The HTX-22HDX is a 2.1 home theater system, featuring two small speakers and a subwoofer with an integrated AV receiver. Onkyo may be known for its brawny HTIBs, but the HTX-22HDX is decidedly a lifestyle system, focusing more on being compact and stylish than on performance. Instead of big and boxy speakers, the two front speakers come in at only 4 inches wide by 6.31 inches high by 4.38 inches deep. The subwoofer is also small (by subwoofer standards), even though it also houses the amplifier and AV connectors.
The main subwoofer/receiver combo unit has a black finish, with the front look particularly glossy. There's a LCD display on the front and the top has a few buttons, including volume, input selection, and power, which are handy in case the remote goes missing. The back of the subwoofer contains all of the inputs and outputs, which can lead to some subwoofer placement issues. If you want to place the subwoofer in the corner to improve bass response, you'll need to run cables all the way from your home theater cabinet--not the most convenient arrangement.
The included remote gets the job done, but the buttons are tiny. We appreciated that the volume control was clearly set aside and got larger-than-average buttons, but the rest of the controls aren't as well-designed. Besides the small buttons, there's not enough button differentiating, so it will be difficult to control anything but volume by feel.
All of the HTX-22HDX's functionality can be inferred by checking out the back panel. There are three HDMI inputs, which should be enough for the majority of basic home theaters. The HTX-22HDX is also well supplied with audio-only connections, including three digital inputs (two optical, one coaxial) and two stereo analog inputs.
The only input we really felt was missing was a minijack input for easily connecting an iPod or other digital audio player (though a cheap adapter cable to the analog inputs will get the job done just as well). You can also buy the Onkyo DS-A3 ($130 list price) for iPod connectivity, but that's an expensive add-on for a system that is selling online for $250. You'll also notice that--except for the HDMI ports--there are no dedicated video inputs. The HTX-22HDX doesn't have analog video up-conversion, so any analog video signals you have will need to be connected directly to your HDTV.
You'll also notice the back panel has speaker jacks for surround speakers and a center channel. Although the HTX-22HDX ships as a 2.1 system, it's possible to purchase the Onkyo SKS-22X speaker add-on package to make it a full 5.1 system.