The Onkyo HT-S5100 is a moderately priced home theater in a box that offers high-end quality. For starters, just a little bit of shopping around will reveal that the vast majority of mid-range home speaker systems are 5.1 systems, meaning they have five full-range speakers and one subwoofer. The more speakers you have surrounding your entertainment space, the better the overall sound quality and viewing experience. The Onkyo HT-S5100 is a 7.1 system that has seven full, separate speakers and one subwoofer. Typically, 7.1 systems are only seen at higher price points, making this an outstanding feature of the Onkyo HT-S5100.

There are several other outstanding features of the Onkyo HT-S5100. The system has all the connectivity options that even the biggest home-theater buffs could ask for. The HT-S5100 comes with an HDMI output and a whopping three HDMI inputs that are ready to connect devices such as Blu-ray players. There are also three S-video inputs, component and composite inputs, and a headphone jack. The HT-S5100 has an iPod dock that helps cuts down on wire clutter, and it is ready for XM or Sirius radio.

Another great aspect of the HT-S5100 is its sound quality. Most mid-range home theaters in a box cannot provide top-notch sound quality, but the HT-S5100 comes very close to matching the sound quality of high-end systems. The main receiver features an Audyssey 2EQ and Audyssey Dynamic EQ, which work together to automatically adjust sound settings to eliminate distortion. The HT-S5100 boasts some advanced sound technology like WRAT technology, Dolby Digital EX, DTS-ES with DTS-ES Discrete/Matrix and Dolby Pro Logic IIs decodings. Independent tests reveal that the HT-S5100's sound quality is very near top notch, delivering pure, undistorted audio, even at top volume levels.

Improving upon the overall experience and sound quality even more are the seven full speakers and one subwoofer. The central speaker has two cone-shaped speakers and one balanced dome tweeter. There are two surround-sound or backing speakers, and two large front speakers. The subwoofer is a heavy 25 pounds and measures 19.63 inches tall by 11.3inches wide by 15.69 inches long. The entire 1200-watt system is big, powerful and loud. Couple the strategic placement of the seven surround speakers and subwoofer with the HT-S5100's elaborate sound technology, and you really get some great sound and an amazing viewing experience, according to reviewers.

The only potential downside to the HT-S5100 is the size of the system. If your entertainment space is very small, this home theater in a box may not be the best choice for you. With seven full speakers and a 25-pound subwoofer, this home theater system is designed for use in moderate-size and larger areas.

Onkyo HT-S5100 Summary:
7.3/10

The Onkyo HT-S5100 is a great choice among mid-range home theater systems. Somehow, Onkyo has managed to offer top-tier sound quality, limitless connectivity options and a 7.1 speaker system at a moderate price point. The only potential downside is that this system is so physically large that it's not ideal for use in small spaces.

 
 
 

Onkyo HT-S5100 HT-S5100B

Pros
Amazing sound quality and endless connectivity options in this 7.1 speaker system, all for only a moderate price.

Cons
The system is so large that it may not be ideal for small entertainment spaces.

The Verdict
: 7.28/10

This system offers high-end quality and functionality at a moderate price and is a great choice for anyone with a large entertainment area.