Despite Onkyo bankruptcy, Pioneer, Elite AV Drives On!


Over the past two years, we’ve followed Onkyo’s fight for survival, from the potential acquisition of Sound United, the closure of Onkyo USA, and the takeover of the AV business by Klipsch parent company Vox. , until the insolvency of the company just a few months ago. Last Friday we received tragic news when Nikkei Asia has announced that Onkyo Home Entertainment has filed for bankruptcy. Friday, May 13 at Osaka District Court. Total liabilities were estimated at around 3.1 billion yen (US$24 million). After valiant efforts and positive signs that Onkyo might be getting back on track, it looks like the company will be heading into the sunset like Alan Ladd’s Shane, with audiophile Joeys calling his name. The current era has been particularly difficult for the audio industry.

We reported a year ago that Onkyo was showing signs of narrowing the gap between operating costs and profits, but unfortunately none of the “ifs” seemed to go Inkyo’s way since. After being delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange last August, Onkyo saw two of its main subsidiaries file for bankruptcy last March, including Onkyo Sound Co. Ltd., an Onkyo equipment manufacturer that sold audio equipment under other brands, and Onkyo Marketing Co. Ltd. , responsible for business development in the Japanese audio market.

The decline of Onkyo Home Entertainment for years

  • October 2019: Sound United deal to buy Onkyo/Pioneer fails
  • July 2020: Onkyo USA stops distribution in the United States
  • July 2020: The Onkyo/Pioneer AV division is sold to Voxx International, parent company of Klipsch
  • November 2020: Onkyo is struggling with insolvency
  • August 2021: Onkyo delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange
  • Jan 2022: Onkyo introduces its new range of AV receivers CES ’22
  • April 2022: Two major Onkyo divisions file for bankruptcy
  • May 2022: Onkyo files for bankruptcy and ceases operations

Onkyo told Nikkei Asia that it “tried to maintain its operations on a smaller scale but could not prevent its cash flow problems from getting worse.” According to Yuji Masaki, Head of Research Department at Teikoku Databank Regional Office, Osaka said:

“[Onkyo] tried to stay alive through various ventures such as headphones and earphones, but the measures were halfway. [Their disposal of businesses] were also a step behind in timing.”

AV market watchers are well aware that Onkyo’s problems go back further than anything listed here. The company’s downfall is more indicative of changes in the consumer electronics industry itself and the shift during the 2000s from physical media to the consumption of software and internet-connected media and the diversification of the way we listen and watch. Challenges felt across the industry have been compounded by COVID and widespread semiconductor shortages which particularly distressed Onkyo.

Toru Hayashi, Chairman and CEO of Onkyo Home Entertainment Co. Ltd submitted documents for his company’s bankruptcy filing which included a very The Japanese apologize to everyone for failing to get Onkyo back on track.

“We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused to our business partners, shareholders and related parties. I would like to thank you…”

“This has hampered the company’s ability to introduce new products…or be able to deliver current products. Additionally, the shortage of chips killed their ability to scale their OEM manufacturing business, as OEM customers also could not get enough chips for their projects.

Audio Premium Co

Yes Virginia, there will always be Onkyo AV receivers

The Onkyo we knew, the Japanese company whose history dates back to 1946 and was majority owned by the Ohtsuki family, will cease to exist. Think of it as the soul of the business that is lost. Even Elon Musk is unlikely to step in to save Onkyo from bankruptcy and pay off the debts of a company that can’t make ends meet. But the Onkyo and Pioneer brands will live on! The company’s audio/video business is owned by Voxx International and it even has a contract with Sharp to manufacture its AV products. In fact, most consumers, especially those looking at new Onkyo AV receivers, are unlikely to even notice a change. Premium Audio Co is a joint venture of Voxx and Sharp since September 2021 and manages several popular home audio video brands including Onkyo, Pioneer, Elite, Integra as well as Klipsch, HECO and Energy speakers.

So home audio fans will still see the familiar Onkyo, Pioneer and Elite nameplate on AV receivers for some time in the future. Warranties will continue to be honored and its AV receivers and other equipment will continue to be manufactured, provided they can fish out the chips needed to assemble and repair them. Who knows, maybe under Voxx, Onkyo will be given new life and will continue to live on and even thrive in the leaner, more adaptable form that today’s market demands.

Bankrupt Onkyo? – YouTube talk 2021

What do you think? Please share your comments in the corresponding discussion thread.

panteragstk posts on Oct 27, 2021 3:23 PM

Replicant 7, extension: 1509984, member: 96226
From now on, to fully enjoy Dolby vision and full use of your 4K TV with no less than 400 nits, you must have a 4K player. To my knowledge, does anyone know of any other source capable of reproducing full 4K HDR other than a 4K disc and 4K player?

Many streaming services actually have good quality streams with Dolby Vision and “normal” HDR10. From what I can tell, most Dolby Vision content is streamed. Netflix uses it a lot, but the quality won’t be the same as a disc.

I only have a few movies from discs that have Dolby Vision. I forget which ones.

mdinno posts on Oct 26, 2021 11:49 AM

I do not care. I just bought the Pioneer SC-LX 704 to go with my new LG C1 OLED as a replacement for my Pioneer Elite Kuro Plasma. I’ve always been a Pioneer loyalist. I went with the 2019 704 model. I’m not a gamer so didn’t care about the 8K/HDMI 2.1 features. Also, this is first-gen, so it will soon be obsolete, like first-gen 4K was. The 704 is also more efficient and powerful than the 2021 model at this price, so it was an easy decision.

oltos posts on Oct 13, 2021 9:40 PM

Replicant 7, extension: 1509984, member: 96226
From now on, to fully enjoy Dolby vision and full use of your 4K TV with no less than 400 nits, you must have a 4K player. To my knowledge, does anyone know of any other source capable of reproducing full 4K HDR other than a 4K disc and 4K player?

4K support through the JRiver drive would depend as much on the optical drive. Although I’m always on the lookout for new movies, most of my collection are vintage titles on 1080p BD. But as I said, JRiver developers are trying to upgrade it as much as they can by user’s request. Let them know your thoughts and concerns!

oltos posts on Oct 13, 2021 9:31 PM

Unfortunately, when there are no more high resolution BD players with the zoom of the LX500 and mine dies for lack of spare parts, I will be forced to go with the JRiver player. The seeming clumsiness of a software player will take some getting used to, but it even beat Cyberlink with more features than any BD player I can find – AND developers who listen to users. Indeed, perhaps if at least one high-end standalone player brand had the same sales, they would be higher and they wouldn’t be about to disappear.


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