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Sony STR-DA7100ES Receiver Review

by January 24, 2006
Sony STR-DA7100ES receiver

Sony STR-DA7100ES receiver

  • Product Name: STR-DA7100ES
  • Manufacturer: Sony Electronics
  • Performance Rating: StarStarStarStar
  • Value Rating: StarStarStarStar
  • Review Date: January 24, 2006 18:00
  • MSRP: $ 2000
  • Buy Now
  • 170 watts x 7 into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at .05% THD
  • S-Master Pro digital amplifier
  • Dolby® Digital EX, DTS-ES®, DTS 96/24, DTS Neo:6, and Pro Logic® IIx surround decoding
  • Sony Digital Cinema Sound modes
  • Triple-room/triple-source output (composite video and preamp-level stereo audio output for 2nd room; fixed line-level stereo audio output for 3rd room; powered stereo audio output option for either 2nd room or 3rd room allows 5.1 home theater in main room)
  • 7.1-channel preamp output for system expansion
  • HDMI digital video switching: 2 in, 1 out
  • Analog-video-to-HDMI video conversion
  • Component video conversion
  • Component video switching: 2 in, 1 out (80MHz bandwidth)
  • Digital inputs: 5 optical (including 1 front-panel), 3 coaxial
  • Optical digital output
  • 7.1-channel input and analog multichannel bass management for use with SACD or DVD-Audio players
  • 4 audio (including phono) and 5 audio/video (including 5 S-video & 1 front-panel) inputs
  • A/V Sync allows you to delay the audio signal (in 10-millisecond increments) when audio and video aren't in perfect sync
  • Learning/multibrand LCD remote with macros
  • 2nd-room A/V remote (requires remote control extender system for use in 2nd room)
  • On-screen display puts receiver menus on your TV for easy navigation (requires A/V input on TV)
  • 2 sets of main speaker outputs
  • 20 FM/10 AM presets
  • Sony Control S and Control A1II, for easier control of compatible Sony components
  • Three 12-volt trigger outputs allow use with 3rd party control systems
  • 17"W x 6-3/8"H x 15-11/16"D
  • Warranty: 5 years


  • ‘Phase Audio/Noise’ functions in Setup menu
  • Upconversion of all inputs to HDMI
  • Nice aesthetics
  • Zone 2/3 remote control included


  • Potential HDMI upconversion issues with 480i input
  • HDMI switching limited to 1080i
  • Unintuitive menu system & remote control
  • No on-the-fly channel trims
  • Remote lacks some basic features
  • Confusing digital assignment of coax/optical inputs
  • Only 2 component inputs


Sony STR-DA7100ES Introduction

Sony's ES line of products has a long heritage of being the best the company has to offer. This is the first official review of a Sony ES receiver by Audioholics so we wanted to see how their latest model, the STR-DA7100ES, compared against some of the newest competition within the market. Our focus was on usability, power handling, and features - the trinity of performance and rating criteria that are expected of any new product review.

Aesthetics & Build Quality

STR-DA7100ESThe Sony STR-DA7100ES is a beautiful looking receiver in my opinion. This product is as distinctive as it is sturdy looking. We popped the hood and quickly located the massive transformer which takes up about one-fifth the entire volume of the chassis. A single 10,000 microfarad 100V filter capacitor is all you can see from the top, but 14 hidden caps underneath combined with 4 MOSFET transistors per channel makes sure that this digital amplifier has plenty of power where it's needed.

The STR-DA7100ES features an 1/8" thick brushed aluminum faceplate that has a nice retro, aggressive stance. This is probably a result of the polished aluminum accents on the volume and input knobs and a graceful concave shape which appears just below the angularly recessed LCD display and input LEDs gracing the top of the unit.

About the author:
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Clint Deboer was terminated from Audioholics for misconduct on April 4th, 2014. He no longer represents Audioholics in any fashion.

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