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Onkyo HTX-22HDX 5.1 surround sound system review

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  • Recommended by TR

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Onkyo HTX-22HDX 5.1 surround sound system
  • Onkyo HTX-22HDX 5.1 surround sound system
  • Onkyo HTX-22HDX 5.1 surround sound system
  • Onkyo HTX-22HDX 5.1 surround sound system
  • HTX22HDX & SKS22X 5.1 HIGH DEFINITION DECODER/AMPLIFIER/SPEAKER SYSTEM

Summary

Our Score:

9

If Santa stuck a Blu-ray player in your stocking and you now want a surround sound system to go with it, Onkyo’s HTX-22HDX might be right up your street. It’s an affordable 2.1-channel solution that can be bumped up to 5.1 with the addition of the SKS-22X speaker pack. It’s an update of the HTX-22HD we reviewed back in 2009, adding the latest features and subtly updating the design.

In the HTX-22HDX’s box you get a pair of compact front speakers and a subwoofer with built-in audio decoding and amplification. The sub musters 5 x 25W for the satellites with 50W of bass grunt, and also houses all the connections you need to rig up the rest of your kit. In the SKS-22X box meanwhile, is an extra pair of matching surrounds and a centre speaker.

Looks-wise the system isn’t radically different to the previous version, but in its trendy black finish it’s undeniably more attractive. The front and surround speakers stand 161mm high and boast a glossy veneer on the sides, with a non-removable cloth grille on the front. The centre is similarly styled but turned horizontally to fit in more easily below your TV. At this sort of price build quality is always a concern but rest assured that each component feels solid and robust.

As for the subwoofer, its compact dimensions (217(w) x 337(h) x 310(d)mm should make it easy to accommodate. Unlike the forward-firing model of the previous system, this one is downward firing and as such stands on four chunky feet. Embedded into the front is a display panel, which shows crucial information like source, volume and audio format, and if you don’t have the remote to hand there’s a row of buttons along the top that control volume, listening mode and input selection. These buttons have been moved from the front, which makes them easier to access if it’s tucked down behind the TV.

On the back of the subwoofer is a generous selection of sockets. Most significantly, you get three HDMI inputs, all of which are specified as v1.4 and therefore support 3D signals (which are passed on to your TV by the HDMI output) as well as the Audio Return Channel feature, which means there really is no excuse for putting up with those awful flatpanel TV speakers.

These are joined by three digital audio inputs (two optical and one coaxial) plus two analogue stereo inputs and a port for Onkyo’s RI (Remote Interactive) function, which allows certain functions to be controlled from other Onkyo devices. The speaker terminals are all springclips, which is inevitable on a budget system but makes installation a little fiddly – although kudos must go to Onkyo for supplying all of the necessary cables.

JonnyD

December 31, 2010, 12:36 pm

Great stuff, I just received mine yesterday, and I'm about to start wall mounting the speakers! Looking forward to it even more after your review!

lifethroughalens

December 31, 2010, 7:22 pm

I've got one of these...as a 2.1 set-up it is very limited and lacking heavily in the midrange, but with the center speaker and extra surround speakers it sounds much better and offer great value for money. I wish I could tweak the bass and treble on the presets though as sometimes it's too boomy and lacks clarity. And I agree about the comment on playing music on this...it doesn't sound that great at all, just a tad hollow and well, not as good as I was expecting. But having said that, it is still good enough for me to live with as a main audio source in a small room and the 5.1 film sound set up with a WD live and 1080p projector is very impressive, especially for the money.

Ned Seagoon

January 1, 2011, 4:18 pm

Had one of these for about 3 months, very pleased with it, including the extra speakers which you certainly do need to make the most of it. Didn't buy it to play music, but as an alternative sound system to my Samsung TV's own sound. We use three sources - the TV itself, a Blu-ray player, and a PVR. It's so good we never use the TV's own sound now, even if just watching the News.


Sure the menus are desperately detailed and fiddly, but having set it up it's a doddle to use even for my somewhat technophobic other half. Delighted with it, really. Got a very good price direct from Peter Tyson.

Danamic

January 1, 2011, 11:46 pm

I have the older version. The cooling fan noise on it is perhaps my largest bugbear.





What about the new revision?

lifethroughalens

January 2, 2011, 6:00 am

@ Danamic - Very quiet and constant. You could hear it if you were listening out for it and you were very close to it in a small room, but it really is extremely low indeed. Not an issue. The 6 fans in my PC and the projector drown out the noise from the heathrow traffic, so i'm not worried ;)

JonnyD

January 2, 2011, 1:45 pm

Well since my first comment I've managed to get all the speakers wall mounted and watch a few movies too!


I'm very pleased with it overall, it was very easy to set up, and I agree with the comment above; the fan is very quiet and I can only just notice it if I listen carefully when the system is the only thing switched on. I have never noticed it during a film yet.


The sound is fantastic for the money, and it has completely changed our movie watching experience!

Wedge

January 2, 2011, 8:48 pm

I bought one of these in the run up to Christmas as my old Receiver wouldn't fit in our new house and an upgrade to HD Audio was long overdue. I've set up my existing full size Mission speakers for the front and centre channels and am making do with the bundled Onkyo speakers for the rears for the time being but will be getting some suitable small bookshelf Missions for the rear soon.





With the amp set up for large speakers and the bass boost turned off the sound is a massive improvement over my old Pioneer Receiver. With CDs or 192+kbps files in iTunes I am very impressed with the sounds quality and I think it sounds exceptionally musical for the money. I'm sure this is helped by the sub section only ever having to reproduce the .1 channel. The 25wpc is more than enough to drive my speakers in this fairly small living room and even watching Blu-ray and DVD films I have yet to have the volume above 50.





Highly recommended!

Damir

January 13, 2011, 5:04 pm

I like this system a lot and will probably cash out for it soon. Just haven't found anyone selling additional SKS-22X speakers for it yet (in Sweden).





One question tho... Is this comparable in quality to Onkyos HT-S6305 combo (TX-SR508 + SKS-HT528) that costs around £410 here? I prefer the simplicity of HTX-22HDX, but I wonder if it's a better solution to pay some £100 extra and get the HT-S6305?





I'll use the system mostly for watching movies through a Boxee Box and playing some GT5 on a PS3. TV is a good old Pana 42PZ70 (without ARC unfortunately).


Can I get the tv sound in any of these two? Not that important, but it would be nice.





I'm returning a brand new SC-HTB500 soundbar that went berserk on me the other day and want to get something better in same price range. Panas own soundbar wouldn't play nicely with my Pana TV as it's apparently way too old (!?) according to Panasonics support people. So I'll just go for something without Viera Link and try to live with another remote control.

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