Sony STR-DN1080 Best Review in 2021

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The market for soundbars has been on the rise over the past few years. This makes many enthusiasts of best stereo amplifier wonder if we are going to the end of AVs.

Well, not at all.

If anything, we are going to use more of these products more than ever. If you ask any home theater enthusiast today, they will tell you the products are very useful.

However, this does not mean consumers will just go for anything. We all want the latest technology with the coolest features on the market.

In many cases, a huge, black input-infested gadget is more intimidating than a skinny bar,

They have a way of taking advantage of this factor, seen in its modern receiver, the new Sony STR-DN1080. This device comes with a wealth of features and input, which is typical of the brand anyway. But they have included a user-friendly approach to cover for both newbies and aged users.  

About the amplifier

One thing I noticed immediately after opening the box was that Sony STR-DN1080 looks more or less like its previous sony receivers. Back in 2016, you could not talk about the best receivers without mentioning this product. Now the Sony STR-DN1080 is top of the line as the best sony receiver out there. One thing you will find about this receiver compared to last year’s model is that the Sony STR-DN1080 is smaller. The design of the Sony STR-DN1080 is a bit bulky, but contains a rectangular box with a very fancy glossy strip.

The lack of Dolby Atmos and phantom surround back with an av receiver made this unit a favorite choice for most audiophiles.  

However, there is a slight difference in the way each receiver sound. One hand, the older receiver sounds a little warmer, and on the other hand, the newer receiver is more cinema focused.

The Sony STRDN1080 by Sony comes with more improvements in terms of functionality and sound quality like their addition of the phantom surround back. These are many reasons it stood on the market as a top choice and continues to rival with dolby atmos dts x.

When you talk about features, the Sony STR-DN1080 comes with everything you will need for the modern audio needs. It was released in 2017, and there was nothing that offered direct competition to this receiver.

I have always been a fan of Sony myself. Sony makes the best audio speakers in the world. And their market coverage goes beyond what you could expect.

And once again, they have managed to capture a perfect mix of performance and features in their latest receiver, the Sony STR-DN1080 speakers. This is why it deserves my personal choice position.

For those who have been in the market for home cinema amplifiers, you can agree with me that the Sony STR-DN1080 speaker offers sound quality better than anything you have ever heard. Is no wonder was chosen a What Hi-Fi? Award-winner – a three-time award winner-winner that is.

Sony does not only offer the best AV receiver but the most convenient audio solution for everyday use. This has been Sony’s long-time legacy, and they are not ready for anything to take up this glory, especially with their latest release of the Sony STR-DN1080 speakers.

The build

Sony’s receivers have in the last decade been pushed to the limit. They all come with a bull-dog like a visage.

However, I find the more recent products less striking, perhaps because of the modern demand for less bulky products.

The Sony STR-DN1080 speaker comes with a pretty blocky and solid design. It is rectangular, with a thin glossy strip for a read about. A similar construction often identifies Sonny’s products. It features a volume knob and a smaller selector knob in close proximity.

Another thing you may realize is that Sony STR-DN1080 are a bit smaller than in 1070. If you have used the previous version, then you will easily tell this difference.

I peered through the inside and noticed there is not much difference between these versions. It is only that the internals of 1080 seems to feature better management of the internal space.

One thing I don’t like, and perhaps you won’t like either in most receivers are the onscreen receivers. They are arranged in a very user-hostile jail, more than what I have seen in any home cinema gadget. The blocky white text on a background is far from impressive.

This is why I was immediately attracted to the lovely interface offered by this Sony STR-DN1080. It makes me forget all the bad things I have in the past.

Sony STR-DN1080 comes with big, friendly tiles on the front, with readable text that will make you smile while using the amplifier. Once you have it in your hands, you will feel great handling the easy user-interface, with everything featuring in the right places.

Perhaps the main downside that you will need a phone to use the streaming service. With the easy-to-use remote included, there is nothing much you can’t do with this amp.

Consider how OSDs have changed and polished in the present times. The same thing is happening with remote controls. We don’t have the traditional “Apollo mission control panels” anymore.

Today, only you need is a candy bar style of the Sony STR-DN1080. For those who prefer something more complicated, you may want to go for the onscreen interface.

Features

Everything fan happens under the hood of this amplifier. As stated above, Sony really knows how to get everything underway for its target market. And they have used high-quality components with advanced technology from its premium custom-install ES line of receivers. In other words, the STR-DN1080 comes with the best technological combinations in the market.

How many amplifiers can play Dolby Atmos soundtracks with up to 5.1.2 speaker configuration? The Sony STR-DN1080 can do this and much more. It also supports a newer DTS:X format.

Unfortunately, it does not support HDMI 2.1. But this does not come as a surprise to me considering the brand’s age. Nevertheless, its six HDMI inputs on the back are HDCP 2.2 compliant. You can, therefore, use them for full playback of 4K HDR content. Note also, that the ‘video 1’ input is on the only one without support for the full 4.4.4 chroma subsampling specification.

Sony STR-DN1080 comes with two HDMI inputs and outputs, a bunch of incredible inputs, and a single optical and coaxial input. Also, the USB port is provided for charging your smartphone and other devices. 

