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Forbes: Sony Launches Its First PS5 And Xbox Series X-Friendly AV Receivers

https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnar...ries-x-friendly-av-receivers/?sh=30f44087778e
It might have taken much longer than most of its rivals, but Sony has finally got round to launching a range of AV receivers capable of handling all of the latest gaming capabilities we’ve long had access to on the brand’s massively popular PS5 games console.


All four of Sony’s new PS5-friendly AVRs (the gaming features they support also play nicely, of course, with the Xbox Series X and high-end PCs) slot into the brand’s premium Elevated Standard (ES) product category. This means the STR-AZ7000ES, STR-AZ5000ES, STR-AZ3000ES and STR-AZ1000ES all benefit from superior build quality whereby a conventional frame beam chassis design is combined with a transformer base, leading to better, less distorted sound. The thickness of the new ES models’ exterior bodywork has been greatly increased compared with their predecessors too, by 200% on the bottom edge and 120% on each side.

It might have taken much longer than most of its rivals, but Sony has finally got round to launching a range of AV receivers capable of handling all of the latest gaming capabilities we’ve long had access to on the brand’s massively popular PS5 games console.


All four of Sony’s new PS5-friendly AVRs (the gaming features they support also play nicely, of course, with the Xbox Series X and high-end PCs) slot into the brand’s premium Elevated Standard (ES) product category. This means the STR-AZ7000ES, STR-AZ5000ES, STR-AZ3000ES and STR-AZ1000ES all benefit from superior build quality whereby a conventional frame beam chassis design is combined with a transformer base, leading to better, less distorted sound. The thickness of the new ES models’ exterior bodywork has been greatly increased compared with their predecessors too, by 200% on the bottom edge and 120% on each side.

Looking in more detail at the new gaming features of Sony’s latest ES AVRs, each model carries HDMI 2.1 inputs and outputs able to pass through 4K resolution graphics at 120Hz frame rates and support variable refresh rates. They also support HDMI 2.1’s Automatic Low Latency Mode switching, as well as Sony’s so-called ‘Perfect for PS5’ features of Auto HDR Tone Mapping and Auto Genre Picture Mode.


All of the new receivers will even handle 8K graphics at refresh rates up to 60Hz if you have a PC rig capable of delivering such bleeding edge experiences. The PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles have yet to embrace their once-touted 8K capabilities…

If you’ve had the chance to experience Sony’s 360 Spatial Sound Mapping system in action, you’ll know that how effective it sounds depends heavily on how well the phantom speakers take into account the specific characteristics of your room. With this in mind, the new AVRs use Sony’s Digital Cinema Auto Calibration IX system to correct the distance, angle, sound pressure and frequency response of each speaker by measuring the speaker placement in the context of a 3D audio space using a supplied microphone.

Naturally the ES receivers can also play Dolby Atmos and DTS:X object-based audio tracks, with the calibration system again able to adapt the way these premium formats sound to your specific room conditions.

The new receivers’ HDMI ports are capable of passing through the HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision HDR formats, though there’s no mention of the HDR10+ format used on some content as an alternative to Dolby Vision. There’s also confirmed support, though, for pass through of IMAX Enhanced video sources and the IMAX Enhanced variation of the DTS:X audio format.

As you would expect of modern high-end AVRs, all four ES series models will play high-resolution audio files, including native support for the high-quality lossless DSD format.

Sony doesn’t have a particularly great record of its different departments working together to deliver value added ‘Sony system’ features. The new ES AVRs, though, do deliver a few extra goodies for owners of other Sony kit beyond the previously mentioned Perfect for PS5 features.

If you connect the AVRs to a Sony Bravia XR TV with Acoustic Center Sync functionality, for instance, the AVRs will combine the audio from the TV with the audio from the center speaker channel to enhance the sense that center channel sound - especially dialogue - appears to come directly from the mouths of people speaking on the screen.

