Sony STR-DN1050 Review

Sony The Entertainer

Sony STR-DN1050 review

The STR-DN1050 AV Receiver from the Japanese entertainment giant Sony attracts attention with its elegant and unfussy design and excellent features. We have put the 7.2 home theater control center to a critical test.

With the STR-DN1050 Sony aims to please the demanding home theater and music enthusiasts who want cutting edge technology and value high-quality reproduction of sound and images. Visually it looks like its predecessor, STR-DN1040, with its tidy front of brushed metal and neatly placed flat buttons below the display area that runs across the entire width of the receiver. It only comes in black and has a listed price of $599.99 according to Sony’s website, but you can of course find it at a reduced price online and the lowest price I´ve found was, as in most cases, on Amazon.

sony str-dn1050 specs

Features, and Things It Can Do

The STR-DN1050 can deal with all kinds of media formats and devices and is equipped with a HDMI interface of the latest generation, enabling it to pass through Ultra-HD signals as well as scale up lower resolution videos. LAN, WLAN and Bluetooth with aptX is also on board, and thanks to NFC (Near Field Communication), the Sony AV receiver quickly get in touch with NFC-enabled Android devices.

With USB and the Network connected to the 7-channel amplifier, high-resolution audio formats like WAV and FLAC (192 kHz/24 bit) can be played with no loss. In addition, the STR-DN1050 even handles DSD format (DSDIFF 2.8 MHz, 2.8 MHz DSF), which was originally developed for the SACD and now, free from the physical optical disk, has made a bit of a comeback.

Six HDMI 2.0 inputs - two with MHL compatibility - can be found on the Sony receiver. On the output side you´ll find three HDMI interfaces, one of which is ARC-compatible.

The interiors of the STR-DN1050 is sitting in a sturdy metal case and is built around a printed circuit board made of glass-epoxy resin, has a generously dimensioned power transformer and here and there you´ll find handpicked components to make it sound better than its predecessor.

sony str-dn1050 vs yamaha rx-v677

Calibration and Setup

The first time the STR-DN1050 is turned on, a clearly structured quick setup guide takes the user by the hand. This enables even home theater novices to make the AV receiver operate successfully. The 7.2-receiver can be configured in a 7.2 setup, and besides the usual front, center and rear speakers you´ll also find “Surround Back Speaker” or “Front High Speakers”. Alternatively, if a classic 5.1 setup is connected the remaining channels can be used for a second listening area.

Sony STR-DN1050 remote control

The connected loudspeakers are measured automatically and very reliably by using the "Advanced DCAC" (Digital Cinema Auto Calibration). The setup microphone is required for this and is, of course, included.

A special feature of the AV receiver can be found under the menu item "Center Speaker Lift Up". This makes the center speaker, which in most cases is positioned below a TV or a screen, move acoustically upwards to create the illusion that the sound originates in the middle of the TV or screen. Ten levels/steps can be selected to find the proper 'height', but only works if front high speakers are connected.

The newly designed menu works well and all the required information is visible with symbols and clear labels.

The 'SongPal' app, which is available for free from the App Store or Google Play Store, can be used to control the receiver from a distance using Bluetooth. It´s an easy way to select the desired source, to control the first and second listening zone independently, as well as access USB or network content. Various music services like TuneIn Radio, Spotify, Deezer or Sony's proprietary Sony Entertainment Network can be managed by STR-DN1050 and selected to entertain the user.

Sony STR-DN1050 SongPal App

Sound Quality

With the STR-DN1050 set up and calibrated in our listening it scored well in stereo mode with a very neutral sound and a wealth of fine details, making it possible to enjoy music in all its facets ans flavors, and the rich, precise bass gave it a stable foundation. Multi-channel sounded equally convincing with a punchy sound, and movies were presented with a vast amount of detail that made it an enthralling experience.

With scenes from favorites like ‘Star Wars‘ and ‘The Lord of the Rings‘ we sat nailed to our seats as the Sony pulled out all the stops and burned off a magnificent effects firework, with special effects that are to the point while also bringing our listening room to quake. I´m pretty sure this is the receiver Darth Vader has in his man cave…

More subtle scenes where presented with the calm and ease as one would expect from a receiver of this caliber, and we were often struck by how the 1050 presented details and gave us a sense of space that you´d miss out on with a lot of lesser receivers.

Overall, the STR-DN1050 is a remarkable little beast when it comes to pure ‘sound per pound’, but we must mention that it can turn a bit hard and bright if you crank up the volume too much. This ‘character’ will of course be extra prominent if you already have bright sounding speakers.

sony str dn1050 vs 1040

In The Lab

STR-DN1050 passed through our measurements with no major abnormalities. Our crude measuring method did not allow us to determine any reliable values ​​for the 2-channel stereo power measurements at 4-ohm loads on this receiver, so we have to ignore them for this review. However, at 8 ohms it was convincing with 110 watts of stereo power and a 78 watts load with five channels. The distortion measurements and the amount of crosstalk, noise and the damping factor show that the Sony engineers have done their homework very well. In standby mode, the AV receiver idles at a low consumption of 0.1 watts.


The STR-DN1050 from Sony is a modern 7.2 AV receiver with great features and awesome sound with both music and movies. Thanks to the clear user interface and app support, it is very easy to use. We already liked the 1040 very much, but we like the 1050 even more - very well done Sony!


  • IN ThE bOX
  • 7.2 Ch. 1155W A/V Receiver (165 W x 7 @ 6 ohms, 1 kHz, THD 0.9%)
  • Built-in Wi-Fi® with DLNA and Airplay® capability
  • Flexible HDMI® connectivity with 6 inputs and 3 outputs
  • Enhanced usability via rich GUI and streamlined remote
  • Supports high-resolution file (incl. DSD-HDMI) playback via LAN, HDMI®, and USB

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Old Price: $549.95
Current Price: $549.95