Sony STR-ZA3100ES 7.2 Channel 4K AV Receiver Review

6.49 Mixed Usages
6.9 VIDEO FEATURES:
6.5 CONNECTIVITY OPTIONS:
6.2 AUDIO FEATURES:
6.3 MULTIZONE:
6.6 AMPLIFICATION:
Release year: 2023 Rating: 3.7


The Sony ES STR-ZA3100ES is a solid choice for folks who love their home theater setup. If you love getting fully immersed in movies and need lots of ways to connect your devices, then this receiver is perfect for you. It's made for medium to big homes, turning your space into an exciting movie theater.

Our Verdict


The STR-ZA3100ES is quite impressive with its design and all the different ways you can connect stuff to it. It's perfect for all kinds of devices. When it comes to performance, this thing delivers some seriously awesome content with its huge sound and crystal-clear audio. But now and then, there are these little glitches that pop up and remind us that technology isn't perfect. It's no biggie though, just a minor hiccup in an otherwise amazing experience. The STR-ZA3100ES is a solid pick if you want to step up your home entertainment game.

PROS
  • Immersive cinematic experience
  • Versatile connectivity
  • Dolby Atmos & DTS:X
  • Sleek design blends seamlessly
  • Sturdy build exudes
  • Crystal-clear dialogue.
  • Abundant HDMI ports
  • Extracts nuanced details,

 

CONS
  • Occasional glitches disrupt
  • The design lacks standout flair
  • Learning curve for extensive customization options.

 

Where to buy

Specification

GENERAL

Receiver Type A/V Receiver
Number Of Channel 7.2 Channel
Number Channel Processing 7
Audio Feature Dolby Atmos , DTS:X
Video Feature HDR10 , Dolby Vision , 4K Passthrough
Watts Per Channel 80 W
Zones 2
Radio Internet Radio
Amplifier Class A/B

CONNECTIVITY

Ethernet Yes
Wi-Fi Yes
Bluetooth Yes
USB Yes
RCA LIne Input: 4
RCA LIne Output: 0
RCA Pre-Outs: 2
XLR Line Inputs: 0
XLR Pre-Outs: 0
Phono Input: Yes
Optical Inputs: 2
Optical Output: 1
Coaxial Inputs: 1
Multi-Channel Input: No
Headphone Out: No
HDMI Inputs: 6
HDMI Outputs: 2
8K Inputs: 0
Composite Video Input 2
Composite Video Output: 1
Component Video Input: 2
Component Video Output: 0
Front A/V Inputs: 1
Speaker A/B: No

AUDIO FEATURES:

Maximum Channel Processing 9ch + Phantom 2ch
Dolby Atmos up to 7.1.2 or 5.1.4 plus 2 phantom rear surround channels
Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization N/A
Dolby Atmos Music N/A
Dolby TrueHD Yes
Dolby Digital Plus Yes
Dolby Surround Upmixer Yes
Dolby Pro Logic Yes
Dolby Digital EX Yes
Surround EX Yes
DTS:X up to 7.1.2 or 5.1.4 plus 2 phantom rear surround channels
DTS Neural:X N/A
DTS Virtual:X N/A
DTS Neo N/A
DTS-HD Master Audio Yes
DTS-HD High Resolution Audio Yes
DTS 96/24 Yes
DTS Express Yes
DTS-ES Discrete 6.1, Matrix 6.1
IMAX Enhanced N/A
PCM 2-ch/Multi-ch Input
Music Playback via USB No
High Resolution Music Playback via USB and/or Network No
High Resolution Audio Formats via USB WAV, FLAC, ALAC, DSD
Gapless Playback Yes
DSD via HDMI 2-ch/Multi-ch Input
DSD via USB No
DSD to PCM Converter N/A
USB DAC N/A
Jitter Reduction Yes
DTS Dialog Control N/A
Dialog Enhancement Yes
Dialog Level Adjustment Yes
Dialog Normalization Yes
Dialogue Lift N/A
Compressed Music Enhancer Yes
High-resolution Music Enhancer N/A
Audyssey Dynamic EQ N/A
Audyssey Dynamic Volume N/A
Audyssey LFC N/A
Audyssey Sub EQ HT N/A
Audyssey DSX N/A
Direct Mode Yes
Pure Direct Mode Yes
Independent Subwoofer Outputs Yes
Auto Speaker Calibration System with Mic. D.C.A.C. EX
Audyssey App Support N/A
Bass Sync N/A
Optimized Bass Redirection N/A

