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Onkyo brings 3D surround to the home theater in a box

Some home theater enthusiasts might sneer at the idea of the home theater in a box, but they’re undeniably easier to get up and running for someone who wants to go for the next step beyond a sound bar for their new TV. That said, users often miss out on more advanced features, at least when it comes to those features that are still relatively new.

Today, Onkyo announced a new pair of home theater systems, with one of the models bucking that trend, at least slightly. The HT-S3800 is fairly standard as these systems goes, but the more expensive HT-S7800 offers something we wouldn’t normally expect to see in this type of system: object-based surround sound, otherwise known as 3D surround.

The HTS7800 is a 5.1.2-channel system offering Dolby Atmos out of the box, with DTS:X support coming in an update planned for the summer. The receiver features a 384 kHz/32-bit DAC, and pumps out up to a claimed 170 watts per channel to the included Onkyo Micro Fiber speakers, while a 120 watt subwoofer handles the low end. Spotify streaming is supported out of the box, while the same update bringing DTS:X will also include support for Tidal, Google Cast, and multiroom support via FireConnect.

Turning to video, all eight HDMI inputs support 4K/60Hz video with HDR, 4:4:4 color space, and BT.2020 for compatibility with the latest TVs. If your TV is 4K-compatible but doesn’t include built-in upscaling, the receiver will even scale 1080p content to display at 4K.

While the above model is aimed at those looking for premium features without lengthy setup and cable routing, the HT-S3800 is meant for the more budget-conscious customer. That means no Dolby Atmos or DTS:X support, but this home theater system still offers 4K/60 Hz, HDR, 4:4:4 color space, and BT.2020 just like the more expensive model, though here you’re only looking at 4 HDMI inputs.

At the heart of the HT-S3800 is a 5.1-channel HT-R395 receiver, offering a claimed 100 watts per channel. While the speakers included are smaller than those offered with the more expensive HT-S7800, the included 100 watt subwoofer should still offer plenty of bass for explosions and other low-end sounds.

Both models include support for lossless audio with DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD, and both offer wireless connectivity via Bluetooth, with the HT-S7800 also offering Wi-Fi and AirPlay. Ease of use is a top priority for these systems, with Onkyo’s AccuEQ automatic calibration making tailoring the sound to your space easy. The HT-S7800 goes a step further, including AccuReflex phase adjustment to make sure that the upward-firing front speaker used for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X is working as intended.

The HT-S7800 will retail for $1000, while the HT-S3800 is more affordable at $500. Onkyo expects both models to be available starting in May. For more information, see the detail pages for the HT-S7800 and HT-S3800 on the Onkyo website.