Right out of the gate, we should say that among home theater in a box systems, the Onkyo HT-S9400THX is arguably the best deal on our side-by-side comparison chart. The features you get for the dollars you spend weighs heavily in favor of features.
In the box of the Onkyo HT-S9400THX, you'll find the following components: an AV receiver, seven assorted speakers and a subwoofer. We were impressed at how easy it is to set this system up. Where to place each speaker in any given room is intuitive. The system includes a microphone that detects where you place each speaker. It then calibrates the system to that particular setup, giving you an optimum listening experience no matter what setup you choose.
The THX on the end of the Onkyo HT-S9400THX indicates that the system uses the THX standard for its surround-sound experience. Millions of movie theaters around the world use the same standard. Bringing THX into your home is rarely considered a mistake. Onkyo did a great job integrating this powerful sound system into its relatively small speaker system.
One drawback to the Onkyo HT-S9400THX is that it does not include a native DVD or Blu-ray player. It's perfectly compatible with a vast majority of the players on today's market. However, an integrated player ensures that the system's settings and controls are optimized for that particular player. You can achieve the same effect, but you have to fiddle with the menus and settings for a while.
A cool feature of this system we should mention is that you can use your iPhone as a remote control for the Onkyo HT-S9400THX. All you have to do go to the app store and search Onkyo, and the first result should be the Onkyo Remote app. It's free and is a great touch, especially for those who are constantly losing remote controls.
Connectivity features on the Onkyo HT-S9400THX leave little to be desired. It boasts four separate HDMI ports. Therefore, you can connect multiple HD devices to the system simultaneously. Other options include the tried-and-true composite, component and coaxial connections for analog devices that utilize analog signals.
The Onkyo HT-S9400THX posses the ability to stream content straight from the internet. All the popular streaming sites such as Hulu, YouTube, Pandora and more are available right from the system's interface.
In the pantheon of great products that is our home theater in a box category, the Onkyo HT-S9400THX is a powerful and compact option. For its size and price, this system is a great deal. The central feature is its excellent integration of the THX sound system. We wish the company had integrated a player of its own into the system. However, the ability to use your iPhone as a remote control takes the sting off that omission – but only a little.
The system includes a microphone that auto calibrates satellite speakers for optimum performance.
The video capabilities of this unit don't allow you to view movies in their native 24fps format.
The system is great for small rooms such as dorms or bedrooms and adequate for larger home theaters as well.