Sony ES 9.2ch 4K AV Receiver with Automation
Boo on Sony!
I have the STR-DA5600ES and I'm so sad to see that Sony has dropped support for Shoutcast. Not sure if the DLNA support is gone too but it appears that they have some exclusive deal with Pandora. Who doesn't these days? I hate Pandora.
At any rate. I love the 5600ES. It's a beautiful piece of work but it doesn't support 4K video. I don't yet either but I was considering upgrading to 4k and I'm sad that this receiver doesn't support Shoutcast (which I use quite frequently)
March 18, 2014
A lot to like and a lot to learn.
I have had the DA5800ES for 5 months now and my review might be a little harsh. Last night while playing a record the reciever flashed a PROTECTOR code and shut itself down, after reading through all the literature online and following the instructions it was never able to turn back on. After talking with SONY care (who were very helpful) I was told I'd have to send it to their repair facility in Tx. (on my dime)
I'm very frustrated because I was really debating going with separates but decided on going with the SONY all in one unit because it was one of the only A/V units in my price range with a phono stage. I will say that the sound was full, crystal clear and distortion free but I feel that the phono stage may need some improvement.
There are more features than I know what to do with but I like the idea that I can grow with it when I choose to add more speakers. I would have easily given a higher rating if not for the failing of this unit within the first 5 months of ownership, now I'm just curious to see how this warranty process is handled.
March 5, 2014
Possibly the best sounding receiver I ever heard!
After enjoying my STR-DA5800ES receiver for a year now, I feel I owe it to everyone to say just how great it is!
You get top-notch build quality and full-bandwidth audio that captures the softest whisper to the loudest booms with equal control and finesse.
Paired with the Sony XA-5400ES SACD/CD player and I don't know if I've ever heard such lifelike music out of a stereo system under $20,000.
Currently, my system his hooked up to Limited Edition Klipsch Reference RF-Series speakers in a 9.1 configuration, and the sound is jaw-dropping! Whether playing the new My Bloody Valentine over my home network in 96 Khz / 24-bit PCM, Nine Inch Nails "Downward Spiral" on 5.1 SACD or The Smiths remastered on tradition stereo CD, it's been like listening to my music library for the first time. The STR-DA5800ES elevates listening to music to an experience the way it once used to be.
Watching movies on Blu-Ray is equally impressive. Whether watching the epic action films like MAN OF STEEL or GLADIATOR, or classic Kubrick like 2001, the STR-5800ES transforms my living room into a megaplex. The front high channels make all the difference in the world!
Furthermore, I love the convenience of having Vudu, Netflix and Hulu built-in to my receiver. The streaming quality, particularly on Vudu, is easily the next best thing to Blu-Ray and I love how easy it is to rent and watch films on the STR-DA5800ES.
Additionally, I love that Sony has really supported this product with firmware updates and upgrades. They must have updated 4 times since I first purchased and the receiver now can play ultra high resolution DSD files over the network (thanks, Sony, for supporting us niche audiophiles).
Overall, I wouldn't regret my purchase for a second. The support has been nothing short of amazing and my living room never sounded so good. Thanks, Sony!
January 3, 2014
Excellent Hardware! Software Falls Very Short
It's really sad that I must give this receiver 2 stars. I really did (and still do) want to love it. The sound quality is generally excellent. And the ability to configure the audio and video outputs in so many ways is impressive! So if you only intend to use the receiver in a strictly conventional fashion - that is turning the power on by hand and starting attached component by physically pressing the play button - you will love the receiver.
However if you are looking for a receiver that functions as a hub for both digital and physical media (which is what DA5800 purports to be) you will find 'it's reach exceeds it's grasp.'
1. OUTPUT - I'm actually quite surprised at the high noise floor when listening at medium high volumes. If any sound enhancements have been added the noise floor increases dramatically (almost to a level that makes the unit unusable and certainly not the level I'd expect in an audiophile quality unit). By sound enhancement I mean modest EQ and sound fields. If you use any of the Sony recommended sound enhancements (e.g. virtual placement of speakers) the hiss become unbearable. I have heard these high noise levels listening to digitally mastered CDs through the coaxial digital output from the top-of-the-line SCD-XA5400ES.
2. The biggest weakness is that the receiver just doesn't play well with wifi. If you toss a source from your DLNA device to the receiver it works marvelously. BUT if you shut the receiver down without disconnecting from the source upon the next power up the receiver will malfunction, on-screen menus will no longer work and a FACTORY reset (destroying all of your carefully programmed settings) will be required. Sadly this occured tossing from the Xperia Z Tablet (as well as the Xperia Tablet S and Xperia Z cellphone). Yes, all Sony devices.
3. Sometimes the operating system on the receiver crashes for no apparent reason. Again a factory reset is required meaning you have to go back and setup EVERYTHING again.
It would be great to say that I somehow received a 'lemon' but I've had this experience on three DA5800s. I will guess I've reset to Factory settings at least 10 times in the past 6 months. I actually need to perform a reset now but can't bring myself to re-enter all the setting again. Very frustrating!
And even more frustrating is that Sony has just not been able to master writing stable, intuitive software or build easy to use UIs. After so many years of falling so far short in this very important area I was hoping that they would have realized this is one of the things killing them and dedicate resources to nailing this part of system design. Sadly it does not appear they've learned this lesson.
I now have serious doubts they ever will.
November 3, 2013