Onkyo Liverpool Series MS5LX

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
Onkyo Liverpool Series MS5LX
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5


  • Original look, sounds excellent, incredible number of inputs


  • Painful setup

Bottom Line

A wonderful home theatre experience. If the buyer can match it to their living room and has a spare few hours to set it up, it is one of the best choices available.

Would you buy this?

We are always on the lookout for something a little different at the Good Gear Guide offices, and Onkyo's range of wood textured home theatre systems fits the bill nicely.

The Liverpool Series L-MS5LX is a 5.1 system consisting of the standard front, rear and centre speakers; a subwoofer; a receiver; and a DVD player. All the speakers and the sub are made of a solid, wood-textured plastic rather than following the conventional matte black or silver motif. In the right environment, we think the system would look great.

The two front speakers are tall, freestanding units that thankfully required no screws to set up, while the back speakers are small, suited for resting on a shelf or wall mounting. The DVD player and receiver don't appear to be part of this matching set, as they are a silver colour with judicious use of blue and red LEDs. They are quite small, and would fit nicely in a stacked home entertainment cabinet.

Setting up the system took a lot longer than we would have liked. After finding the system was screwless, we expected a relatively painless setup, but that was before we discovered that the receiver and front speakers use an extremely irritating connection system. Rather than just using a standard switch system, Onkyo has opted for a screw-based connection, where you must unscrewed a plug, insert the cable, and then keep it in place while screwing it back together. It is an entirely unnecessary set of connections that just make setup a much bigger pain than it has to be. There are no clear markings on the speaker cables to tell you what goes where, and it took some hunting before we sorted it out.

This system has a massive number of inputs and outputs, supporting pretty much any number of devices. For the consumer with a lot of AV equipment, this system is a great choice. It has three digital inputs (two optical, one coaxial), three S-Video inputs and two outputs, two component inputs and one output, five composite ports and five RCA connections. Onkyo could have removed something to make space for a DVI or HDMI connection, which would really make this a complete receiver system, but even without it, it provides more than enough options for most people.

Sound from the system was subtle, yet strong. We were very impressed. The clarity was nothing short of exquisite. The speakers allowed us to feel every crunch, every kick in the sound perfectly. That is not to say it was overpowering, however. At no point was it what we would define as loud. For those that like their car chases loud and their explosions louder, this may not be the right system, but for a more subtle experience that really hits the listener in the face at the right moments, it's hard to go past the L-MS5LX.

There are a total of 16 surround modes, tweaked to suit specific different target devices, such as music or games. There is also a "late night function", which is designed to raise the volume of quiet sections of sound and balance out the soundfield such that you can watch a program on low volume without missing parts. The receiver was let down a little by only having seven DSP soundfields, including orchestra and unplugged. Some receivers come with as many as 15 or 20 of these, so it is a shame Onkyo couldn't squeeze in a few more here.

Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

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.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?