To date, there have been two things holding me back from owning a superior home entertainment system — limited space and limited funds. Actually, if I’m to be honest that second one could be more accurately termed as “cheapness,” but that’s neither here nor there.
It’s not that I don’t appreciate the value of good sound, whether when watching a movie with a rich soundtrack, a top-rate concert film, or even an old TV show from the ’50s. But for us non-audiophile types, who has the budget or the room to set up one of those mutli-speaker sound systems, what with all those clumsy wires and speakers messing with your wallet and your feng shui?
Well, my friends, I’m here to tell you that there is a solution. Onkyo has released two new additions to its Envision Cinema line — the LS-T10 and LS-B50 sound systems — that are both considerate of your space and your bank account.
First up is the Onkyo LS-T10 all-in-one TV-base speaker system (suggested retail of $499), which is ideal for anyone who owns a TV currently sitting on a typical console TV cabinet. Setup is so easy even I could handle it (with minimal assistance from my wife). You just place some (included) padded stickers on the stand of your TV, sit it on top of the unit, and hook up one digital cable connection. Yup, one. Throw away all those labeled, color-coded cables you needed before and experience the freedom!
The sweetest thing about the T10, aside from the sound, is the insanely simple Bluetooth setup and interface. Within minutes I was able to connect both my HDTV and my iPad/iPhone to the unit, which also allows for USB connection. Switching between connections is simple, and while the included remote is a tad small for my tastes it does the job perfectly.
So about that sound. The T10, with its six full-range drivers plus a powerful integrated subwoofer, easily filled my moderately sized TV room with rich, clear panoramic sound no matter what the source. The frequencies, while not individually adjustable, are well-balanced. Most importantly, the bass is fully present but never overpowering. There are also three different listening modes depending on your source or preference — News Mode is great for anything heavy in dialogue, Movie Mode is great for movies or any TV shows that have a hint of action or nuance (and it also emphasizes bass if that’s your thing), while Music Mode effectively emphasizes frequency balance and makes even streaming from your mobile device sound like the great hi-fi systems of old.
If you’re ready to kick things up a notch, then step up to the Onkyo LS-B50 soundbar system (suggested retail of $699). With its dedicated subwoofer and eight-driver speaker array, the sound is even sweeter with this unit. You also get the added versatility the B50’s smaller footprint affords you. The soundbar can be placed in front of a television placed on a console (as long as it sits high enough) or all by itself under a wall-mounted TV. The subwoofer isn’t so easily placed but it’s no more intrusive than a typical one, and should be easy enough to accommodate.
Operating the B50 works in much the same way as the T10, and it even comes with the same remote control. So again, the emphasis by Onkyo is on ease of setup and ease of use. And of course sweet, sweet sound.
You most definitely can’t go wrong with either the T10 or the B50. And whether you use them for enhanced TV/movie viewing or as a de facto stereo system, these speakers are the perfect complement to any home entertainment system. With their ease of setup and use, as well as their supremely affordable price tag and great sound, these Onkyo systems have removed the last barrier for anyone looking to upgrade their home listening experience.