VIDEO FEATURES:

HDMI Version 2.0b
Enhanced ARC N/A
HDCP Version 2.3
HDR10+ N/A
Dynamic HDR N/A
Dolby Vision Yes
HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) Yes
QMS (Quick Media Switching) N/A
3-D Ready Yes
Video Signal Passthrough Yes
Video Signal Upscaling N/A
Analog To HDMI Upconversion Yes
Component Video Upscaling N/A
isf Certified Calibration Control N/A

AMPLIFIERS

Channels 7
Front Wide Channel Support N/A
Current Feedback Topology Yes
Discrete Amplification Yes
HDAM Yes
THX™ Certification N/A
Continuous 6 Ω Rated Yes
Certified 4 Ω Performance Yes
Bi-amp Capability Yes

GAMING FEATURES

Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) N/A
Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) N/A
Quick Frame Transport (QFT) N/A

ZONES

Zones 2
Powered Zones 2
Zone 2 Outs Yes
Zone 3 Outs No
RS-232C Interface Yes
+12V Trigger Output Yes

RADIO

Analog Tuner Yes
Digital Radio N/A
Internet Radio Yes
Pandora N/A
Spotify N/A
Tidal N/A
Deezer N/A
SiriusXM Internet Radio N/A
Napster N/A

ADDITIONAL FEATURES

On-Screen Display Yes
GUI Languages 3
Web Browser Control N/A
IP Control for CI Yes
Control4 SDDP N/A
PreAmp Mode N/A
Display Yes
Remote Controller RM-AAU217
Remote Control In/Out 1 / 2
LCD Display Yes
Detachable Power Cord Yes
Setup Assistant Yes

POWER

Power Output (6 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 100 W + 100 W
Rated Power Output (6 Ω, 1 kHz, 1 channel driven, IEC) 110 W
Dynamic Power per Channel (3 Ω, Front) 180 W
Dynamic Power per Channel (4 Ω, Front) 160 W
Dynamic Power per Channel (8 Ω, Front) 100 W
Power Output (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 90 W + 90 W
Maximum Effective Power Output (6 Ω, 1 kHz, 1 channel driven, JEITA) 150 W
Power Supply AC 120 V, 60 Hz
Toroidal Transformer N/A
Power Consumption 240 W
No Sound Power 45 W
Standby Power 0.4 W

BUILD

Dimensions (W x H x D) 16.93 x 6.85 x 16.14 inches
Weight 28.9 lbs
Chassis Frame and beam design with embossed corners to support the power transformer and heat sink1
Front Panel Aluminum front panel with smooth volume control and large display
Speaker Terminals 9
Large Speaker Terminals 9
Color-Coded Speaker Terminals N/A
Transparent High-Grade Speaker Terminals N/A
High Grade Audio Components Yes
ECO Mode / Hybrid Standby Function Yes
Auto Power off N/A
Warranty 5 years

