on April 30, 2011
Bought this Friday afternoon and it was at my doorstep Saturday morning. Less than 24 hours. Fantastic. Got a great price ($299) and signed up for the free trial of Amazon Prime, which gave me next day shipping for $3. Setup was fairly simple. I used my own speaker wire that I had already ran from my previous surround sound. The on-screen setup when using HDMI input/output is fantastic. Had it all hooked up in about 20 minutes and had the sound quality perfect after another 15 messing around in the settings. I've watched a Blu-Ray movie and a baseball game already and so far I am very impressed. The lows and mids were dead on but I had to tinker with the highs a bit before I got it where I wanted it. I imagine room size and viewing distance all plays a part.
My only con would be the "keyhole" on the back of the speakers that is used for mounting. I would have preferred a threaded hole or a latch rather than just using a screw through a keyhole mounted on the wall.
That all said, I recommend this Home Theater to anyone looking for a quality entry level system for a small to medium sized room. I also think the receiver alone is worth $299. Tons of inputs and plenty of settings to please even the pickiest audiofile.
on October 2, 2011
Good home theater for the price. I bought this mainly(98%) for playing PS3. The sound is great and you'll be impressed, that is, if you have little to no experience in home theater. This system is the best buy at this price range. Avoid those other Samsung and Sony systems. The receiver alone is worth ~200$.
These speakers are good for a small to medium size room. Don't buy these for a big living room.
The surround sound works good on these things, and the receiver has plenty of modes for whatever you're watching.
Subwoofer is huge(seriously) and is passive meaning that it gets its power from the receiver which is not the best thing in the world. The HT-S5400 however, has a subwoofer that isn't passive meaning that you'll get louder, stronger "booms"
This system also has no USB ports for connecting your iPod/iPhone. The HT-S5400 7.1 Channel does however. This also doesn't have a mic which means that it can't exactly balance voices and action scenes in movies. This is getting pretty annoying as I find myself having to have the volume controller next to me.
One thing I just have to note is those 4/4.5 stars it has. Those are from reviews from people that are first time buyers. These 4 stars are NOT the same 4 stars given to those $700+ systems. One thing that is pretty much true and I'm sure you've heard it. You get what you pay for. If you honestly do have more money get the better system. You'll be glad you did. This is an investment and I'm sure you aren't just going to keep it for a month or two.
Onkyo support is a piece of- not gonna say it-. I've tried calling and emailing, but whenever you email them, they just recommend you call them and whenever you call them, they just transfer you, and transfer you, and transfer you. Horrible and I hope this thing never breaks on me because I might as well just throw it in the trash.
While playing PS3 games(some, not all), the sound, and in other games both sound and picture, cut out. FIFA 12 and LittleBigPlanet, for example, cuts out every few games and starts freezing for 5 seconds then coming back but then freezing again. A 15 minute game takes half an hour when this happens and it's super annoying. I've contacted Onkyo support, but it's no use.
3 out of 5
-Good system for beginners with small-medium sized rooms.
-4 HDMI ports(Normally, other cheap systems at this prize give you one or two)
-Easy set up(basic devices)
-Gets the surround sound/home theater job done
-No USB ports
-Cables(back speakers) could run short for medium sized room. Just long enough for my back speakers and the room is small.(15'x12'+/-)
-Lack of PS3 Support(somewhat)
on May 19, 2011
Everything seems great so far. I have some pretty decent monitor speakers hooked up instead of the fronts, so I cant comment on the entire system. That said, the receiver has every option I could ever need. You can't find a receiver for 300$ that is better, or has more options than this one, so with the speakers and sub included it seems like a great deal. Took 10-15 minutes to set up. Easy on screen menu and set-up options. I had a Denon AVR-391 that I just returned to Best Buy, and this Onkyo Receiver has an extra optical audio input, and the audio actually passes through the hdmi cables where the Denon didnt. Absolutely no complaints after watching a couple TV shows and listening to different types of music, everything sounds really good for the price.
