Sony unveils 2023 line-up of AV receivers with HDMI 2.1
Sony will release new ES line of receivers features up to four HDMI 2.1 inputs and up to 13.2 channels of amplification for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X speaker setups.
The new Sony ES line-up consists of STR-AZ1000ES (7.2ch), STR-AZ3000ES (9.2ch), STR-AZ5000ES (11.2ch), and STR-AZ7000ES (13.2ch). In addition, there is a new STR-AN1000 (7.2ch or 5.2.2ch) – the successor to STR-DN1080.
The five receivers all come with HDMI 2.1 features such as 8K and 4K120 video passthrough. The numbers of HDMI 2.1 ports vary depending on the model with up to four HDMI 2.1 inputs and two HDMI 2.1 outputs (one eARC). In addition, all models feature two or more standard HDMI 2.0 ports. They support HDMI 2.1 VRR, ALLM, and Sony's PS5 features with compatible Sony TVs. Sony informs FlatpanelsHD that the "bandwidth on the HDMI 2.1 compatible ports is 40 Gbps". The company also highlighted features such as Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, IMAX Enhanced, 360 Reality Audio, DSF (Direct Stream Digital), Hi-Res Audio Wireless, and Dolby Vision passthrough.
360 mapping, wireless speakers 360 Spatial Sound Mapping can automatically calibrate the receiver for the specific room environment to improve Dolby Atmos and other object-based audio formats. 360 Spatial Sound Mapping is part of a larger 'Digital Cinema Calibration IX' system that measures the distance, angle, sound pressere and frequency response of each individual speaker in three dimensions, Sony explained. The receivers support 'Acoustic Center Speaker' to let a compatible Sony TV act as a center speaker in conjunction with a dedicated center channel, and a "lift-up" function that can utilize front height speakers to move make dialog appear as if is coming from the center of the screen.
In addition, STR-AZ5000ES and STR-AZ7000ES can have two dedicated center speakers (top and bottom) connected. Another feature that has been brought over from Sony's soundbars is wireless connectivity to Sony rear speakers (SA-RS5, SA-RS3S) and subwoofers (SA-SW5, SA-SW3).Other features include 'Works with Sonos' compatibility, Apple AirPlay, Spotify Connect, Chromecast, Hey Google, Bluetooth, and WiFi. There is integration with custom installer systems such as Control4, Crestron, Savant, and Roon. STR-AN1000 lacks the custom installer features. Sony said that the ES receivers feature a newly designed chassis with an updated heat sink and a 32-bit DAC. The company also highlighted a USB front input that allows a user to save receiver settings onto a USB stick and a 5-year warranty for the ES line (2 years for AN1000). Sony STR-AN1000 will be available this spring for $900 while the four STR-AZ1000ES (7.2ch), STR-AZ3000ES (9.2ch), STR-AZ5000ES (11.2ch), and STR-AZ7000ES (13.2ch) will be available later this year for $1100, $1700, $2100, and $3300, respectively.
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