A capable home theatre system
- Powerful amplifier with plenty of connectivity, well-built speakers
- Difficult to set up, lacks mid-range
If you have the spare time to set it up, Pioneer’s HTiB817S is a competent home theatre system.
Price$ 1,299.00 (AUD)
Pioneer's HTiB817S is an easily expandable home theatre system that delivers impressive audio at a reasonable price. It might be too complicated for novice users to set up, but once configured it's a good choice for a high-level sound setup.
The system is divided into three boxes, with the subwoofer, satellite speakers and VSX817S receiver bundled separately. The huge array of connections means that you'll have to have a bit of know-how to get everything up and running.
The receiver comes in either black or silver and is sold separately as Pioneer's VSX817S unit. It has a vast array of connectors on the rear and would be suitable as the basis of any serious home theatre system. Three S-Video ports, three component inputs and a whopping four composite inputs cover video, while audio is channelled through three analog RCA inputs, two optical and two coaxial digital inputs.
The speakers, while relatively light, are well built and have a simple silver finish. They're also wall-mountable with optional brackets. The unit's subwoofer is quite sizeable and its cube shape means that it is difficult to hide. However, it is quite a stylish unit, with a similar finish to the speakers.
The five satellite speakers connect to the receiver using regular speaker wire and the subwoofer is attached with an RCA cable. The advantage of this is that if you have a non-standard placement for the amplifier, you can easily buy longer lengths of cable. No other leads are supplied, however, so you will need additional cables to connect the HTiB817S to a DVD player and television.
As previously mentioned, the HTiB817S doesn't include a CD or DVD player — the only audio capability out of the box is an inbuilt AM/FM tuner. We connected it to a Samsung BD-P1000 through component to test DVD, Blu-ray and CD video and audio.
When watching The Matrix, we found that the speakers performed capably. A crisp, cinematic sound was produced, with clarity and good detail at both low and high volumes.
Treble was consistently clean and had a very crisp feel. The satellite speakers are largely focused on higher range frequencies, meaning that treble has a very noticeable volume boost over mid-range audio. They can sound slightly tinny and harsh at high volumes, but at a comfortable listening level in a large room the sound was balanced and rich.
Mid-range was the downfall of the speaker system. The subwoofer isn't flexible enough to reproduce these higher notes and the satellites are too small to give any kind of power to mid-range without distorting. As a result, the system has a very noticeable frequency gap, especially obvious when listening to acoustic and classical music.
Bass from the subwoofer was a nice addition to movie audio. Generally bass lagged slightly, with a slow decay creating long, booming bass even at lower volumes. This gives an impression of powerful bass which is great for movies, but anyone listening to music may find the bass distracting and overpowering.
Volume levels were more than acceptable and were easily enough to fill a large room. No evident distortion was heard at normal listening volumes, but there was some mid-range distortion when listening at higher volumes. The VSX817S amplifier is a suitable system for running these speakers, with plenty of functionality including twelve surround sound modes, support for standard audio formats like Dolby Digital EX and DTS-ES, and other adjustments like dialogue enhancement and volume normalisation.
If you already have a dedicated DVD player and some spare time to spend hooking up all your home theatre components through the receiver, then the Pioneer HTiB817S is a decent option.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® Portable SSD
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Acer Swift 7
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Huawei Mate 9
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Surface Pro 4
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
- 5 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
Latest News Articles
- Up next for Apple TV: 4K streaming reportedly in the works
- Apple’s original TV shows are almost ready for prime time
- Apple snags Amazon Fire TV exec to lead Apple TV efforts
- AirTV's slick marriage of Sling TV and OTA channels isn't in the product yet
- Here's what's coming next from Sling TV
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- TPSCCM SpecialistVIC
- FTSenior Web DeveloperNSW
- CCCommercial Contract AdministratorNSW
- FTChief Architect - Public SectorACT
- CCBusiness Analyst - Cyber SecurityACT
- FTSolution Architect l MS Exchange, O365NSW
- FTLevel 3 Support AnalystVIC
- TPSoftware EngineerWA
- TPSenior Project CoordinatorNSW
- FTConsultant Business AnalystQLD
- CCSAP ISU Device Management ConsultantNSW
- CCSalesforce DeveloperNSW
- FTBusiness Development Executive - Queensland Public SectorQLD
- FTBranch Practice Manager - SecurityQLD
- FTSenior Project Manager - PERMANENTACT
- TPChange AnalystQLD
- FTTechnical Business AnalystNSW
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Supply Chain Modules)ACT
- FTERP Data Migration Consultant - Software Company - Permanent - SydneyNSW
- CCData Engineer (SQL/Big Data/Scala)VIC
- CCCyber Security ArchitectNSW
- FTDevOps/Senior Sys Admin - eCommerce - Permanent - Sydney Northern BeachesNSW
- FTSystem AdministratorNSW
- CCSenior Technical Business Analyst - ITMSP - Melbourne CBDVIC
- CCSecurity AnalystACT