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Opinion

Onkyo has gone bankrupt

One of the big old trees in the hi-fi forest has fallen. Without a sound.

forfatter
Published 2022-05-14 - 10:00 am
This is a comment. The comment is an expression of the writer's own opinion.

[UPDATED: WHILE JAPANESE ONKYO HAS CLOSED SHOP, THE BRAND LIVES ON!]

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Onkyo shuts down. The once-honoured Japanese hi-fi brand has gone bankrupt. Thus ends a chapter in audio history that has lasted since 1946.

With debts of 3.1 billion yen (about 23 million euros), Onkyo could no longer make ends meet. And on Friday, the company itself filed for bankruptcy in Osaka District Court. So writes the business media Nikkei.

There was a time when Onkyo’s demise would have sent shockwaves through the audio world. That’s not going to happen. Probably few will notice. And some will ask: Who was Onkyo?

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A hollow shell

If a tree falls in the forest and no one notices – does it make a sound?

The question, attributed to 18th-century philosopher George Berkely, is a classic thought experiment about the difference between the physical world and the experienced one.

In the case of Onkyo, the answer is no. One of the old trees in the hi-fi forest has fallen. It happened without a sound, and no one will notice. The core had long since rotted away, and only a hollow shell remained.

In the 1970s and 80s, Onkyo was a brand of note. When confirmation money had to be spent on a stereo, Onkyo was one of the brands considered. Especially if Sony and Technics were a bit too expensive.

Onkyo did not keep up with the times

But the world has changed, and Onkyo hasn’t been able to keep up. Gone are the days when hi-fi was a people’s passtime. We still listen to music, but the heavy hi-fi rack in the living room has been replaced by portable audio, car audio and wireless multi-room speakers.

There are still enthusiasts who spend fortunes on stereo. But then the equipment becomes super-expensive and exclusive. And Onkyo was never that. Onkyo stood for reasonable mid-range equipment at reasonable prices.

Onkyo’s fall comes as no surprise either. The company has been in crisis for years. And while they did manage to come up with good products, like the Onkyo TX-8270 stereo receiver, the market was too small to accommodate the smaller brands.

The rescue mission was cancelled

Three years ago, therefore, the hi-fi world was set for a major merger. Sound United, the company behind Denon and Marantz, was in the process of acquiring Onkyo. It could have been a new start for Onkyo (and for Pioneer, whose home audio division had lived a shadowy existence since 2014). But Onkyo got cold feet and called off the merger at the last minute.

The rest is history. And so is Onkyo. Last August, the company had to delist from the stock market. And in March this year, Onkyo’s OEM division, which made equipment for other brands, filed for bankruptcy.

So goodbye, Onkyo! The sad thing is not your passing – but the fact that no one is left to miss you.

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Jake

I will miss you. Rest in peace Onkyo.

Jamexman

Bu the way, this is ONLY FOR THE JAPAN DIVISION (Onkyo classic, the one that makes headphones etc).

Onkyo is and will continue it’s line of AVRs, which is under Voxx media and Sharp. People are going crazy everywhere with their newly purchased AVRs are now paperweights…

Larry

Good info. Thanks.

M. Downey

I’ve been impressed by the capabilities, the quality, and the price for value of ONKYO. In fact, I recently purchased one of their TX- 8260 units to replace a failing centerpiece of my home system. Am I sorry I bought the 8260? Not a chance! I am saddened to learn of ONKYs passing. I believe that those whose movement to higher priced (and in someways less capable) solutions to their HiFi desires will begin missing this industry giant.

Ivan

Agreed 👍

beezt

I hope my TX-8270 continues to function, including the app!

Carter Roesch

Nooooooooooooo, they are a ROCK in audio history. Dam it.

Marvin E Campbellor those

For those who bought the rz50 receiver like myself whom we contact when we have issues and what about warranty repairs?

Dan Reynolds

Someone with an Ouija board?

David

My older brother always tried to impress me with the Onkyo hi fi kit that he bought …. and he succeeded. Sad loss.

Tom

The last statement in this article isn’t entirely true. Because I for one will definitely miss Onkyo!

Ivan

With you on that,rip Onkyo

Augusto Cruz

RIP Onkyo and send my regards to Aiwa, another hifi warrior.

Thomas Smith

I still have a small aiwa amp I use in garage a real trooper for20 years

Sandra

And there is always poor old Sansui

Adv

True

I Loathe Sundar Pichai

Commodore/Amiga. Minolta. Now Onkyo.

Larry

Wow, Minolta. Ive noticed they’ve been quiet lately.

