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CNET First Look
Onkyo's SKS-HT594 speakers offer Atmos on a budgetThe Onkyo SKS-HT594 takes advantage of Dolby Atmos soundtracks and doesn't break the bank, but it's not the best value option.
[MUSIC] If you're looking to make the jump into home theatre, than a receiver and speaker package is a quick and easy way to get everything you need right away. The Onkyo SKS-HT594 is one half of the equation. A 5.1.2 speaker package with integrated height channels for use with next gen sound format, Dolby atmos and DTSX. By itself, it retails for $599 but is available with a decent-looking receiver for only $100 more. The front speakers are one of the stars of the show, with a small fabric cap hiding an [UNKNOWN] three and a quarter inch driver, used for overhead effects in new movies. These are tall bookshelf speakers at 18 inches high and you'll need to put them on suitable stands or AV furniture. The other hero here is the large, 10 inch subwoofer which for a speaker in a box set is actually really well constructed and even attractive. It can go down to 25 hertz which is plenty enough for most movies. The rest of the speakers aren't all that exciting. And while they do come with wires in the box, the speaker terminals are spring clips, which adds to the budget feeling you get. The speakers aren't quite finished. There is some exposed wood, and they aren't as sturdy as the cheaper Pioneer SP-PK52 surround speakers. The Onkyos don't sound as good as the Pioneers, either. For a while they do add height effects and a handful of movies that support it. The Pioneers sound better with everything else, whether it's TV, Netflix or music. If you really want atmo speakers, though, these are currently the cheapest option. But you're probably better off paying the extra hundred bucks to get the Onkyo HT S5800 system with the Atmos compatible receiver as well. If you don't want Atmos, the Pioneer speaker set is the superior and cheapest. This is Ty Pendlebury for cnet.com