Onkyo HT-S7409 Receiver & Speaker Package
It been a while since we’ve touched on the Onkyo home AV product range and so when (as these things do) I cycled back around to having a look at whets they are currently doing I realised that some of the stuff on of their best sellers lists had completely evaded my attention. So lets see if the Onkyo HT-S7409 5.1-Channel Network A/V Receiver/Speaker Package lives up to its top sales position.
First things first Onkyo have really tried to make things as easy as possible for the newbie to enter the home cinema arena with this package, not only is the Onkyo HT-S7409 extremely competitively priced but the package received comes with a full compliment of the THX certified receiver, 4 surround speakers, one centre channel speaker and of course the subwoofer & all the wires, plugs, etc you require for setup of a basic 5.1 surround system. This being said its actually interesting to note that even though the system supplied is 5.1 the receiver itself (a TX-NR609) leaves room for expansion to a 7.1 system on its back panel which was a nice little bonus as far as I’m concerned. The look of the system is pretty much standard Onkyo fare, the receiver is fairly large bit a well appointed and solid feeling front panel the speakers themselves are actually very attractive and modern looking and are for the most part solid and well built with the exception of the 4 satellites which feel slightly flimsier than the other units but not exactly what one would call low quality. The supplied remote is well appointed and can perform all day to day functions but as seems to be becoming common with newer gear it’s not up to the design standards or build quality of the rest of the system.
Specifications wise the Onkyo HT-S7409s Receiver is a pretty standard mid range affair with a very respectable 130 Watts of power per channel @ 6 Ohms and with a good level of connectivity including 6 HDMI inputs (1 front & 5 back with 3 D Video Support and Audio Return Channel) & 1 HDMI out as well as a decent array of composite, Coax, Optical and Component I/O along with a single standard VGA PC Input. The Onkyo HT-S7409 is also iPod Ready via a direct USB Input. The specification is finished with the includes a Zone 2 Line Out to allow for a simple level of multi zone functionality.
Initial setup after hooking up the speakers is a little trickier than I would have liked for a unit aimed at entry level users, and while the speaker auto configuration system is actually very good indeed there are a few possible gotchas in the menu diving that may have novices opening the dreaded printed booklet and getting into RTFM territory especially when configuring the internet radio side of things.
So on to the meat of any review the “how does it sound” bit. I’d have to say that after initially worrying that the satellites might be a little sub par in the build department I did think that perhaps they wouldn’t be able to handle 130 watts per channel and might introduce a bit of “rattle and hum” (apologies to any U2 fans out there) to the proceedings at high volume levels, but I’m glad to say it would seem that the engineering team at Onkyo have managed to match the speakers to the system extremely well and in fact have done a great job of eradication any shortcomings one might expect in a lower end system like this one. The overall tonality of the system in full flow is actually very dynamic and powerful, a real room filler. The sound stage is very well handled with extremely good separation and placement of well mixed surround material. The Onkyo HT-S7409 system manages to make loud and fast moving passages (kick ass, The Dark Knight) extremely enjoyable and punchy while at the same time keeping voices and general speech forward and very legible to the ears. If I’m being pick the top end of the signal could be seen as a little “brittle” and sibilant at high volumes but to be honest these volumes were well beyond what I would call comfortable room listening volumes. Stereo rendering of radio channels (SiriuxXM, Spotify and many others are included by default) was professional and decently managed by the system though perhaps better for speech and bass heavy modern recordings than for classical or subtle acoustic music. All in all though an extremely competent audio performance for a system in this kind of price range.
If I have any reservations about this system it would probably be the fairly minimalist specification for the zone 2 operation of the system. Though I didn’t test it, it does seem to me from reading the manual that if you want proper second zone management then perhaps this system is not for you. Apart from that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this package for a surround system newcomer who wants a very competent system at an extremely reasonable price.
- 130 Watts per Channel at 6 Ohms, 1 kHz, .07%, 2 Channels Driven, FTC
- 6 HDMI Inputs and 1 Output
- HDMI Video Upscaling to 4K with Qdeo Technology by Marvell
- Direct Digital Connection of iPod/iPhone via Front-Panel USB Port
- Playback of Audio Files Through Local Network (MP3, WMA, WMA Lossless, FLAC, WAV, Ogg Vorbis, AAC, LPCM)
- RRP: $799.00 (Check Amazon for Current Pricing)