Sony STR-DA5500ES receiver
This 7.1 Sony A/V receiver has integrated media sharing through DLNA and Internet radio support
- Internet radio integration, plenty of HDMI inputs and outputs
- Media sharing only works with a small range of formats (and no HD streaming), very expensive
If you've got a large shared music library or love Internet radio, Sony's STR-DA5500ES is an excellent choice for an A/V receiver. It will perform its best when paired with a high quality 7.1 set of home theatre speakers, a good television and a range of digital video devices. If you don't need all this connectivity, it's a rather expensive proposition.
Price$ 3,999.00 (AUD)
The Sony STR-DA550ES is a 7.1 channel home theatre receiver with Ethernet connectivity for Internet radio access and DLNA media streaming. It's got a plethora of video and audio inputs and plenty of audio oomph for connecting surround sound speakers.
Sony STR-DA5500ES: Design and A/V connections
The Sony STR-DA5500ES is, as home theatre equipment goes, attractive — in a Star Trek-esque way. Its glossy black front fascia is chock-full of buttons, knobs and dials, with a clear white-on-black display. You'll need a quick run-through of the manual to understand what each button does, though — A/V receivers are complicated beasts at the best of times, and the Sony STR-DA5500ES packs in more features than most. Seven 120W channels and a subwoofer pre-out allow plenty of speakers to be connected, with dual sound zones available for wiring speakers in different parts of your house.
The STR-DA5500ES comes with two remotes. The larger remote, which has all of the buttons you'll need for advanced operation, is designed for use in the same room as the receiver. It's a learning remote so you can use it for controlling your TV or Blu-ray disc player. The smaller remote, with basic controls such as volume, is meant for use wherever you've got a secondary sound zone set up. However, it requires wiring an infrared receiver to that room.
The Sony STR-DA5500ES receiver has all the connections any home theatre we can think of would need — well, almost any. Six HDMI inputs (including one on the receiver's front) and two outputs are joined by three component and five composite inputs with a single output for each. Six optical and three coaxial digital audio inputs take care of audio-only devices like CD players and media players like the Olive Opus No.4. This is a massive amount of connectivity that should see all but the most hardcore home cinemas covered.
Sony STR-DA5500ES: Internet and network connectivity
One novel feature of the Sony STR-DA5500ES is the Ethernet port for connecting to your home network and the Internet. It can connect to and stream Internet radio stations from a list of thousands, so whatever your musical taste there'll be something well suited. We gave this a quick run and found plenty of interesting music from a huge variety of genres. The abundance of international stations means that even if you're listening in the dead of the Australian night, there'll be someone broadcasting from another part of the world for you to listen to.
DLNA media streaming is a boon for anyone with a large photo, video or music library. Using the on-screen display, browsing various shared folders on the network is a simple. Load times when navigating through folders are longer than we would have hoped, though. We were disappointed with the narrow scope of the Sony STR-DA5500ES's file support — only MPG2 and WMV video formats are supported, alongside MP3, WMA and AAC audio and JPEG, BMP and PNG picture files. The maximum streaming video resolution is 480i, too — so streaming high-definition movies from your PC, NAS or laptop is not possible. This feature is in its infancy and isn't a massive drawcard, but some users will find it useful.
The Sony STR-DA5500ES is a perfectly competent A/V receiver that can handle multiple digital video and audio devices simultaneously. Support for multiple sound zones and plenty of amplification power means it's no slouch for playing audio, and the Ethernet port means access to a wide range of content from your home network and the Internet is possible. It's an expensive device, but if you take advantages of all the features the Sony STR-DA5500ES has to offer you won't be disappointed.
Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 2 D-Link Taipan AC3200 Ultra tri-band modem-router review
- 3 Dell XPS 13 (2016) review: Making the very best Ultrabook
- 4 Microsoft Surface Book review: The verdict on Microsoft's first notebook
- 5 Telstra Wi-Fi 4GX Advanced III review: Testing the world's first 600Mbps wireless hotspot
Best Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- Samsung's UHD Monitor covers 99.5 per cent of Adobe colour spectrum
- HP settles cases with inkjet cartridge vendors
- Study predicts PS3 will win the console war
- Samsung wave makes a splash at Mobile World Congress
- Sony returns to profit, cuts full-year loss forecast
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- CCSenior Project ManagerNSW
- CCSenior Front End / UI Developer (React.js / LESS / SASS)NSW
- CCSenior Frontend DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior Middleware Lead Shared Services (Support and EngineeringVIC
- FTProject Manager | Permanent role in Canberra | NV1/2 clearedACT
- FTBusiness Intelligence ConsultantSA
- FTSolution Delivery Manager ( RTTM)NSW
- CCRelease Management LeadNSW
- CCChange Lead/Senior Change Analyst - Transformation projectNSW
- CCService DeskWA
- FTDigital Account Manager - Online MediaNSW
- CCContract Snr IT Assistant (IT Operation/UNIX) 160504/SITA/982Asia
- CCSenior Implementation AnalystNSW
- CCFront End DeveloperVIC
- CCMarketing Communications Specialist - Global IT CompanyNSW
- CCSystem AnalystNSW
- CCSr System AnalystACT
- CCContract Programmer (Crystal Report/HTML/SQL) 160428/P/244Asia
- CCSolution ArchitectVIC
- FTTechnical/Solutions ArchitectNSW
- CCProject Specialist - Contact Center and Unified CommunicationsVIC
- CCContract Programmer (JAVA/HTML/SQL) 160421/P/903Asia
- CCAnalyst Programmer (JAVA/Windows Programming) 160428/AP/143Asia
- FTSenior Project Manager - Payroll IntegrationVIC
- CCIntegration Delivery Project ManagerNSW