Onkyo SKS-HT540 review: Onkyo SKS-HT540

Rock music via the Onkyos had plenty of kick, so Sonic Youth's new Rather Ripped CD could be enjoyed at high volume without strain. These speakers and subwoofer can easily fill even a large room--as big as 500 square feet--with sound for parties. Don't expect that sort of performance from minisatellite speakers and 6-inch subwoofers--they won't get remotely close to the SKS-HT540's big sound.

Action packed DVDs' chest-thumping dynamics were a treat. The speakers and subwoofer blend was exceptionally smooth--the system had the weighty impact that we associate with tower speakers. The center speaker treats dialogue well, sounding resolutely full-bodied and natural. The subwoofer's low bass and definition are decent, albeit no match for the better $500 subs we've tested.

Summing up: If you're on a budget and want the best bang for your home-theater buck, these Onkyo speakers are an easy recommendation. If you're looking for an all-in-one solution, consider the HT-S790, which includes a capable A/V receiver; if you already have a receiver, the speakers-only option of the SKS-HT540 is the way to go. The only real caveat is that they don't look as great as they sound; anyone more concerned with aesthetics may want to spend a bit more for the Onkyo SKS-HT240 speakers, which offer a more stylish design.

Onkyo speaker systems compared:

Model Quick take Price
Onkyo SKS-HT240 This 6.1-channel speaker set features a stylish look designed to match flat-panel TVs. (These speakers are also bundled with the Onkyo LS-V955 HTIB.)
Onkyo SKS-HT540 This affordable 7.1-channel speaker set boasts full-size satellite speakers and a 10-inch subwoofer. (These speakers are also bundled with the Onkyo HT-S790 HTIB.)
Onkyo CB-SP1200 The Onkyo CB-SP1200 is a TV stand with three speakers (the front-left, -center, and -right) built directly into its body.

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Where to Buy See all prices

Onkyo SKS-HT540

Part Number: SKS-HT540 Released: Jun 19, 2006
Low Price: $299.00 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Jun 19, 2006
  • Color black
  • Speaker System Type home theater speaker system
  • Nominal (RMS) Output Power 130 Watt
    130 Watt
    130 Watt
    230 Watt
  • Amplification Type active subwoofer, passive satellites
  • Connectivity Technology wired
  • Type Speaker system
  • Speaker System Configuration 7.1-channel