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Well-known audio manufacturer files for bankruptcy

Japanese audio manufacturer Onkyo is officially insolvent. What will happen to the popular brand now?

The traditional company Onkyo is primarily known for its high-quality stereo systems. Founded in 1946, the Japanese manufacturer also sold record players and loudspeakers for a long time. Alongside well-known names like Panasonic, Samsung and Sony, Onkyo is therefore considered one of the largest manufacturers of audio electronics. Apparently, that didn’t help much in light of current developments: On Friday, May 1, 2022, Onkyo had to file for insolvency.

Onkyo insolvency was foreseeable

Not only during the Corona crisis did Onkyo suffer considerably. For years, the Japanese company has been struggling with developments in the audio market. While stereo systems used to be considered the ultimate, users nowadays consume music, audio plays and the like differently. Portable devices – first and foremost, of course, the smartphone – are now far more popular.

Accordingly, money problems have existed for some time, and Onkyo lost its stock market listing as early as August of last year. Although attempts were made to keep the business going on a smaller scale, this apparently did not pay off sufficiently, so Onkyo had to file for bankruptcy with the court in Osaka. The company has now accumulated debts of over 23 million US dollars.

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What’s next for Onkyo?

“We tried all possible ways (to keep the business going), but ultimately could not pay our debts,” a statement from the company told Nikkei Asia magazine. As recently as January 2021, shareholders had agreed to create new equity through stock options, but no one wanted to buy into the company, which was in serious need of restructuring.

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In the meantime, the core audiovisual equipment business has been sold to Sharp and Voxx International in the US. The headphone business, on the other hand, went to an investment fund. Nevertheless, Sharp and Voxx want to keep the brand as a joint venture. With this, Onkyo joins other failed companies, just under Voxx, which already bought up other companies like Pioneer and Inteegra in the past. Sharp plans to maintain production in the future, while Voxx International will handle marketing.


  • Nikkei Asia