There is no need to go for the receiver that costs thousands if you don’t have good acoustics at home or just not too bothered about extra features and multi-zone controls. It actually may be that your best AV receiver is a middle-class one like Sony STRDN1080. Let’s have a look at Sony STRDN1080 specs and see what it can offer you together.
Sony STRDN1080 is designed to please all classics-lovers who prefer a simple black design with intuitive buttons and wheels. The bigger wheel on the right is a volume regulator, and the smaller one on the left of that allows you to choose the input channel. The turn on/off button can be found easily and the thing I like is that it has a color indicator of whether the device is on or off. Some inputs are located on the front panel as well - one for phone, one for calibration mic, and one USB port. All other buttons are clearly labeled and the screen on the front panel shows the mode chosen. On the rear, there are multiple inputs and outputs divided into clear sections: HDMI on the top, antenna-video-audio on the bottom left and speakers section on the right. At the corner, you can find IR remote section and micro-USB port.
Sony STRDN1080 can please you with two built-in decoders (DTS:X and Dolby Atmos), HDMI pass-through up to 4K and 3D pass-through available. It also has ARC and Apple Airplay support, so Apple lovers could be pleased if it recognized Apple Lossless (unfortunately, this is the only audio format that is not supported). This AV receiver has dual zone capability and pure direct mode that attract people who want a true cinema experience in the house. Even it has rather high standby power consumption (0.4W) while operating it is below average (240W) comparing to its analogs. Even this receiver can’t be controlled via your smartphone, it is still clever enough to turn itself off while not in use.
Sony STRDN1080 has a high-current amplifier integrated within the receiver, clear sound is guaranteed by 32-bit/384kHz Asahi Kasei AK4458 digital-to-analog converter. There is also a Music Optimizer function available if you want to improve the sound quality of compressed music or the music from online sources and video streams. I managed to check the bi-amplifying feature available and connected it to front speakers by re-assigning surround back channels - and the sound got enhanced in several times!
Despite quite low operating power consumption, the output power per channel of 165W is surprisingly high so you can enjoy a real volume incoming. The frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz and signal-to-noise ratio of 108 dB gives a good range of clear sound without any distortion (only 0.09%). For a comfortable cinema use, there is also a Digital Sound Processor (DSP) that allows you to watch a film with S-FORCE Pro Front Surround Sound effects that can be delivered using only 2 speakers connected. If you don’t have lots of speakers around but still want to feel every moment of the film, there is a Phantom Surround Back speaker setting that allows to fully replicate 7-channel surround sound while having only 5 speakers. For radio fans, there is an AM/FM sound available at any of 30 preset stations.
There are 6 HDMI inputs and 2 outputs, one AV input, Optical and Coaxial digital inputs - one each, 2 subwoofer outputs, stereo RCA Zone 2 outputs, a USB port and one for phone connection. Even there are 9 outputs for speakers within the receiver, please remember that this av receiver can support only 7 channels at once! Sony STRDN1080 can be easily integrated with Bluetooth speakers, can please you with the wifi connectivity and has an IEEE connectivity interface (if you ever need it). You can listen to your favorite tracks straight off the USB stick if you wish or through the network - on Spotify as I do.
Personally, I put it into my large bedroom first and connected it to my 4K TV and integrated with four surround speakers connected using banana clips. Receiver recognized the devices fast and I faced no problem with the best part of my set up as I used Easy SetUp feature that auto calibrates everything for you given the Internet connection. There are only two things that I should mention in terms of auto-calibration available. Firstly, please ensure that Auto Calibration is not available when you have Bluetooth set to the transmitter mode. Also, while auto calibration is happening you can’t regulate the volume so better not to do this at night time. In terms of other things, after all, needed devices are connected it takes up to 10 seconds to switch between the HDMI inputs for me and remote response time is about 2 seconds.
Perhaps this won’t be the best choice for an audiophile or if you have more than 5 speakers - I advise you to look for something more advanced. This av receiver will be a good choice for someone who wants to listen to music every day and watch films with a great sound during weekends. Apart from its great connectivity interface, it has nice features such as built-in Chromecast and DSEE HX technology that enhances the sound to nearly high-resolution one that most of the users will enjoy.