Sony has announced updated versions of our two--the $599 Sony STR-DN860 and $499 STR-DN1060--which will now include multiroom streaming features as well as automation capabilities.
The receivers offer built-in Wi-Fi and with this comes AirPlay, Spotify Connect and now, in addition to LDAC Bluetooth streaming from mobile devices. Uniquely, Sony has also announced the ability to stream from the receiver to a set of Bluetooth headphones.
Sony has launched its own multiroom streaming system called SongPal Link,which is compatible with its newest sound bars and the new SRS-X99 and SRS-X88 Wireless Speakers. The STR-DN1060 and STR-DN860 will use SongLink to stream music throughout the house making it potentially more powerful than either Spotify Connect or AirPlay.
Meanwhile the specifications are very similar to the previous year's receivers, with six HMDI ports (STR-DN1060) and five HDMI (STR-DN860), respectively, plus 100W per channel and 95W per channel driven in stereo.
The receivers will playback 4K content with HDMI 2.0/HDCP 2.2 support and will also play hi-res audio files including Sony's own DSD format.
The STR-DN1060 includes IP control capability for use in AMX and Crestron home automation systems. This is a trickle-down from the company's ES receivers which have had Ethernet switching and automation capabilities for several years.
Given the strong showing of Sony's mid-range receivers' over the last couple of years, the '860 and '1060 could be the ones to look out for in 2015: as long as Sony hasn't meddled with the performance formula.
The receivers will be available in the United States in Spring 2015.