Wireless AV receivers can be a bit of a mixed bag, especially when it comes to video. High definition resolutions can struggle on typical home setups, particularly if a lot of other devices are using the wireless feed, but in recent times we’ve been impressed by the technology’s adaption to cope with modern standards. Sony should know a thing or two about this, and is looking to up its game following stiff competition from the likes of Denon, Yamaha and Pioneer with the 165W STR-DN1040 and slightly less powerful 150W STR-DN840, delivering 7.2 cinema-quality sound along with 4K movie upscaling sans cables.
A rather striking yet minimalist design sets these apart from cheaper models immediately, and both are packed with connectivity that includes inputs for Blu-ray and DVD players, set top boxes, games consoles and an SA-CD player with USB to instantly connect and play back from MP3 players or flash drives. You can stream audio or HD video straight from a smartphone or tablet, and the optional SideView app means input source and volume adjustment can be done from a handheld.
Sony is obviously putting a lot of emphasis on the audio quality here. Both receivers use 192kHz/24-bit audio that’ll do justice to lossless formats such as FLAC and high-bitrate compressed formats, and according to Sony can “recreate the authentic acoustics of Hollywood’s finest theatres”, with a concert mode that supposedly apes the acoustics of famous venues such as the Berlin Philharmonic Hall, Concertgebouw Amsterdam and Musikverein Vienna. There’s a good degree of customisation here as well, with an advanced sound optimiser that can tailor frequencies for extra clarity and something called Advanced Digital Cinema Automatic Calibration (D.C.A.C.) that fine-tunes sound from each speaker to get the best from the layout of your living room.
Wireless capabilities include streaming music from cloud services like Music Unlimited, a range of internet radio stations via vTuner, Spotify and support for AirPlay to offer Mac users streaming support from the whole range of Apple’s devices.
Both models are scheduled for release this month, with no pricing available as yet.