The new ES AVRs can be controllable using Sony Bravia TV remotes too, and can connect wirelessly to Sony speakers such as the SA-RS5, SA-RS3S, AS-SW5 and SA-SW3 units originally designed to be optional rear and subwoofer extras for Sony’s HT-A7000 soundbar. There’s support, too, for numerous third party connection systems, including Works With Sonos, Chromecast built-in, Spotify Connect, and Apple Airplay.
Looking at the key differences between the four ES models, the flagship AZ7000ES supports 13.2 channels, carries seven HDMI 2.1 inputs and two HDMI 2.1 outputs, and will cost $3,299.99 ($4,499.99 CAD). The AZ5000ES supports 11.2 channels, also carries seven HDMI 2.1 inputs and two HDMI 2.1 outputs, and will cost £2,099.99 ($2,999.99 CAD). The AZ3000ES supports 9.2 channels, carries six HDMI 2.1 inputs and two HDMI 2.1 outputs, and will cost $1,699 ($2,599.99 CAD). The AZ1000ES, finally, supports 7.2 channels, six HDMI 2.1 inputs and two HDMI 2.1 outputs, and will cost $1,099 ($1,699.99 CAD).

Joining the quartet of new ES AVRs is a new STR-AN1000ES receiver Sony has created ‘for consumers looking to upgrade their current home theater system’. It doesn’t feature the premium build quality of the ES series, but it still delivers 7.2 channels, more 8K and 4K at 120Hz/VRR HDMI support, Hi-Res audio playback, Sony’s Digital Cinema Auto Calibration feature, as well as offering support for Sony’s 360 Spatial Sound Mapping system. The AN1000ES can be yours for $899.99 in the US, or $1,199.99 in Canada.

Sony hasn’t yet confirmed a final release date for its new range of AVRs, but they are already available for preorder on Sony’s US and Canadian websites.



These AVRs are very nice with premium features as you would expect, especially since gaming is part of the focus.

Though the prices may turn some people off, $1,699 at the lowest, $4,499 at the highest. that's going to leave a sting on the ol' wallet.
 
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LiquidMetal14

hide your water-based mammals
My Denon cost 1600 new when it came out. I only want more power but it was a 1st gen HDMI 2.1 with the bandwidth glitch but the PS5 and Series consoles work great with it. Unfortunately my PC pushes the limits too high but it's hard to justify the AVR upgrade and just put it into 3 SVS subs to with my 7 speaker Atmos setup.
 
I spent half that price on the Denon X1700H ($700) last year to upgrade to all the HDMI 2.1 HDR, VRR, Atmos.
It's got 'just' about enough power for my living room, though I wish It had more.
Gaming works great.

I replaced an older Sony DN-1040 that still works just fine and even has more audio power, It just did not have Atmos and was never able to Do 4K without giving me black Screens every now and again.
I would have gone Sony again if they had something available last year. But looking at these are 'spensive. I probly would have gone with the Denon anyway.
 
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Pagusas

Elden Member
My Denon cost 1600 new when it came out. I only want more power but it was a 1st gen HDMI 2.1 with the bandwidth glitch but the PS5 and Series consoles work great with it. Unfortunately my PC pushes the limits too high but it's hard to justify the AVR upgrade and just put it into 3 SVS subs to with my 7 speaker Atmos setup.
pair it with an HDFurry, its what I did, allowing me to fix all issues with my Denon and HDMI 2.1. PC and it work seamlessly now.
 

TGO

Hype Train conductor. Works harder than it steams.
No new design though, looks exactly the same as mine
So just a HDMi 2.1 upgrade then.
 
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Brigandier

Member
What does an AV receiver do? I have never even heard of such device before.
Home cinema surround sound.

Plug all your appliances and speakers into it and it passes picture through to TV/projector etc and plays sound.

Had a few AV receivers over the years but went back to a stereo amp as I prefer 2.1 due to the size of my game room.
 
Fancy. I still rock Stereo and run open back headphones mostly for gaming but these are nice additions with a decent feature set across the model range.
 

coffinbirth

Member
Crazy how long it's taking for 2.1 to be commonplace in AVR's. I've been patiently waiting for literally years now. $1,100 for a Sony receiver just feels wrong to me despite owning them for over 20 years. I'm basically stuck buying Sony TV's and AVR's for forever it seems, not that they've let me down yet.
 
Only thing of interest to me would be this feature:
„If you connect the AVRs to a Sony Bravia XR TV with Acoustic Center Sync functionality, for instance, the AVRs will combine the audio from the TV with the audio from the center speaker channel to enhance the sense that center channel sound“.

But not enough to upgrade my AVR.
 

Kataploom

Member
It's what the speakers connect to in a home theater setup with multiple speakers. It drives them, but is also used for video passthrough for devices like the PS5, blu-ray player, etc. It's like a central console.
Definitely looking forward to it, seems interesting
 

OZ9000

Banned
Does plugging your PS5 or PC into an AV receiver introduce any input lag?

