Sony ES 9.2ch 4K AV Receiver with Automation
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
ES - it stands for horrible service
You spend a ton of money buying from a brand you think you can trust, instead you get a total piece of junk. The receiver kept prompting me to upgrade the firmware; I got emails prompting me to upgrade the firmware, so I upgraded the firmware. Well now, I have a wife who is upset with me because we have a HT system that is unusable because it won't freakin' start. I mean really, 10-7 support for a system I paid this much money for. I feel sorry for the guys on the West Coast. Uhhh boss, I gotta go home so I can call Sony support while they are still open. Total piece of junk. I am now sorry my house is full of Sorry, I mean Sony, products.
September 16, 2013
Got this to replace a STR-DA4600ES. The 5800 will handle anything you throw at it. Plenty of HDMI ports, streaming, LAN, and tons of speaker connections. The ES app on Andriod works great for controlling it. Also, the Network app for the party play feature works with no problems. The GUI makes it easy to navigate the ton of options available. I did add the surround high speakers since it has them. A nice effect for some movies. When 4K becomes more affordable, this unit will be ready. Firmware upgrades have been easy to do. Lots of steaming options to choose from. Sony shipped it fast.
I did not activate the home control feature on it, so I can't speak to it.
July 13, 2013
ES - excellence and superiority
The STR DA 5800 ES was ordered online, delivered, and set up in less than a week. Surprisingly better sound than expected, and much easier to connect than the STR DA 5600 ES, which it replaced. I was able to add a second subwoofer, and the high speakers, and the sound is phenomenal. So happy to have chosen the STR DA 5800 ES over all the others I reviewed. Thanks again Sony.
October 28, 2012