Prices range from $900 for the 7.2-channel non-ES STR-AN1000 (shown below) to $3,300 for the 150-watt 13.2 channel STR-AZ7000ES ES series flagship (opening photo). Other new ES models include the 130-watt 11.2-channel STR-AZ5000ES ($2,100), 120-watt 9.2-channel STR-AZ3000ES ($1,700), and 100-watt 7.2-channel STR-AZ1000ES ($1,100).
The non-ES STR-AN1000 will be sold through Sony, Amazon, Best Buy and other authorized retailers, while ES models will be available only through Sony and custom installation professionals.
All models have dedicated 8K inputs and support Dolby Vision, HDR 10, and HLG high dynamic range (HDR), HDMI 2.1, and are equipped to process Dolby Atmos, DTS:X immersive surround sound with ES models adding an IMAX Enhanced mode. Gaming support incudes variable refresh rate (VRR) and auto low latency mode (ALLM). The receivers also pass Auto HDR Tone Mapping and Auto Genre Picture Mode through to compatible Sony Bravia TVs for an improved gaming experience on the PlayStation 5.
On the audio side, all models supporting wireless hi-res audio, native DSD playback with no conversion, and include the Works with Sonos feature for easy integration with Sonos systems. The receivers also support Bluetooth streaming and are compatible with Spotify Connect, Chromecast, and Apple Airplay 2.
ES stands for Elevated Standard and dates back to 1965 with the introduction of the TA-1120, the first all-silicon transistorized stereo integrated amplifier. The new ES series is designed with custom installation in mind and said to offer optimized configurability, flexible connectivity, and streamlined IP control compatibility with top home-control systems, including Control4, Crestron, and others. ES models also feature a new 32-bit digital-to-analog converter (DAC), a large capacitor power transformer, thicker, more robust sides and bottom on the top three models, and a new “frame beam base (FBB) chassis” for the audio amplifiers that’s said to lower distortion.
Sony’s 360 Spatial Sound Mapping is compatible with passive speakers and compatible wireless surround speakers from Sony and works in conjunction with the company’s Digital Cinema Auto Calibration IX (D.C.A.C. IX) system, which compensates for less-than-ideal speaker placement by measuring the speaker positions in 3D using the supplied calibration microphone and then correcting the distance, angle, sound pressure, and frequency response of each speaker in addition to automatically aligning the phase of different speakers.
When any of the receivers are connected to a Sony Bravia XR TV with Acoustic Center Sync, audio from the TV is combined with the audio from the center speaker, which is said to improve the onscreen placement of dialogue as well as its intelligibility. The receivers also integrate seamlessly with the Bravia Quick Settings menu, expanding the functionality of the TV’s remote control.
Watch for a report with our first impressions. For more information visit sony.premiumhome.com.