What sound does the GeForce 4080 or 4090 output? Does this output high res audio or 5.1.2 surround? Will the receiver recognise this?

I know there would be no issues with the PS5/Xbox due to dedicated audio hardware but I've always found PC sound output to be inferior. I tried hooking up my PC to my home cinema via ARC and it was nowhere as impactful as playing games with the PS4 or PS5. Granted the GPU only has HDMI 2.0 spec (2070 Super - though I now have a 1660 Ti which isn't any better I'm sure).
 
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dotnotbot

Member
1.700 to 4.400 Dollars? Are the PS5 and Series X built in?

Look up the prices of other AVRs. Those stupid boxes are mad expensive and there is not really a reason for it, the market is just broken. If you measure DACs they put inside, their SNR is usually worse than some cheap audio card built into phone or PC.
For everyone interested, audiosciencereview.com has some measurements of AVRs, it's crazy how bad they are for the money.
 
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Shtef

Member
Way to much for a glorified hdmi switcher. At this point i can just plug my console directly to tv and output sound back to my old av receiver.
 

RoadHazard

Gold Member
Does plugging your PS5 or PC into an AV receiver introduce any input lag?

What sound does the GeForce 4080 or 4090 output? Does this output high res audio or 5.1.2 surround? Will the receiver recognise this?

I know there would be no issues with the PS5/Xbox due to dedicated audio hardware but I've always found PC sound output to be inferior. I tried hooking up my PC to my home cinema via ARC and it was nowhere as impactful as playing games with the PS4 or PS5. Granted the GPU only has HDMI 2.0 spec (2070 Super - though I now have a 1660 Ti which isn't any better I'm sure).

I know with mine (STR-DN1080, was a good one about 6 years ago) it doesn't. Or very, very minimal.
 

mrmustard

Gold Member
Look up the prices of other AVRs. Those stupid boxes are mad expensive and there is not really a reason for it, the market is just broken. If you measure DACs they put inside, their SNR is usually worse than some cheap audio card built into phone or PC.
For everyone interested, audiosciencereview.com has some measurements of AVRs, it's crazy how bad they are for the money.
I know, may last AVR was 299 in 2015 and it was not a bad one.
 

Kusarigama

Member
I’m curious, have you ever built or consider a home theater setup? How do you currently listen to your games/movies/shows, through your tv speakers?
Yes, tv speakers or via controller audio jack. But i do plan to get 7.1 channel speaker setup later. I though that we connect the speaker system directly to tv
 

Kataploom

Member
I’m curious, have you ever built or consider a home theater setup? How do you currently listen to your games/movies/shows, through your tv speakers?
I have my PC and Switch connected to my TV and use a 2.1 speakers for sound... didn't know it got more complex than that, didn't know these devices were a thing lol
 

Pagusas

Elden Member
I have my PC and Switch connected to my TV and use a 2.1 speakers for sound... didn't know it got more complex than that, didn't know these devices were a thing lol
oh yes, you are missing a whole world of amazing audio (and an amazing way to spend a lottttt of money). I run 11 speakers (2 front, 1 center, 2 sides, 2 rears and 4 over heads) plus 2 subwoofers. It allows for true immersive surround sound. If you've ever been to a theater and were amazed by the sound of the movie coming at you from all directions, or watched a film where a missel shot by your head and you could hear it fly behind you, thats what we're talking about and reproducing at our homes. Thats what these devices do (along with being a central hub for all your media inputs, taking that duty away from the TV)
 

Soosa

Banned
https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnar...ries-x-friendly-av-receivers/?sh=30f44087778e





These AVRs are very nice with premium features as you would expect, especially since gaming is part of the focus.

Though the prices may turn some people off, $1,699 at the lowest, $4,499 at the highest. that's going to leave a sting on the ol' wallet.
I have had Sony str-DN1080 since the launch, about 2017? Still Works like new and even got updates like e-arc by software. It won multiple awards and have good sound quality even vs stereo amps.

All this for 399€. (Mrsp 899€, but they were often on sale at 399€)

So these new amps are probably great too, and last loooong time.

My first sony surround amp is from 1997, still works, then got one around 2005 and had it on 24/7 until 2017 when I got this one.

So, no need to upgrade because old one still works and have enough features, but it is nice that they finally upgraded them.

