The name of Onkyo Corporation is formed from two Japanese words: On meaning sound, and Kyo meaning harmony. It is said that at the beginning of his activity, the founder of the company hired only people with an ear for music, because he wanted everyone who creates new components to be as devoted to music and understand it from an undertone as he himself.


In September 1946, electrical engineer Takeshi Godai founded Osaka Denki Onkyo KK, the predecessor of Onkyo Corporation. The company began by producing the CP1000 phono cartridge, which could well be classified as High End (although the concept itself did not exist at that time) since it cost about 300 yen, despite the fact that the average salary in Japan was then only 500 yen.

In 1948, Takeshi managed to develop a new type of cone – “non pressed cone” (from non-pressed paper) which literally “revolutionized” the production of dynamic loudspeakers. Onkyo has laid the foundation for producing speakers based on the materials its engineers create. Since the early 70s, the corporation has been actively entering the world market. In 1971, Onkyo became its official name. A year later, a European branch, Onkyo Europe Electronics GmbH, opened in Germany, and in 1975, the American Onkyo USA Corporation opened. However, stereo equipment of the highest sound quality has always remained in the company’s production program. For quite a long time (in the 70s and 80s), with regular updates in new modifications, pairs of a preamplifier (P 300 series) and a power amplifier (M500 series) were produced. They were made according to the original circuit design (brand name Dual Super Servo), and the power amplifiers always had large dial indicators of the output power level on the front panel.

00 ONKYO 70th Anniversary.jpg

The turn of the 80s was the golden age of cassette recorders. With the advent of the first two-cassette deck with increased copying speed, the TA-W800, in 1981, lovers of magnetic recording began to have access to ample opportunities for editing it when dubbing. It is worth noting the TA-2080 cassette recorder, with a through path, logical control of the tape mechanism with a PLL servo drive and an automatic recording calibration system ACCUBIAS. Soon things went smoothly for Onkyo in the Hi-Fi industry.  The early 50s saw the first commercial success in the production of loudspeakers. A little later, the company gained recognition as one of the first manufacturers of multi-component stereo music systems. The starting point was the turntable and loudspeaker heads, then radios and console radios, and the culmination was the release in 1966 of the ST-55 desktop component stereo system, the sound quality of which and optimal functionality made it an immediate bestseller. With the release of the MC2200 multi-channel stereo system in Japan in 1968, a boom in such systems began in Japan.

Vintage audio Onkyo TX 4500 MKII Stereo Receiver..jpg
Onkyo TX 4500 

Two years later, the company entered the market with the Integra A725 amplifier, which won first place in its category in the first Stereo Component Grand Prix. The widespread use of modern scientific methods in its design was especially noted. This was the time of analog tuners, which were characterized by not very high tuning stability, which significantly affected the quality of reception, especially stereo transmissions.  In 1974, Onkyo developed the TS-503 tuner, in which the tuning was still analog, but to increase its accuracy and stability, a phase-locked loop system was used with the local oscillator frequency linked to a quartz oscillator. At the same time, Onkyo began producing quadraphonic receivers. Since the mid-80s, the company has increasingly paid attention to AV receivers and confidently takes a leading position among their manufacturers. In 1987, it offered the first receiver, the TX-SV7M (in the US market), with a built-in Dolby Surround decoder. The company consistently updated its models, each time being the first to introduce the latest advances in the field of home cinema.

Onkyo TX SV7M 

Thus, in 1993, the first THX-certified AV receiver, the TX-SV919THX, was released, and the TX-DS777 AV receiver, which appeared in 1999, was the first to meet the requirements of THX Select. The TX-DS474 (the first in Europe with a Dolby Digital decoder and priced under €400) was awarded the EISA Theater Receiver of the Year 1999–2000 that same year.  A year later, the top model of the TX-DS989 AV receiver, which supports a 7.1 configuration and has THX Surround EX certification, received a similar EISA award. With the advent of the CD, the company’s specialists began improving players for them. The C-700 CD player, which appeared in 1985, was the first to use an optical data link inside the device from the transport node to the analog processing unit. In 2000, Onkyo released a premium home theater packaged system consisting of a player, AV preamplifier and multi-channel power amplifier under its subsidiary brand Integra Research. One more model should be noted in this series: the first DVD receiver DR-90, which appeared in 1999.

Onkyo TX DS989 

It is appropriate to recall such an original product as the Onkyo PHC-5 (Phantom Cinema) virtual surround sound system, which was announced in the 1999–2000 production program. It allowed us to limit ourselves only to the front channels, but also add rear ones to their main sound signal, having previously subjected them to pre-processing using filters and delays.  Agree that it is much more convenient, instead of five speaker systems, to use one product that can simply be placed on the TV. Although this system was the first stand-alone implementation of Dolby Virtual, it had fairly flexible controls (nine sound modes). Thanks to the virtual front width and stage depth adjustments available from the remote control, the listener could optimize the sound depending on the size of the room and his position in it. Of course, such a system is not able to cover the entire frequency range and therefore a subwoofer had to be used in conjunction with the PHC-5. The latest development in this area is the unique D-TK10 acoustic system, created in collaboration with the guitar company Takamine and using proprietary Acoustic Voicing Technology. The “guitar” epithet in its name indicates the use of traditional methods for producing guitar bodies.

