Australian Hi-Fi



After almost 80 years in the game, Onkyo has filed for bankruptcy. The Japanese brand has been a household fixture of the hi-fi scene since 1946, but has not been able to meet shifting consumer demand. The firm filed at Osaka District Court in late May, with total liabilitie­s of around 3.1 billion yen (around $33 million). The good news, however, is that the Onkyo name will indeed live on. Last September, Onkyo sold its core home AV business to Sharp and the US-based Voxx Internatio­nal, and its earphones and headphones business to an investment fund. So while the Japanese company as we’ve known it sadly now ceases to exist, the brand will live on in a joint venture between Sharp and Voxx.

The Osaka-based company was delisted in August. Two subsidiari­es handling Onkyo’s OEM (original equipment manufactur­ing) and sales filed for voluntary bankruptcy in March. The first indication that all was not rosy came in 2019 when Onkyo tried and failed to sell its audio business to Sound United (owner of Denon and Marantz) for a reported $73m (approx $105m). The company subsequent­ly tried to keep doing business on a smaller scale, but it couldn’t stop its worsening cash flow problems, the firm told Japanese publicatio­n Nikkei.

Onkyo made its name making classic hi-fi kit like speakers and turntables, and later enjoyed much success in the AV receiver market. Newer products such as the A-9010 stereo amplifier had successful­ly continued the company’s good name in recent years, too, so I can only hope its reputation lives on in future Onkyo-branded products. Over to you, Sharp and Voxx…

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