Onkyo has set the bar high with their previous HTiB systems, and I'm not sure what happened with this flagship model. I suspect the company wanted to hit a certain price point with the world's only THX-certified HTiB. The fallacy here is that THX certification trumps everything else, but in my opinion, it doesn't. THX certification means the system meets the minimum requirements for that certification (THX offers several certification levels depending on the product category), leaving lots of room for speakers, THX-certified or not, to far exceed those requirements.

From the specs and features alone, the HT-S94000THX looks like a clear winner, and the HT-R990 is as good as anything in Onkyo's regular lineup. Regrettably though, I couldn't give it our coveted Top Pick status because ultimately its audio performance was only passable, not stellar.