Sony STR-DH810 review

Best receiver up to £300, Awards 2010. A 3D-friendly amp, the Sony STR-DH810 is perfect for an entry-level home cinema system Tested at £300

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Our Verdict

Best receiver up to £300, Awards 2010. The ’DH810 is a fantastic, affordable amp, and the perfect foil for an entry-level home cinema system

For

  • Excellent value
  • speedy auto set-up
  • powerful, substantial sound
  • clear dialogue

Against

  • Very little

Recently we felt the combined force of Sony's first 3D TV, the KDL-40HX803 and Blu-ray player, the BDP-S570. The only item missing was a 3D-friendly home cinema amp. Step up the STR-DH810.

Build quality is as you'd expect at this price point: sturdy, but not as bomb-proof as pricier Sony kit. Power for this eight-channel amp is 100W per channel, identical to its predecessor, the STR-DH800.

If you opt to use the Pro-Logic IIz processing you can switch the surround back channels for front height speakers.Or, you can ditch both and bi-amp the front left and right speakers instead.

3D-ready out of the box
There are four, 3D-compatible HDMI 1.4 inputs and one output, that also doubles as an Audio Return Channel (ARC) so it can accept audio over HDMI sent from a compatible display.

The amp also includes 1080p upscaling and upconversion to HDMI. If there was one criticism of the STR-DH800 it was that it could tighten up at high volumes.

There's no sign of this with the STR-DH810. During From Paris With Love, when John Travolta shoots up a drug-trafficking Chinese restaurant, as you do, the Sony produces a powerful, detailed and substantial sound.

Budget amp with talent
Travolta's colourful language comes through loud and clear while bullets fly from all angles. Switch to Beyonce's I Am… Yours Blu-ray and the Sony displays decent musical ability for a budget AV amp, including impressive timing and rhythm.

Spending £400/£500 will bring greater dynamic rewards, but for those looking to build a surround system on a budget, the Sony possesses ample talent for the job.

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Specifications

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General Information

Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
Brand NameSony
Product TypeA/V Receiver
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Manufacturer Part NumberSTRDH810.CEK
Product NameSony STR-DH810
Product ModelSTR-DH810

Miscellaneous

Package Contents
  • STR-DH810 A/V Receiver
  • 1 x Remote Control
  • 1 x FM Wire Antenna
  • 1 x AM Loop Antenna
  • 2 x R6 (Size AA Batteries)
  • 1 x Optimizer Microphone
  • Quick Setup Guide
  • Operating Instructions
Environmentally FriendlyYes
Environmental CertificationWEEE

Interfaces-Ports

HDMIYes
Number of HDMI Inputs4
Number of Digital Optical Inputs4
Number of HDMI Outputs1
Number of Analog Audio Inputs6

Audio

RMS Output Power140 W
Sound SystemDolby Pro Logic IIz, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital EX, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Pro Logic, Dolby Pro Logic II, Dolby Pro Logic IIx, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, DTS 96/24, DTS HD, DTS Neo:6, DTS-ES Discrete, DTS-ES Matrix, Dolby Digital Surround
Audio Channels7.1

Physical Characteristics

Width430 mm
Depth322 mm
Weight Approximate8.20 kg
Height157.5 mm
Dimensions157.5 mm (H): 430 mm (W): 322 mm (D)

Technical Information

Total Harmonic Distortion THD10%

Tuner

Frequency BandAM, FM

Warranty

Limited Warranty1 Year