Onkyo Features Dolby Atmos In HT-S7700 Home Theater System

Onkyo HT-S7700 Dolby Atmos Home Theater-in- a-Box System. Image provided by Onkyo USA

There is a lot of buzz revolving around the recent announcements regarding the introduction of the Dolby Atmos surround sound format in the home theater environment. However, along with that buzz is a realization that to take full advantage of Dolby Atmos, you need to re-think your home theater receiver's capabilities and speaker setup.

Also, it is important to note that Dolby Atmos-encoded content, isn't very plentiful at this point.

On the other hand, a host of Dolby Atmos compatible hardware (home theaters receivers, av processors, and speakers) are now filtering into the market and one product of particular interest is the Onkyo The HT-S7700 Home-Theater-in-a-Box system.

What makes this system important is that is the first all-in-one home theater receiver/speaker package (as of the date of this post) that is Dolby Atmos-enabled.

First up, the HTS-7700 package includes a receiver (HT-R693).

In addition to built-in Dolby Atmos decoding, the HT-R693 also provides onboard audio processing that allows non-Dolby Atmos content (Analog, Dolby Digital, or DTS-encoded) to be upmixed to provide a Dolby Atmos-like surround sound experience.

For connectivity, the receiver has 7 3D pass-through, Audio Return Channel, and 4K (with both pass-through and upscaling capability) compatible HDMI inputs. An added bonus, it's that front panel HDMI input is also MHL-enabled which allows direct connection of compatible devices, such as many smartphones and tablets.

Additional connections include composite and component (for video) as well as analog stereo, digital coaxial, digital optical for audio. A USB port is included that allows access to music files from iPods, iPhones, or USB flash drives.

Also, for added physical connection flexibility, the HT-R693 provides both powered and preamp line-out Zone 2 operation. NOTE: You cannot run the powered Zone 2 output option and 5.1.2 channel main system operation at the same time.

The HT-R693 is also a network-enabled receiver with both Ethernet and Wifi connectivity for accessing music files on your local network or listening to music streaming services such as Pandora, Spotify, Sirius/XM, Slacker, Aupeo!, and TuneIn. For additional content access flexibility, the receiver also incorporates Bluetooth, which allows direct streaming from compatible portable devices, such as many smartphones and tablets.

The Speakers

To complete the HT-S7700 Home-Theater-in-a-Box system, a set of speakers is provided that allows a 5.1.2 channel configuration optimized for Dolby Atmos. What this translates to is five channels arranged in a horizontal plane at ear level: center, main, surround), a subwoofer channel (.1), and two height channels (.2).

The speaker system incorporates bass reflex design center and main speakers, with a traditional center channel, but the front left and right speakers have a slight variation - forward firing drivers for main left and right channels plus vertically angled drivers for the Dolby Atmos-required height channels (see speaker setup illustration at the top of this article).

The surround speakers are more compact acoustic suspension designed with traditional front firing drivers, and to round out the system, Onkyo supplies 10-inch bass reflex down-firing subwoofer.

If you are shopping for an affordable home theater package that provides the latest surround sound capabilities for a small or medium-sized room, definitely check out the Onkyo HT-S7700 as a possible solution.

The Onkyo HT-S7700 carries a price of $899.00 -  Buy from Amazon.