Most helpful positive review
245 of 251 people found the following review helpful
If you know what you're looking for, you're in luck
on January 8, 2011
The key to being truly satisfied with this stereo is first knowing what you want from it. If you're looking for a full surround solution, this isn't it. If you're looking for a simple stereo with wall-trembling bass, keep moving. If, however, you're looking for a clean sound to enjoy in a single room, you're in the right product page.
I bought this strictly for music listening; not as part of a home theatre set up. As you know by now, all decent speakers should be allowed a burn-in period before being judged for their merit. And the included speakers on this unit are no exception. That said, though, these sound crisp (not sharp) and deep (not boomy), which fits the receiver's output optimally.
I loved the sound straight away. And after about 10 minutes using the stereo, I was reminded again why Onkyo doesn't run in the same circles as Sony, Panasonic, Sharp, and many of the other disposable consumer electronics manufacturers. It's all better here.
I bought a Polk Audio subwoofer to complete the low frequencies that this one just isn't made to provide, and already I've taken a great compact system and elevated it to a class that should be considered outstanding (especially once I adjusted the Onkyo's tone, increasing the treble to full throttle, and reducing the bass output to about 30%).
I'm looking at a pair of BIC bookshelf speakers to upgrade from the "free" set that came with this stereo, but I want to let these burn-in first and see how badly I want an upgrade. Already, though, this is a very good sounding set up.
A few other noteworthy things:
-subwoofer hookup is stupid simple with the pre-out on the back of the receiver
-though Onkyo has been careful not to make any promises regarding the receiver's compatibility with the new iPhone4, I have one and it plays/operates seamlessly via the built in dock
-the remote is well above par for intuitive layout and reception range
-it would have been nice to have an integrated USB port, and given the growing adoption of this feature on even lesser compacts, its absence is peculiar
All in all, you won't have any buyer's remorse about this stereo as long as your expectations are realistic. That is, the customers most likely to regret this purchase are those who have eaten up the propaganda that bass dBs and watts are the real measurement of sound quality.
The rest of you will enjoy this little powerhouse.