Onkyo HTX-22HDX 5.1 surround sound system - Performance and verdict

By Danny Philips



  • Recommended by TR
Onkyo HTX-22HDX 5.1 surround sound system


Our Score:


After having its mettle well and truly tested with a run-through of Hellboy II: The Golden Army on Blu-ray, we’re pleased to report that the HTX-22HDX is yet another top-drawer audio system from Onkyo. Despite its modest-sounding power rating and diminutively-sized speakers, it conjures up a powerful and absorbing sound, carefully sidestepping the shortcomings that befall many all-in-one sound systems in this price range. It may not be up to the standards of Onkyo’s standalone receivers, but for the money there can be few complaints.

Much of what we love about this system is summed up in its reproduction of chapter 12, when Hellboy squares up to the Elemental in a crowded city street. It’s not the most potent or authoritative sub we’ve ever tested, but bass response is certainly satisfying – as the Forest God smashes up cars, the deep, taut thump makes a sudden but not overpowering impact. It blends with the other speakers seamlessly, creating a solid unified soundstage, and you can also hear its benefits during quieter scenes as it subtly underpins effects and ambience.

At the other end of the spectrum, high-frequencies sound crisp and clear. When the Elemental hurls a car at the helicopter, the collision is clean and controlled, not grating. Other delicate sounds, like tinkling glass and gentle rustling, are easily teased out by these competent speakers. Throw fantastically clear dialogue and clean surround separation into the mix and you’re onto a winner.

Picky hi-fi enthusiasts are unlikely to be bowled over by the quality of music playback, but everyone else will find much to like in its CD playback. There’s lots of energy and detail, plus vocals sound particularly clear.


With its solid sound quality, comprehensive support for HD audio and HDMI v1.4 inputs, the HTX-22HDX represents exceptional value for money. It’s the perfect way for those on a tight budget to get themselves a great-sounding system for their new Blu-ray player, and as an added bonus its compact design won’t make huge demands on your living space. That said, you’ll need the extra speakers to get the full-fat cinematic experience, but even with the added cost it’s still a bargain – that’s why the HTX-22HDX deserves our whole-hearted recommendation.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Performance 8
  • Value 9
  • Features 10
  • Design 8


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!


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.


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?


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 ;)


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!


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!


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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