Let me begin by saying that this Onkyo Home Theater system is the first surround sound system that I have ever owned. I am not what one would call an "audiophile". So if you're looking for a more in-depth, technical review, I can't help you.
I was surprised when the gigantic HT-S5400 package arrived at my house. The speakers, sub-woofer, and receiver were all a lot bigger than I thought they would be. After being briefly overwhelmed, I got to work setting up the system and finished faster than expected.
Although I am a beginner, I found this system really easy to set up. The wires are all color-coded and installing the surround speakers is simple. There is no need for mounts or brackets and you can let the speakers hang on a nail or screw. This gives it a clean look. There are 4 HDMI slots are enough for your Blu-ray players, cable boxes, game consoles, and any other media players. I didn't know how to set up the sound levels for each individual speaker but the Audyssey function did this for me. I just had to do some minor tweaking afterwards.
I've tested the system for two weeks now and it sounds great with DVDs, Blu-rays, music, and videogames. I watched Inception and How to Train Your Dragon on blu-ray and the sound completely blew me away. Even the slightest movie noise comes through crisp and clear. And at less that half the max volume, my floor was already rumbling. I also tried it on an old favorite, Firefly, and it felt like a whole new experience. I don't think there is a reason to spend more money on a more expensive system unless you really can hear the difference. I initially had a problem with the audio and video popping in and out but I fixed this by replacing my HDMI cable.
One thing that I did not like about the front and surround speakers is the keystone hole. If you want to angle your surround speakers, you have attach them to a mount. This might be difficult because the depth of the keystone holes is very small so it is hard to get a screw head in there. This problem also arises when you try to attach the front speakers to a stand. This is a minor issue and can be easily remedied.
So to summarize:
PROS Incredible sound Really loud Attractive setup Simple installation Plenty of HDMI imputs as well as component and AV Audyssey really helps beginners
CONS Questionable keystone design Speakers may be a bit large (Front speakers are more than a foot tall) Can't connect to HD antennas
Like the other reviewer, I would rate this 4.5 stars if I could. There are minor problems, but overall, I would recommend this to anyone looking to buy a Home Theater in a Box.
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