and no sales tax. The weight of the shipment was 74 lbs., so there’s a big savings right there. And living in New York state with a high sales tax, this was another bonus.