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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.