Sony STR DH810 AV Receiver
Sony have a solid reputation as one of the best companies in the home consumer electronics market for audio visual and computer products, one of their quite well thought of AV receivers of the last few years is the Sony STR DH810. It has been seen as a solid performer in the AV receiver market for a while now and so I thought it was about time I gave on a thorough once over.
Appearance wise its not bad at all, not super modern more simple and understated in the classic Sony style the STR DH810 doesn’t try too hard, keeping the front panel simple and to the point all the buttons and display elements you would expect on a receiver in this class are there. The unit has a decently solid feel with the knobs having a nice glide to them and the buttons being decent enough though perhaps not ideal if you have kids who are likely to give them a bashing. Grubby infant fingers notwithstanding the unit has an overall quality feel to it and doesn’t in any way feel plasticy or frail. The supplied remote is well laid out if a little busy but to be fair they have a lot of features to cram on to a single remote so Sony can be forgiven for that.
Looking to the back panel the Sony STR DH810 is extremely well endowed, all the usual bases are covered with a complement of 4 inand 1 out HDMI 1.4 (2d compatible) ports available for use with your various devices as well as a number of component and composite ins and outs for older gear. The HDMI facilitys on this unit also have standby pass thru for easy use of your PlayStation (or whatever) to your TV without need to turn the receiver on, though this is becoming more and more standard on higher end models its nice that Sony have included this feature here. One other stand out feature from Sony on the STR DH810 is the inclusion of their DIGITAL MEDIA PORT (DMP) interface for connceting various devices such as Sonys walkman or Apples iPod mp3 players.
Physical set up was fairly simple with easy to access bi amplified speaker connectors being solid and easy to use. Room adjustment was very easy using the Sony STR DH810s built in audio configuration system and the initial results were very impressive. After a few minor adjustments to the Sony STR DH810s EQ I had my room just how I like it. I was very impressed with the power the STR DH810 was supplying for such a moderately priced unit, the 7x100w amplifiers configuration came into its own at higher volumes and kept my smaller set of Onkyo SKSHT750 speakers well driven throughout testing.
The overall impression the STR DH810 gave me over the last several weeks is one of class and power. The bass is well handled with a sense that while action sequences are booming out the bass is never going to distort or give you and unwanted rumble, handling of the vocal range is extremely good and the STR DH810 manages to keep speech clear even in very busy or loud scenes. The STR DH810s sound staging is excellent and gives a real sense of positioning and presence to individual tracks and instruments during playback. Though the system is maybe not 100% crystal clear and audiophile neutral on some sources like high quality acoustic music CDs giving perhaps too much emphasis on the low end frequencies, this is a fairly minor failing and it still does a very decent job on most stereo music sources.
In terms of visual reproduction the Sony STR DH810 produced no noticeable glitches or colouration taint I could notice, the colours were crisp and blacks were reproduced nicely. The STR DH810 is a very solid performer when it comes to DVD upscaling and produced very reasonable results even when playing back second rate media (Frasier series 2 DVD Im looking at you here). The STR DH810 handles a large number of formats and outputs them with grace and ease. All in all I wouldn’t hesitate this unit to anyone who is looking for something to be the core of their system and drive a 7.1 100w per channel or so surround setup. Its an incredibly well rounded product and is extremely good value, go to your dealer and have a listen to this one today you really wont regret it.
- Display: 10 digit dot matrix
- Panel: Mold, Black
- Power Consumption: 240W
- A/V In/Out (S-Video I/O): Including Front AV: 4/1(0/0)
- Analog Audio In (Inc TV CEC)/Out (excl. tuner)/TV(CEC): 2/1/Yes
- Coaxial: 1/0
- Component Video In/Out (Pass through): 3/1
- DIGITAL MEDIA PORT: 1
- Digital Input Assign: Yes
- Front Input: AV(Gold)
- HDMI In/Out: (Front input): 4/1
- Monitor Out (S-Video Out): 1(0)
- Opt. In/Out/TV(CEC): incl Front input & TV (CEC): 3/0/Yes
- Pre Out: SW x1
- SPDIF UPDATE: Yes
- Receiver Dimensions (WxHxD): 17″ x 6-1/4″ x 12-3/4″
- Receiver Weight: 17 lb 7 oz
- RRP: $359.88 (Check Amazon for Current Pricing)