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Onkyo HTX-22HDX review: Onkyo HTX-22HDX

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The Good Stylish 2.1 design; AV receiver built into subwoofer; three HDMI inputs; can be upgraded to a full 5.1 system.

The Bad Subpar sound quality; no minijack input or iPod connectivity.

The Bottom Line The Onkyo HTX-22HDX is a slick-looking 2.1 home theater system with good features, but its sound quality leaves a lot to be desired.

6.7 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 8
  • Performance 5

When people look into buying home theater systems, they tend to focus either on a full 5.1 system or a sound bar. That's unfortunate, because for many people a standard 2.1 (two speaker and a subwoofer) system might be the best compromise. The Onkyo HTX-22HDX is one of the few home-theater-in-a-box systems (HTIBs) that offer this configuration, with two petite front speakers and a subwoofer that does double duty with a built-in receiver. The price is exceedingly affordable (available online for about $250 at press time) and the style is right, but the question for any small home audio system is whether it can offer good-enough sound quality. Ultimately, we felt the HTX-22HDX fell short on this account, which makes it tough to recommend--at least for discriminating listeners.

The HTX-22HDX is a 2.1 home theater system, featuring two small speakers and a subwoofer with an integrated AV receiver. Onkyo may be known for its brawny HTIBs, but the HTX-22HDX is decidedly a lifestyle system, focusing more on being compact and stylish than on performance. Instead of big and boxy speakers, the two front speakers come in at only 4 inches wide by 6.31 inches high by 4.38 inches deep. The subwoofer is also small (by subwoofer standards), even though it also houses the amplifier and AV connectors.

Onkyo HTX-22HDX's front panel controls
The Onkyo HTX-22HDX's front panel controls.

The main subwoofer/receiver combo unit has a black finish, with the front look particularly glossy. There's a LCD display on the front and the top has a few buttons, including volume, input selection, and power, which are handy in case the remote goes missing. The back of the subwoofer contains all of the inputs and outputs, which can lead to some subwoofer placement issues. If you want to place the subwoofer in the corner to improve bass response, you'll need to run cables all the way from your home theater cabinet--not the most convenient arrangement.

The included remote gets the job done, but the buttons are tiny. We appreciated that the volume control was clearly set aside and got larger-than-average buttons, but the rest of the controls aren't as well-designed. Besides the small buttons, there's not enough button differentiating, so it will be difficult to control anything but volume by feel.


Onkyo HTX-22HDX's back panel
The Onkyo HTX-22HDX's back panel.

All of the HTX-22HDX's functionality can be inferred by checking out the back panel. There are three HDMI inputs, which should be enough for the majority of basic home theaters. The HTX-22HDX is also well supplied with audio-only connections, including three digital inputs (two optical, one coaxial) and two stereo analog inputs.

The only input we really felt was missing was a minijack input for easily connecting an iPod or other digital audio player (though a cheap adapter cable to the analog inputs will get the job done just as well). You can also buy the

You'll also notice the back panel has speaker jacks for surround speakers and a center channel. Although the HTX-22HDX ships as a 2.1 system, it's possible to purchase the Onkyo SKS-22X speaker add-on package to make it a full 5.1 system.

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