First thing my fellow non-audiophiles should know is that I really don't know squat about audio systems. I couldn't tell you the difference between this and another system beyond the obvious and only from personal experience. But I did have a small list of features I was looking for. I wanted a quality 5.1 theater system, with a real receiver component like you would buy for an audio system, that didn't include a blu-ray player (because I already have a Playstation 3), including all the speakers and cables, for about $300 tops.
Impossible you say?! Well, here it is.
COMPONENT: It seems to me what Onkyo did was provide a 'powerful enough' receiver (but by no means low power) for the general consumer but with all the functionality of a component that would cost you far more money--including the ability to connect any standard speaker set you like to it instead of making the normal, annoying manufacturer blunder of proprietary connectors so that you can only use their brand of speakers and other components. That alone would have been worth my $333 (including New York State Sales Tax). So you can set this thing up like you would a stereo component in the 90's or earlier with the addition of several HDMI inputs for your HD and Blu-Ray pleasure. I have my HD cable Box/DVR, Playstation 3, and Wii hooked up to it, with plenty of room to spare for all sorts of other components.
SPEAKERS: They also include 'just right for the person who wants performance on a budget' speakers to go with it.
I will probably replace the surround speakers eventually with something better (maybe not); but as far as the subwoofer goes, I'm extremely happy, as it is far larger than I expected and plenty powerful. The subwoofer could 'rock the house' but it can also be set via the component so that it simply gives depth to the sound without causing the walls and floor to quake.
SETTINGS: As far as the functions and settings of the system, my favorites are the Dynamic EQ and Dynamic Volume because these allow me to be able to hear everything even at a quiet volume, while not rocking the house every time there's an explosion, climactic music, or yelling on the program or movie I'm watching. So basically you can have it just like the theater or set it so that you get the theater experience without disturbing the neighbors (if you live in an urban apartment). It even has a Late Night setting.
I also love how it matches the output of the system to whatever it's receiving from the input (according to your settings of course). So for instance, when I'm watching a program broadcast in 5.1 Dolby that's what I get; when the program goes to commercial and the sound switches to Stereo for example, I have my system set so that it automatically plays in Stereo on all speakers rather than just the front. The component will automatically switch between the various audio modes for you.
BROADCAST TV HAS COME A LONG WAY: If you have never had a 5.1 surround system you might think it will only be good for watching movies on Blu-Ray--so why bother. I was blown away by the fact that all but a few programs--and even commercials--broadcast in 5.1 surround sound these days and make full use of it. I was watching Fringe on network television for instance, and during a scene where a disembodied Peter is speaking from some sort of limbo, the voice came from various speakers alternating to give the effect of a ghost-like presence--which, frankly, was freakin' awesome.
BOTTOM LINE: I enjoy this system far more than I thought I would. I even was having a bit of buyer's remorse before I set it up and turned it on. But once I had a working, quality home theater there was just no going back to stereo coming out of the TV speakers. I have actually been watching a bunch of movies I've already seen before because I didn't have 5.1 surround when I watched them the first time.
Far better than I imagined, and the price for functionality and quality simply blows me away.
on March 24, 2012
I have had my unit since late January and started having problems with static through the speakers. I contacted Onkyo and they said either pay to ship it to a repair center and they would fix it or I could contact Amazon and get a refund. I did some searching and there is a recall on this unit. Why didn't Onkyo tell me over the phone earlier. After the discovery I called back and they said they would send a box to my house and I could return it for repairs. I just hope it doesn't take to long.
I requested a replacement through Amazon and the one I was sent on 3-24-12 is also part of the recall so don't order these anymore because you will get one that will break after a month or so.
"We have discovered that some components used in a limited number of products manufactured between November 2011 and January 2012 do not comply with the high quality required for use in Onkyo products. As a result, these products may exhibit one of or both of the following phenomenon:
- When powering on the unit, the unit will turn on then turn off automatically
- Static Noise emitted from speakers at low volume level
(The above mentioned phenomenon are not safety related)
Affected Onkyo Models:
TX-8255 TX-8050 HT-RC360
TX-SR309 TX-NR609 TX-NR709 TX-NR809 TX-NR1009 TX-NR5009
(TX-NR609) HT-S7409 & HT-S8409
Please click on the following link for more information on whether your unit will require service support: Check Serial Number
You may also contact our Product Support Team at (800) 229-1687, select option 3, to speak with one of our Product Support Representatives to confirm that your product is part of this limited production lot in need of service.
