Audiovox vs. Onkyo HTIB
I just bought a refurbished Audiovox 5.1 home-theater-in-a-box made in 2002 for $144 (original price $299). I can still return it and wonder if there is a better option at this price point. I found a refurbished Onkyo HT-S3300 for about $300 and wonder if it is worth the extra $150? I have a new LG 42-inch flat-panel LCD TV in a medium-size family room. I have no idea if the Audiovox for $144 is a good deal or not. I couldn't care less about Blu-ray or 3D, but I want good sound. Can you give me any tips or suggestions?
Audiovox is known for low cost, not high-quality sound. I suspect the Onkyo HT-S3300 (shown in the lower portion of the image above) probably provides much better sound qualityOnkyo's HTIB systems have consistently performed very well, though I haven't heard that particular model. I would wager the S3300 is well worth the extra $150. Plus, the Onkyo is a 7.1 system, giving you two more surround channels than the Audiovox.
You say you couldn't care less about Blu-ray, but you do want good sound, and Blu-ray provides the best possible sound from movies on disc. Even better, the Onkyo HT-S3300 can decode the latest Blu-ray audio formats, including Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. You don't specify the model of the Audiovox, but if it's the DV1201 (shown on top above), it decodes only Dolby Digital and Dolby Pro Logic II, which do not sound as good as the more advanced formats. The Onkyo has no disc player, while the Audiovox includes a DVD player, but I still think the Onkyo is a far better choicejust add a Blu-ray player when you're ready for the best possible movie experience.
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