The rumours of Onkyo’s death were greatly exaggerated. And this even though they were brought to light by Onkyo themselves!
When the 76-year-old Japanese hi-fi brand Onkyo filed for bankruptcy with the Osaka District Court on Friday, it triggered a storm of stories about the brand’s demise.
From mainstream to niche
The story, which appeared in the business media Nikkei, was quoted in the audio press worldwide. Here at L&B Tech Reviews, we also wrote a commentary on the rise and fall of Onkyo – which is also, in many ways, the story of how stereo listening, which in the 1970s was every teenager’s hobby, has now become a niche interest for the few. And that companies that fail to adapt to a new technological reality must wither and die.
Today’s good news is that the Onkyo brand lives on!
Because while Japanese Onkyo is closing down, Onkyo home entertainment AV solutions live on in new hands. The division has been jointly owned by American Premium Audio Company (PAC) and Japanese Sharp since September 2021.
Has taken over all assets
In a press release from Premium Audio Company, the company stresses that the divisions of Onkyo that PAC and Sharp bought in 2021 are not affected by Friday’s bankruptcy. And that includes just about every part of Onkyo. Indeed, the company is behind the production of “a variety of A/V and stereo receivers, amplifiers and hi-fi components under both the Onkyo and Integra brands.” PAC and Sharp have also acquired all intellectual property rights and the rights to product development, sales, marketing and distribution of Onkyo and Integra.
From this it is not very surprising that Japanese Onkyo went bankrupt. After all, with the main business sold off and OEM production closed down, there was effectively nothing left in the parent company.
Get acquired – or die
In our commentary, we criticised Onkyo for not keeping up with the times. That was hasty. Because, as it turns out, Onkyo has just done what many other old hi-fi brands before them have done: get acquired by a big company. With the 2021 acquisition, Onkyo and Integra became part of the same family as Klipsch, Jamo, Mirage, Teac and Pioneer. To name just a few. All in all, it is the rule more than the exception to find a hi-fi brand today that has maintained its independence throughout the years. Among the few that are still owned by their original parent companies are Sony, Technics and Danish B&O.
But the good news is that we will continue to test products with the Onkyo name. And we’re looking forward to that. Even if it might be hard to tell the difference between them and, say, Teac and Pioneer.