If you have a TV with a centrally-mounted stand and want to improve your sound quality, then a sound stand is sleek-looking option. All-in-one speakers like the Onkyo LS-T10 offer a single-cable connection from your TV and can be controlled by your TV's remote, making it easy to integrate into your existing living room setup.
The Onkyo is well constructed and will support most TVs under 55 inches with ease. It offers a modicum of features -- some useful and some not -- and its price is fairly easy on the wallet. The big snag is that its sound quality is mixed. The LS-T10 is best with movies, offering clean dialogue and the built-in subwoofer adds grunt to special-effects-laden soundtracks. But music sound downright tinny and thin, even by the lowered standards of a sound stand or sound bar. Unless you don't care about music playback at all, you're best off checking out a more well-rounded sound stand like the Sony HT-XT1 or Speakercraft CS3.
Sound stands are reclusive creatures by nature, designed to disappear without ostentation at the bottom of the TVs they support. As expected, the LS-T10 is a large gray box with only the word "Onkyo" on the bottom to distinguish it from other models. It measures approximately 28 inches wide by 4 inches tall, and 14 inches deep.
The LS-T10's manual says it can accommodate TVs up to 77 pounds, and we'd recommend sticking to TVs of 55 inches and less. The Onkyo is substantially heavier and more solid-feeling than competitors like the Sony HT-XT1, however, and by omitting the glass top of the Sony, it might give prospective users a little more peace of mind about its stability.
On the top lip of the speaker there are a small number of controls, which include source, volume up and down, and sound mode. The front of the speaker lacks any type of display, but there are two small LEDs on top alongside the buttons to indicate source and sound mode. Unfortunately the LEDs aren't visible from a normal seating distance, so you won't get any visual feedback when making adjustments as you do on Zvox's speakers.
While the competing Sony HT-XT1 has a proper wand remote, the Onkyo opts for a dinky credit card-style model. All of the controls are there, including USB playback and a separate subwoofer volume control, but it's not all that ergonomically friendly -- especially in the dark. Luckily, you can program the LS-T10 to respond to your TV's remote control (although that does have its problems) or a universal remote instead.
While Onkyo began life as a hi-fi company, it's now more readily known for its contribution to home cinema. The LS-T10 follows the latter philosophy, which is obvious from its speaker configuration. While stereo speakers for music are designed to fire directly at the listener, home-cinema speakers such as sound bars sometimes employ side-firing drivers. This is the case for the Onkyo, which has two side-firing woofers, in addition to four full-range drivers on the front, and an "active subwoofer" on the bottom.
Onkyo neglects to say what the power output is, other than the fact that it's driven by a "six-channel digital amplifier." Additionally, the speaker comes with three sound presets -- Movie, Music, and News -- and uses AuraSphere digital signal processing (DSP) to create "an all-enveloping 3D soundfield."