Onkyo Dolby Atmos and DTS:X HTiB
With more Dolby Atmos and DTS:X-encoded Blu-ray blockbusters hitting the shelves daily, now’s the perfect time to experience object-based sound at home with the new HT-S7805 HTiB (Home Theatre in a Box) from those clever audio folk at Onkyo.
Let’s get over that first hurdle. What the heck is ‘object-based’ sound?
You are, no doubt, familiar with surround sound or 5.1, for instance. In 5.1 you have 5 speakers (Front Left and Right, Rear Left and Right, a Centre channel and then the .1 is for your subwoofer) – this sounds pretty good but, as films contain just the information needed to play back to those five speakers, set in predefined locations that’s where the limit is. There’s no point in adding more speakers because the 5.1 mix doesn’t know what to do with them. Also, if you don’t place your speakers in the correct locations, your movies won’t sound quite right.
As Dolby Atmos is object based, it makes it much more adaptable because it’s not locked to a certain number of speakers. Instead, the object-based nature of this system gives the soundtrack a wealth of data about the sound in a scene.
This means that each sound in a movie scene — a gunshot or scream, for instance — can be an object that the audio mixers on the movie can control where it appears from and where it goes to.
The Onkyo HT-S7805 UltraHD-ready package seamlessly adapts the soundfield to suit your listening space with AccuReflex phase-adjustment technology. Part of the AccuEQ calibration suite, it ensures that sound – including the overhead sonic dimension – arrives at your ears simultaneously. This contributes to brilliantly clear and focused performance.
The new-generation receiver features Dynamic Audio Amplification which promises instantaneous high-current power, that should pull you more deeply into the multi-dimensional film, television, or gaming experience.
Discrete Non-Phase-Shift Amps, a 384kHz/32-bit DAC, and VLSC noise-free processing clarify the audio image and reproduce the energy and vibrancy of the original recording.
Dynamic Audio Amplification makes stereo listening a satisfying experience, whether spinning a favorite LP or streaming audio via Google Cast, Wi-Fi, AirPlay, or Bluetooth.
The receiver has native support for online services including Spotify and TIDAL, enabling the use of dedicated apps or Onkyo’s free control app, which collects all network-streaming options (including Hi-Res Audio from media server) into a slick and intuitive interface.
Any source – such as analogue audio, TV sound via HDMI, or streaming audio – can be mirrored on compatible wireless speakers set up in the kitchen, on the deck, or in the garage via FireConnect technology by Blackfire Research – FireConnect-compatible speakers are scheduled for release this summer.
Dedicated Zone 2 DAC and speaker outputs, meanwhile, enable multi-room playback of different sources at the same time. House-wide entertainment is easily controlled with Onkyo apps for iOS or Android smartphones.
Leading with next-generation video as well as audio, the receiver passes 4K/60 Hz video with High Dynamic Range and 4:4:4 color space to the latest television displays, and upconverts analogue sources (from legacy game consoles or VCR tapes) via a single HDMI cable.
Onkyo also has bundled in some speakers and, as the company has been making high-fidelity speakers for 70 years, they should be pretty good.
The front and centre 2-Way speakers in this Dolby Atmos-certified package include pairs of OMF (Onkyo Micro Fiber) aramid-laminated woofers for accurate sound. A powered slimline 80w subwoofer with large 20cm cone lets the receiver focus its power on the front, height, and centre channels for effortlessly dynamic performance.
Connected and calibrated in moments using supplied cables and AccuEQ microphone, the system’s graphic user interface simplifies initial setup, particularly for first-time users, while an overlaid Quick Setup menu offers in-program adjustment without pausing the movie or TV show.
Onkyo believes superb performance and smooth day-to-day operation are not mutually exclusive. The HT-S7805 is an end-to-end home cinema solution ready for the future, shipped ready-to-use in a single box. Overall system quality is outstanding at a realistic price, allowing families to get more from every moment spent together.
Onkyo HT-S7805 price and availability
The HT-S7805 will be available in late August at a suggested retail price of £899