" AN1000ES can be yours for $899.99" this is The equivalent of mine, so same price as back in 2017. That is nice too
 
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Kataploom

Member
oh yes, you are missing a whole world of amazing audio (and an amazing way to spend a lottttt of money). I run 11 speakers (2 front, 1 center, 2 sides, 2 rears and 4 over heads) plus 2 subwoofers. It allows for true immersive surround sound. If you've ever been to a theater and were amazed by the sound of the movie coming at you from all directions, or watched a film where a missel shot by your head and you could hear it fly behind you, thats what we're talking about and reproducing at our homes. Thats what these devices do (along with being a central hub for all your media inputs, taking that duty away from the TV)
The bolded interests me a lot, unfortunately I don't have enough space so can't even dream to have a surround sound system at some, gotta check that anyway, thanks
 

Pagusas

Elden Member
Why is this that expensive?

Its not, its average for the market for a 9.2 setup with hdmi 2.1. For consumer grade equipment your looking at $300 - $700 for 5.1, $500 - $1200 for 7.1/5.2.1 $1200 - $2500 (and higher on some of the high end brands) for 9.1/7/2.1/5.4.1 and $2000 - Infinity for 11.2+/7.4.2.
 
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Its not, its average for the market for a 9.2 setup with hdmi 2.1. For consumer grade equipment your looking at $300 - $700 for 5.1, $500 - $1200 for 7.1/5.2.1 $1200 - $2500 (and higher on some of the high end brands) for 9.1/7/2.1/5.4.1 and $2000 - Infinity for 11.2+/7.4.2.
Plus Speakers, Can't forget the speakers. :)
 
Wow these are pricey ($1700 - 4500). How do you guys have the funds for 4090s this the rest of the computer bills/mortgage, car payment, insurance, food, electricity, gas, kids, entertainment, etc.... With inflation?

I guess you guys are the people living in those $500,000 houses they keep making developments for. Im living pay check to paycheck and I'm in my mid 40s, and going back to school is not an option for me, trying to pay off existing debts. I'll probably do desktop/networking support till I retire. So knowing I will never have this type of equipment, can those who can tell us budget or mid tier 3060 series peasants how these sound?

Last time I had an a/V receiver it was a hand me down with wood grain on the side, lol.. If I recall back then new ones were like $100 to 400, I don't remember them going above 1k.but who knows. Either way this is super expensive.

If I want surround sound on a budget, won't a simple 7.1 speaker setup from best buy work? Is this even necessary if you aren't an audiophile?

I used to have 4.1 speakers on my pc with sblive card back in the day and it was glorious. The cords were ugly and speaker placement was a bitch though. It cost me at most $200 for sound card and speaker kit. Also games back then used eax and hardware 3d sound better than today, imo. I'd imagine 7.1 is even better, but not $4000 better
 
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Pagusas

Elden Member
Plus Speakers, Can't forget the speakers. :)
lol yeah, that's just receiver cost.

When I consult on HT builds, I always tell clients if you going to go cheap anywhere, do it on the receiver, you'll replace it every few years anyway, spend the money on your speakers, they'll stick with you for 20 - 30 years if you treat them right, and they'll keep sounding better as you upgrade that receiver to one that can match them. I put 20grand into my speakers, and started out with a cheap 1k Sony receiver, knowing I would upgrade it as soon as I had more play money to work with. Kept that receiver driving those speakers for a year, than upgraded and it just lit up the room.

Wow these are pricey ($1700 - 4500). How do you guys have the funds for 4090s this the rest of the computer bills/mortgage, car payment, insurance, food, electricity, gas, kids, entertainment, etc.... With inflation?

I guess you guys are the people living in those $500,000 houses they keep making developments for. Im living pay check to paycheck and I'm in my mid 40s, and going back to school is not an option for me, trying to pay off existing debts. I'll probably do desktop/networking support till I retire.

Well one I'm married with no children in my 30's, so disposable income is alot easier to come by then some, but two I always have multiple income streams coming in, I'm a specialized talent that can pull a large salary + I run my own side business + I'm very good at budgeting and cutting back when needed + I live in a metro that has an abundance of jobs while cost of living is still relatively decent (Dallas, TX). At the end of the day I just made good choices on my education and career and build a wide network to be employed from and have a great safety net in the friends I've built.

My biggest advice for anyone young who is trying to make money: Learn multiple skills and use one for a side business and one for your salary job. I learned from Jay Leno of all people how to budget and manage jobs, he pushes the philosopy that you should maximize your talents and use one job for living expenses/savings/retirement and the other to support your hobbies (in his case cars, in my case games/traveling/and houses).
 
