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Theater in a box...Help me decide (1 Viewer)

Bill Geiger

Second Unit
Feb 8, 2002
It appears that you are on a budget as are most of us. Late last year I bought the Sony HTiB and have been happy with it. I wanted something quick and inexpensive for the setup I am in. I live in an apartment and sound can always be a problem. I bought the following which is pictured below, didn't get the one with the DVD player however.

The speakers are small but have pretty good sound for my setup and if you wanted, buy stands like I did or put them on your wall. The subwoofer is fine if you are on a budget.
I know MANY on here are not Sony fans but I wasn't either at first. I have a Sony DVD, TV and HTiB and my problems have been nil..
But what it comes down to is what YOU think. We all will have different opinions. Best thing to do is go an take a listen. Only you can judge and decide what YOU want. Don't try and impress yourself or others... can be a costly habit! LOL. I should know... the habit is starting.

Matt Lane

Apr 3, 2002
Thanks for the suggestion on the Sony but I already know how my wife would feel about the Silver system in our living room (try to argue with her if you want) ;)


May 30, 2002
I'm trying both the Onkyo HT-S650 and the Kenwood HTB-505 at home now. Both are nice and are pretty similar (see specs from links above). This is my first HT system and I don't have golden ears, but the Onkyo sounds better, imho. The Kenwood's good, but not as good as the Onkyo. Some of the sounds didn't seem as sharp. The Onkyo had boomy bass w/ some music in some DSP modes (esp if I had the subwoofer set to a higher 80Hz crossover). I liked Onkyo's all-channel stereo DSP better than ProLogic 2 music.
Surround speakers on the Onkyo sound better (they're larger as well). The Onkyo system seems to be capable of higher output (lots of ppl think Kenwood inflates their ratings), though the Kenwood speakers are rated more sensitive [front/ctr/surr = 90/89/84dB/w/1m Kenwood, 85/83/82 dB/w/m Onkyo]. The Onkyo remote was more ergonomic (but it wouldn't handle Toshiba TVs).
The THD ratings on the Onkyo receiver are better (0.08%)than those on the Kenwood (0.7%). The tuner has better THD ratings as well. The speakers are rated to deliver lower bass frequencies - 55Hz fronts, 65Hz others vs 90Hz for Kenwood (which means that the subwoofer will have to go pretty high).
Other differences:
Onkyo has A/B/A+B speaker switching.
Kenwood has a crossover switch on the subwoofer but suggests that you let the receiver handle this instead. The receiver doesn't have an explicit crossover setting for the subwoofer, but I guess it sends higher frequencies to the subwoofer unless you say that the front speakers are large (which the manual warns you not to do - probably because the included speakers don't reach below 90Hz). Onkyo has an explicit crossover setting on the receiver, none on the subwoofer.
Onkyo's subwoofer fires down. Kenwood fires forward.
The Onkyo receiver has binding posts (except for B speakers), Kenwood uses spring clips from which the wire often slipped on my first try. Both use spring clips on the speakers.
Kenwood lets you adjust ProLogic 2 music settings.
Kenwood has only about 20ft for the surround speaker wire (not an issue if you plan to buy speaker wire) which was insufficient.

Matt Lane

Apr 3, 2002
Ralph, Kandy... Thanks for the replies. I still have not purchased one but I am leaning towards the Onkyo HT-S650 now.

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