For 2016, Sony announced their flagship home theater receiver, the STR-ZA5000ES costing $2800. The 9.2-channel A/V Receiver supports Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, 4K Ultra HD and is powered by 130 watts x 9 of discrete amplification.
The ZA5000ES is the first Sony ES receiver compatible with both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X (after firmware upgrade). Using two additional amplifiers, these formats can support up to 11.1 channels of sound for the latest object-oriented audio sources that are now available from a growing number of platforms. The receiver also supports a long list of legacy surround formats, including Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio.
The ZA5000ES incorporates powerful DSP technology which utilizes a high speed clock to achieve unprecedented operational efficiency. A high performance 32-bit floating point processor is also used to optimize signal processing, along with shorter signal paths to reduce impedance and interference from digital noise. All of these processors are mounted, together with a high-grade electrolytic capacitor, on the receiver’s power line to ensure an ample supply of clean power and optimal performance.
To complement this, the ZA5000ES includes Sony’s latest D.C.A.C. EX technology with a new feature called Speaker Relocation. This compensates for less than ideal listening environments by closely simulating the sound field produced by optimally positioned and angled speakers.
Additionally, the ZA5000ES can deliver High Resolution Audio over HDMI. Sound quality is also improved by a newly developed preamplifier circuit that reproduces high resolution music with more accurate response and greater detail. All preamplifier functions are performed by a new IC which provides faster response time, higher signal-to-noise and reduced thermal interference. There are also refinements such as independent power supply wiring with low loss gold bond wire.
To further enhance sound quality, the ZA5000ES utilizes a linear wideband power amplifier and highly efficient aluminum heat sink, a high capacity transformer with localized power supplies, a low phase noise precision crystal oscillator, and sonically tuned audio grade resistors.
The ZA5000ES also incorporates Sony’s highly regarded ES Build Quality, which features ‘Frame and Beam’ full box construction that increases rigidity. When combined with the receiver’s off-set feet, this helps eliminate airborne vibration.
The ZA5000ES includes six HDMI inputs and two outputs that provide full HDCP 2.2 compliance and supports the latest 4K 60P (4:4:4:) Ultra HD content. It can also distribute both 4K video and multichannel audio simultaneously to two different zones. Unlike conventional receivers, the ZA5000ES is even compatible with the new BT.2020 wide color gamut standard for future applications.
Additionally, the ZA5000ES can upscale video to 4K 24P and is one of the first receivers that can support High Dynamic Range (HDR) sources. A special test pattern is also included for verifying 4K connectivity.
The ZA5000ES features a built-in graphic user interface (GUI) which offers a visual confirmation of system set-up; while cursor keys on the receiver’s front panel provide full operability – even without the supplied Remote Commander. For the utmost convenience, a special in-ceiling speaker mode can also “virtually” relocate the front and center speakers around the screen.
In addition, an 8-port Ethernet hub is included on the receiver’s back panel, along with two Power over Ethernet (PoE) ports. A full complement of digital and analog inputs are also provided, along with redesigned gold-plated speaker terminals that support the latest audiophile cables.
The ZA5000ES provides access to system integration protocols via a special PING button on the front panel. There’s also web browser control plus cloud-based remote monitoring capability for Ihiji users. All of these settings can be saved to a flash drive and reloaded at any time using the USB interface located behind the receiver’s removable front cover.
Price and Availability
The Sony STR-ZA5000ES will be available in Spring 2016 for $2,799. It comes with a 5-year limited parts and labor warranty and includes a multi-function Remote Commander that supports a variety of discrete operating codes.
- 9.2 Ch. A/V Receiver (130W @ 8 ohms, 1 kHz, THD 0.9%)
- Supports Dolby ATMOS and DTS:X decoding up to 11.1-ch (using 2 extra power amplifiers)
- Optimized chassis and internal circuitry for incredible audio performance
- HDMI with HDCP 2.2 support (6-in/2-out)
- Flexible HD connectivity with 8 assignable inputs (6 HDMI, 2 component)
- 8-port Giga Ethernet Hub with PoE (x2) support for flexible connectivity
- Convenient front USB for system updating and setup
- Web browser configurable set-up (programming)
- Optimized especially for custom in-home integration, and system configuration
- Seamless IP Control integration with the leading control systems
- Supports 4K upscaling and pass-through with 3D and full TRILUMINOS color support
- In-ceiling mode for natural, rich front-channel sound staging
- Flexible, full-resolution multi-zone distribution capability
- Installer friendly remote commander with preset discrete command codes
- 3, 12-Volt triggers for triggering external peripherals, amplifiers, etc.
- 3, IR repeaters (1-in, 2-out) for external device control
- Advanced Digital Cinema Audio Calibration for quick Set-Up
- Sony ES 5-Year Limited Warranty