Opinions on the Onkyo HT-S650

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by James_Hud, Oct 14, 2002.

  1. James_Hud

    James_Hud Auditioning

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  2. MichaelM

    MichaelM Agent

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    Hello, I just got this system. Overall, it sounds great. For the price, it really is nice. The subwoofer alone sounds awesome. But see my post a few down from yours (Onkyo HT-R500: that's the number of the receiver itself, whereas the whole package with speakers is HT-S650). I've had trouble with the ProLogic II decoding Dolby 2.0. It sounds really bad. I'm assuming at this point that I have a defective unit because everything else sounds great or that with Dolby 2.0 you should be using the "Stereo" setting. That's why I posted...I'm just not sure. The Onkyo customer service people are pretty useless but that's the case with most tech products CSR so I don't hold it against them.

    Anyway, that's my only issue with the system. Otherwise it sounds great. Yes, you can use the speakers with any receiver. They connect with standard speaker wire. Actually, Onkyo sells just the speakers as a package if you don't want the receiver.

    Enjoy.
     
  3. Iver

    Iver Second Unit

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    My advice to anybody considering a system like the HT-S650 (a set of inexpensive surround speakers included with a receiver) would be to instead buy a decent entry-level receiver, even from the same manufacturer if you want to stick with a particular brand, and then take the difference in price and invest it into a decent pair of bookshelf speakers such as the Paradigm Atoms.

    While it's true, you will not have the thrill of complete surround sound right away, you will get stereo playback of all your soundtracks, music, and TV audio and with some real audio quality. Most music is still in stereo (even from SACD and DVD-Audio discs), so if music listening will be a big part of your HT use, that would give you all the more reason to lean toward the approach of starting with a quality pair of speakers rather than a super-inexpensive surround-sound set.

    Over time, you can add the other speakers to create a surround array (probably in this order: center, surrounds, subwoofer, but it would depend on your priorities).

    One caveat: make sure to listen to any HTIB before you buy it.

    For example, I always thought Onkyo was great throughout their receiver line, but when I A/B'd a TX-SR500 against a Denon AVR-1602, the Onkyo's sound was very disappointing.

    To answer your question: yes, you can use the speakers that come with an HTIB with any other receiver or amp (though, of course, they are not designed to operate with high-powered amps at high volume levels for long periods of time).

    The thing is, if you get an HTIB, it's the speakers, rather than the receiver, that you are likely to want to swap out as soon as possible.
     
  4. David Dhaus

    David Dhaus Agent

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    I have the Onkyo HT-S650 and really enjoy it. I am not an audiophile and I don't have $1k to throw at a receiver and speakers. Within those limits, I don't think you can go wrong with the Onkyo. The sub is powerful and the fronts and surrounds do the job nicely. I have watched LOTR over and over again and am amazed at the sound. I have plugged in my kid's Disney vhs tapes - Beauty & the Beast the other night - and the ProLogic II sounds wonderful. For my money it beat out Bose, Yamaha, Sony, Kenwood - any system less than $900 couldn't match it, to MY ears. You really need to go over your budget and future plans re upgrading, then listen for yourself.
     
  5. Miklsan K

    Miklsan K Agent

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    Iver, your advice about choosing components is generally correct. However, I must admit that I was blown away by the Onkyo 650 system. For $500, the receiver is pretty strong, and the speaker pack is legit. Check it out some time. The speakers are MTM two-ways front and center, and small two-way bookshelf in the rear - not your usual HTiB plastic cubes. Team this with a cheap prog scan DVD player, and for the majority of people, you have all the system they would ever need.
     

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