Steve

I don’t agree with the “nobody will miss them statement. They’ve made some quality stuff and anyone that loves music and the things that make it loud for us will miss them.. I’ll keep my Onkyo poweramp coupled with my technics 14 band EQ and digital tuner, and Yamaha pre amp unit and turntable. Godspeed Onkyo, Kudos for helping me piss off my neighbors.

Super Admin

When I say that Onkyo will not be missed, it is not because they made bad equipment. Onkyo made fine midrange hi-fi. But the market has changed, and today there are very few customers left for the kind of hi-fi Okyo made. So there is, sadly, few lefter to care.

Larry

Baseless statement. I bet Onkyo ISA sold a million units. Onkyo Japan is what you should refer to them as.

Ivan

Amen brother 👏

wayde

You won’t have to miss it. Onkyo, the audio company we know and love is alive and well. Part of Osaka-based Onkyo’s downfall included selling off its A/V division to Premium Audio Company that’s still going strong. Onkyo is now part of a conglomerate, similar to how Marantz is owned by Sound United. SU has been great for Marantz, they’re doing great things. Hopefully PAC will be just as good to Onkyo and it will be slaying ass for many years to come.

https://www.audioholics.com/news/despite-bankruptcy-onkyo-pioneer-elite-av-drives-on

Zane

Dang… Sad to hear but understandable.
My Onkyo’s are still going strong.

MG

Dang!
We have an Onkyo surround theater system since 2010… Amazing units… We will hold on to it and keep enjoying it.
Sadly see them go, but at these times all companies are struggling.
(MG)

Oscar

Ho sempre avuto degli ONKYO…CD…SINTOAMPLI…DVD..
DAGLI ANNI 80 .. PRODOTTI MOLTO VALIDI…sono dispiaciuto del fatto del fallimento..POTEVANO E DOVEVANO SALVARLO UN MARCHIO DEL GENERE.

cobhc

Onkyo isn’t exactly dead as the brand was sold off a few years back. So you will likely see new products with the Onkyo name on them.

https://investors.voxxintl.com/news-releases/news-release-details/voxx-international-corporation-completes-acquisition-audiovideo

Wil

Agreed. I read this, like you, some time back and this all seemed to gave been in the bag so, where does this news come from?

Dave

From what I understand the merger was stopped when Onkyo backed out. No one actually bought them.

Latheofheaven

Heh… what a D*ck… Could you possibly have rubbed it in any more frequently that ‘No one will notice’…?

Super Admin

When I say that Onkyo will not be missed, it is not because they made bad equipment. Onkyo made fine midrange hi-fi. But the market has changed, and today there are very few customers left for the kind of hi-fi Okyo made. So there is, sadly, few lefter to care.

Latheofheaven

Moderate my comment all you want, the article although informative, was still rather rude… (if a tree falls… Seriously…, GEEZ…)

Super Admin

When I say that Onkyo will not be missed, it is not because they made bad equipment. Onkyo made fine midrange hi-fi. But the market has changed, and today there are very few customers left for the kind of hi-fi Okyo made. So there is, sadly, few lefter to care.

Bones

Onkyo made high end components under their Integra Research brand

LWA

Just bought a new Onkyo receiver two weeks! Had no idea they were almost out of business. The receiver is really good, I love the sound. And has great features for the price point.

Jess Javillonar

Agree. Plus, he writes” …the FACT that no one will miss you” heck, how do you know???? Did you do a quick count? I’m missing onkyo now together with some folks here. I’m sure many more in the hi-fi universe are feeling the loss and will miss the marquee brand.

Pete

wow, your article was kind of brash.

Super Admin

When I say that Onkyo will not be missed, it is not because they made bad equipment. Onkyo made fine midrange hi-fi. But the market has changed, and today there are very few customers left for the kind of hi-fi Okyo made. So there is, sadly, few lefter to care.

Robert Lotman

After being disappointed with two consecutive Pioneer Surround sound units, I purchased Onkyo THX home theater units. They performed well and did not blow channels like the Pioneers. I have since moved on to Denon 7.1 but I was very satisfied with Onkyo. I will agree technology passed them by.

Eamonn

I think you are being a bit hash Onkyo was a good brand and I have been buying it for a number of years and never had any problems
I current own the top of the tree onkyo processor and 2 x 9 channel amps and they sound amazing.
So sorry see them go but I will always be a fan.
RIP Onkyo.

