Onkyo is dead – long live Onkyo!

When Japanese Onkyo declared itself dead on Friday, it wasn't the whole story. For the Onkyo brand lives on under American ownership.

written by / 2022-05-17 - 7:20 am
Onkyo is dead – long live Onkyo!

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.

21 thoughts on “Onkyo is dead – long live Onkyo!”

    1. Mark Graves

      I’ll agree with you on the Onkyo products. But the Sharp TVs?? The Sharp name hasn’t been on a decent television in years.

  1. I started buying Onkyo products in 1991, currently have 3 functional Onkyo receivers of different levels, 2 CD players, all still working just fine. It’s a shame to the name go down like many others. Not sure the American “knock-off” will be the same…

  2. Technics disappeared for awhile a decade or two ago. I used to have all Technics equipment. I thought they were part of Pioneer?

    1. I think Technics was a Panasonic brand name.
      I noticed that Onkyo and their upscale Integra brand had some different internal desist. My Integra had a massive toroidal transformer and, unfortunately, some other proprietary components that my local repair shop said were not replaceable. I let him keep it and part it out, my bad.

  3. Onkyo put out junk receivers. Audiophiles are quality concious and the name is permanently damaged. The name will live on like Bell and Howell and Sunbeam. Yard lights and cheap appliances sold via infomercials.

    1. John Wright

      My Onkyo receiver crapped out on me right after the super bowl, I had it hooked up to my bose speakers through my TV no sound. I read that this is common and heating up a part with a heat gun might solve the problem.

    2. I think their old receivers were terrific though I’m partial to vintage pioneer receivers from the early 80s. Sx-780 and up. Was lucky to snag a vintage sx-3700 unused in unopened box in 2010. Gorgeous and 45 true RMS. Through Wharfedale emeralds 91, 95, 97 and … 99s. Terrific speakers.

  4. Nothing new,I remember seeing Westinghouse monitors and flat screen TVs at best buy and my wife said I thought they went out of business decades ago. I said they did but someone bought nothing but the trademark. Funny but just saw a onkyo receiver on sale at Costco. My old 1990s technics receiver will still shake the walls but is obsolete as far as new tech is concerned.yet still great for vinyl.

  5. BTW I still have the sansui receiver I bought in Japan in 1970. Still works but not sure they exist anymore

    1. Bought my dad and Akai receiver once in the 80s and it died in one year. I wrote to the company and they sent me a brand new top of the line model (computer controlled). Powerful! I Iet my son use it 8n college and he damaged the flip up door that hid the touch controls. I should have kept it when I moved…can’t keep them all. I still have the original Fisher 700-t!

    2. Dave McBride

      I bought one early 80s. Digital display new then. Yes has a flip door. Works fine two channel

  6. I’m pleased to see the Onkyo brand getting new life. Their home theater receivers have been among the most versatile. I ask only one thing; the re-inclusion of multichannel analog inputs, for those of us with legacy components that would need them.

  7. Martin Cairney

    I have 2 Onkyo FM/DAB tuners T-4030 which both have the same fault – every time when turned on they operate fine for the first ten minutes or so then appear to lose the signal for a few minutes before regaining it and work fine again. This has happened from new. I did consider complaining under warranty but then decided it wasn’t really worth doing so. I should perhaps add that this happens on all DAB stations, I have never used the FM tuner on either unit.

  8. I thought that Onkyo and Pioneer already had some sort of affiliation, no? Their auto room analyzers and general GUIs on their home theater receivers are awfully close to Pioneer’s, as are the designs on the their remotes and other periferals. A friend of mine has an Onkyo receiver and I a Pioneer Elite LX505, aside from a few name differences, the GUI is nearly identical.

  9. P 200 and M 200 from Onkyo are the best pre / power Amplifiers money’ can buy in this PLANET! Much better than all high end from Mark Levinson, Kebshull or other similar from Sony , Pioneer , Technics etc etc..
    The Quality from Onkyo it’ s simply the best.
    Of course they have/ had different price for different products: but price/ quality Ratio from Onkyo it’ s simply the best.
    Onkyo means Sound !

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