Pioneer was among the first brands years ago to conceptualize the all-in-one benefits of matched audio/home theater components for consumers looking to experience a fuller entertainment experience without having to cherry-pick and amass all the separate elements involved. And now, Pioneer & Onkyo USA Corp., parent of the Pioneer, Elite and Onkyo brands, is bringing to the entry-level consumer a total system that packs a lot more bang for the buck than its price-point of $499 would suggest: the Pioneer HTP-076 Home Theater System.
Known by the legacy term of Home Theater in a Box (HTiB), this grouping bundles a 5-channel A/V receiver, speakers and subwoofer at the very accessible price point of $499, and takes the worry out of setup for newbies.
At the heart of the package is the Pioneer VSX-326 5-channel A/V receiver with 80 watts per channel, a digital quad-core 32-bit DSP and a host of advanced capabilities found in more expensive receivers.
“Our complete home theater package is an ideal, all-in-one starting point for folks who want to enjoy a tremendous home theater experience without breaking the bank,” said Don Milks, director of marketing & product localization for Onkyo & Pioneer USA.
In support of Dolby Atmos, the HTP-076 is also compatible with a 3.1.2-channel setup to create a 3D soundfield without having to install speakers in the ceiling. DTS:X allows for the flexible placement of speakers to enable optimized playback in a variety of layouts. And buyers who do not have Dolby Atmos speakers can still enjoy benefits inherent in object-based audio, thanks to two surround technologies: Dolby Atmos Height Virtualizer (to be available with a later firmware update)1 and DTS Virtual:X, that simulate the output from ‘virtual’ height and surround speakers if they are not physically present in a room.
DTS Neural:X and Dolby Surround technologies also up-mix legacy “2D” soundtrack formats to simulate a surround-sound experience with a more seamless “wraparound” feeling. Both receivers are designed to create immersive 3D sound for movie soundtracks encoded on DVD, Blu-ray discs or compatible video streaming services.
The HTP-076 system also supports pass-through for HDR10, HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma), and Dolby Vision signals. By connecting a compatible source device, these latest video standards may be experienced on a compatible display. What’s more, all HDMI terminals support 4K (60p/4:4:4/24-bit), Wide Color Gamut (BT.2020), and HDCP 2.2, so owners can enjoy content such as 4K videos with digital copy protection.
Other features include: automated speaker setup; synchronized sound with phase control which addresses phase lag between the subwoofer and the main channel speakers; Zone B output for wireless headphones; and dialogue enhancement, a sound-adjustment feature controllable through the remote’s up/down key which independently adjusts volume on mid-range frequencies like film dialogue.