Super Admin

When I say that Onkyo will not be missed, it is not because they made bad equipment. Onkyo made fine midrange hi-fi. But the market has changed, and today there are very few customers left for the kind of hi-fi Okyo made. So there is, sadly, few lefter to care.

chris wihall

Agreed there HC amps are amongst the best in the mid-range.

Wombat39

Onkyo, the poor audiophiles MacIntosh.

Andrew Krupa

I’ve owned onkyo brand products for decades and was always happy. RiP Onkyo 😥

Violinophile

Older audio salesperson/gurus like myself who spent over twenty years selling Onkyo will still lament their loss, even if long expected. Just as we lament the loss of Kenwood, JVC, Sansui, Advent, Allison, etc. Audio has always suffered from having too many excellent companies for real demand to support, even in the good times. You might say it’s surprising they lasted as long as they did. The desire for these brands was partly a reflection of the huge appetite for popular music in those decades. Most of recent pop music just is nowhere near as central to people’s lives as… Read more »

Thomas Smith

Most of the young folks music is not worth good equipment

Mic Garcia

Damit i just brought a Onkyo Av receiver 6 months ago geeze you people dont see quality and sound any more. I swear this will be my last av receiver i brought a sherwood 7 years ago they went bust hard to find parts for clept out receiver, now part of landfill. So thats it i hope my onkyo lasts forever knock on wood. The sound from thin tvs is shite come on dont give no stupid sound bar.

Imroddy

Anyone know where you can get firmware updates on their receivers? I just purchased an Onkyo TX-SR393 Receiver through Best Buy. They assured me I would have no problem getting them through Onkyo. Guess I should have listened to my gut and went with Denon, my second option. 🤔

ukr

Onkyo has shaped the home cinema and surround scene until the end. In a market that is constantly losing quality, it is a great pity that an important and innovative competitor is leaving the stage.

Billy

Dam I just got a TX-NR6100 so will they never update this thing I have some issues at 1080p 120hz 10bit works fine at 4k 120hz 10bit

Ludwig O'Hallorans

My main set has a TX-NR787 in 5.1.4 setup, and I still have the TX-NR555 it replaced in my bedroom in 5.1 setup. I will miss it! They were the only one with a decent 9.1 AVR under $1000.

vcartier

I bought my first Onkyo Stereo Receiver back in 1988! The main reason, it had a universal remote control and I was in search of a replacement receiver as my Technics digital receiver was on the fritz. I also added the tape player, which I still have and use when I play tapes. Since 1988, I have bought Onkyo or Integra home theatre receivers. All performed quite well. I did recently buy a Denon Home Theatre receiver replacing my last Onkyo unit. I am one of those few left who have rack units. I own a full 11 channel home… Read more »

Low

My TX 108 is still my go-to receiver for vinyl. Been a workhorse for years. Have a newer Onkyo for home theater, but find the 108 more accurate.

Dave

Curious what will be the fate of Integra, Pioneer and Denon? Also of note is how the new and current/latest model $1,500 Onkyo RZ50 multichannel HT receiver is probably the most sought after receiver on the market as it’s sold out and on backorder pretty much everywhere!

Hank

Was a home and car audio dealer thru the 80s, 90s and early 2000s, onkyo was a brand I did not sell, but was a good competitor, its sad to see a major brand go out of business no matter who they , especially in these times

Zippy114

Onkyo will be missed. I recently purchased an Onkyo receiver because Onkyo is the only vendor I could find that supports “Works With Sonos” – and that it does. So, unless you enjoy getting up and turning on your receiver and setting the Sonos input and volume each time you select your living room on your Sonos app, you’ll now be limited to Sonos’ own soundbars. I think this is keeping up with the times – Denon does not do.

Dan

Sonos is the root of the problem, music demoted to a plastic background speaker that appeals to the “let’s play 30 seconds of each song then flick to the next one ‘ generation I have the misery of having to sell their over priced crap along side quality music equipment for years now.
.

Mike Schwanz

I agree turn it up
F…. the neighbors
Long live Onkyo

Maarten Finders

So sad,
Onkyo,i will miss you!!!

Jerad

Onkyo is dead. Long live Onkyo!

Fred Weyerman

I’ll remember the good old days when it was a relative pleasure to work on (I owned repair shops for forty years and did warranty for Onkyo and many others). I fear that in ten years or so I’ll live to see the name used like Fisher (remember the U.S. company in the ’60s?), Bell and Howell or Crosley – on some throw-away pieces of near rubbish with a fancy front panel. RIP Onkyo, who’s next?

