Sony STR-DH790 review & specs

Sony STR-DH790: the audiophiles will appreciate this device

Sony STR-DH790

Personally for me, the Sony STR-DH790 is regarded as one of the most noteworthy receivers. Why? Thanks to the Dolby Atmos and DTS:X object-based surround sound, 7.2 Ch x 145W per channel and other features that allow enjoying today’s technological advances. Sony is one of the most famous companies in a good standing, so I decided to test the Sony STR-DH790 and to verify its strengths and weakness.

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Small size, sleek corpus, classic external view, strict and universal black color are the main visual advantages of the receiver. Its compact dimensions (19.2 x 13.6 x 6.8 inches) and relatively light weight (15.6 pounds) allow the unit to accommodate on any size shelf. For me, it’s a great advantage because I didn’t want to clutter up the room. The Sony STR-DH790 has a very thoughtful corpus structure. It allows all the components “to breathe”, but at the same time, they don’t accumulate the dust. Such a design peculiarity not only looks very interesting but also is very useful.


I focused on some interesting moments while doing the Sony STR-DH790 review. I paid attention to the fact that the device doesn’t support 4-Ohm speakers. The Sony STR-DH790 runs without much heating and such a peculiarity allows the device to give me an auditory pleasure during the whole day. I didn’t worry about the damage risk of all internal components due to high temperature. It does not matter in which room and with what equipment the STR-DH790 is used: the receiver works without problems with different speakers. Of course, it was necessary to test such additional features, as built-in clock and sleep timer. The numbers were displayed precisely, thanks to the strong illumination and large size. It should be noted that the sleep timer always turns on at the right time.


After simple installation procedures, I saw a standard user menu on the TV screen. There were 4 options: the “Watch” allowed me to choose one of the HDMI inputs; thanks to the “Listen” I could select a song via Bluetooth or an FM station among 30 preset variants; the “Easy Setup” invoked a settings wizard, and thanks to the “Speaker Settings” I got manual corrections to speaker configurations. By the way, the unit doesn’t have a support for HDMI CEC. I was a little bit upset because without this feature my devices can’t connect to the receiver and turn it on/off in an automated way. The remote is small and light, it has all the standard features and small number of bells and whistles. I actually prefer this as the remote is uncluttered and thus it’s easy to navigate. Thanks to the unit I have an opportunity to distinguish different music techniques and enjoy it.

Sound Quality

The Sony STR-DH790 has a stunning surround sound. Moreover, it reads every channel to present me the best audio. Such an individual approach makes me feel like I am at the movie theatre. It has enough power to push the speakers and produce the strong and clear sound. The Sony creation has a lovely rich tone that adds extra warmth to all the tracks and sounds. Owing to the Dolby Atmos, the most amazing scenes had the additional dimension and fully absorbed me.


There are 4 HDMI inputs, as written in the Sony STR-DH790 specs, 1 optical and 1 digital input. All these features resound to requests and present all the best that can offer such a technical development. In my case, connecting the devices was easy. I have an Amazon Fire TV box and PS3 which I joined via HDMI and both worked smoothly and immediately. The main 2 speaker connections are banana plug capable, but the others are not.


The on-screen prompts showed all the setting process in detail, so it was easy to perform the necessary procedures. I was so glad to found out that the receiver has an auto-calibration system, which identifies speaker sizes, levels, distances, and EQ. When I started the whole process, my happiness has departed. The calibration was awful. I’ve tried a few times to do this with the microphone in different parts of the room. Unfortunately, every time I calibrated it, the sound was unsatisfied. The subwoofer was set to the lowest dB configuration and completely messed up the clearance between the speakers. I decided to do everything manually and ended up with a great sounding system. An Apple also wasn’t simple to install. I had to figure out how to perform the setting process to use a 5.1 configuration. Thank goodness, the manual presented me 88 pages of useful information, so I found the answer to all the questions. Of course, such a process took me 30-40 minutes, but the data were represented pretty clear.


The Sony STR-DH790 is the nice music accommodation, which more than satisfied my needs. Among the positive features, I can allocate its compact dimensions, thoughtful design, cooling, the Bluetooth, 30 FM stations, small remote, stunning surround sound, 4 HDMI inputs, 1 optical and 1 digital input. I don’t like the facts that the device doesn’t support 4-Ohm speakers. Also, there were no binding posts. The receiver doesn’t support an HDMI CEC and that was very sad to me. I had some difficulties with an auto-calibration system, but I found the solution and did everything manually.

Common features


Sony STR-DH790






4.2 of 5




Digital player

Internet radio

Network audio player

Amplifier class


Audio formats



Apple lossless






Built-in decoders

DTS neural:X

DTS-HD master audio


Dolby atmos

Dolby digital plus

Dolby surround

Dolby true HD

Power device

Operational power consumption

700 W

Standby power consumption

0.3 W

Built-in display






Total output power

1015 W

Output power per channel

145 W

Output impedance per channel

6 Ohm

Frequency response

20 Hz-20 kHz

Total harmonic distortion

0.09 %

Number of channels


Signal-to-noise ratio

108 dB

Connectivity interfaces



IEEE 802.3

IEEE 802.3u

Signal processing

HDMI pass-through

up to 4K

Video conversion/scaling

HDMI to HDMI scaling, analog to HDMI up conversion

3D pass-through

Upscaling via HDMI

up to 4K

Connector type

AV inputs

has not

Optical digital inputs


Coaxial digital inputs


HDMI inputs


HDMI outputs


Optical digital outputs

has not

Coaxial digital outputs

has not

Subwoofer outputs






Media content source





Tuner type


Tuner bands


Preset station qty


Additional features

A-B speaker switch

AIR Studios monitor certification

Three-zone capability


Advanced sound retriever (ASR) technology

Apple air-play support

Audio return channel (ARC)


Deep color


Auto power off

Pure direct mode

Dual-zone capability

Smartphone remote control

Sound features

Sound output mode

Surround Sound

Audio D/A converter

32bit / 192kHz

Surround sound effects

Dolby Surround

Surround system class

7.2 channel

Digital sound processor (DSP)

DSP preset qty


Digital content protection

HDCP 2.2


Built-in clock

Sleep timer


Shipping size

19.2 x 13.6 x 6.8 inches

Product weight

15.6 pounds

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