- 170W per channel, easy speaker setup function, excellent sound range
- No Dolby Pro Logic IIx support, no multi-channel pre-outs
Expensive, but stacked with features and has power to burn.
Price$ 2,999.00 (AUD)
With a golden fascia and angular approach, the small Sony STRDA5000ES looks rather smart. A bevy of buttons and knobs are hidden beneath the front panel, leaving only the essentials on top.
There's plenty of power to be found here: the 5000ES is rated at 170W at 8 ohms through all seven channels (1kHz, 0.7% THD) and 150W x 2 in stereo mode (20Hz to 20kHz, 0.9% THD). The words "S-Master Pro" adorning the Sony stand for something more than just marketing hype, too: it's Sony's name for its proprietary digital amplification technology. At its most basic level, digital amplification means the digital signal from a source remains in the digital realm longer, theoretically providing a purer audio signal. We're inclined to agree, judging by the output. All the expected processing options are present except for the newer (and somewhat inconsequential in the scheme of things) Dolby Pro Logic IIx, and a number of DSP modes are thrown in for good measure.
Eight sets of binding posts include front "A" and "B" speakers for switching and multi-room listening and there are two complete sets of multi-channel inputs for SACD or DVD-Audio. No multi-channel pre-outs--save for a lone subwoofer pre-out--are available. Other inputs are in abundance: four optical digital inputs and one optical digital output plus two coaxial digital inputs. Another bonus is the inclusion of component video up-conversion.
Even though there is no fully automated setup routine, Sony does provide an easy speaker setup function that lets you choose from a number of different speaker patterns (from two to eight or more speakers). A comprehensive range of manual setup options are also on hand to get the system sounding its best. What's more, they're incredibly easy to operate thanks to a well-thought-out menu system and three dedicated selector knobs for changing values. The 5000ES is supremely easy to operate, with a universal remote control that's top notch.
Perhaps the best word to describe the performance of the Sony is "effortless". The ease with which it was able to drive our reference speakers was plainly evident from the very first track, and even at high volumes it pushed the Audio Pro speakers we used for testing smoothly and cleanly. DVD movies love having such dynamic headroom to play with, and the extremes of volume on our Master and Commander test disc gave all our receivers a real workout. In this case the Sony didn't even break a sweat when cannon balls started criss-crossing the Atlantic. Feed it something gentler like Chicago and the 5000ES comes to life with rich, well-defined audio. Musical performance was just as satisfying, and strongly vocal tracks such as 'Don't Give Up' by Peter Gabriel stood out with a convincing realness.
The Sony is a little more expensive than some comparable receivers, but it's stacked with features and has power to burn.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei P10 smartphone review
- 2 Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Motorola Moto G5 smartphone review
- 4 Oppo A57 phone: full, in-depth review
- 5 Moto G5 Plus phone: full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Plex Cloud is now open to all paid users
- YouTube launches streaming TV service with 40 channels and unlimited cloud DVR storage
- Up next for Apple TV: 4K streaming reportedly in the works
- Apple’s original TV shows are almost ready for prime time
- Apple snags Amazon Fire TV exec to lead Apple TV efforts
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- MSI GE62 7RD Apache gaming laptop review
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Huawei P10 smartphone review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- FTSenior PHP Developer / Technical LeadQLD
- FTIntegration and Implementation SpecialistVIC
- CCReporting System Specialist - Port MacquarieQLD
- TPSenior Developer - API - Data ReportingNSW
- CCImplementation Manager/PlannerSA
- CCSharepoint DeveloperNSW
- CCChange AnalystNSW
- CCPega DeveloperSA
- CCTechnical Business AnalystNSW
- FTSenior .NET DevelopersSA
- TPAEM DeveloperNSW
- CCPMO CoordinatorNSW
- FTTest AnalystACT
- FTApplication PackagerSA
- FTData ScientistACT
- TPSenior Deployment Officer (Office 365)QLD
- TPUAT CoordinatorQLD
- TPSharepoint DeveloperQLD
- FTSolution Architect l MS Exchange, O365NSW
- FTSenior .Net DeveloperVIC
- TPServiceNow ConsultantVIC
- FTTechnical WriterACT
- FTPHP DeveloperNSW
- TPChange Management - Multi-stream people change program**NSW