Although the system looks attractively stylish from afar, build quality using lightweight materials isn't that impressive when you get up close and personal.
Assembling the stands then feeding the wires through to the speakers is a fiddly process that takes more time than you might think. And, although the rear speakers claim to be wireless, there's only a receiver on one of them so you have to run a connection between the two rear channels and use a separate power adaptor.
We've also seen some systems at this price that offer fullupscaling, which enhances cohesive movement and ensures the system is totally future-proof. And, although you can access digital music and photo files through the optional Digital Media Port adaptor, we don't think you should have to pay extra for the privilege.
Like most home-cinema systems, image quality easily outperforms audio ability. While the sound is reasonably powerful and authoritative, it lacks some subtlety and expression -- ambient effects are not especially involving and dialogue can sound unrealistic at times. It's also not that special with stereo music tracks, with a slow sense of musical timing that fails to get your toes tapping.
Ultimately, Sony's DAV-DZ830 is easier on the eye than it is on your ears -- it's a good-looking system that offers impressive image quality, but the powerful sound could be controlled with more refinement in certain areas. Still, at around £400, it's decent value for money.
Edited by Jason Jenkins
Additional editing by Jon Squire