“HTiB Bully” Onkyo HTS-7409 Review
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Tags: 5.1 Bookshelf Speakers content sharing home theater HTiB iphone media sharing Onkyo reviews speakers TX-SR609
Onkyo HTS-7409 ($799.99 USD) 5.1 Receiver.Speakers.Subwoofer
We usually get our hands on the new models right out of the gate so we don’t get bored, this time we remembered to pick up the camera. The Onkyo HTS-7409 is a new for 2012 Home Theater in a Box (HTiB from now on), and one of the few you should be purchasing if you are shopping for options, quality, and medium sized speakers under $1000. Many times even the higher end HTiB systems that rid us of that horrid combo DVD Player + Receiver unit lack the inputs and functionality one should require in their system. This Onkyo package offers a few key features that really stand out to make it a contender for best value among it’s competitors. Let’s not forget the most important part, it can rock the room on command and your friends will be none the wiser you didn’t spend a bit more dough. To the details…
Most can agree a traditional speaker system is all black and it looks like the boys at Onkyo share the opinion. This package’s last few predecessors shared the same quality so we expect nothing less but black AND….gloss black. The speakers come in just over a foot tall, not quite a satellite but just as easy to tuck into a corner…we’ll show you! While the 3 fronts and 2 rears are wrapped in gloss black plastic, the subwoofer sports a gloss black facing with wood cabinet. All the speakers are mountable we used Omnimount 10.0 brackets to get the job done. The included Onkyo TX-SR609 is straight forward, although it may seem beefy compared to those combo units it’s about right for a true Receiver. If the black box is a concern grab yourself a URC Universal Remote and RF Kit and hide that beautiful hardware.
This is where the HTS-7409 knocks it out of the park, pretty much due to the appearance of the TX-SR609 Receiver. This bad boy was the go to piece in there 2011 lineup, the lowest priced with the necessary features we are about to discuss.
We like to fondly remember those rack systems of the past, bought from Sears or your local equivalent, today is a natural progression with the AM/FM Tuner, Amplifier, Audio/Video Processor, and a lot more shoved into one box. The TX-SR609 offers that little bit extra with Satellite Radio (Sirius/XM), USB, iPod/iPhone connectivity, Applications (Pandora, Slacker, Etc..), HD Radio, and Media Sharing. Basically if you want music just attach an Ethernet cable, undoubtedly update, and pick from a slew of services or your own digital collection on some remote computer/hard drive.
Future and Legacy compatibility is at the top of our “Customer Need” list, you would be surprised how many people want to hook up their VCR, old game systems, and other long forgotten technology. Today’s receivers tend to ditch the old for the new which we find to be a sad disservice to the consumer, Onkyo, in an effort to turn the tides offers the old AND the new with composite video, component video, and HDMI. Throw in an analog to digital Upconverter and your HDMI cable is still the only thing you need to run to your video display, the less wires the better! Now we really like the extra flexibility they offer with this unit and it’s VGA connection, we know HDMI is the big dog nowadays but there are many a work and school laptop lacking the connection as well as desktops so it is a welcomed addition to an already packed piece. All of this Video connectivity does not go to waste on a shoddy brain, instead taking advantage of a Marvel QDEO processor with not only 1080P but also 4K Upscaling. We mixed this hardware with a Samsung PN51D8000 and the results pasted our eye lids open for a few minutes. With 6 HDMI In Connections (including 1 on the front panel), 4 Composite Video Connections, 2 Component Video Connections, and a VGA input taking advantage of this technology we would say this is the most “Connected” HTiB we will be seeing this year.
Finally we get to what Home Theater is all about, the sound! Rocking a THX Select2 Plus badge and utilizing an Audyssey calibration system most would hope this has what it takes and it knows how to make itself sound good. No disappointment here folks, we were a bit skeptical with the 120W Subwoofer but it picks up the bass and goes just fine. That being said we would prefer something with a bit more “umph” and tighter sound, but hey at $799.99 there is some cash left over for an add-on unit after all the TX-SR609 does support 2 subs. The front channels are packing a little more weight due to the extra driver within compared to the surrounds. This is a great factor about the system again showing Onkyo knows how to put the bucks where they count instead of throwing in 5 identical speakers like some might. The 5 speakers are driven by a 130W per channel amplifier built into the TX-SR609 allowing for what we demonstrated is a room filling sound with no clipping at the recommended THX Volume levels and beyond. We wouldn’t recommend using the supplied speaker wire just like with an HTiB, in this case we substituted some CL rated in wall cable. My favorite demo is “Sum of All Fears” now on Blu-Ray, specifically a scene where Russian Fighters are attacking an American Aircraft Carrier. It was easy to identify all the individual sounds in a very busy scene with no mumbling of explosions as I call for more power. Further separating it from the competition is it’s Powered 2nd Zone capability, meaning you can run an additional room or more with use of a speaker selector and listen to your own music source while the kids are watching TV in the Family Room. Complete with a Burr-Brown processor and multiple format compatibility (DTS-HD, Dolby True-HD, +more) you want be left wanting.
So far this Onkyo HTS-7409 has earned our preference as the go to HTiB for any of our customers looking for an entry level Home Theater system. Offering a nice 5 speaker package with a decent subwoofer the system gives a full sound not found in your run of the mill HTiBs. Pack in a 3D compatible, 2Zone, Upscaling, Connection engulfed Onkyo TX-SR609 and you have yourself the best system in its price class as far as we are concerned. The idea is to buy hardware that will stand the tests of time and let you expand wherever you think you might or aren’t even quite sure about yet. With the addition of some decent speakers wire, a subwoofer cable, and some 1.4 HDMI cables you will be set to hook up most current technology. This package does a great job of filling a void left by combination HTiBs from your big electronics companies and the upper price class of piecing together a killer system. Kudos Onkyo for retaining the sub
$1000 $800 HTiB Crown!
Perfect Path 700 Series HDMI
URC MX-900 Remote
URC MRF-260 RF System
Chief Adjustable Ceiling Mount
Omnimount 10.0 Speaker Brackets
Monster Surge Protection/Filter