The new Sony AV amp is so good it has made me angry

Home cinema amplifier: Sony TA-AN1000
(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

Sony is finally back with a new home cinema AV amp for the UK and European market for the first time in almost six years. The STR-DN1080 has finally been put to rest. We thank it for its service, as it shall be immortalised in our Hall of Fame, and now the TA-AN1000 will take its place... well, sort of.

If you've read our full Sony TA-AN1000 review, then you'll know that Sony's latest home cinema amplifier is worth the wait; putting it simply, this amp is spectacular and outperforms rivals that cost a fair bit more. It's feature-packed, has a beautifully balanced and precise sound, and it can even produce an impressive low-end kick. Seriously it's fantastic. However, one thing we have to question is its slightly awkward price point of £999 in the UK, double that of its predecessor.

Now of course things are pricier at the moment, I shan't utter the dreaded four-word phrase we're all too familiar with in this current climate, but a 100 per cent price increase is hard to ignore. It puts the AN1000 in a grey area when it comes to classifying it as the replacement model for the DN1080, as they're practically in two separate categories. 

Sony does offer a range of cheaper amps which includes the STR-DH790, but considering it launched in 2018 you'll be sacrificing modern comforts like HDMI 2.1, and performance just won't be as good. In fact, we don't really recommend those budget Sony amps due to their ageing lifespan.

At least there are cheaper options available for those who want it, although we do hope to see those get updated soon, what we really want are some new high-end AV amps from Sony that push boundaries and budgets. Imagine a Sony AVR that sits above the excellent TA-AN1000 which adds additional features and boosts sound performance even further... 

Front of the Sony STR-AZ7000ES AV receiver

Sony's top end STR-AZ7000ES receiver is missing from its UK lineup  (Image credit: Sony)

Well, the good news is there is one! The bad news? It's a US-exclusive model. The even worse news? There's actually a whole new range of Sony AVRs that, at this point in time, will not be gracing UK shores. While the United Kingdom and Europe are left with just one new AV amp, the US gets a suave new quartet of "Premium ES" amps, as well as a roughly equivalent model to our AN1000. 

The ES line ranges from $1100 all the way up to $3300 (roughly £890 to £2660 or AU$1660 to AU$4980) and they include more 4K/120Hz HDMI 2.1 sockets and up to 13 channels of amplification on the top end STR-AZ7000ES model. We can only imagine what performance a top-of-the-range Sony AV amp could produce based on the version we have here which costs around a third of the price, and I for one am a bit ticked off that we won't be seeing it here in the UK.

The moral of the story here is that Sony needs to up its game with its AV amp selection here in the UK, and it's made a great start with the TA-AN1000. A refreshed line of cheaper AV amps and launching the ES line in European markets seems like such an obvious move that could put Sony's AV amps into another household-name territory alongside its TVs and soundbars.

As for now, we may as well enjoy the AN1000 hype while it lasts, as for all we know it could be another six years until we get something like it again. 


Read our full Sony TA-AN1000 review

As well as our review of the Award-winning Denon AVR-X2800H

Check out our picks for the best AVRs: top home cinema amplifiers

Lewis Empson
Staff Writer

Lewis Empson is a Staff Writer on What Hi-Fi?. He was previously Gaming and Digital editor for Cardiff University's 'Quench Magazine', Lewis graduated in 2021 and has since worked on a selection of lifestyle magazines and regional newspapers. Outside of work, he enjoys gaming, gigs and regular cinema trips.

  • HappySounds
    It may seem unlikely because we are so used to things always moving forward, but isn’t it just possible that this is IT? It has taken six years to move forward from the STR-DN1080 and even now it is a seriously good bit of kit. The new AN1000 has all the new bells and whistles, but will there definitely be more, worthwhile, bells and whistles to come?
  • Sliced Bread
    I’m sure Sony have done their research and I’d be interested to hear the reasoning. The uk is a small market so maybe that’s a factor. The EU market on the other hand is huge.
    Maybe AV receivers are falling out of fashion faster in Europe than they are in the US?
  • Navanski
    I regret that I didn't even bother reading the review of this new offering from Sony. I assumed that the review was positively ecstatic about how brilliant this amplifier is and suggesting that it would change my life.
    Why would I think that?
    Well it probably relates to the email I receive from WhatHiFi advising me what articles I should be reading. The latest email which I received on 26 April mentioned the review of the Sony amp not just once, not just twice but three times. If you're subscribed check it out yourself.
    What prompts this publication to push a product three times in one email? I'll leave you to consider that question.
  • lovlid
    As if we don't get enough click bait crap and Ads that have nothing to do with the reason we visit this site, some editorial Sony fanboi gets over excited and pushes Sony's latest product for them. Laughable.
  • SL 75
    Sliced Bread said:
    I’m sure Sony have done their research and I’d be interested to hear the reasoning. The uk is a small market so maybe that’s a factor. The EU market on the other hand is huge.
    Maybe AV receivers are falling out of fashion faster in Europe than they are in the US?
    At the same time, Sony has, rather out of the blue, launched a "Mobile ES" range of ES components for in-car use. Most odd, and I would have thought an even smaller market (it looks really good though). I yearn for the return of ES hi-fi.