Wgoeldel

True that hifi people won’t miss them. It is the home theater crowd that will. Denon and them pushed each other. It is down to Yamaha and Denon/Marantz. As Yamaha usually are under performing sad times. And yes your article was too harsh.

Luis

No body will miss? Was that really necessary? The RZ50 is the best AV reciever ever on it price range. This is really sad. I will miss Onkyo.

Tom

I bought my first Onkyo receiver as a young teen in 1979. I’ve been in the consumer audio industry for nearly 40 years and know Onkyo’s history well. This article isn’t wrong per se, but it provides little useful information. Onkyo (and Pioneer, who Onkyo acquired some years ago) was a hugely important OEM, building products in several of their own factories for many other brands. Their struggles and demise are certainly due to changes in consumer preferences, but it wasn’t just Onkyo’s failure to adapt but also the other brands they manufactured for. Recently they were taken over by… Read more »

Larry Prox

Been an Onkyo fan for decades. Recently updated my receiver in the past 6 months. It’s awesome and has all the latest features. I will truly miss the brand Onkyo.

John

Well, I tried to help. I just bought their TX NR6050…haven’t even hooked it up yet!

Allen A Yarbrough

As a av business owner I will not miss them. I quit selling and installing ther products over 5 years ago do to constent digital chips going bad. I new 5 years ago they would be done soon. Happy with denon and Marantz amps. See ya onkyo…will not be missed at all.

Jim Farrell

Sorry to hear this. I have never had any Onkyo hifi equipment ( I’m one of the audiophile types mentioned above ) but I have owned several great Onkyo AV receivers which gave me a lot of pleasure, and their budget two-channel amps were always highly regarded.

Peter Apperup

Indeed

James

When looking for stereo equipment they were last on my list, I won’t miss something I never considered buying in the first place

Cedric Thomas

Main this actually breaks my heart to find this out that Onkyo is broke they maid crazy money but I still love the Onkyo family and they made some amazing products but I had alot of amps technique pioneer fisher none of them pound or sound that’s good as my old Onkyo amp that bad baby had power I loved it and they drove my cerwin Vegas amazing my house stayed pumping that bass out well I will always praise the name Onkyo and I will always keep them alive till the day I die and I will buy me… Read more »

John Andrews

I will miss Onkyo. My Onkyo CD player is the best I’ve ever owned.

Kevin

ONKYO and Pioneer were acquired out of bankruptcy by Voxx international, the parent company of Klipsch. Both brands are alive and well making receivers. You can find them at Costco, Best Buy and amazon.

Anthony Maw

I sure hope they don’t fall into the trap of selling the rights to the brand-name to some cheap low quality product manufacturers like RCA and Victrola did, among others.

Tim

I love my Onkyo equipment. It sounds better than a lot of the more expensive stuff.

J

I know a ton of people who will miss Onkyo.

Dave

My Onkyo was great and i haven’t gotten back that exact phenomenal setup since 2008.
I went with a Yamaha AVR because I needed HDMI options and I got it for a good price.
Took me too long with switching and matching speakers trying to get back to how great my Onkyo sounded.
Got a Marantz SR6011 and threw out that damn yam, piece of crap it was.
I was actually looking at a Onkyo for my family room.
They will sorely be missed…..

Super Duper Admin

When I say that Onkyo will not be missed, it is not because they made bad equipment. Onkyo made fine midrange hi-fi. But the market has changed, and today there are very few customers left for the kind of hi-fi Okyo made. So there is, sadly, few lefter to care.

Mike

So…..what are saying? I kid, I kid.

Ryan

I have a low end Onkyo tape player out of their line in the early 90s. It sounds excellent and it still works great! My dad had bought Onkyo components in the early 90s and they, too were what fit the bill at the time. The looks were classic with silver fronts. It’s too bad the author keeps on copy/pasting his quote that nobody will care for ‘Okyo’ under everyone’s comments, while there are still millions who care for Onkyo! We bought the equipment because we cared for the quality, not the naysayers.

Greg Worrel

The Onkyo brand of AVRs was sold to Voxx after Sound United decided they weren’t interested. The brand is not going away. This article is simply wrong.

Devin

I will miss them. Their HT receivers were always a bit on the bright side in terms of sound… They helped bring m y CMMD drivers to life. And they did do high end gear. Under the Integra name.

Hugo C Lara

The last comment on the article is so truly false through the years onkio has made One of the best hi fi systems.

Bobby Nelson

Damn, I was just looking to get a new Onkyo home theater receiver, mines way outdated.

Jesse

Strange coincidence that this happened the very same week I replaced my old Onkyo turntable with a Pro-ject.

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