If the serial number of your product is identified as possibly being impacted by either of the above issue(s), you will be provided with the opportunity to request a prepaid return label or if necessary; box, packing and prepaid return label. Your unit will ship to the ONKYO Service Center that will be providing the service support at no cost to you. Once repairs are completed your unit will be shipped back to you.
ONKYO is committed to delivering best in class performance, superior build quality and exceptional customer service. Your complete satisfaction is our number 1 priority.
We greatly appreciate your understanding and apologize for any inconvenience this issue may cause.
ONKYO USA Corporation
***This issue will be handled for Onkyo customers residing in one of the States of the United States (including the District of Columbia) or one of the Territories in Canada even if you are out of warranty.***"
on November 27, 2011
Bought this for its' ability to keep movies from blasting us out of the room. It work well as long as it did. That would be about a month. The HDMI port I was using for DirecTv connection stopped working. Onkyo said I had to send the reciever in for warrenty repair. This after only having the reciever for a month. Paid the $20.00 to ship it to them and now almost 3 months later I still have no reciever. If you get one you will like it as long as it keeps working. I have asked Onkyo for a full refund and cost for shipping it back to them but they are not responding at this point.
on April 20, 2011
This is the upgraded version of Onkyo Ht-S3300, you can read reviews on that product, it is basically the same except 3400 has an extra HDMI input. As long as you buy this product realizing you are buying a budget entry into home theater audio you will be extremely pleased. While the manual is confusing crap, set up doesnt even require the manual. Just hook up the wires into the appropriate colors, and then hook up your devices. Remember, this receiver does not convert a A/V response to HDMI, so if its HDMI in, it is HDMI out, and if it is Composite in, then composite out.
Also take note that the sub woofer is passive, and the receiver is more passive speaker level sub woofer, so if you upgrade in the future, make sure the sub you buy also accepts speaker wire input, and not just RCA.
With those said, this system is great for small rooms. The passive bass produces adequate sound, it has 4 HDMI inputs (which is plenty for my set up: cable, ps3, tv, pc). It handles inputs from each of these very well, and the dynamic Audyssey Equalizer works nicely for these speakers.
As long as you realize you arent buying high quality BOSE speakers, but instead budget entry level home theater in a box, there is no way you will not be 100% pleased with the purchase.
on December 2, 2011
I was very pleased with this product upon purchase. However, within a few months the receiver became inoperable. I located an authorized repair center from the Onkyo website and dropped off the unit for service.
It is now five months later and the unit still has not been repaired as Onkyo has not supplied the parts necessary to their own authorized repair center.
I will never buy an Onkyo product again.
UPDATE 01/03/2012: I finally received a call saying my unit was ready for pick up. 6 months is an unacceptable time for a basic repair. Once this unit bites the dust again I'll be looking for a different product.
on October 29, 2011
UPDATE #2: I tried to deal with customer service to see if they could cut me a break and find a way to sell me an existing receiver without the speakers (since I still had speakers even if the receiver was dead). They regretted that my receiver wasn't functioning but were unable to do anything for me. I just don't see that Onkyo is a company that gives a damn.
UPDATE: After approx 12 months of use, the audio began cutting out requiring me to power the unit down and back on, sometimes multiple times. As of today (13 months and 5 days after receipt), the sound on the unit completely died. I tried resetting the unit and tried all modes. I've seen that this is a fairly common problem and read about turn-around times of 6 months to repair. Going bad just outside of warranty is rubbing salt in the wound.
First, kudos to Amazon on delivery: I used the super-saver (free) shipping and the item arrived less than 48 hours after I ordered it.
About the Onkyo HT-S3400 package: I was using the crappy speakers built into my Sony Bravia TV till now so probably *any* system would sound good in comparison. I have my cable box and my xbox 360 connected to the Onkyo via HDMI-in and then the Onkyo is connected to the television via HDMI-out. Three cables. When and if I get a blu-ray player, that will be one more device connected via hdmi. The hookup is pretty simple if you stay with all hdmi. The rest of this represents a brain dump of my impressions of the unit.