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RoadHazard

Gold Member
I have had Sony str-DN1080 since the launch, about 2017? Still Works like new and even got updates like e-arc by software. It won multiple awards and have good sound quality even vs stereo amps.

All this for 399€. (Mrsp 899€, but they were often on sale at 399€)

So these new amps are probably great too, and last loooong time.

My first sony surround amp is from 1997, still works, then got one around 2005 and had it on 24/7 until 2017 when I got this one.

So, no need to upgrade because old one still works and have enough features, but it is nice that they finally upgraded them.

" AN1000ES can be yours for $899.99" this is The equivalent of mine, so same price as back in 2017. That is nice too

I have the 1080 too, and yeah, it's nice, but it completely lacks HDMI 2.1 support and can't do 4K120, VRR, etc.

"Luckily" my TV doesn't either, but once I upgrade to one that does I'm either gonna have to get a new AVR as well or connect my PS5 directly to the TV.
 
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MikeM

Member
I still rock a 15 year old system from my PS3 days. Still works and sounds great.

🤷‍♂️

These prices are wild. Premium product I guess. Then you need to buy speakers…
 
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I always wanted to ask the same question. I've heard about it but why not connect your devices directly to tv? Modern tv have multiple HDMI ports and audio out to connect to speakers.
I was shopping around at Bestbuy for new TV's just to see what was available and many only had 2 hdmi ports. Thats crazy too me to only have 2.
 

Pagusas

Elden Member
OMG, so it would be at least 3000 dollars for PSVR2 in surround sound! PSVR 2 is dooooooomed!!!
VR is a different beast and you don't pair it with physical surround sound like this (fixed speaker placement doesn't work with a moving listening subject). VR would be best utilized with headphones that do well with 3d positional audio.
 
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yurinka

Member
Its not, its average for the market for a 9.2 setup with hdmi 2.1. For consumer grade equipment your looking at $300 - $700 for 5.1, $500 - $1200 for 7.1/5.2.1 $1200 - $2500 (and higher on some of the high end brands) for 9.1/7/2.1/5.4.1 and $2000 - Infinity for 11.2+/7.4.2.
9.2? Does this mean a home cinema setup with 9 speakers and 2 subwoofers? I knew there were 5.1 and 7.1 home cinemas, but never heard about 9.2. Do consoles support this for games and movies?

OMG, so it would be at least 3000 dollars for PSVR2 in surround sound! PSVR 2 is dooooooomed!!!
I assume this surround system also has cables, so it's also doomed.
 
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I was shopping around at Bestbuy for new TV's just to see what was available and many only had 2 hdmi ports. Thats crazy too me to only have 2.
Yeah that is nuts... One of the reasons (outside the tv still working fine and it would be a waste to get rid of) that i haven't upgraded tvs to 4k. I have 3 1080p sets , 1 for game room, 1 for bedroom and 1 for living room.
All have multiple ports.
for example, My 2012 60" Vizeo 1080p set (not even smart tv) has component, composite, svdideo, vga, 4 hdmi (1 on side 3 on back), and usb.

A lot of new tvs don't even have more then 2 hdmi , why? Couldn't of been that expensive. I get it smart tvs don't need stream devices but still. For a gamer that wants options its needed.
Component is non existent , and I get it , they have hdmi adapters for that now, but only 2 ports...nah..
 
Wow these are pricey ($1700 - 4500). How do you guys have the funds for 4090s this the rest of the computer bills/mortgage, car payment, insurance, food, electricity, gas, kids, entertainment, etc.... With inflation?

That's where the bottomless credit card debt comes in or loans, or taking money out of your house that people keep falling for.
 

Esca

Member
Man I'm glad I got out off HT years ago. Good pair of headphones does what I need for a good experience nowadays. Can't afford HT anymore.
 

Brucey

Member
9.2? Does this mean a home cinema setup with 9 speakers and 2 subwoofers? I knew there were 5.1 and 7.1 home cinemas, but never heard about 9.2. Do consoles support this for games and movies?
Think of your old school left, center, right and two surrounds. Now imagine four height speakers on your ceiling. There's a possible 5.4 config. Add a couple more channels for left/right rears, two more for wides, 6 heights, huge amounts of possible combos. This is just the Dolby possibilities.

https://www.dolby.com/about/support/guide/speaker-setup-guides/
 
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