It is hard to imagine any Sony av receiver, such as the sony str-dn1080 7 without some high-quality hi-res music support. In this case, the amplifier can support up to 24-bit/192KHz files in all modern files. The sony str-dn1080 7 therefore, play a native double DSD file using HDMI inputs or a USB.

The two HDMIs are optimized for the best sound output. Sony recommends that you plug all your favorite sources through these two inputs.

And to make your world much better, the amp comes with the most popular streaming software. Use Bluetooth, AirPlay, Chromecast, and Spotify Connect to enjoy all your best music. It features DLNA certification that lest you play hi-res audio files on the same network’s NAS devices or laptops.

I cannot go without mentioning the multi-room. With this feature, you can connect the amplifier to other compatible products with the Music Center app. This application means all your Sony products are piled in one area.

The setup

From the picture and the description, it is easy to assume that this is one of the most complicated amplifiers on the market. With this in mind, you will be impressed to discover just how easy it is.

You can hook up this Sony receiver in just a few minutes. It comes with a relatively compact size of 21.4-pound weight that is easy to set in the desired position. If you want to connect it through HDMI, you won’t need any special knowledge. It is the same with the speaker and subwoofer.

Having a ton of connecting jacks means there is a lot of room to pass your fingers and make the linking. It will take you a short time to figure out everything you need about this setup.

And then, there is a user-friendly graphic interface. I used the “Easy Setup” system by Sony as my initial step.

I have two B & W FPM 5s speakers that are really powerful. Flanking an FPM 6 center prior to the setup and other four B & W’s speakers in a round setting, I wanted to experience the surround sound from them as I watched my favorite movies. I use a 5.1.2 configuration with my speakers to tap into Sony’s Atmos capability.

If you want something better, the amp section on this receiver is flexible enough to accommodate a 7.1 system, and a 5.1 system, or perhaps you want to use a second stereo system or a 5.1 setting with a bi-amped front speaker – you will have an easy time setting this too.

Sony gives a “Phantom Speaker” option, which it says can create more surround channels without physical speakers, stimulating a 7.1.2 setup with a 5.1.2 system. I have never used this myself, so I am not sure how best it works.

To finish the setup, I went ahead to compete with network connections and configuring the Music Center App. 1. The app can be easily downloaded from the iPhone and linked to many streaming services. Luckily, I have already been using subscription services, which made it very easy for me just to connect and start playing.

Performance

As stated, there is no fuss about connecting and using the DN-1080. I use it with my family, and they enjoy just picking the remote and starting to use it without having to read any instructions.

I am a big movie fan myself, and I think Sony made this product just for people like me. Its sound is fantastic, reaching deep with reserves that only deliver the best results. It was packed with punch, dynamism, and authority that I never got from any other product at this price range.

There is an incredible focus to detail, giving natural, expressive voices that complement the surrounding background with an explosion like no other. You can clearly hear the sharp tinkling as well as the sharp, deep note rippling within the effects.

More fan is within its dynamics. Whether you are playing in quiet moments or within huge explosions, the DN1080 will handle any challenge that comes. It’s the way.

My first movie to watch using this amplifier was “First and Furious 8.” I always loved John Dwayne’s deep voices or Jotham Statham’s way of trying to copy the intimidating deep voice. Each of them came out as clearly as though they were speaking directly to me.

And Vin Diesel went behind the wheel, vrooming through the streets with such intense action, it always felt live.

Secondly, I watched John Wick, still in my previous setting, and this too came out as clearly as I had anticipated. When it comes to the gunshots, they came out terribly precise as the punches landed with convincing intensity.

The surround effects add more life and light to the sounds. You can track exactly where the noise is coming from, where it is a spell, a crash, or anything the produces sound. And if you arrange your speakers properly, it will engulf you in a cocoon of sound, which becomes even more fulfilling once you connect the Dolby Atmos or DTS:X 3D soundtracks. There is a alot of debated about whether the dolby atmos and dts x can compare to this product. It’s clear that this Sony product has the advantage.

It comes with additional height channels that are greatly convincing. Sometimes spreading out the sound more may take away a bit of performance solidarity, though. In this case, the lower-end texture and texture should serve you just well.

The rhythmic quality in this amp is something worth noting. It tends to lean itself toward the music, giving in to your needs. Whether you are playing from a Blu-ray or streaming, the quality remains uncompromised.

This is a home cinema amplifier. It cannot march dedicated amps in this range, like Rega Brio, but the STR- DN1080 offers dynamic shifts and incredibly satisfying vocals. Even the high notes are hit without any noises or distortions.

Pros

  • STR-DN1080 Sony is great for insightful and authoritative audio output.
  • It offers a punchy, agile and precise sound
  • Easy to use with incredible features
  • From a reputable brand.
  • HDCP 2 2 technology

Cons

  • It would be nice if Sony included a backlit remote.
  • The competition is high.  

Conclusion

Sony has been an audio giant for many decades. It went silent for a year in 2016 but came back fighting with top-quality features and functionality in their products like this Sony STR-DN1080. Adding Dolby Atmos on top of the cutting-edge tech ensures the STR-DN1080 is a full AVR package. At just $500, this is an eye-opening product on the modern market.

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