A great value for the mid-range receiver, but it has some issues...
14 November 2013
Summary: I owned the Sony STRDN1030 for a month before returning it. I tried all sort of settings and here is what liked and did not like about it: Pros: It has a lot of technology. You can connect your phone wirelessly via Bluetooth, it has HDMI switching, HDMI pass-through, and all the goodies and the price is attractive too. The sound is punchy and detailed for a mid-range receiver. Cons: The menu system is not that good.
Summary: I am a longtime Onkyo supporter, but went with this receiver recently. Good reviews from www.Hometheater.com which i also subscribe to. Generally their word is gospel and they highly recommended this. I read the review twice, did my homework and purchased. My take is different than other reviewers, first I needed a Zone 2 for my deck speakers.
Summary: I purchased this unit based on the two earlier models of Sony that I had, reviews on Amazon, warranty and number of Sony retailers in Washington Metropolitan area. Some other manufacturers don't have retailers and do not offer the same warranty. The basic receiver which for years has been carried from one model to another is excellent. With a couple of JBL receivers the quality of sound is more than satisfactory (I don’t have a cinema sound system).
Summary: I did not buy this receiver from Amazon. I got it for free with my reward points. I did read hundreds of reviews of this receiver. Practically every reviewer pointed out the poor GUI and sluggish response. Both observations are correct. The GUI is plain horrible. The receiver is bit sluggish when changing input. The speaker connectors are hard to tighten and I do not even have fat fingers.
Summary: I enjoyed using this receiver while I had it, it had a great sound and very fast speaker calibration setup. My biggest complaint after using it for a couple of days was the enormous remote with so many unnecessary buttons, yet it doesn't have dedicated number buttons (you have to have "shift" pressed to use numbers).
Summary: Overall, I'm reasonably pleased with my new receiver. It replaced an Onkyo that continued to work flawlessly but was about 15 years old. For the price, it's hard to beat. Once you get through the inscrutable start-up instructions and get the thing configured it does what it's supposed to do; and the sound quality through my surround speakers seems excellent. Disclaimer: I'm a 57-year-old male with so-so hearing, so keep that in mind when reading this :-).
Summary: I have to say I LOVE the built in Airplay feature. Also I use mostly wired connections to minimize any data loss. Currently I have a Christmas playlist going in iTunes on my Mac with iPad remote control streaming to the Receiver. I will admit the GUI is crap hence the 3 stars, but the setup was easy and the HDMI outputs are great. I got this as I needed a 5.1 unit with "B" Fronts to drive speakers in my kitchen and no other units in the proce range had the features.
Summary: I'll have a revision on this review when my replacement arrives but this is how it stands as of now. I have this receiver hooked up to the Energy Take classic 5.1 with just 16 gauge wire and banana plugs. the sound pumped to the speakers is crisp and clear even at real high levels and the lows pumped to the sub is room shaking. The GUI menu is ugly and sluggish but works for what you need it to do. Once you set up the speaker pattern and calibrate it its really nice.
Summary: Overly complex receiver, I'm a pretty techie guy but this thing is cumbersome. The GUI on the str-dn1030 is simply terrible and totally misrepresents the hardware quality of the product. Its amazing to me that so little time and though goes into the customers experience. Most if not all of our time interfacing with this product is via the GUI interface so why make it so horrible?
Summary: Its a decent receiver. How many times can we say the GUI sucks? Well count this as one more because it is truly horrific. Not the best receiver I've ever owned but it does get the job done and has some decent features to boot (wifi and blue tooth built in are a huge plus.) one thing that you should know however is that for some asinine reason it comes out of the box with auto volume on. WHY?!