- Separate AV receiver and DVD player, powerful performance
- Not very attractive, bulky, audio lacks subtlety, no on-screen menu
The HT-S780 is all about big: big sound, big size and big features
Price$ 1,999.00 (AUD)
With games consoles, DVD players and AV receivers all vying for a place under the TV, it can be a hassle setting up a home theatre system. Knowing which units go with what and trying to assemble all the components can be a trying experience for the amateur user. This is where 'Home Theatre In A Box' systems come in to play by providing all the components in one easy to use package. Most systems combine the AV receiver and DVD player into one but Onkyo has bucked this trend by providing separate units: the DV-SP303 and the HT-R530 AV receiver. Both are of good quality and offer above average performance for a system in this price range.
The HT-S780 is a 7.1 system meaning that you get seven surround speakers plus a subwoofer in the package. Eight speakers plus the two AV units could mean a lot of extra hassle during setup but thankfully Onkyo has opted for the industry standard system of colour coded wires. One slight problem could be the length of the speaker wires. Though at nine metres long they may appear to be lengthy, for a 7.1 system we would have expected a few more metres of cable. This can easily be rectified with the purchase of additional wires, but it would have been nice to see them come as standard. The AV receiver handily has a pass-through power socket so the DVD player can be plugged directly into the back. The one aspect of setup that left us disappointed was adjusting the speakers. Unlike many similar products, there is no on-screen menu to be displayed on the television: entering fiddly parameters must be done through a slightly clunky interface on the unit's LCD screen.
The AV receiver's interface isn't the only clunky aspect of the system. With the HT-S780 Onkyo has opted for function over form. There are no shiny buttons, glowing dials or stylish curves to be seen. Though the receiver's finish isn't unattractive, it is big, heavy and boxy. Even the remote control is bland. Fortunately, it is otherwise well designed. Choosing basic styling has left Onkyo to concentrate purely on making the relative components as feature-packed as possible. For a mid-range system we were impressed with the number of inputs Onkyo has crammed in. Though lacking digital high definition connections such as HDMI or DVI, everything else was covered with multiple component connections and digital audio ports. After connecting the accompanying DVD player there are still two component inputs and two digital optical inputs left to play with.
The HT-R530 is an impressive receiver. With up to 110W of power per channel this is a hefty amplifier designed to get the most out of its equally hefty speakers. The three front speakers contain dual 12cm woofers with a separate tweeter. These three speakers alone offer an impressive sound but backed up with the 10-inch subwoofer and four surround speakers, the sound is particularly engaging. Our one complaint is that perhaps Onkyo has concentrated too much on power. At lower volumes the sound feels a little disjointed as the subwoofer output does not match the other speakers. It all feels a little forceful, lacking the subtleties of other systems. We found this to be most noticeable when listening to music, though it was occasionally apparent when watching films. However, if high-powered robust acoustics are what you are after, the HT-S780 is definitely a great choice.
Like most manufacturers, Onkyo has included all kinds of surround options with support for Dolby Digital, Digital EX, DTS, Pro Logic II and Neo:6. These are backed up with equalisation options for orchestral music, rock, pop and other styles. Onkyo also include two other useful additions: direct mode, which eliminates extra processing to provide a purer sound, and OptiResponse, which adds further power to the sound. We found turning on OptiResponse to have the best effect of any of the equalisation options. In addition to these presets, the bass and treble levels can also be manually adjusted on the receiver, and the subwoofer has its own volume control.
Overall one thing stands out about the HT-S780: its power. This is the ultimate macho home entertainment system with big speakers, a big subwoofer, big AV receiver and big amplification. If you want a small, sleek, stylish machine this is definitely not the system for you. If, however, you want to blow the walls down, then you've just found the perfect match.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® Portable SSD
Acer Swift 7
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Huawei Mate 9
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Surface Pro 4
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 2 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
- 3 Panasonic Blu-ray recorder PVR set-top box review
- 4 Garmin Fenix Chronos fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 5 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
Latest News Articles
- Plex Cloud is now open to all paid users
- Google eyes remote content controls for parents in YouTube Kids app
- Up next for Apple TV: 4K streaming reportedly in the works
- Apple’s original TV shows are almost ready for prime time
- Apple snags Amazon Fire TV exec to lead Apple TV efforts
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Behind the scenes with Team Walkinshaw at V8 Supercars Melbourne 2017
- And the 2017 winner of the Formula 1 Best Pit Lane Boom Gantry is...
- First look at the Formula 1 2017 pit lane in Melbourne, Australia
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- CCSalesforce Functional AnalystNSW
- FTBusiness Analyst - SalesforceNSW
- FTImplementation Consultant - SMSF SoftwareNSW
- CCOracle WebLogic AdministratorNSW
- FTReporting Analyst - HR / PayrollNSW
- TPProcess Business Analyst - Digital InnovationNSW
- CCJava DeveloperVIC
- FTFinancial AnalystNSW
- FTSenior Systems EngineerNSW
- FTProject Manager - Finance BackgroundQLD
- CCSAP FICO ConsultantWA
- TPAPS6 Java DeveloperACT
- FTHadoop Service AdministratorVIC
- CCLevel 1 Helpdesk Support Analyst x3QLD
- CCSystems AdministratorQLD
- FTProject SchedulerACT
- FTPHP DeveloperNSW
- CCSolution ArchitectQLD
- FTAutomation Test AnalystSA
- FTWorkforce AnalystNSW
- CCProcess Assurance LeadNSW
- FTArcFM/Gis Lead DeveloperNSW
- CCTechnical Business Analyst (Security) - Finance - Contract - Sydney CBDNSW
- FTSAS DeveloperNSW