Onkyo's Entry-Level Receiver and Home Theater Systems

Basic HTIB Options From Onkyo, the TX-SR333 and HT-S3700/S5700 Receivers

Onkyo TX-SR333 5.1Channel Home Theater Receiver
Onkyo TX-SR333 5.1Channel Home Theater Receiver. Images provided by Onkyo USA

On the heels of its recent Dolby Atmos-enabled product line announcements, Onkyo knows there are those who are looking for something more basic for their home theater system needs, and so the company has produced three entry level products, the TX-SR333 home theater receiver, and two home-theater-in-a-box systems, the HT-S3700 and HT-S5700.

The TX-SR333 Home Theater Receiver

Some of the features on the Onkyo TX-SR333 include:

Channel Configuration - Up to 5.1 Channels

Power Output - 65 wpc (measured using 20 Hz to 20 kHz test tones, 2 channels driven, at 8 Ohms, with 0.7% THD).

Audio Decoding and Processing - Compatible with most Dolby Dolby and DTS surround sound formats including Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio (up top 5.1 channels). Additional preset surround processing modes provided.

Connectivity Features - 6 3D and up to 4K pass-through (no upscaling) HDMI 2.O connections, Insta-Prevue HDMI switching, built-in Bluetooth.

Additional Features - Hi-res audio file playback compatibility via connected USB devices (including hi-res 192khz/24bit FLAC and WAV files, as well as WMA and Apple Lossless, and 5.6Mhz DSD), and Zone 2 preamp output (this is rare on an entry-level unit).

NOTE: Internet and network streaming capability is not included.

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HT-S3700 Home-Theater-in-a-Box System

The HT-S3700 is the base model in Onkyo's home-theater-in-a-box product line.

The system consists of a 5.1 channel receiver (HT-R393), five channel bookshelf speaker system, and an 8-inch down-firing passive subwoofer (the subwoofer is powered by the receiver.

The power output of the system is stated as 100 watts-per-channel (measured with a 1kHz test tone, 1-channel driven at 6 ohms, with 0.7% THD).

The center, front left/right, and surround speakers have the same driver complement (except that the center channel speaker is horizontal) - each has one 3 1/4-inch full range driver and can either be shelf or wall mounted.

The HT-S3700 provides 6 HDMI 2.0 inputs with 3D and 4K pass-through, 3D pass-through, Audio Return Channel, and Dolby TrueHD/DTS-HD Master Audio decoding. A USB port is also provided for accessing music files from USB flash drives, including the same hi-res audio files compatible with the TX-SR333.

Also, Bluetooth capability is built-in, and iOS and Airplay capability can be added via the optional Onkyo DS-A5 docking station.

Just as with the TX-SR333 home theater receiver, the HT-S3700 also includes a Zone 2 preamp output that allows users to send a second audio source to other location (additional amplifier and speakers required).

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HT-S5700 Home-Theater-in-a-Box System

This system is a step up from the HT-S3700 and provides several added options. The first difference of note is that the subwoofer is larger (10-inches) and self-powered instead of passive (this means that it has its own built-in 120-watt amplifier). In fact, the receiver provided with the HT-S5700 has two subwoofer outputs.

Another difference is that instead of all of the speakers containing the same internal driver configuration, the center channel and two front left/right main speakers have a 2-way configuration (separate mid-range tweeter) and, although still compact, are physically larger than the surround speakers which each contain a single full range driver. Also, although the power output rating is stated as 90 wpc, it was derived using 2 channels driven instead of one channel for the HT-S3700.

Added features that differentiate the HT-S5700 from the HT-S3700 include built-in Wifi Internet Radio (Pandora, Spotify, Sirius/XM, Slacker, Aupeo, TuneIn) and access to content stored on DLNA-compatible Network connected devices.

Also, to make the initial speaker setup easier, the HT-S5700 also includes Onkyo's AccuEQ.

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Looking at the entire line-up, Onkyo has really upped the ante for entry-level home theater receivers and home-theater-in-a-box systems. Even if you have a system in your main room already, the TX-SR333, HT-S3700, and HT-S5700 may be good candidates for second (or even third) room systems.

NOTE: As of 2016, the Onkyo TX-SR333, HT-S3700, and HT-S5700 are approaching the end of their product runs. However, once their run ends, you still have alternatives from Onkyo and others.

For home theater receivers that are similar to the TX-SR333, check out my periodically updated suggestions feature on the list of Home Theater Receivers - $399 or Less.

For home-theater-in-a-box systems that are similar to the HT-S3700 and HT-S5700, check out my periodically updated suggestions feature on my list of Home-Theater-in-a-Box Systems.