Connecting the 6 speakers is straight-forward enough though wireless connections to the sub-woofer and rear speakers would have reduced the jungle of cables. My living room is fairly small and so the 20' of speaker wire included for the rear the speakers was plenty.
After fiddling a bit with the settings, the sound was very good to excellent. My front speakers sit on a tv stand below the television which really isn't ideal...wall mounting would be better. The sub-woofer produces big bass and overpowers my room. I need to experiment with its placement but for now I have to cut back on the bass and have turned the sub-woofer off a couple of times.
The FM tuner works about like you'd expect though the instructions in the manual left me initially frustrated. AM reception with the supplied antenna is non-existent where I live in the boonies. The quality of music via the tuner (and via the free music service on Xbox Live Gold) is really excellent.
The instruction manual is 35 pages or so with a couple of quick set-up guides. The manual seems thorough but not user-friendly. Frequent references are made to other pages and you end up bouncing around from page 20 to page 32 to page 16 etc.
The remote has buttons that let you cycle through different sound options for each sound type. Press the Music button and the unit lets you choose between orchestra, unplugged, etc. Choose the movie or game buttons and you are prompted with equally appropriate choices. Very nice.
-The Onkyo menus appear on the screen but not if you switch devices. Example: press the Game button and your xbox (or whatever) is selected for display. Press audio tune and change a setting. Now, select the SAT/CBL button and the Onkyo will select your cable or satellite box for display. Select the audio setup button and it doesn't appear on the screen. Go back to the Game button and the menu is shown there! This isn't huge but was confusing at first.
-If you have gotten used to controlling all of your devices via a single remote, you're in for a disappointment. The remote that comes with the Onkyo is not programmable to control other devices except other Onkyo devices (and the iPod). I was able to find the codes to support the Onkyo with my cable's remote but there are two separate codes: one to turn the unit on and one to turn the unit off. I can control the volume via my cable remote but don't have access to the audio tuning buttons of course.
-My biggest beef is that the unit doesn't seem to save my audio settings between uses. I saw something in the manual about a this and I'm sure that if I study the manual hard enough, I'll figure out what I'm not doing. Still, it seems as though if I set the different speaker volumes levels up one time, they should default to those settings the next time I use the unit.
All in all, you get a lot of bang for your dollar with the Onkyo HT-S3400. There are many options and with that flexibility comes a certain amount of complexity that may be overwhelming to some. If you get totally frustrated, invite a teenager from the neighborhood to come in and explain it all to you.
on December 4, 2011
I purchased this kit after waiting for the price to drop a bit. I ended up getting it for around $250.
This would be what I would consider an "intermediate" system. It's better than the average off the store shelf basic system, but it's not an "advanced" or "pro" system that could blow the roof off your house.
So far, all has been great. It sounds great and was easy to set up. Granted, if you have never had a home theater setup before, all those inputs and outputs and settings can be a bit intimidating. However, if you're merely moving up from a low end "beginner" system you'd typically find at the local Walmart, you've likely already become familiar with the setup process. Further, if your devices all use HDMI (which most newer DVD players, all Blu-ray players and many DVRs do) you're pretty much all set. Where it can get tricky is when you use some of the other input options and need to start assigning functions to them. That isn't the fault of this unit - that's just the way it is with any unit of this type. The fact that it has those complications means it's really versatile.
The unit features a 5.1 surround amp along with included speakers to hear it. The amp supports all the latest High Definition audio formats and can pass through 3D signals. The speakers seem to be of good quality and are actually satisfyingly larger than most "home theater in a box" systems. While you don't need giant speakers for good sound, a certain amount of size is important for room-filling sound. Having said that, anything over about a 20'x20' room will likely need something a bit more robust than this system can offer. The subwoofer is quite large compared to lower end units (it's larger than the amp) but is not self powered, putting it firmly out of the "advanced" system category. While the sound is satisfying from it, punching bass really needs more than most AV amps can send to it.
