HD gear
Highly Recommended
4.5 stars
List Price
$999.00
Amazon
$899.00 (10%)
3rd Party
$899.00
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Overall Grade
4.5 stars
Bottom Line
Highly Recommended

Onkyo HT-S7800 5.1.2 All-In-One Home Theater System

Reviewed by:
Review Date:1
November 22nd, 2016
Manufacturer:
Onkyo

INTRO


 

When cinephiles and HD gear buffs hear the term "home theater in a box" (HTIB), we tend to cringe. Going back almost two decades, home entertainment corporations have sold and marketed HTIBs, usually including a receiver or disc player central hub along with surround sound speakers and, hopefully, a subwoofer. HTIBs are made for newbies to the home theater game. Folks who need a simple set up and likely have a smaller sized room. Heck, my first setup was a JVC speaker HTIB, but that was seventeen years ago.

While HTIBs and, more recently, soundbars are still wildly popular for the average consumer, many don't cut it when compared to a custom home theater assembled from different sets of speakers, receivers, amps, subwoofers, or any other component under the stars.

This all changes with the new Onkyo HT-S7800 5.1.2 Home Theater System.

Remember Onkyo? I sure do, back when Circuit City was still booming in business. It was one of their top selling manufacturers. Recently, Onkyo purchased Pioneer's Home Electronics Division and both now are working together in bringing top quality players, receivers, and speakers to the masses.

Don't let the HTIB fool you here with Onkyo's HT-S7800 theater system. It is fantastic sounding and super easy to use. The speakers look and sound amazing, providing a well-balanced soundscape to whatever you are watching or listening. Not only that, the system is 4K ready and can even upconvert standard High Definition into 4K. Plus, this system is already living in the new age with the Dolby Atmos setup with a 5.1.2 speaker system included, as well as a giant subwoofer for all your low-end needs. The Onkyo receiver does everything you want and more, marveling listeners as it makes you rethink current gen HTIBs for anyone who doesn't want sell the farm to have the best home theater around.

DESIGN


 

The Onkyo HT-S7800 looks rather simple yet classy all at the same time. No, you won't find rich mahogany or cherry wood finishes here. Rather, you get a black wood grain style that looks as sleek as it can be. There are two Dolby front speakers that are in fact two separate speakers in one unit; they have two separate speaker wire inputs on the back for "height" and "front" channels. The front channels have the cloth protectors from top to bottom, making them blend in with the room. Rear and center channels look the same with the black wood grain and cloth protectors. Mounts are on the back in case you need to mount yours to the wall as well, which is a nice option.

The subwoofer is fairly large, but looks sleek and is very easy to use. There is a blue LED light that glows, but it isn't distracting whatsoever. The receiver itself has that fluorescent blue display that is extremely easy on the eyes and is very easy to read from long distances in a big room. The unit is a polished black color and looks like most other receivers on the market. There is indeed a front input as well here, which is extremely nice for when friends come over to hook any of their systems up, including a front end HDMI input. On the back of the receiver, there are 8 HDMI inputs, which should satisfy most consumers with their AppleTVs, gaming systems, and players.

The HT-S7800 supports all of your 4K needs, so if you're getting the new video game systems of UHD players, this receiver can handle all of that and then some. The amplifier can direct all seven channels plus two subwoofers at the same time and can support all Dolby and DTS options. There will be a future update for DTS:X as well. In addition to all of those qualities, this receiver can handle Apple AirPlay and Google Cast, meaning, you can use your phone or tablet to stream music through the surround speakers wirelessly. If you use Spotify or Pandora, then this receiver will play all of your favorite music from Tom Waits to Michael Jackson. The remote control is small and easy to use as well, but is not back-lit, which is a minor annoyance.

SPECIFICATIONS


Power Output

All Channels

170 W/Ch (6 Ohms, 1 kHz, 0.9% THD, 1 Channel Driven, FTC) 100 W/Ch (8 Ohms, 20 Hz–20 kHz, 0.08% THD, 2 Channels Driven, FTC)

Dynamic Power (front)

240 W (3 Ohms)

210 W (4 Ohms)

120 W (8 Ohms)

THD+N (Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise)

0.08% (20Hz-20kHz, half power)

Damping Factor

-

Input Sensitivity and Impedance

200 mV/47 k-ohms (Line)

3.5 mV/47 k-ohms (Phono MM)

Output Level and Impedance

200 mV/2.3 k-ohms (Zone 2 Line Out)

1 V/470 Ohms (Subwoofer Pre Out)

Frequency Response

10 Hz–100 kHz/+1 dB, -3 dB (Direct mode)

Tone Control

±10 dB, 90 Hz (Bass)

