Denon AVR-X4400H vs Sony STR-ZA3100ES Detailed Comparison
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SCORE:
93
SCORE:
83

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Overview

Here we are comparing Denon AVR-X4400H to Sony STR-ZA3100ES to reveal their common strengths and weaknesses as well as the differences between them which will help you in making a correct decision before the purchase. The Denon AVR-X4400H has 9 channel and the Sony STR-ZA3100ES has 7 channel amplifiers with Denon AVR-X4400H's being more powerful.

Let us have a look at some highlights of the models.

Denon AVR-X4400H Highlights

Sony STR-ZA3100ES Highlights

  • 9.2 channels
  • 125 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven)
  • Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Auro 3D capable
  • HDR10, Dolby Vision, 4K Upscaling, 4K Passthrough
  • AirPlay 2, DLNA, HEOS
  • Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  • USB and Phono inputs
  • 7.2 channels
  • 80 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven)
  • Dolby Atmos, DTS:X capable
  • HDR10, Dolby Vision, 4K Upscaling, 4K Passthrough
  • Ethernet
  • USB input

We have evaluated both receivers. Denon AVR-X4400H gets higher overall score in our ranking system which is based on the amplifier specifications, audio and video features, connectivity, multizone capabilities, radio and many other details.

Denon AVR-X4400H

Sony STR-ZA3100ES

AMPLIFIER
92
VIDEO FEATURES
96
AUDIO FEATURES
93
CONNECTIVITY
91
MULTIZONE
93
MISCELLANEOUS
88
RADIO
92
OVERALL
93
AMPLIFIER
79
VIDEO FEATURES
96
AUDIO FEATURES
86
CONNECTIVITY
79
MULTIZONE
90
MISCELLANEOUS
65
RADIO
59
OVERALL
83

Amplifier score is based on power ratings, minimum impedance load, power supply, transformer type, total harmonic distortion, damping factor, signal to noise ratio and other small details. Audio score depends on the number of channels, front wide channel support, maximum channel processing, support of audio formats, DAC specifications, room calibration algorithm... Video score is based on HDR, Dolby Vision and 4K passthrough, upscaling, analog to HDMI upconversion. Connectivity score is defined from all wired and wireless inputs and outputs, internet and bluetooth connections, HEOS, SONOS and others. Multizone score depends on the number of zones with their outputs. Radio score is evaluated form digital radio support and analog tuner with its frequency range, signal to noise ratio, harmonic distortion...

Advantage of Denon AVR-X4400H

This section shows those features and specifications which are the reason to choose Denon AVR-X4400H over Sony STR-ZA3100ES.

Denon AVR-X4400H has more channels, more power per channel, more channel processing, more analog pre-outs and bigger power supply. It supports Auro3D, DSD streaming via USB, Amazon Alexa, internet radio, Spotify, Tidal, Deezer and Napster. It has DTS Dialog Control and phono input.

Denon AVR-X4400H Sony STR-ZA3100ES
More Channels 9.2 7.2
Certified 4 Ω Performance
More Channel Processing 11.2 9ch + Phantom 2ch
Dolby Digital EX
DTS Virtual:X via firmware update
Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer Built-In
Music Playback via USB MP3, WMA, AAC, Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, DSD
DSD via USB 2-ch Input
DTS Dialog Control
Audyssey Dynamic EQ
Audyssey Dynamic Volume
Audyssey LFC
Audyssey Sub EQ HT
Auto Low Latency Mode Pass-through
isf Certified Calibration Control
DLNA 1.5
Works with Amazon Alexa
AirPlay AirPlay 2
Wi-Fi
Bluetooth SBC
More HDMI Inputs 8 (1 front) 6 (1 front)
More HDMI Outputs 3 (2 for MAIN, 1 for ZONE2) 2 (1 Main, 1 Sub/Zone2)
More Analog Audio Line Inputs 6 (1 front) 4
Phono Input
More Coaxial Inputs/Outputs 2 / 1 /
More Composite Video Inputs 4 (1 front) 2
More Component Video Outputs 1
More Analog Pre-Outs 11.2 9.2
Front A/V Inputs HDMI, USB, Composite, L/R Audio HDMI, USB
Headphone Out 6.3 mm
More Powered Zones 2 and 3 2
Zone 2 Outs HDMI, Component, Composite, Pre Out HDMI, Composite Video, RCA Pre/Line Out
More GUI Languages 9 3
Analog Tuner FM/AM with RDS FM/AM
Internet Radio TuneIn
Spotify
Tidal
Deezer
Napster
More Speaker Terminals 11 7
More Large Speaker Terminals 11 7
Color-Coded Speaker Terminals
Gold plated RCA terminals
Bigger Power Supply 710 W 290 W
Higher Power Output (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven, FTC) 125 W (0.05% THD) 80 W (0.09% THD)
Higher Power Output (6 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 channel driven, FTC) 165 W (0.7% THD) 120 W (0.9% THD)
Higher S/N Ratio (digital) 102 dB 96 dB (20 kHz LPF)

Advantage of Sony STR-ZA3100ES

This section shows those features and specifications which are the reason to choose Denon AVR-X4400H over Sony STR-ZA3100ES.