The speaker wire is nothing special - even a bit disappointing. Not only is it about the thinnest wire you can practically use for speakers, the surround wires are likely too short for use in all but the smallest rooms. I never even bothered to use it and opted to use better quality 14 gauge jacketed cable. This also let me run the surround wires through the walls to avoid them snaking across the floor. The good? The low rent speaker wire is offset by having wire connections on both the amp and the speakers. This means you can replace the wires with something else. Many beginner level systems have the wires built into the speaker, meaning you're stuck with what they provide for you. The down side is, the connections are the simple "press the clip and poke the wire in the hole" type instead of screw posts on the amp. They're also tiny, meaning banana jacks would be a tight fit. If you're using the included wire, it's an easy enough system for connecting everything (it's all color coded) but definitely makes it hard to wire things up in the best possible way.
As noted above, the amp has a vast array of inputs and outputs. With 4 HDMI inputs, most people will likely find enough room for all their devices. People with multiple gaming systems may have to rely on one of the component HD inputs for something. In my case, I had room for a DVR, Blu-ray player, a Roku and an upconverting region free DVD player I have for movies bought from outside the US. I'm not a gamer, so I didn't need room for a Playstation or XBox.
In addition to the HDMI inputs, the amp also has multiple component, and composite connections for older analog devices or (in the case of component) for additional HD devices. In addition, there are several audio input options that can be assigned to any video input. One note, though, the unit will not convert the signals to another form. So, if you plug in your VHS VCR from 1992 using composite (RCA) cables, you'll need to run a set of the same type of cable to the TV in order to see it. The amp will not convert it to an HDMI or component signal. That is only possible on far more advanced (and pricy) units. In other words, whatever type of cable you plug into an input, you need to have an output of the same type. One notable oversight is the lack of even one S-Video input. In other words, if your DVD player doesn't have either an HDMI or component output, your stuck with composite (RCA).
Even if everything you connect is analog, you'll still need to connect the HDMI output to your TV to see the setup menu. While the panel on the front of the unit does show you what you're adjusting, it's a pain compared to the nice menu on your TV. For that reason, if you don't have an HDTV set, I wouldn't bother with this unit. It's built around HD, meaning buy something cheaper and more basic if you're still using that old tube set or something more versatile if you have an older RP HDTV set.
Using the on screen menu, setup was very easy, from setting the speaker distances and levels to assigning inputs and outputs to devices. When in doubt, read that manual they included. It's big, but handy. This unit does a lot, so if you want the most out of it, you need to put in the effort to learn about it. Otherwise, you're better off with a sound bar.
Overall, the system sounds great in my 15'x20' room. The speakers sound clear and crisp with ample low end coming out of the subwoofer. The levels are adjustable, including the crossover level for the sub. I was able to bring up the center channel to make quieter dialog stand out without being blown out of my seat by explosions. The on screen volume control bar (which can be shut off) is a nice touch that allows me to keep the on-amp display dimmer. The secondary front speaker output is handy if you want to be able to hear the TV out in the kitchen while you're cooking dinner (the extra speakers are not included).
The system does offer an audio return for those using their TV to receive TV signals over the air, but only via HDMI. Again, you'll likely want to have that connection in order to use the on-screen menu. This is only an issue with TVs that don't have an HDMI connection.
Overall, I give the unit 4 stars for the vast amount of versatility, but not 5 stars for its lack of a preamp output for a powered sub and the cheesy speaker wires and connections. While I certainly didn't expect to get a powered sub at this price point, not having the output option on the amp means I can't add one later. It's a notable missing feature on an otherwise awesome product. Most people won't miss it, but some will. Honestly, if I could give ratings in half star increments, it would be 4 1/2 stars, since the majority of the people looking at this system will be happy with the specs as given. The lack of an S-Video input would likely be the biggest sticking point for lower-end users.
In summary, for those on a budget that want a quality home theater experience, this is the system, bar none. It has 90% of what someone would need to take advantage of the latest home video offerings, with few compromises. If you're building a dedicated home theater room, you'll likely want something a bit higher on the food chain. You won't pay $250-$300 for such a system, though.
For the price, it's just about perfect.