It’s big enough to support a large flat-panel TV. It streams music from Bluetooth devices. It provides very good sound in a relatively inexpensive, one-piece package. Those are a few reasons why I’m impressed with the Onkyo EnvisionCinema LS-T10 TV Speaker System.
About that first sentence… although this is a one-piece TV sound system, it is not a soundbar. It falls into a category of audio devices colloquially called “sound consoles,” for lack of a better descriptor. Unlike soundbars, which sit in front of your TV, the LS-T10′s got some bulk, some heft; it weighs almost 20 pounds. On paper, and in execution, that bodes well for those looking for a richer sonic experience than most scrawnier soundbars can provide.
Does the all-in-one LS-T10 sound as good as a larger component-based system? I’m sure that even Onkyo wouldn’t posit that it does, but you’re not paying thousands of dollars for it either. At $399, the space-saving LS-T10 is a pretty persuasive deal, especially if you’re not interested in setting up an elaborate, component-based system that could run you four figures… at least.
In short, it’s a self-contained unit that gives really good sound at a reasonable price.
Let’s dive in a little deeper, shall we?
Installation is a relative breeze, with the manual taking you through step-by-step quite effectively. It took me about 15 minutes to figure everything out and get totally set up.
Note that you should really have a second set of hands at the ready to lift the TV and its stand onto the LS-T10. To protect the TV from vibration, Onkyo provides eight small cushions that you stick to the bottom of your TV stand.
Then you’ve got your three audio input connections to your TV or audio device: coax, optical, and analog mini-plug. The latter two cables are included with the product, along with an AC adapter and cord to power the device. There’s also a USB port if you’ve got tunes on a flash drive.
Buttons on the included remote consist of power, mute, three inputs (TV, USB and Bluetooth), volume up/down, subwoofer level up/down, sound mode (music, news, or movie), and three USB operation buttons — a nice touch. Like many remotes that come with electronics products these days, the LS-T10′s is really small, easy to lose, and frankly not that much fun to use. The good news is that the LS-T10 is pre-programmed to work with many TV or cable remotes. These remotes can also learn the codes to the LS-T10; with some effort, it’s not too difficult to achieve this setup.
The functions on the included remote are mostly duplicated on the top of the unit itself, so if you’re standing near the TV, you don’t need to fish for the tiny remote to make necessary adjustments. The LS-T10 can decode Dolby Digital audio, the presence of which is noted by a tiny light on the top of the unit.
Bluetooth setup is easy. You turn on Bluetooth by pressing the appropriate button on the remote or the unit. Then, you search for the LS-T10 on your handheld, tablet, or laptop. This process was a snap. I was enjoying streaming music through the LS-T10 in seconds flat.
So how’s it sound? Better than my Samsung Smart TV’s built-in speakers, that’s for sure. Dialogue is clear. The built-in subwoofer can enhance or distract from your experience depending on how you set it and what your preferences are. I like to add a little dash of low-end to standard TV, a little more for movies and music. I found that if you crank the sub too much, the bass loses some definition, but at lower levels, it adds nice color and roundness to the audio. Again, I don’t feel this is a big issue because this is a $399 product; you can pay much more than that for a quality standalone subwoofer alone. And with traditional soundbars, the sub is a separate piece, which means you need to find a space for it. Not so with the LS-T10.
While the LS-T10 doesn’t offer EQ or other finer audio adjustments, the three pre-programmed sound modes — music, news and movies — along with subwoofer level control, allow for some slight tweakability. I found that the pre-programmed modes sounded just fine for the audio and video content I tried.
Overall verdict: Price/performance champ.