Why you can trust us

Engadget has been testing and reviewing consumer tech since 2004. Our stories may include affiliate links; if you buy something through a link, we may earn a commission. Read more about how we evaluate products.

E-Onkyo music service becomes first to offer Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio

Looking for something a little more than your average online music store has to offer? Then you may soon want to give Onkyo's somewhat niche e-onkyo service some consideration. It's set to be the first store to offer music in Dolby TrueHD 5.1 -- something that will initially be limited to just 100 albums (heavy on the classical, from the looks of things) and require a compatible Onkyo receiver. Those downloads will also only be available in Japan initially (where they're rolling out on May 30th), but Dolby says they'll be available "elsewhere in the world" sometime this fall. Not surprisingly, that new option will demand a bit of a premium as well, with albums starting at ¥3,000 (or about $35) and singles setting you back ¥400 (or $5).

Show full PR text

Dolby Announces World's First Implementation of Dolby TrueHD 5.1 in Online Music Distribution Service

e-onkyo music service to launch 100 titles, 1,000 tracks, starting May 30

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Dolby Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE:DLB) announced today that e-onkyo music, the high-quality music distribution service managed by Onkyo Entertainment Technology Corporation, a subsidiary of Onkyo Corporation, will be the first online music distribution service to feature Dolby® TrueHD 5.1-channel surround sound. Expected to launch on May 30, 2012, in Japan and in fall 2012 elsewhere in the world, this service will enable users to download music from 100 album titles (about 1,000 tracks) in Dolby TrueHD 5.1-channel surround sound. The new Onkyo® A/V receivers (AVR) TX-NR818 and TX-NR717 will support the service.

The e-onkyo music service began in August 2005, with DRM-free music (music without digital copyright protection technology) and DSD format music distribution added in 2010, and featured a high-quality distribution of music by the rock group Queen in 2011. Now, with lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1-channel surround sound, the music service will provide consumers with high-quality audio at reduced download times and file sizes.

Shinsuke Yamashita, President and Representative Director, Onkyo Entertainment Technology Corporation, explained: "We are very happy that e-onkyo music will start distribution with Dolby TrueHD lossless audio, thanks to the cooperation of Dolby. The evolution of network audio and PC audio means that users can enjoy high-resolution sound with data volumes greater than those that are possible on a CD. And we are aiming to achieve even further growth in our music distribution business. Through the collaboration between our two companies, we intend to increase our breadth of content and improve the user's listening experience, in a way that only high-quality surround sound distribution can."

Michael Bergeron, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Sales and Support, Dolby Laboratories, commented: "Consumer appreciation of the highest-quality audio playback experiences is increasing. Onkyo's e-music service with Dolby TrueHD gives the listener access to 100 percent studio master-quality audio, delivering unparalleled detail and immersion, and reproducing every nuance of the recording or concert event. We congratulate Onkyo on their leadership in bringing these exciting experiences to the consumer through their download music service."

e-onkyo music's Dolby TrueHD 5.1-Channel Surround Sound Distribution (Provisional)
Service begins: May 30, 2012, 13:00 Japan standard time (JST)
Available titles*: 100 album titles, approx. 1,000 tracks
Distribution format: 24-bit/96 kHz, 24-bit/192 kHz 5.1-channel Dolby TrueHD
Price (provisional): Albums: Starting at 3,000 yen (incl. tax) , singles: Starting at 400 yen (incl. tax)
Service URL:

* Distribution titles are subject to change without prior notice.

About e-onkyo music

The e-onkyo site launched in August 2005 with the aim of enabling users to enjoy lossless "original audio," not available from compression-type music distribution sites. With 24-bit/96 kHz distribution, the site enabled users to listen to Japanese jazz and fusion performers such as Chie Ayado and Katsumi Watanabe; foreign jazz musicians such as Charlie Haden and others; and top-flight classical musicians from Japan and overseas, such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Valery Abisalovich Gergiev, and Yutaka Sado. e-onkyo music has grown into a high-quality music distribution site with one of the largest catalogs of music in Japan. In July 2010, the site began DRM-free distribution of high-quality data and also began Japan's first download sales of 24-bit/192 kHz ultrahigh-quality audio. Then, in December of that year, DSD format high-quality data distribution was started; and e-onkyo is developing the highest-quality music distribution in any required format. As of April 2012, the site has already distributed some 60,000 tracks. Of those, about 15,000 tracks have been delivered at 24-bit/96 kHz or higher. For details about the e-onkyo music service, visit

About Dolby TrueHD

Dolby's latest audio codec, Dolby TrueHD is an HD audio technology that can reproduce the original source-master sound exactly and without compromise. This audio format can deliver the highest-resolution digital signals of master soundtracks produced in-studio, with 100 percent bit-for-bit accuracy while saving data capacity compared to the source PCM. This means that users can enjoy in their homes the same audio quality that music and movie creators experience in the studio.

About Dolby Laboratories

Dolby Laboratories (NYSE:DLB) is the global leader in technologies that are essential elements in the best entertainment experiences. Founded in 1965 and best known for high-quality audio and surround sound, Dolby creates innovations that enrich entertainment at the movies, at home, or on the go. For more information about Dolby Laboratories or Dolby technologies, please visit

Dolby and the double-D symbol are registered trademarks of Dolby Laboratories, Inc. Onkyo is a registered trademark of Onkyo Kabushiki Kaishi Corporation. S12/25671 DLB-G