The Good The Sony STR-DN1040 is the most feature-packed AV receiver you'll find at this price. There's built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and AirPlay, plus eight HDMI inputs, which is more than any of its competitors. It also sports a truly modern user interface with crisp, high-definition graphics. And the sound quality is fittingly excellent for a premium AV receiver.
The Bad It's somewhat expensive and more than what most buyers need. The included remote is cluttered with buttons, sure to put-off nontechies. And Sony's automatic speaker calibration wasn't quite perfect in our listening environment.
The Bottom Line The Sony STR-DN1040 is a truly first-class AV receiver, boasting tons of wireless technology and a pretty user interface, at a premium price.
A temptingly modern AV receiver
AV receivers tend to feelwith current technology: they're bulky, hard to use, and typically lack basic features that are taken for granted these days, like Wi-Fi.
Thankfully, none of that is true with the Sony STR-DN1040 ($600 street), one of the first relatively affordable AV receivers that actually feels modern. A lot of that is thanks to its slick, responsive onscreen interface that's miles better than what competitors offer. The STR-DN1040 also packs built-in Bluetooth, AirPlay and Wi-Fi, making it easy to interface with tablets and smartphones, where a lot of your music may live. If that's not enough to win you over, there are a whopping eight HDMI inputs, outclassing any other receiver in this price range.
That $600 price isn't cheap for an AV receiver, but the STR-DN1040 certainly makes you feel like you're getting your money's worth. The real question is whether you're willing to pay for the STR-DN1040's step-ups over Sony's other excellent 2013 AV receiver, the, which also offers the killer trio of Bluetooth, AirPlay, and Wi-Fi. None of the STR-DN1040's step-ups is truly essential (who really needs eight HDMI inputs?), but they are nice luxuries for buyers willing to pay more. The Sony STR-DN1040 may not be the absolute best value, but it's a tempting indulgence for less-budget-conscious buyers.
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