I’d say that Sony STRDN1030 is a great A/V receiver if you are willing to take my word for it. How so? A few months ago, I had the Onkyo LS3100 Audio Video receiver, which is pretty good, I thought this is it. As it turns out, I spent a 20 day time period with the STRDN1030 by Sony and I have to admit that my views have kind of changed a little bit.

On the contrary, a lot has happened since people have bought this Sony audio video receiver. They have complained a lot; I get it. Part of the complaining is related to new users who had no idea how to properly handle this beautiful product. Others were just inexperienced and they didn’t read the Sony STRDN1030 manual properly. Who is to blame here?

Front View of the Sony STRDN1030 AV Receiver as seen at Amazon

Good Stuff about the Sony STRDN1030 Audio Video Receiver:

  • This Speaker supports the 7.1 Channel audio system. 5.1 systems are also compatible, which is a good thing for people with old home theaters.
  • There is a built in Wi-Fi adapter/ antenna in the Sony STRDN1030. It means that you can perform updates, stream music, stream movies and other multimedia files from your iPad, iPhone etc.
  • Built in HD sound effects and DTS mode. Do know that the DTS system works mostly in 2.1 channel. However, the overall sound effect is theatrical.
  • For compatible 3D connect, there is a 3D pass through connection port/ feature in the Sony STRDN1030 model.
  • 5 HDMI Ports for simultaneous connections.
  • Built in Ethernet port for internet connectivity through LAN cable.

As I stated earlier, the my last receiver was the Onkyo LS3100. I wrote about it in comparison with other Bose Audio Video receivers in the market. Back then, I recommended Onkyo over other products for the fact that:

  • Bose is a brand name. It is expensive. Therefore its sound systems can be more of a rip off. (No hard feelings Bose)
  • Overall, the Onkyo LS 3100 was a better product with longer shelf life, minimum issues and quick connectivity.

Now when I talk about Sony STRDN1030 in comparison with Onkyo, Bose or any other AV receiver company for that matter, Sony has a number of perks that pump out better results. The only problem is that people don’t get it. These features are a little hard to get used to and the STRDN1030 manual makes it even harder to understand.

You get 5 HDMI input ports in this audio video receiver, there is excellent wattage compatibility, which distributes electricity evenly throughout the device’s circuitry – so on and so forth. Most of the people who have bought this Sony device from Amazon have already talked about it in detail. I am going to address to some of the Sony STRDN1030 issues that are not discussed on the internet with that much frequency.

  • Bluetooth Settings, Features and Possible Issues:

It is 2013 and Bluetooth is a relatively older concept. It does not apply much when you have so many other data sharing and streaming applications on any tech product for that matter. Fortunately, or unfortunately, there is an in built Sony STRDN1030 Bluetooth feature, so why not use it?

You can play music after pairing any mobile device to the AV receiver. I tried the Bluetooth file streaming with my HTC One X; it was flawless. I tried Bluetooth streaming with my Samsung SGH5233 and it was shitty because the Sony STRDN1030 would not recognize the cell phone. The reason is that SGH series cellphones are nearly obsolete and very old.

Issues wise, I did not encounter anything specific. Already said that old cell phones probably don’t work with this product. If you are trying to pair a device with the Sony AV receiver; use something that is compatible. You can get the STRDN1030 compatibility list of Bluetooth devices from the internet easily.

The Back Panel Shows off Tons of Ports for Multiple Device Connectivity 

The STRDN1030 Back Panel Showcases Support through a Variety of Ports

The best thing is that this audio video receiver remembers 9 Bluetooth profiles/ devices. The next time you are trying to play something; you will not have to go through the pairing setup process again.

  • Sony STRDN1030 Wi Fi Performance:

One of the advantages that this receiver has over other is its Wi-Fi mode. First of all, before you download any external application or upgrade an internal application, I’d like you to perform a system upgrade on the Sony STRDN1030.

To do this, you open the device’s XMS / Menu and check for a “System Update” option through internet. You can also install an updated file through a USB but I figured that directly getting it online is easier. Sony will automatically search for the latest version of the STRDN1030 AV firmware and install it. The installation process will take 20 – 25 minutes.

After the update, the AV will restart. All your settings, i.e. IF you made any on your speakers for this receiver, will be washed. You will have to start over. This is why I said that as soon as Wi-Fi is connected to the internet, perform an upgrade. Otherwise, sooner or later you are gonna need it and Sony will erase your old preferences.

After the Sony STRDN1030 system update, you will notice that you can stream music faster, you can play media files with a variety in extension and radio streaming is also made available. By default, there are radio channels in there for your entertainment, but when the update is downloaded an installed, the Sony STRDN1030 will offer more radio channels. 

  • Setting Up/ Connecting Your Pandora Channels to Sony STRDN1030:

You can link to your Pandora account on the Sony STRDN1030 if you are logged into the Sony website. Go to the Sony entertainment center on the AV internet browser and enter the device’s code when asked. Your Pandora account link screen will be connected and all your stations/ presets will synch. You can repeat the same process for Slacker stations and vTuner too.

  • Party Streaming, AirPlay and Partying on the Sony AV Receiver:

A lot of people don’t know but “Party Streaming” is a very handy app on the STRDN1030. For this application to work, you will need compliant devices. You can save 20 profiles for streaming! Can you believe it? Also “Party Streaming” lets you pair iOS devices that have the AirPlay feature installed in them.

Photo Still of the Sony AV Device

In addition to the party app, I’d like you to install the “Sony Media Remote” application. This application is available to both Android and iOS users through their relative playstores. After you have installed the application, you will be able to use your smartphone as a remote control to control most of the Sony STRDN1030 features. The response time is fast as any regular remote control. Plus, it is a nice thing to show off!

  • Audio and Visuals Don’t Suck!

Like I mentioned earlier at the very start of this Sony STRDN1030 review, the Audio and Video results are phenomenal. You will need to try various settings to reach the best calibration. Here’s my rig on the STRDN Sony AV:

–          Dish Network Cable

–          Microphone

–          Sony PlayStation 3

–          Microsoft Xbox 360 Whisper Edition (Jasper Hack)

–          44 Inch Sony Bravia LCD TV

–          Edifier 5.1 M Series Audio System

–          Logitech Revue and Google TV

Whenever you are switching HDMI display modes for either playing games or watching moves, the screen goes black for just a fraction of a second. The “switch” does not take long to occur. The colors come back to life instantly. I am also using Banana Cable plugs for connecting my speakers to the AV receiver.

  • Graphic Interface:

The GUI is simple; it lacks a lot of fancy gimmicks etc. Let’s say you are playing something through Grooveshark; the STRDN1030 screen will show simple menu with crude text and information of the current song. It is obnoxious and something not very impressive. Also, you do not get any volume indicator display on the screen, which is also not cool.

Closing Thoughts:

Overall, the Sony STRDN1030 is something out of the water. It has a lot of elbow grease and the results get better with time. The product itself cannot do wonders if you don’t know how to properly place the 5.1 / 7.1 home theater system. The subwoofer positioning is crucial when it comes to getting the best results. Place it in a confined space to get the most bass out of it.

Your ears will bleed with satisfaction. Oh yeah! Face melting time with Sony STRDN1030 Audio Video Receiver FTW!

 Word from Sony:

The STR-DN1030 Wi-Fi Network A/V Receiver produces crisp, clear sound at all volumes. Take your audio entertainment experience to the edge with features like built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, AirPlay and more.