SPECIFICATIONS

THD digital 0.09%
Analog Distortion 0.05%
Phono Distortion 0.03%
Input Sensitivity and Impedance (Line) 1 V / 50 kohms
Input Sensitivity and Impedance (Phono MM) 2.5 mV / 50 kohms
Rated Lineout Level and Impedance 1 V / 1 kohms
Rated Output digital 2 V / 75 ohms
S/N Ratio (Line, IHF-A) 105 dB
S/N Ratio (Phono MM, IHF-A) 88 dB
S/N Ratio (digital) 100 dB
Phono RIAA Deviation ±0.5 dB
Frequency Response (Analog In) 10 Hz - 100 kHz, +0.5/-2 dB
DSD Sampling Rates via HDMI 2.8 MHz, 5.6 MHz
DSD Sampling Rates via USB 2.8 MHz, 5.6 MHz
Video Input Sensitivity/Output Level and Impedance 1 Vp-p, 75 ohms1
Video Frequency Response 5 Hz - 10 MHz, 0/-3 dB
Ethernet Standard IEEE 802.3 10BASE-T/IEEE 802.3u 100BASE-TX1
Wi-Fi Standard IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n
Wi-Fi Terminal Frequency 2.4 GHz / 5 GHz
Bluetooth Version 4.1
Bluetooth Frequency 2.4 GHz
USB Terminal Type A (for connecting USB devices)
FM Frequency 87.5 MHz - 107.9 MHz
FM 50 dB Quiet Sensitivity (IHF, 1 kHz, 100% MOD.) Mono: 1.5 μV, Stereo: 25 μV
FM S/N Ratio Mono: 76 dB, Stereo: 70 dB
FM Harmonic Distortion (IHF, 1 kHz) Mono: 0.3%, Stereo: 0.5%
AM Effective Sensitivity 18 μV
AM Frequency 530 kHz - 1,710 kHz
Where to buy

Details Review

 

Design

The design of the STR-ZA3100ES by Sony is a perfect combination of elegance and practicality. The unit has a simple and elegant design that fits well with your home decor. Although it doesn't quite achieve the level of a gallery-worthy artwork, it also manages to avoid being visually unappealing. The front panel is organized sensibly, with a display that is not attention-grabbing and a few buttons that serve important functions. The construction has a durable feel, showing its high-quality classification. Some people may desire a more unique design that is noticeable and makes a bold statement.

Connectivity

In terms of connectivity, this receiver really stands out. It is similar to the versatile tool of AV receivers. You can connect a wide range of inputs and outputs, allowing you to connect almost anything you want. The STR-ZA3100ES can handle a wide range of devices, from older ones with composite connections to the latest 4K HDR sources. The STR-ZA3100ES can handle both vintage gadgets with composite connections and the latest 4K HDR sources. The abundance of HDMI ports makes it easy to connect devices like gaming consoles, streaming devices, and more. The number of choices could be too much for people looking for a more straightforward arrangement.

Performance

Now, let's focus on the main point: performance. The Sony ES STR-ZA3100ES demonstrates its capabilities and generally meets expectations. When you start watching your preferred action film, the power of the receiver becomes apparent. The soundstage is broad; the dialogue is clear, and the explosions have a strong impact. It feels as if you are right in the midst of the action.

The experience is further enhanced by the support of Dolby Atmos and DTS: X. For movie nights, it is a game-changer when sound is coming from all sides. The sound quality is excellent, and the receiver can capture even the smallest nuances in your audio tracks.

However, there is one important thing to note: Despite its impressive performance capabilities, a few users have mentioned experiencing occasional glitches. Sometimes, when there's a hiccup in the audio sync or a brief video stutter, it serves as a reminder that technology isn't always flawless. It's a small issue, but important to mention.

Where and When to Use

If you enjoy home theater, this receiver will become your closest companion. It is designed specifically for providing a captivating movie experience within the convenience of your own residence. Movie nights will not be the same anymore. However, if you are only seeking a basic audio solution for your kitchen radio, this could be excessive.

Compatible Devices

Sony has done a satisfactory job in terms of compatibility. It works with many different devices, including older ones with analog outputs and newer 4K devices. It is like a bridge connecting different generations, allowing your older DVD player to peacefully coexist with your new Ultra HD Blu-ray player.

Ease of Use

Let's discuss the level of user-friendliness. The STR-ZA3100ES does have a bit of a learning curve. The settings and customization choices can be quite overwhelming, particularly if you're not technologically inclined. Using the menus may take some experimentation, and the manual becomes very helpful. However, after you have mastered it, the choices available to you are quite remarkable.

Cost

Now, let's talk about the expense. The Sony ES STR-ZA3100ES is considered a high-end product, which is evident from its expensive cost. If you are seeking a low-cost alternative, this is not the one. However, if you are willing to invest in a receiver that provides excellent performance and can adapt to the changing entertainment industry, the expense may be warranted.

 

Where to buy

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