Japanese audio brand Onkyo files for bankruptcy

Shawn Knight

Posts: 14,151   +155
Staff member
In brief: Japanese audio equipment maker Onkyo recently filed for bankruptcy, citing total liabilities of 3.1 billion yen ($24 million). According to a report from Nikkei Asia, an inability to keep pace with changes in how people listen to music led to the company's demise.

Onkyo was established in 1946 and eventually became a well-respected name in the audiophile community, largely due to its AV receivers. Japanese brands including Onkyo, Pioneer and Sony surged in the 90s with the popularity of tower-style, component stereo systems.

The market started shifting in the 2000s, however, with the advent of MP3s, the recently discontinued Apple iPod and later, smartphones and streaming music services. Large home stereo systems fell out of favor with consumers who were now more interested in sleeker systems like soundbars and mobile solutions.

Onkyo attempted to remain relevant, launching a series of headphones and earbuds in subsequent years.

In 2015, the company attempted to fortify its business with the purchase of Pioneer's consumer electronics division but was never able to fully right the ship. It raised the possibility of delisting on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in January 2021 and shortly after, Voxx International and Sharp Corporation purchased Onkyo. In August, the audio equipment maker was indeed delisted from the stock exchange.

Nikkei Asia's report notes that Voxx and Sharp will likely keep using the Onkyo brand name.

Permalink to story.

 

Rvnwlf

Posts: 28   +33
When DVD's and Dolby 5.1 first entered the market I was torn between Onkyo and Denon for the equipment to buy. It was a close call but I eventually decided to go with Denon. If something like this were to happen to Denon It would be a very sad day for me.
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 1,052   +780
Real shame all these iconic Japanese brands going to the wall .
Maybe people just happy with sound bars - and dumbing down multiroom sound .
The upmarket can buy an expensive machine and get installers to do the hard work of installing in ceiling Atmos speakers , wiring surrounds etc - and make the room still wife friendly - plus if serious upmarket - have a dedicated theatre room - where the chairs would cost more than a cheap Onkyo receiver .
Some Chinese company will buy the name - to pump out stuff like Akai , I think Hitachi as well
Keep up the fight Yamaha - I imagine it's a well liked company for it's quality entry level guitars, speakers and other musical stuff .
I hope Panasonic does not leave the TV market .
It's some Japanese , some European , some old style British/USA companies not bought out my takeovers that keep the general consumer faire honest .
You may get the big brand cheaper - but what is the attention to detail - the balancing of components , the reliability .

I had a Nad 3020 amp as a youngster - a super piece of kit - so hopefully they crack on
Still have Onkyo 5.1 receiver stored somewhere - probably even hard to gift now
 

QuaZulu

Posts: 108   +43
TechSpot Elite
I had a beautiful sounding Onkyo beast in the 90s. Had to sell it when I took a job overseas. When I came back, I looked in to them again. You know, I think if they could have figured out how to transmit HiFi sound wirelessly in a 7.1/8.1 format and for multiple rooms, I'd have picked them up again. However, their innovation also seemed to stagnate in the 90s.
 

Mr Majestyk

Posts: 1,222   +1,119
Wow that sucks, they used to make excellent amps. The strange thing is Onkyo and Pioneer only recently came back from the dead but it looks like the restructure didn't work out.

Maybe Onkyo should've gotten into overpriced soundbars
 

azicat

Posts: 106   +108
Sad news. I miss the days of affordable yet high-quality 2-channel component hifi. Sounds like those of us who just want to listen to music without paying for audiophile-scam products are a shrinking group of customers.

(Still rocking my Denon and NAD bits from 2002, neither of which have ever needed service or repair.)
 

NicktheWVAHick

Posts: 380   +675
The 90s were the height of high end systems with everything moving to a smaller is better mindset with audio receivers and speakers.
The 90’s were dominated by audio components made of cheap plastic parts and integrated circuits. The late 70’s & early 80’s was when Audio truly shined with brushed aluminum knobs & bezels, , steel frames, toroidal transformers & 8” oil-filled capacitors. It wasn’t “high-end” unless the room lights dimmed when u flipped on the power switch. Those were the days.
 

pencea

Posts: 277   +254
That's a shame. I thought they were doing well. I'm currently still the Onkyo receiver for my current home theater setup.

It offers decent quality, features and great value for the price. Sad to see Onkyo go...
 

PEnnn

Posts: 775   +879
That's sad.

