Sony STR-DH790 Review: Insightful Analysis with Pros and Cons

Choosing the best AV receiver can be challenging, especially for the less experienced, considering the technical aspects involved. This critical component is aimed primarily to act as the center of the home theater system.

Sony has proved itself in the audio world as an excellent manufacturer of modern receivers for newbies and veterans alike. Sony home theater receivers have a cool functionality that most audiophiles want, and they deliver the best entertainment experience.

The STR-DH790 is the perfect definition of a home cinema, and it boasts of a wealth of features and pleasant inputs for movie lovers. The receiver has deservedly earned a spot in the best Sony home theater thanks to its 7 amplification channels that provide room-filling surround sound.

Here are some handy specs to start us off.

Sony STR-DH790 Specs

Number of channels7
Decodable Channels5.1.2ch
Power output145 W (6 ohms, 1 kHz, 1ch THD 0.9%)
Subwoofer out2
Tuner typeFM
Tuner Presets30 Stations
Speaker Impedance6–16 ohms
Power RequirementAC 120 V 60 Hz
Auto CalibrationAdvanced D.C.A.C.

If you are unsure about whether to choose STR-DH790 or not, please read this comprehensive review to the end as we highlight its important features with pros and cons.

Sony STR-DH790 Review

The Sony STR-DH790 is a fully featured home theater receiver with a user-friendly interface that will leave you impressed. One thing that we really liked is that it delivers a very powerful bass compared to the Sony STRDH 190 that we had an opportunity to review earlier.

In terms of connectivity options, the STR-DH790 provides pretty much everything you would want in a modern receiver for an agreeable price. Besides, it is one of the few affordable 7-channels receivers that do not sacrifice on sound quality.

Key Features

Robust audio playback

The STR-DH790 provides up to 1015 watts (145 watts per channel) total output power to let you enjoy a more theater-like sound. And as if this is not enough, the receiver offers you multiple options of setting up your system in any living or entertainment room.

It accommodates a standard 7.2 surround sound speaker configuration, which provides a room-filling sound in large spaces. The best part is that you can even start off with just two front stereo speakers thanks to the S-Force PRO function. The S-Force PRO is a surround sound technology by Sony that helps create a virtual surround sound field by using only two front speakers

Alternatively, you can use the receiver to build a 5.1.2 Dolby Atmos setup and enjoy immersive overhead sound effects from any spot in your living room.

Dolby Atmos/ DTS: X decoding

Overall, the Sony STR-DH790 is an impressive entry-level AV receiver designed to deliver immersive surround sound just like in cinema theaters. In terms of sound formats, the receiver accounts for both Dolby Atmos and DTS: X decoding. These formats position sound from every angle to provide a 360-degree surround sound (around and above you) that envelops you in the movie action completely.

Smart Bluetooth connectivity

The STR-DH790 lets you pair your receiver with any Bluetooth-enabled device and have full control over your audio and video files. Moreover, the inbuilt Bluetooth helps you connect tons of devices at once for the ultimate surround sound experience. And with the standby function, the receiver not only allows you to stream your favorite tracks but also turn on the receiver directly from your phone.

Innovative calibration system

If you’re using a different combination of speakers and audio components, Sony’s DCAC (Digital Cinema Auto Calibration) speaker calibration system is a great feature to have onboard. The receiver automatically examines the room acoustics or speaker distance and adjusts the settings to optimize the system in any room. In addition, the included microphone aligns the characteristics of the left channels to be in phase with the right channels to deliver a matching and more effective sound quality.

Up to 3 DSPs

The STR-DH790 offers three DSPs, and all of them support a range of audio formats to ensure accurate signal decoding. Equally important, the receiver uses a discrete amplifier design that helps prevent distortion by providing clean power. The amplifier is expertly designed with heat sink technology to help dissipate excess heat to provide a cool running environment.

Unmatched video and picture quality

This value-packed Sony receiver is compatible with HDR signal with the 4K pass-through that makes your viewing experience come to life. This technology provides a major boost in contrast and brightness to let you enjoy superior picture quality.

Furthermore, with the 4K pass-through, you can transmit signals from the source device to the receiver without degrading picture quality. The unit also supports the latest HDR varieties including, HGL, HDR10, and Dolby Vision.

Sleek and space-saving design

This Sony receiver features a robust but space-saving design (stands 5 1/4″ tall) to ensure that it will fit in conventional AV cabinets. Moreover, it sports a firm chassis that helps reduce vibrations while ensuring that it will blend with your décor.

Stay connected

The Sony STR-DH790 is equipped with ample inputs and output to let you connect basic audio components, including DVD players, Blu-ray play, CD players, gaming consoles, and more. The unit offers:

  • 4 HDMI inputs
  • 1 HDMI output
  • 4 analog audio inputs
  • 2 digital audio inputs(1 coaxial, 1 optical)
  • 2 subwoofer outputs
  • 1 headphone jack(1/4″)
  • 1 USB port
  • 7 outputs for the 7 speakers

What we like

  • Excellent sound quality, especially for movies
  • Small footprint
  • Build quality is top-notch
  • Easy connectivity for powerful audio
  • Contemporary design that will fit in most AV cabinets
  • Unmatched sonic balance
  • Great value for your bucks

What we don’t like

  • It lacks a phono input, but you can always get a phono preamp to add a turntable
  • An onscreen setup guide would be of much help
  • Lacks Wi-Fi


The Sony STR-DH790 is a powerful AV receiver that lets you bring that huge cinema feeling to your living room. Regardless of what you need to watch or listen to, this receiver is up to the task, and its performance rivals high-end cinema screens.

Although it is an entry-level AVR, it delivers exceptional soundstage and detail for movies and music. Sony’s DCAC is arguably one of the best calibration technologies available and does a great job of tuning your receiver to suit your listening space. The Sony STR-DH790 is truly a premium performer and one of the best 7.2 receivers that you can get your hands on out there.

Please let us know if this Sony STRDH79 review was helpful in the comments section below.

Avatar for Jamie K. Martin

Jamie K. Martin holds a degree in Audio engineering from Husson University, Bangor. Martin spends most of his time testing and trying the technology he writes about to ensure that he provides first-hand information to our customers from all walks of life.

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