Where To Buy?
|Sony Electronics, Inc|
|Amplifier output details||165 Watt|
|Product type||Home Theater Network Receiver|
|Apple AirPlay||AirPlay built-in|
|HDMI features||4K up-scaling ,Audio return channel (ARC),
|Surround System Class||7.2 channel|
Networking & Digital Media:
|Connectivity||Built-in Wi-Fi ,Bluetooth ,
Ethernet ,MHL (Mobile High-Definition Link)
|Internet Streaming Services||Pandora, Music Unlimited, Slacker, vTuner|
The Good: Sony STR-DN1040
It is an AV-receiver that’s feature-packed the most compared to others at this price. It has built-in Blurtooth, AirPlay, Wi-Fi and 8 HDMI inputs that’s more than the competitors. Sound quality tends to be excellent and it sports user interface which is modern with high-definition and crisp graphics.
It’s a bit expensive and also has more than what the usual buyers require. This has many buttons, that sure put-off the nontechies. And the automatic calibration of Sony’s speaker wasn’t much perfect.
The Bottom Line:
The Sony STR-DN1040 is truly an AV receiver of first-class, boasting much wireless technology as well as user interface that looks good and that too, at premium price.
The AV receivers feel outdated compared to the current technology because of being hard in use, bulky, and typically do not have basic features, like Wi-Fi, which are considered a must these days.
None is true with STR-DN1040 by Sony at $600, a modern AV receiver at affordable price. Many thanks to the responsive and slick onscreen interface which is loads better than anything offered by competitors.
The $600 price is not cheap for any AV receiver. Real question which matters is whether one is willing to spend for step-ups of STR-DN1040 over the other great AV receiver 2013 by Sony, STR-DN840 that offers the Wi-Fi, AirPlay and Bluetooth.
Design: Big, But Tasteful
Even though it is bulky, both STR-DN840 and STR-DN1040 look good. Front panel looks modern and clean. Marantz NR1043 looks better than these and takes much less space, still, huge and yet best looking AV receiver tends to be STR-DN1040.
Remote is quite far from minimalism of front panel. It is pretty cluttered with buttons, also including loads of unnecessary sections as numbers’ rows given the prime placement at centre. Important functions as volume rocker happen to be at the bottom.
A Modern User Interface, Finally!
The archaic menus onscreen that are included with the AV receivers have always been criticized so STR-DN1040 did feel like fresh breath of air. The high definition and crisp graphics appear great. More impressive than this is the responsiveness of interface.
The use of plain phrases of English has been a good job by Sony. The phrases are to explain functions of STR-DN1040, like “Listen” and “Watch”. Though it isn’t perfect, it happens to be huge step towards right direction.
The Features: Wireless And Wired Connectivity Which You Need
It might be thought of as pricey by some, but it is an AV receiver that’s very well-features at this cost.
There are 8 total HDMI inputs on back panel, also including an input at front-panel which is MHL compatible. This is more than what is offered by any other competitor at this cost; no one else offers HDMI inputs above six. Rest of the inputs are also well-covered, including the 3 digital inputs.
STR-DN1040 offers much wireless connectivity as STR-DN840 step-down. There is Bluetooth and the AirPlay which offers excellent quality of sound from the iOS devices.
The Wi-Fi is not much crucial, though it helps in taking advantage of STR-DN840’s integrated features of networking without any wired connection of Ethernet, including smartphone control, DLNA, streaming services like Slacker, Pandora etc and firmware updates. The streaming services’ suite of Sony tends to be lean as compared to the other receivers.
Rest of step-ups of STR-DN104 aren’t very significant for the mainstream buyers. STR-DN1040 tends to be 7.2-channel receiver, though many buyers wouldn’t need extra functionality which makes possible the powered audio of second-zone, back channels and the Dolby Pro Logic IIz “height” channels. Also, it has video upconversion thich is analog, but that wouldn’t be required if all the devices you have use HDMI. STR-DN1040 is out of those few receivers that offer the HDMI inputs that are dual, but unless one has much detailed home theater along with projector, they wouldn’t be required.
The Setup: Only Missing What Could Be The Mark
STR-DN1040 makes use of Auto Calibration of Digital Cinema by Sony autostep system that takes around one minute to get complete. This time, STR-DN1040 is determined that each speaker in 4T system of Aperion Intimus is large, but that isn’t the case this time. The center and tower speakers each have just 2 woofers of 4-inch and small surround speakers of 8.75-in length only have single woofer of 4-inch.
The sound with these settings of STR-DN1040 was fine, though when manual setup was changed by changing all speakers to the small ones, with 4T towers that were set to 60Hz crossover. Also, the surround and center speakers with the 100Hz crossovers were used, and sound got better. With these settings, the subwoofer VTF-1 Hsu research handled much bass frequencies that’s why the sound of system filled out, got richer and also reproduced the dynamics of action movies with much ease. STR-DN1040 sounded much powerful with every speaker being small.
Sound With First-Class Quality:
The sound quality of AV receiver has notably less effect on the overall quality of sound than the room acoustics or speakers.
The quality of sound of STR-DN1040 was great. It was tested with a film that was set in one nightclub back in 1899. The 5 Aperion speakers did create a surround field all enveloping, so it appeared that the cheers of audience were coming from everywhere in the room. The dynamics of big band were thrilling. The Auto Calibration 4 EQ settings at Full Flat make all speakers’ frequency response “flat”, at Engineering, EQ of speakers is matched with the Sony standard of listening in room, Front Reference works by matching surround and center speakers’ balance with front right and left speakers, and the equalization is turned off with “Off”. The default setting is “Engineer”.
The function of Advanced Volume in STR-DN1040 works by reducing sudden shifts of volumes from soft to loud during TV commercials as well as standard Dolby movies or DTS encoded ones. Sony’s system doesn’t work with Audio soundtracks by DTS Master or Dolby TrueHD.
There wouldn’t be many of the home theaters that require step-ups offered by STR-DN1040 though it tends to quite a nice package, undeniably, and especially when one is fine with spending a bit more.