±10 dB, 7.5 kHz (Treble)

Signal-to-Noise Ratio

106 dB (Line, IHF-A)

80 dB (Phono)

Speaker Impedance

6 Ohms–16 Ohms

Video Section

Input Sensitivity/Output Level and Impedance

Video

1.0 Vp-p/75 Ohms (Component Y)

0.7 Vp-p/75 Ohms (Component PB/CB, PR/CR)

1.0 Vp-p/75 Ohms (Composite)

Component Video Frequency Response

+0 dB, -3 dB

Tuner Section

Tuning Frequency Range

FM

87.5 MHz–107.9 MHz

AM

530 kHz–1,710 kHz

FM/AM Preset Memory

40 stations

General

Power Supply

AC 120 V, 60 Hz

Power Consumption

580 W

Standby Power Consumption

0..1 W

Dimensions (W x H x D)

30 3/8" x 33 11/16" x 20 1/4" (772 x 855 x 514 mm)

Weight

81.6 lbs. (37 kg)

Speaker - Type

Front/Height

2-way Bass Reflex (Front), Full-Range Acoustic Suspension (Height)

Surround

Full-Range, Acoustic Suspension

Subwoofer

Bass reflex, Powered

Speaker - Drivers

Front/Height

5" (12 cm) cone woofer

1" (2.5 cm) balanced-dome tweeter (Front), 3 1/4" (8 cm) cone

Center

3 1/4" (8 cm) cone woofer x 2

1" (2.5 cm) balanced-dome tweeter

Surround

3 1/4" (8 cm) cone

Subwoofer

10" (25 cm) cone

Speaker - Frequency Response

Front/Height

55 Hz–50 kHz / 80 Hz–20 kHz

Center

65 Hz-50kHz

Surround

80 Hz–20 kHz

Subwoofer

25 Hz–150 Hz

Speaker - Output Sound Pressure Level

Front/Height

84.5 dB/W/m (Front), 81 dB/W/m (Height)

Center

86 dB/W/m

Surround

81 dB/W/m

Subwoofer

-

Speaker - Max. Input Power

Front/Center/Surround

130 W

Subwoofer

-

Speaker - Rated. Output Power

Subwoofer

120 W

Speaker- Nominal Impedance

Front/Center/Surround

6 Ohms

Subwoofer

-

Speaker - Input Sensitivity/Impedance

Subwoofer

540 mV/20 k-ohms

Speaker - Dimensions (W x H x D)

Front

6 1/8" x 18 3/8" x 7 3/16" (155 x 467 x 183 mm)

Center

16 9/16" x 4 1/2" x 4 11/16" (420 x 115 x 119 mm)

Surround

4 1/2" x 9 1/16" x 3 3/4" ( 115 x 230 x 96 mm)

Subwoofer

12 1/2" x 18 7/16" x 15 11/16" (317.5 x 468 x 398 mm)

Speaker - Weight

Front

7.9 lbs. (3.6 kg)

Center

5.1 lbs. (2.3 kg)

Surround

2.2 lbs. (1.0 kg)

Subwoofer

21.2 lbs. (9.6 kg)

SET UP & NAVIGATION


 

I know it can cause mild panic attacks when you look at all of the speakers, wires, and units laid out across the floor. Where do you even begin? Luckily, Onkyo made this somewhat scary challenge into a very simple and fun task that shouldn't take long at all. Even someone who is not technically savvy, or even knows what an HDMI cable is, will be able to hook all of this up, thanks to Onkyo's excellent Quick Start Guide and instructions. Even better? Each speaker has their own color coated wire and should be connected to its proper input.

The included wire lengths are great for a medium sized viewing room. The Quick Start Guide has a great visual reference and image for each speaker and setup, along with easy to read instructions. Onkyo even recommends where to place the speakers for an optimal sound experience. After I placed and connected all of the speaker wires, I started connecting all of my units, via HDMI, including my 4K UHD Player, PS4, XBOX ONE, Cable box, and AppleTV, which was as simple as just plugging in the one HDMI cable from the unit to the receiver. Lastly, I hooked the subwoofer and I was ready to roll. Onkyo includes a microphone, which you can plug in from the front of the unit and bring to the center of your room, which will set up your speakers and calibrate them for the best possible sound with the size of your viewing room.

On the setup screen of the Receiver, which plays through your television, the speakers will go through their setup and initialization phase. The results are pretty accurately. You can easily set up your HDMI-source devices with the click of a button as well as use the Audio Return Channel, which Onkyo fully explains and is awesome. Basically, you can use any of the devices at any time, and power the audio through the receiver with just one HDMI cable. It's that easy. The wireless setup was super simple too, and automatically finds you WiFi and connects after you type in your password.