Denon AVR-X4400H has more channels, more power per channel, more channel processing, more analog pre-outs and bigger power supply. It supports Auro3D, DSD streaming via USB, Amazon Alexa, internet radio, Spotify, Tidal, Deezer and Napster. It has DTS Dialog Control and phono input.

Denon AVR-X4400H Sony STR-ZA3100ES
Dialogue Lift Center Speaker Lift Up
Ethernet Switch 8-Port Gigabit
+12V Trigger Output 2 3 (80 mA)
Remote (IR) Input/Output 1 / 1 1 / 2
Longer Warranty 3 Years 5 Years
Higher S/N Ratio (Line, IHF-A) 102 dB 105 dB (20 kHz LPF, 500 mV)
Faster Ethernet 100BASE-TX 1000BASE-T
Wider AM Frequency Range 522 kHz - 1611 kHz 530 kHz - 1710 kHz

Common Strengths and Weaknesses

Here we list common strengths and weaknesses of both receivers.

STRENGTHS
Bi-amp Capability 👍
Many Channel Processing 👍
Dolby Atmos 👍
Dolby TrueHD 👍
Dolby Digital Plus 👍
Dolby Surround Upmixer 👍
DTS:X 👍
DTS Neural:X 👍
DTS-HD Master Audio 👍
DTS-HD High Resolution Audio 👍
DTS 96/24 👍
DTS Express 👍
DTS-ES 👍
DSD via HDMI 👍
Auto Speaker Calibration System with Mic. 👍
HDR10 👍
BT.2020 color space 👍
Dolby Vision 👍
HLG 👍
3-D Ready 👍
4K or 8K Video Passthrough 👍
4K or 8K Signal Upscaling 👍
Analog To HDMI Upconversion 👍
Ethernet 👍
eARC 👍
New HDCP Version 👍
USB Input 👍
Composite Video Inputs 👍
Composite Video Outputs 👍
Component Video Inputs 👍
Analog Pre-Outs 👍
Zones 👍
Detachable Power Cord 👍
Analog Tuner 👍
WEAKNESSES
No Front Wide Channel Support 👎
No Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization 👎
No IMAX Enhanced 👎
No HDR10+ 👎
No Chromecast Built-In 👎
Does Not Work with SONOS 👎
No Multi-Channel Input 👎
No Pandora 👎
No SiriusXM Internet Radio 👎

Selected Features

Amplifier

Denon AVR-X4400H has 9 channel and Sony STR-ZA3100ES has 7 channel amplifiers. Denon AVR-X4400H delivers 125 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven) and Sony STR-ZA3100ES delivers 80 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven) and they both have stable performance at 4 Ω load. Since 2016 all receiver manufacturers have dropped front wide channel support and these models are no exceptions.


Video Features

Both receivers support 4K passthrough up to 60p. They both do 4K upscaling up to 60p. The receivers support HDR10, Dolby Vision.


HDR10

High-dynamic-range (HDR) video has greater dynamic range than standard-dynamic-range (SDR) video with brigter whites and deeper blacks. HDR10 was announced on August 27, 2015, by the Consumer Technology Association and uses the wide-gamut Rec. 2020 color space. It sends static metadata via video stream to the TV which calibrates its screen brightness and color according to that. HDR10 supports up to 1000 nits of brightness and 10-bit color which corresponds to 1024 shades of the primary RGB colors.


Dolby Vision

Dolby Vision is an update to HDR10 by adding dynamic metadata that can be used to more accurately adjust brightness levels up to 10,000 nits maximum brightness on a scene-by-scene or frame-by-frame basis and supports up to 12-bit color depth (4096 shades of RGB) and 8K resolution.


Dolby Atmos and Dolby Surround upmixer

Denon AVR-X4400H and Sony STR-ZA3100ES support Dolby Atmos with its Dolby Surround upmixer. The Denon AVR-X4400H can be configured upto 7.1.2 or 5.1.4 channels using internal amplifiers or upto 7.1.4 channels by adding 2 channel external amplifier and the Sony STR-ZA3100ES can be configured upto 5.1.2 channels using internal amplifiers or upto 7.1.2 or 5.1.4 channels by adding 2 channel external amplifier.

Dolby Atmos is the first cinematic audio format in which sounds exist as individual entities, called audio objects. In Dolby Atmos, any sound - the helicopter, a car screeching around a corner, a melodic bird call - can exist as an independent audio object, free of channel restrictions. They can be precisely placed and moved anywhere in your room, including overhead, to flow above and around you in three-dimensional space. Through the use of audio objects, overhead sound, and all the richness, clarity, and power of Dolby sound, Dolby Atmos turns your room into an amazing place for entertainment. You'll feel like you're inside the action, in ways you've never experienced before.

