Sony New ES 8K AV Receiver Lineup Offers Audio Features Others Don't!
It’s been over a decade since Audioholics has done an intensive bench test review on a Sony receiver, but that’s about to change… Sure we’ve covered Sony’s other releases of products like their HT-A9 Home theater in a box system and new Sony technologies like their Object-Based ‘360 Reality Audio’ Format. But now Sony has announced a slew of immersive 8K receivers with a new immersive audio room correction technology. The new receivers from Sony are their first to feature 8K & 4K/120 support as well as Sony’s new ‘360 Spatial Sound Mapping technology’. The new ES line features four new models built mainly for custom installation and the STR-AN1000 which is created for consumers looking to upgrade their current home theater system.
Sony’s Elevated Standard (ES) series’ AV receivers were designed from the ground up and from what we’ve seen, look to be the best receivers Sony has made yet. Improvements like a frame beam base chassis (FBB chassis) has been developed by combining a conventional frame beam chassis with a transformer base which should provide a stiff and more stable design for better sound with less distortion. With this, the overall thickness of the ES series has been improved, including a bottom plate that is 200% thicker and side walls that are 120% thicker than previous models. The ES series feature support for the leading control systems from Control4, Crestron, Savant and OvrC and all 4 ES models come with a graphical user interface, or front panel display. These are products designed for the Custom Integrator in mind.
STR-AN1000 7.2 Channel 8K AV Receiver
The consumer model STR-AN1000 is a 7.2 channel receiver, comes with Sony’s new 360 Spatial Sound Mapping Technology and is priced at $900. Sony says the STR-AN1000 is “designed to give you an immersive surround sound and high quality visual with simple set up.”
We are very excited to share the news of our highly anticipated receiver lineup. We’ve been a part of the custom integration channel for over 30 years, and we’re looking forward to offering streamlined integration for our partners, while also delivering incredible performance. We can’t wait for consumers to experience our new STR-AN1000 model! It’s perfect for our customers looking for an immersive home theater experience like never before.
--Tyler Ishida - President of Consumer Business Group, Sony Electronics Inc.
The big news from Sony is their “revolutionary” 360 Spatial Sound Mapping technology that’s designed to create a unique and immersive cinematic experience. 360 Spatial Sound Mapping can place multiple phantom speakers around the room to create a wider listening space for a more authentic cinematic experience at home. By utilizing the positional information measured by Sony’s Digital Cinema Auto Calibration, multiple phantom speakers are generated all around the room. The latest auto calibration technology developed by Sony can correct the distance, angle, sound pressure and frequency response of each speaker by measuring the speaker placement in 3D using the supplied calibration microphone.The new calibration technology will work alongside Auto Phase Matching, which aligns the phase of different speakers. This means you can compensate for challenging speaker placement, delay, or phase shift to feel fully immersed in a movie.
Common Features of the ES Receiver Line and the STR-AN1000 Model
Sony STR-AZ7000ES: 13.2 CH A/V Receiver
All five receivers will feature the inclusion of video technologies like HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision and newly supported 8K, and IMAX Enhanced on the ES series and STR-AN1000. Likewise, all the receivers will support the latest formats, such as 4K/120, Variable Refresh Rate (VRR)8 and Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) in HDMI 2.1, for smoother and clearer movement for responsive gameplay. The AV receivers will also pass-through Auto HDR Tone Mapping and Auto Genre Picture Mode on compatible BRAVIA XR TVs for a better gaming experience on the PlayStation 5.
The ES series and STR-AN1000 also supports DSD (Direct Stream Digital) native playback, with no conversion involved, so DSD content can be enjoyed losing none of the original quality. The AV receivers offer easy access to music applications. Not only with STRAN1000 but also ES series, users can easily connect smart devices to the amplifier via Bluetooth and services such as Spotify Connect, Chromecast, Apple AirPlay 2 and Works with Sonos. So, it’s never been easier or more convenient for music fans to enjoy their favorite artists.
Center Channel Configuration Options
When connected to a BRAVIA XR TV with Acoustic Center Sync, the ES series and STR-AN1000 combine audio from the TV with the audio from the center speaker. Sony says with this pairing, “Dialogue will appear to come directly from the characters on the screen creating a much more immersive experience.” The AV receivers also integrate with the BRAVIA Quick Settings menu, allowing you to change features such as the sound field of the amplifier just by using the TV remote. The STR-AZ5000ES and STR-AZ7000ES models offer a center-channel lift-up feature that utilizes the front height speakers to help raise the center channel sound location for situations where the center channel must be placed lower to the floor under the display device. Both models also provide a Dual Center Speaker function that allows for the use of a top and bottom center channel speaker to improve the center speaker experience on very large screen displays.
In addition, the AV receivers can also connect wirelessly to Sony’s optional speakers, including wireless rear speakers SA-RS5 and SA-RS3S and optional wireless subwoofers SA-SW5 and SA-SW3.
||150W + 150W||130W + 130W||120W + 120W||100W + 100W|
|6 in / 2 out|
| 8K & 4K/120Hz HDMI Inputs
|| 4 in / 2 out
||4 in / 2 out||4 in / 2 out||2 in / 2 out|
| HDMI 2.1, ALLM, VRR
|Dimensions||17 in x 7 3⁄4 in x 17 3⁄8||17 in x 7 3⁄4 in x 17 3⁄8||17 in x 7 3⁄4 in x 17 3⁄8||17 in x 6 1⁄4 in x 13 1⁄8|
||41.15 lb||20.9 lb
What we think...
The 2 top models are a hefty 48lbs, 42 lbs, respectively, which is a good sign that Sony is going back to their audio roots and putting some meaty amps and power supply's in their products. The big question is the new 360 Spatial room correction. Dirac has their spatial room correction solution, which abandons the old method of correcting one channel at a time, instead using every speaker in a system simultaneously to optimize the reproduction of each input channel. Trinnov recently released their Trinnov Optimizer to compete with Dirac Live, and now Sony has their 360 Spatial Sound Mapping technology. To say we're 'interested' in Sony's new line of receivers is putting it mildly. If Sony's spatial correction can bring good results with easy set up like Sony claims, the base model STR-AN1000 at $900 would be an incredible price for the amount of technology out of the box.
Are you a fan of Sony ES receivers? Share your thoughts in the related forum thread below.
Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.
Alternatives, post: 1595578, member: 96982I have 2 Sony AVRs and two Denon AVRs - and they all sound good. If your system doesn't sound good, look to your room, speaker placement, or the speakers and Subs before the AVR. My systems sound different because they are in different rooms and have different speakers and / or subs. The one with the best speakers and multiple Subs does sound better. And so it should.
I don't like the way my 9 year old Yamaha Aventage RX-A3040 sounds for music, Bass is muddy and the high frequencies are rolled off to soon. The Sony will be better. That's all I can say for now.
AcuDefTechGuy, post: 1595572, member: 26997I have no idea what Sony's Customer Service is like, probably the same as Samsungs. I went to a local Electronics Store, they're getting the units in in April. Sony's AZ7000ES should last as it's their Flagship Model.
Anyone can say that they think one AVR sounds better than another. Thats just hearsay.
I am sure Yamaha fans can say the same thing about how they think their Yamaha sound better.
Just be happy as long as you can get the sound you want from your AVR using the optimal setup for your system.
Hows Sony customer service? Have you given them a call to test them out? Ask them what they can do for you if your Sony dies in 4 years and 11 months into the warranty period. Just to test them out.
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