Onkyo HTX-22HDX 5.1 surround sound system Review - Features and operation Review


Here’s where the HTX-22HDX’s value factor starts going through the roof. Aside from the inclusion of three HDMI v1.4 inputs – which in itself is a major bonus at this price – it also decodes the full gamut of HD audio formats, including Dolby True HD and DTS HD Master Audio. It also accepts multichannel PCM via HDMI, making it the perfect partner for Blu-ray players of any vintage.

There’s plenty more besides. You get a wide range of Onkyo Original DSP Modes, including four specifically for gaming – Rock, Sports, Action and RPG – plus the Theater-Dimensional mode designed to mimic surround sound when set up as a 2.1 system. The on-board Dolby Pro Logic II does a similar job, while the EX. Bass mode that boosts low-frequency output and Music Optimiser enhances the quality of compressed music formats. Selecting ‘Direct’ bypasses all processing.

Like Onkyo’s AV receivers, there’s a very useful onscreen display that appears when you hit Setup on the remote. The design is fairly basic and it looks much smaller than Onkyo’s receiver menus – this is to accommodate a new structure that keeps the main menu visible on the left while the options are shown in a submenu to the right. Thankfully the new layout is logical, despite being a little harder to read.

There’s a formidable amount of options to play with, addressing every last sonic detail. Speaker configuration, audio adjustment, source, HDMI and volume setup – you name it, you can tweak it. The only thing missing is an auto calibration system but that’s forgivable at this price.

Sadly, controlling the setup menu’s plethora of options is a little fiddly due to the oddly-designed remote. The menu controls, for example, are tiny and mixed in with a load of other keys, which makes menu navigation a little muddled, plus there seems very little logic behind the placement of the other buttons. You’ll get used to it but some tweaking is needed for this system’s successor.

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