In addition to all of that, you can download the surprisingly amazing Onkyo Remote Smartphone App on your phone, which you'll be able to control everything from your smartphone and stream music from your favorite apps. So with a click of the button from your remote or phone, you can change from watching 'Breaking Bad' on Netflix to playing 'Overwatch' on XBOX ONE, and the sound will automatically transfer. It's that easy.



DOLBY ATMOS & SURROUND PERFORMANCE


 

Now that everything is setup and sounding to your liking, now is the time to start experiencing and enjoying your favorite films, music, and TV shows in Dolby Atmos. The HT-S7800 takes a standard 5.1 system and adds two up-firing Dolby Atmos enabled speakers (built into the front speakers, as mentioned above) that bounce sound off your ceiling to recreate the sensation of having two in-ceiling speakers.

Do the HT-S7800's up-firing speakers sound as good as actual in-ceiling speakers? Yes, they do. Most people won't even be able to tell the difference. However, close listeners and audiophiles may note a reduction in overhead immersion. Soundtracks with lots of overhead effects -- rain storms, thunder, planes flying overhead, or swirling leaves -- recreate this effect, but it's less direct, less like those sounds are falling on top of you.

All that being said, this is still a great immersive sound experience. I first put in the 'X-Men: Apocalypse' 4K UHD Blu-ray with Dolby Atmos. In comparing this track to my personal in-ceiling Atmos speakers, the in-ceilings are a little more prominent, but the HT-S7800 delivers an excellent Atmos experience. All of the explosions during the slow motion sequence at the mansion, set to the tune of 'Sweet Dreams' was fantastic, with every clank, spark, and swish being heard from all around. It really was like you were in the mansions as it was exploding. All of the debris that flies overhead during the climactic sequence sounded like a whirlwind of objects coming out you, all of which were well-balanced and nuanced and really did seem to be flying overhead.

I also put in a standard Blu-ray of 'The Walking Dead: Season Six', which has a DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix. The HT-S7800 uses Dolby Surround post-processing to up-mix stereo and 5.1 mixes to 5.1.2 Atmos-esque experiences. And it's awesome. Thunderstorms and flying bullets and tons of zombie growls and screams sounded even better on this system than on a normal 5.1 setup. When the group is walking through the hordes of zombies, the sound just fully immerses you and in a claustrophobic soundscape of zombie noises. It was excellent, to say the least.

Playing 'Overwatch' on XBOX ONE sounded fantastic as well, and made me feel like I was being rained down with justice from above as several characters fly overhead shooting guns and lasers at you. When this happens from all different locations, the Onkyo system fully utilized the directionality and balance of the soundscape. If there was a gun turret high on a wall, or low in a corner, that's exactly where the sound came from, which was so much fun to play in this setup. It really notched up entertainment level for sure.

Using the Netflix, Hulu, and HBOGO apps on my AppleTV, the sound is just as good as any 5.1 setup, plus the enhancement of a Dolby Atmos track. This means that the new episodes of 'Westworld', old episodes of 'The Sopranos', and even episodes of 'Gilmore Girls' sound better, with every effect and ambient noise sounding full and robust. Turning on the system is easy and just takes the one button push and doesn't take long for the whole system to boot up. It's only a second or two. Switching in between sources is easy and immediate every time. In addition to all of these component sources, this receiver has a great wireless connection, where you can stream your music or videos from your mobile device very easily. The sound is excellent and the content you choose comes up within a matter of a few seconds, no matter if it's through iTunes, Spotify, or YouTube.


FINAL THOUGHTS



The whole "theater-in-a-box" idea has come a long way over the years and has definitely improved and upgraded as time has gone by. Onkyo has really knocked the HT-S7800 5.1.2 home theater speaker system out of the park. With 4K UHD capability, Dolby Atmos, excellent speakers, a giant subwoofer, a wonderful receiver, and tons of options, you'd think this system would be super expensive. That is definitely not the case. In fact, this entire system MSRPs for under $1000 (though as I write this, it's $899). With that price and all you get in this box, you can't and won't find better 5.1.2 Dolby Atmos / DTS:X-ready system than this. This Onkyo HTIB is top quality, easy to use and set up, and sounds excellent.

If you're looking for a theater system and don't want to break the bank, then this system is definitely the one to get. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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List Price
$999.00
Amazon
$899.00 (10%)
3rd Party
$899.00
Usually ships in 24 hours Buy Now»