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Pioneer's HTS-LX70 home theater system is stylish, expensive

Pioneer has released the HTS-LX70 home theater system, which features stylish looks and a sky-high price.

Pioneer's stylish HTIB costs a lot and doesn't include that Blu-ray player in the picture.
Pioneer's stylish HTIB costs a lot and doesn't include that Blu-ray player in the picture.

Home-theater-in-a-box systems are usually geared toward budget buyers that don't want to deal with the hassle of separate components. Pioneer's new high-style HTIB, the HTS-LX70 takes a decidedly different approach, offering up HTIB simplicity, at a component-level price. Here's a quick rundown of the important specifications:

Key features of the Pioneer HTS-LX70:

  • Four multidirectional satellite speakers
  • 7.06-inch dual-drive subwoofer
  • Three HDMI 1.3 inputs
  • Onboard decoding for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Illuminated LCD touch-panel remote
  • XM and Sirius ready
  • Two optical digital audio inputs
  • $1,800 list price, available now

Eagle-eyed enthusiasts will spot a Pioneer Blu-ray player in the image, but it's not included--although for $1,800 we kind of feel like it should be. Another thing you might not catch from the image is how this system actually works. All the amplifiers and inputs are actually in the subwoofer, which could make for a difficult setup if you want to stick the subwoofer in the corner--just imagine all the HDMI cables running from your gear to the subwoofer, and back to your TV. Also note that this is a 4.1 system, so there's no dedicated center channel, which could make dialogue a little harder to hear compared with a standard 5.1 system. There's also separate display unit, but we imagine this will need to be connected to the subwoofer too, which means even more wire clutter.

Stacked up to other high-end HTIB options, the HTS-LX70 is pretty expensive. Onkyo offers the HT-SP908, which features separate components, 7.1 audio and a price tag that's about half as expensive. Of course, you're mostly paying for the style for the HTS-LX70, but $1,800 still feels like a lot. We could put together our own stylish system for less, by pairing Onkyo's upcoming TX-SR606 with Mirage's NANOSAT speakers and a Logitech Harmony 670 remote--and we'd still save about $500. From our initial glance, the HTS-LX70 seems a lot overpriced and a little impractical, but we'll wait until we get our hands on it to make our final judgment.