TVs & Home Theaters forum

General discussion

Is true HD audio worth the price $$$$

To the wisemen of this forum:

Hopefully this isn't one of those oft repeated questions. If it is, I'm sorry. Also, thanks in advance for your advice.

I'm looking to upgrade my AV receiver. I'm looking to spend no more than $500, maybe $600 if it's worth it.

I've looked at Marantz, Onkyo, Denon, Sony and Pioneer. I'll admit I'm partial to Marantz.

The sticking point for me comes down to the importance of DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD decoding in the AV receiver.

At some point I'll get a blu-ray players and will want HD audio.

Some of the receivers I've looked at offer this, some don't. Those that don't have the capability of allowing the HD-audio to pass through.

The question therefore is, is it worth the $$$ to buy a AV receiver with onboard HD audio decoding or is it OK to rely on the adio pass through?

There an Onkyo receiver well received by the CNET editors I've considered but several internet postings claim that receiver runs hot. I don't know if that's true or not.

Once again thanks in advance.

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Is true HD audio worth the price $$$$
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Is true HD audio worth the price $$$$
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
hard to answer, but

In reply to: Is true HD audio worth the price $$$$

I say might as well get the decoders if you are looking to buy a new receiver. If you don't need the decoders (or HDMI), I would lean towards the used market, as many will become worthless to the eyes of many consumers. Great deals should be found.

I have no idea what you mean by audio pass thru. You mean video pass thru HDMI? IMO, that's useless, might as well run it directly to display.

If you like Marantz, I say stick with what you like. Why not...

Onkyo's do run warm. Bigger amps run warmer, that's just what happens, simple. And Onkyo seems to have better amps comparatively in the entry level. In the higher levels all the brands even out in this regard. Also, video processing chips make a lot of heat as well.

IMO, $600 = refurbished Onkyo 805. If only for the THX Ultra amp section. People think $800 for an Ultra amp is already a steal.

Collapse -
My mistake there

In reply to: hard to answer, but

I don't have a blu-ray player yet and I was trying to figure out how to get HD audio if I purchased a Marantz receiver.

I was told by Marantz that I would need to connect the blu-ray's speaker outputs to the 7.1 Channel or Aux 2 Input in the back of the receiver.

Thanks for your advice. I'm now leaning toward a refurbished product. But Pioneer recently released a new AV receiver which allows you to hook up your iPod via a USB port. There's no need for a separate docking station. Just plug it in. That receiver's $600. It doesn't come with any THX certification but it does have all the HD audio.

Collapse -

In reply to: My mistake there

Just make sure the Bluray player you get has 5.1 or 7.1 analogs out + also internally decodes & bitstream out DTS-HD & DDtrue, not all do - note you can not get DTS-MA via analogs, ONLY HDMI, all BD players can do PCM via analogs.

Collapse -
Onkyo is great value. Within their line, the upper level

In reply to: Is true HD audio worth the price $$$$

models are even more great for fine value with more sophisticated features and having lots more current than most others.

I've had Onkyo (a while back) & it was certainly pretty good. I now have had Denon for a few years with total satisfaction. Bear in mind the same holding company owns McIntosh, Marantz, Denon and Rotel.

With a $500-600 budget I assume you don'e feel a certain need for all possible sophistication. That's fine. Receiver value is absolutely great compared with my 45 year ago experiences.

Among what you list, I am not overly fond of Pioneer but I didn't have that much experience with them. I just remember they tried to have lots of cheaper models on the shelves too & the lower end was tad shoddy.

C/NET likes Onkyo pretty well but if reading the reviews closely there is a bit of cons. They continue to rate Denon even better for sound quality and reliability. Sure Onkyo models especially with the desirable Reon do run fairly hot. Lost of modern receivers have quite a lot of power & will run on the hot side.

Just make sure you're getting HDMI 1.3a to be up to date unless you will use an HDMI switcher to compensate. New tech always sends some with money off to buy into the lastest technology. That provides a used market for very premium quality brands at previously unheard of prices because A/V electronic just don't widely hold high value. They depreciate quite fast.

And assure yourself of good viedo pass thru. Then you can't go wrong.

Popular Forums

Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


This one tip will help you sleep better tonight

A few seconds are all you need to get a better night's rest.