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The Onkyo HT-S580 system features four satellites, a dedicated center-channel speaker, a substantial subwoofer, and a fully appointed A/V receiver. The plastic-bodied satellites are almost completely covered by shapely rounded grilles, an elegant styling touch that distinguishes the 8-inch-tall satellites from the more typical pint-size, cheap-looking competition. The curvy 4.25-inch-wide center speaker carries over the same look, and the speakers' backsides are fitted with keyhole slots and threaded inserts to simplify wall mounting.
The dark gray subwoofer is constructed from medium-density fiberboard, a major improvement over plastic cabinet posers we see packed with other econo systems. It weighs 17.2 pounds and measures 9.1 inches wide, 17.1 high, and 15.5 deep.
The S580's speaker package is pretty darn impressive for a $299 HTIB, and the A/V receiver's look and feel is comparable to standalone models' costing that much. Its substantial weight (19.4 pounds) speaks to its robust build quality. Setup chores are pretty straightforward--we had the S580 up and running in less than 20 minutes. No complaints about the remote, either; its buttons are nicely organized and partially backlit, so it's easy to use in dimly lit rooms.
The S580 doesn't include a DVD player, but you probably have one anyway.
The receiver boasts six 100-watt channels and a full complement of Dolby and DTS surround modes, and their processing is expedited with a set of 192kHz/24-bit digital converters--pretty upscale for a $299 HTIB! Another bonus: if you ever want to upgrade to better speakers, the receiver's versatile crossover options--60Hz/80Hz/100Hz/120Hz or 150Hz--will aid in optimizing their sound quality.