Onkyo PHC-5.jpg
Onkyo TX PHC-5

In 2004, the company released its flagship networked AV receiver, the TX-SR5000, which is modular and easy to upgrade. Tuner modules for digital satellite XM radio (for the USA) and DAB radio (for the UK) have already been released, a new version of the HDMI interface board has been prepared (1.1, and then 1.3), and next year it is planned to release new Dolby and DTS decoders generation – for HD formats of uncompressed multi-channel audio, and then also an HD Radio module – but only for the USA. The corporation is actively developing equipment that gives consumers access to new media or sources of music and video. The concept of a home digital network was announced by the corporation in 2001.  The main goal of Onkyo Corporation has always been to use advanced technologies, which sets it apart from the crowd, to achieve the highest sound standards and bring them to the listener, wherever he is. In the 70s, the golden age of Hi-Fi, the corporation’s slogan was Artistry in Sound, and now, when home theater is the main thing, it is Imaginative Sight & Sound.

2010 Onkyo returns to the market.jpg
Onkyo Reference

Onkyo also revived its reference Series of Hi-Fi components and released the P-3000R preamplifier, M-5000R power amplifier and C-7000R CD player in 2011. This series of Onkyo components takes 2-channel audio to a new level of musicality. The P-3000R Preamplifier, M-5000R Power Amplifier, and C-7000R CD Player have the rare ability to blend into your surroundings, so you can focus entirely on the music performance. Whether it’s a subtle orchestral pianissimo, a virtuoso trumpet solo or an uplifting rock anthem, you’ll feel the music come to life and fill your entire room.


History of the Onkyo brand An unusual company, large-scale ideas 1946 – 1955 1946 :

Osaka Denki Onkyo KK is founded. Onkyo was founded in 1946 by electrical engineer Takeshi Godai – with the intention of filling the then-existing shortage of Japanese-made dynamic loudspeakers with fairly satisfactory quality. The name “onkyo” means “acoustics of sound” in Japanese (also “harmony of sound”), and this is where our simple, concise and succinct brand image comes from.


1946 : Onkyo releases its first product The first product under the Onkyo brand was not actually a speaker, but a cartridge for a record player. The company invested the profits made from selling the ceramic cartridge into research and development of a new speaker and planned to build a factory. 1948: Start of production in a new factory At that time, most speakers were equipped with ready-made imported paper cones. Contrary to this practice, Onkyo independently developed a new method for producing its cones – and thus laid the foundation for our audio history. 1948: The first ED100 speaker wins acclaim Onkyo released its long-awaited ED-100 speaker in April 1948 – it was a large 25cm driver. Despite being 50 percent more expensive than its closest competitor, the ED-100 was a hit. Reviewers called it “sensitive, durable and great-sounding,” which has helped it become quite popular. 1950: Patent Application – Non-pressed Cone Onkyo developed its first non-pressed cone, which continues to be produced today, almost 70 years later. Onkyo’s passion for its signature sound can be traced back to this revolutionary idea. 1952: Relocation of factory and headquarters To cope with increased production, Onkyo decided to move its office and production facilities to Asahi-ku, Osaka. Sales grew steadily after that. This period laid the foundations for Onkyo as a leading speaker manufacturer. 1953: Release of the updated ED-100 speaker The original ED-100 speaker was re-released with a new unpressed paper cone. The sound quality has been significantly improved and, thanks to further positive feedback from experts, it has become a clear favorite – as a highly sensitive yet reliable speaker. 1953: Debut of the first radio receiver OS-55

Debut of the first radio receiver OS-55.jpg

Onkyo was determined to provide great sound without compromise even to its transistor radios. Again going against the established tradition of using speakers with a diameter of 12 to 16 cm, Onkyo released the OS-55 with a 20 cm driver. The excellent sound quality has made this radio a hit among music lovers. 1953: Demonstration at the Japan Audio Fair With a live audio demonstration at the Japan Audio Fair, Onkyo led the Japanese audio industry in proving that transient response is also extremely important for good sound quality. Today, this aspect of audio reproduction is considered a key factor in the design of new products. 1954: LP Concerts Begin In 1954, Onkyo began hosting LP concerts in large auditoriums and public halls throughout Japan, which later became well-attended events. 1955: Onkyo logo unveiled In 1955, a simple but elegantly stylized logo was created to establish Onkyo’s brand identity. It was warmly received by the audiophile community at the time. 1955: Start of television production

Start of TV production.jpg

Following the production of radios, Onkyo decided to master the production of televisions. Onkyo’s approach has been to deliver great sound and high-quality picture quality through the use of its proprietary acoustic technologies.

Inspired by a Passion for Sound 1956 – 1965

1950: Logo Update In the 1950s, Onkyo updated its logo to once again match the rapidly changing style of the times. 1956: Coaxial loudspeaker series introduced The company developed and released a series of three coaxial loudspeakers: the CX-12, CX-10 and CX-8 – with a tweeter mounted in the center of the bass driver cone. 1956: Japan’s First Plastic Cone Speaker Onkyo became the first Japanese company to release the “Pop Cone” plastic cone speaker, which featured a patented manufacturing technology. 1956: Giant horn loudspeaker system for concerts