THE GOOD: The Sony STR-DN1060 has a boatload of great features including built-in WiFi, Bluetooth and full 4K support with HDCP 2.2 compliance. It also sounds fantastic for home theater.

 

THE BAD: The biggest problem facing this receiver is it’s lack of support for Dolby Atmos or DTS:X. Competitors such as Onkyo, have receivers in the same price range which do.

 

SUMMARY: The bottom line is that the STR-DN1060 is a great receiver. It’s feature rich and is the perfect workhorse for any home theater. The 1060’s biggest drawback is its lack of support for Dolby Atmos  and DTS:X. However, both formats are unproven at this point.

 

 

Sony 7.2 Channel STR-DN1060 Review

 

Sony STR-DN1060 Review

 

A few years ago I was one of the people who completely disregarded Sony’s AV offerings. It’s not that they were bad, but they weren’t great either. However, Sony’s made a tremendous turnaround the past couple of years. Last year’s STR-DN1050 was one of my favorite receivers. This year’s Sony STR-DN1060 has the same great features as the 1050, but also throws-in full support for 4K video.


RELATED: Sony STR-DN1070 Review


 

Appearance and Design

The Sony STR-DN1060 is almost identical to last year’s 1050. The blocky box has a fairly minimal look and feel with very little button clutter on the front. The same minimalist approach is readily apparent with the design of the included remote. There’s not a hint of button clutter on this thing and for the most part, it’s quite easy to just pick-up and use. The Sony 1060 uses the same slick interface as last year’s 1050 with big bold icons and smooth intuitive navigation.

 

The 1060 has an impressive array of input options. The center piece of which are its 6 HDMI inputs. One of the 1060’s inputs and one of its outputs is HDCP 2.2 compliant which means its fully 4K ready when the new format goes mainstream. The Sony STR-DN1060 also has a handful of other digital and analog inputs to compliment it’s HDMI hook-ups so finding a way to connect all of your av equipment shouldn’t be too daunting.

Sony STR-DN1060 Rear

 

Sony STR-DN1060 Setup  & Features

Upon booting the receiver up an icon on the front of the receiver indicated to me that a firmware update was available. Downloading and installing the update took about 20 minutes which wasn’t too bad. After the latest firmware was installed, it was time to move on to the calibration.

 

Most receivers when you plug-in the calibration microphone they immediately ship you off to the calibration menu. The 1060 doesn’t. Instead you’re required to navigate to the calibration menu via the remote to get the ball rolling. This isn’t a huge issue, but it is a little inconvenient.

 

Calibrating the Sony STR-DN1060 was a breeze and only took about 1-2 minutes (if that). As with all calibration systems you should go in and take a look at the settings afterwards just to verify everything. For instance, the 1060 incorrectly labeled are front speakers as large-full-range. Not a big deal since nearly every calibration system I’ve used has made the same mistake, but it does highlight the need to go in and verify the settings afterwards.

 

Among the Sony 1060’s abundant set of features are WiFi, Bluetooth and AirPlay. AirPlay worked flawlessly for me when I attempted to stream music to the receiver. Bluetooth worked nearly as well, although it did take a little longer for the 1060 to pair with my iPod. The Bluetooth feature on the Sony STR-DN1060 works both ways, meaning you can send music from your device to the receiver or you can send music from the receiver to a set of Bluetooth headphones. Luckily, I had a pair of headphones on hand and I must say it was surprisingly easy to stream music to them without any issues.

 

Along with the aforementioned wireless features, the 1060 also supports Google Cast which allows for the streaming of music from a phone or tablet. Apple AirPlay has become ubiquitous on AV receivers, so it’s nice to see Android users get some love too this year.

 

Sony’s SongPal app, which is a free download, not only allows you to control some of the basic functions of the receiver, but it also acts as a multi-room audio controller. Overall, it works OK, but it’s not quite as intuitive as it needs to be. Streaming music via Bluetooth or WiFi was easy enough. However, I found myself using the remote to control the receiver instead of the app the majority of the time.

 

The Sony STR-DN1060 also has multi-zone capabilities. You can push audio via its powered zone 2 audio connections as well as video thru it’s zone 2 HDMI output. It’s possible to output to a 3rd zone by using the surround speaker outputs.

 

The 1060 is capable of decoding the standard array of HD audio codecs such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. The two formats you won’t hear on the Sony 1060 are Dolby Atmos and DTS-X. Both formats are relatively new, but other manufacturers are incorporating these object based sound formats on their receivers this year. It will be interesting to see if Sony made the right decision by not including them. For music listening, the 1060 can also decode a wide range of HD music formats which include MP3, AAC, WMA, WAV192k, FLAC 192k, ALAC, AIFF and DSD (2.8MHz).

 

Performance

Let me start by saying that last year’s Sony STR-DN1050 was one of my favorite receivers. So the Sony STR-DN1060 had a lot to live up to. Thankfully, the 1060 has all the sonic characteristics that made last years model great.

 

I found the sound from the 1060 to be clean and crisp. Bass output was strong and powerful when needed, but it was never overwhelming even when watching action-packed movies such as Transformers or Edge of Tomorrow.

 

I slapped in War of the World on Blu-ray and was extremely impressed with how the Sony 1060’s sound presentation grabs you. When the alien ships first emerge from underground, the crackling lightning strikes and rumbling alien engines immediately pull you into the movie.

 

Avatar on Blu-ray, gave the Sony 1060 a chance to display its surround sound chops. Forest scenes on the moon of Pandora were a cornucopia of sound. Sitting in the middle of my listening area, I felt like I was on the moon myself. Overall, the Sony STR-DN1060 produces a transparent and vivid surround experience that’s rare to find in this price range.

 

If there’s one weakness the 1060 has, its with musical performance. Truth be told, unless you get into the upper echelon of AV receivers ($1000 and up) this is a common issue. The Sony 1060 has a tendency to favor higher frequencies in music playback and doesn’t sound as balanced as it needs to be. That being said it’s still no slouch in the music department and most people will have no problem with its musical performance.

 

Conclusion

The Sony STR-DN1060 is an improvement in nearly every way over the 1050. The sound quality is nearly identical to last years model and it has more features including full 4K support. The only real gripe I have with the 1060 is Sony’s decision to keep Dolby Atmos and DTS:X on the sideline. Much of the competition this year is including these features so we’ll have to see how things play out. This aside, the Sony 1060 is a near perfect AV receiver for entertainment.


Where to Buy:

See Price on Amazon


 


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