Recently hooked up the Sony ES STR AZ3000ES to my system which is a 5.3.2 using GoldeEar Tritons and emotiva Atmos speakers. The setup (with a little help from the Crutchfield tech guy) worked out well. The LG remote sync'd easily with the Sony, so I now only have to use one remote for sound. Sadly, the numerical volume indicators no longer appear on the TV screen. Only a plus, minus, and mute show on the TV when volume is adjusted. All the important indicators, of course, appear on the front of the receiver, but you will need to sit less than a foot away from it to make them out. Also, it's quite dim even at its high setting and in a darkened room. That is one of the most unfortunate aspects of this receiver. Not a deal breaker, but a very outdated design from Sony. I really miss the volume numbers. But when the front cover is on, the unit looks neat and clean. So, there's that. Only the large volume knob and the small view screen show. Overall, I find the Sony works well for my needs. It's a big, heavy receiver (42 lbs.), so make sure you have the room. I still need to play around with some of the settings (already increased or decreased some of the sound levels of individual speakers). The 360SSM works well but may be movie dependent. I would certainly recommend this model for a midrange unit in the Sony ES line.
Pros: Great sound Excelent CEC sync 360 spatial mapping
Cons: No volume readout on TV Tiny on unit screen unreadable from more than two feet. Outdated design
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Why should you buy this AV receiver over every other one out there right now? Very simply Sony 360 reality audio. Sony owns a massive music catalog and they are in the process of converting it not only to Dolby Atmos but to 360. There are many other copyright owners who are converting to Dolby Atmos but not 360. So if you want the most access to the most music in the most amazing spatial audio sound you can get, Sony is your device of preference. Now you can get Sony's less expensive ones that also include 360 but they are not capable of at least five main channels and four spatial channels plus subwoofer, 5.1.4. It certainly works at the lower price as I have upgraded from Sony's previous 1100 ES. It sounded gorgeous but with two fewer channels and no 360. But much music I like is in 360. Sony ES series products have long been highly regarded by audiophile reviewers. Some other manufacturers have signed with Sony to deliver 360 Reality Audio. Priced much higher than the 3000ES, and in the range of the 5000ES and 7000ES +. I didn't see the benefits. Many manufacturers have not yet signed with Sony for 360. Buy those and it's like buying a new car today that lacks Apple Car Play and Android Auto. Why would you do that? Yep. I've obsessed on this subject for over 2 years. It's totally worth it to future proof.
Pros: Future Proof with astounding sound! And you get it with CRUTCHFIELD service.
Cons: Sony wireless rear speakers don't allow for height channels. Why? Who knows. Go wired and no worries.
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Not worth the price. I returned this receiver due to the fact that the sound was not as good as advertised. The HDMI switching was slow and the soundfields were not up to par. Crutchfield customer service was not helpful at all. I purchased the Marantz SR 7015 from another seller and cannot be happier. I paid less money and have a much superior receiver. To top it off their customer service is way better than what I received from Crutchfield. Marantz is way better than anything Sony has to offer.
Cons: Slow HDMI switching, not great sounding, over priced
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Bought this receiver as an upgrade to a Sony STR-DN1080, which I enjoyed a lot but always felt was a little bright with certain types of content. In contrast the AZ3000 has a much more refined sound that has been forgiving to string heavy classical music recordings I previously thought were too bright but are now just right for me. Also, the spatial distribution with the new 360SSM feature is glorious; you are just enveloped in sound in a way I did not think possible in my awkward 4.1 setup. I like the Sony sound signature so I'm definitely glad I made the upgrade. As a side note: I had some issues initially when trying to perform the auto calibration which unfortunately was due to a faulty mic. Of course, I contacted Crutchfield about this and they promptly sent me a replacement mic which did work so I could perform the calibration successfully. This is important as you can't use the 360SSM feature if you do not perform the auto calibration first (you can, however, manually adjust the settings afterwards). Great customer service as expected from Crutchfield. Thank you so much!
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Love Everything about this AVR, 360 sound is phenomenal. Nothing that I heard on past. Easily drove my Sinus Faber Lumina II which is little demanding and other AR speakers . The only reason for -1 star is, switching the source takes the AVR some time to play. There is few sec latency.
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First I'll talk about the good. This AVR sounds really good, the placement of objects in a surround mix is exceptional. Sony's Spatial Sound mapping is on point with this technology even with lesser tha Dolby Atmos content, such as Dolby Digital, and video games. The on-screen display makes initial setup with inputting the measurements much easier than some others and using the setup mic is easier than even a quick Dirac setup. It worked seamlessly with my Sony wireless SARS5's and I experienced no dropouts when using them. The remote is extremely basic but works and the Sony Music Center app is.... functional. The bad was a big deal breaker for me and it involves HDMI switching, going from my stream box to my LG TV and LG blu-ray player worked flawlessly, however, when trying to switch to my Xbox Series X with the controller the AVR acted like it wasn't even connected and there was also no on-screen display for volume changes either, like there was from my streamer, and Blu-ray player. The ability to switch HDMI sources without digging for the AVR remote or pulling up the extremely lackluster app is a major factor for me and how my room is setup. Comparing this my Pioneer VSX-LX505 for the same money, they are on par in the sound quality category but the Pioneer, at the same money, has pre-outs, switches HDMI regardless what's connected to it, has a better app, and has a much easier to read display. I hope Sony fixes the HDMI with an Xbox issue I experienced with an
Pros: 360 Spatial Sound mapping Sound quality Easy setup Wireless speaker support for Sony's speakers and subs Absolute volume setting, 0 being no volume numbers count up as volume increases
Cons: HDMI switching with a Xbox Series console connected doesn't work like it does on other AVR's(this was a big con for me and my reason for returning) Sony's own tech support said "it's not magic" ?? and was baffled at this working as intended on my Pioneer Elite AVR On-screen display didn't overlay volume adjustment when using Xbox Display is horrible and WAY to small Remote isn't great Music Center app works but it's not very good The Sony Tax, at this price
29 of 37 found this helpful