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Monday, July 28, 2014

Onkyo Unveils Dolby Atmos Home Theater in a Box System for $899

The HT-S7700 is Onkyo's 5.1.2-channel speaker package, which includes support for Dolby Atmos.

Recently, we've been talking up Dolby Atmos -- and the many companies planning Dolby Atmos-enabled products. There will be receivers and speakers. However, Onkyo seems to be the only company planning an Atmos-enhanced home theater in a box package. That would be the HT-S7700.

The HT-S7700 is one of the Atmos-enhanced items that the company announced last month, but now we are getting a few new details on it. Either way, it's something worth mentioning twice. That's because the HT-S7700 is a 5.1.2-channel system, meaning that it's a 5.1 sound system, with two extra speakers that can handle the type of sound that only Dolby Atmos can deliver.

Dolby Atmos is an audio format that can reproduce sound from just about every direction, including overhead. Although it was previously limited to specific movie theaters, Dolby is now bringing the format to home theater equipment. That way, you can actually have it sound like helicopters or birds are flying above your living room.

Besides 5.1.2-channel sound, the HT-S7700 has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and HDMI 2.0. The latter means that the included 7.2 receiver can support 4K/60 Hz video and HDCP 2.2 for 4K video streaming and broadcasting. Other perks include high-resolution network audio, internet radio and music streaming, as well as 4K upscaling via Qdeo processing. The HT-S7700 even has two HDMI 2.0 inputs, a phono input for adding a turntable, Powered Zone 2 capability for multiroom audio, and AccuEQ room calibration.

Of course, the HT-S7700 also has a full speaker complement, including two-way front speakers with OMF (Onkyo Micro Fiber) woofers and a balanced-dome tweeter, a two-way center speaker with the dual-cone woofers and tweeter, two full-range surround speakers, and a 10-inch powered subwoofer.

If you're looking to add Dolby Atmos to an existing pair of speakers, the company previously announced the SKH-410. This add-on connects to one of Onkyo's compatible receivers and can be placed on top of floor-standing speakers or mounted to the wall. Each one has an up-firing cone speaker to deliver audio that sounds like it's coming from above.

Onkyo is also planning several non-Atmos products. The HT-S3700 home theater in a box provides full surround sound, as well as the option for a second zone. The six-piece speaker package even has a 4K/60Hz-capable high-current 5.1-channel receiver with seven HDMI 2.0 terminals. For a slight step up (and some of those larger spaces), the HT-S5700 5.1-channel system includes Wi-Fi, remote control and audio streaming via your smartphone, as well as two-way OMF front speakers, a dual-cone center speaker, and a powered subwoofer.

And finally, Onkyo is also planning a new 5.1-channel home theater receiver. The TX-SR333 is perfect for movie lovers on a budget, with a WRAT high-current architecture, six HDMI 2.0 inputs, Bluetooth and InstaPrevue for a "picture-in-picture" type of peek at different inputs. Other perks include HDMI pass-through on Hybrid Standby and high-resolution audio via USB.

Onkyo will start selling the TX-SR333 ($299) and the HT-S3700 ($499) this month, with the HT-S5700 ($699) coming in August. The SKH-410 and the HT-S7700 will ship in September with MSRPs of $249 and $899, respectively.

 Onkyo's SKH-410 uses an up-firing cone speaker and a special Dolby Atmos-certified network to create a plane of sound above the listener.

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