I have a Surround Sound Onkyo system with PolkAudio speakers that despite being over 15 years old, still sounds amazing and beats any of the other major brands out there!
 

RudyBob

Posts: 570   +532
They made well reviewed components. I had something by them that I liked...just can't recall what it was anymore. Darn.
 

nismo91

Posts: 1,215   +264
According to a report from Nikkei Asia, an inability to keep pace with changes in how people listen to music led to the company's demise.

it's sad because it's accurate. many years ago you wouldn't expect to see Dolby logo in a phone. but here we are, my phone says it has "Dolby Atmos" in it but I know for sure it can only output stereo sound. what a joke.

it's sad to see Onkyo go, but I'm sure it wouldn't be the last.
 

PanGrns

Posts: 18   +9
Ownership of homes becomes harder every day. People just cant afford energy anymore or to take the roads to a cheaper / smaller home, living behind them huge expensive things that they love.
 

texasrattler

Posts: 1,291   +621
Real shame all these iconic Japanese brands going to the wall .
Maybe people just happy with sound bars - and dumbing down multiroom sound .
The upmarket can buy an expensive machine and get installers to do the hard work of installing in ceiling Atmos speakers , wiring surrounds etc - and make the room still wife friendly - plus if serious upmarket - have a dedicated theatre room - where the chairs would cost more than a cheap Onkyo receiver .
Some Chinese company will buy the name - to pump out stuff like Akai , I think Hitachi as well
Keep up the fight Yamaha - I imagine it's a well liked company for it's quality entry level guitars, speakers and other musical stuff .
I hope Panasonic does not leave the TV market .
It's some Japanese , some European , some old style British/USA companies not bought out my takeovers that keep the general consumer faire honest .
You may get the big brand cheaper - but what is the attention to detail - the balancing of components , the reliability .

I had a Nad 3020 amp as a youngster - a super piece of kit - so hopefully they crack on
Still have Onkyo 5.1 receiver stored somewhere - probably even hard to gift now
Didn't read the article I see. Some Japanese companies already purchased them, Voxx n Sharp. Also said they will likely continue using the Onkyo name.
 

emmzo

Posts: 614   +770
The apparent problem with Japanese perfectionism in a consumer market is you don't need something new in years or decades. I still use an Onkyo amplifier from the 90's and it works flawlessly. And so, everything now is Chinese crap, that you think is so cheap. But considering costs vs time, they're so much more expensive and poorer quality.
 
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kiwigraeme

Posts: 1,052   +780
Didn't read the article I see. Some Japanese companies already purchased them, Voxx n Sharp. Also said they will likely continue using the Onkyo name.

Yeah didn't read to end - Sharp is now mostly owned by Foxconn & Voxx is American

Seems a lot of the receivers were incestuous - sharing lots of components - made in Malaysia

Marantz and Denon really same brand .
Use to see Pioneer speakers here in NZ long ago
Sharp calculators and adding machines , TVs and classic carousel microwave
Checked Casio - they are still going - had to have a Casio FX80 for school - got a FX82 in my drawer - rich kids had a Texas Instruments calculator
 

Luay

Posts: 120   +60
Saw it coming (and the rest of the AVR industry soon).

EARC disenfranchised the entire spectrum of what an AVR can do outside of their DAC and AMP capabilities, which is exactly what the new gen of AVRS need to be, stripped down of unnecessary video processing (1) TV do it better. 2) interactive entertainment adds 60ms in response time), and fully focused on quality DACs and Powerful AMPs.

No one who use EARC wants to connect their gear to an AVR, They want it connected to a tv and out of the way, just handling the audio.
 

terzaerian

Posts: 1,276   +1,775
Onkyo were always the dark horse of high-end audio and sometimes video, too. They put out serious, quality gear and usually cheaper than their nearest competition. I miss the 90's more every day.
Japan in the 90s is still ahead of us in the present. They got all the cool ****.
 

Rdmetz

Posts: 375   +181
Onkyo were always the dark horse of high-end audio and sometimes video, too. They put out serious, quality gear and usually cheaper than their nearest competition. I miss the 90's more every day.

Let's be clear their still making the same great equipment just under a new owner the only thing that's gone is the original ACTUAL onkyo company who after selling off all their core business literally had no company left to really fight for.

I'm just as excited to see what they put out in the future as I am the new onkyo receiver I ordered that released after they already were in this mess.

All the big brands have been getting bought up and now onkyo is just another one.