Dolby Atmos for the home represents every sound in the original cinema mix as an audio object. Extensions to the Dolby Audio™ codecs, along with an advanced scalable algorithm, allow Dolby Atmos to be delivered via Blu-ray Disc and streaming media. A spatially-coded substream is added to Dolby TrueHD or Dolby Digital Plus. A Dolby Atmos audio/video receiver (AVR) adapts the cinema experience to your home theater from seven speakers to as many as 34 in 24.1.10 configuration, recreating the original artistic concept. The format supports up to 128 simultaneous independent audio objects in a mix for rich, realistic, and breathtaking sound. It recreates the director's original concept through descriptive metadata to provide customized playback for home theater and delivers sounds above you through overhead speakers, special upward-firing Dolby Atmos speakers, or a Dolby Atmos enabled sound bar.

If the content is not mixed in Dolby Atmos then the Dolby surround upmixer will expand the audio to all channels including ceiling speakers. The upmixer has replaced the Dolby Pro Logic II family with improved upmixing algorithms.


DTS:X and Neural:X upmixer

Denon AVR-X4400H and Sony STR-ZA3100ES support DTS:X with its Neural:X upmixer. The Denon AVR-X4400H can be configured upto 7.1.2 or 5.1.4 channels using internal amplifiers or upto 7.1.4 channels by adding 2 channel external amplifier. The Sony STR-ZA3100ES can be configured upto 5.1.2 channels using internal amplifiers or upto 7.1.2 or 5.1.4 channels by adding 2 channel external amplifier.

A technique used in DTS:X is similar to the one used in Dolby Atmos. Instead of a fixed number of channels, DTS:X defines object locations from the listener in polar coordinates. An a/v receiver then dynamically renders sound according to the current speaker configuration. The speaker layout employed by DTS:X is the sum of Dolby Atmos and Auro-3D. It has standard 7.1 channel base layer, a 5 channel height layer above the base layer on the front and side walls, and 3 rows of speakers on the ceiling.

DTS Neural:X is an upmixer that can take non DTS:X content and upmix it to the DTS:X speaker layout. It has replaced the DTS Neo family with improved flexibility.


Auro-3D with its Auro-Matic upmixer

Denon AVR-X4400H supports Auro-3D and its Auro-Matic upmixer out of the box or after free firmware update. Auro-3D is an immersive 3D audio format developed by the Belgium-based company Auro Technologies. It consists of three layers of sound - surround, height and overhead ceiling. The base horizontal layer uses 5.1 or 7.1 format, the height layer is on top of the base layer and its information is extracted from the standard 5.1 surround PCM carrier. The a/v receiver decoder then extracts this information during playback. In home cinema Auro-3D comes with different listening formats - Auro 9.1, Auro 10.1 with added Top Ceiling channel ("Voice of God"), Auro 11.1 with added Front Height Center channel, and Auro 13.1 with added Left Rear Surround & Right Rear Surround channel. Auro-Matic upmixer takes non Auro-3D sound and upmixes to the current speaker configuration.


D.D.S.C.

Denon AVR-X4400H has D.D.S.C (Dynamic Discrete Surround Circuit). A single IC chip is generally used in processing A/D, DSP, and D/A conversions that are vital to sound quality. The D.D.S.C. uses separate components to process the important sections of the A/D, DSP, and D/A conversions and therefore significantly improves signal processing capability and performance. In addition, the approach of developing and incorporating high-quality dedicated elements in the sections that configure the circuitry makes it easier to develop a high-grade, advanced surround circuit compared with the method where all processing is concentrated within a single chip. Denon’s proprietary digital audio technology that had for many years been developed for pure Hi-Fi components is now also alive in each block of the D.D.S.C.


Advanced AL32 Processing

Denon AVR-X4400H has Advanced AL32 Processing which uses a unique data interpolation algorithm to achieve high-bit, high-sampling output performance. The volume of information has been dramatically improved without any loss in the original data. The clean playback sound free of interference makes it possible to enjoy delicate details, accurate localization, and rich expression in the lower range. Advanced AL32 Processing has three functions: 1. High-bit up-conversion (Adaptive Line Pattern Harmonized Algorithm), 2. Advanced ALPHA Processing and 3. Adaptive digital filter (Automatic Low-Pass filter Harmonic Adjustment).


Digital Legato Linear

Sony STR-ZA3100ES features Digital Legato Linear (D.L.L.) to play audio signals with high-quality sound. The D.L.L. function is a technology developed by Sony that allows low-quality digital and analog audio signals to be played with high-quality sound. This function is available for Linear PCM signals, as well as lossy compression audio formats and analog audio signals. It works when [2ch Stereo], [Direct], [A.F.D.] or [Multi Stereo] is selected.


Connectivity


Denon AVR-X4400H

Denon AVR-X4400H can be connected to internet using ethernet cable or built-in wi-fi adapter. It can also connect to bluetooth devices via built-in bluetooth adapter. The Receiver works with Amazon Alexa and supports[y] AirPlay 2. It has 8 HDMI inputs with HDCP 2.2 copy protection. There is a phono input with built-in phono stage for connecting the cartridge output of the turntable directly to the Receiver. There are 11.2 channel analog pre-outs for external amplification.

Front panel has HDMI, USB, Composite and L/R Audio inputs.

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Sony STR-ZA3100ES

Sony STR-ZA3100ES can be connected to internet using ethernet cable. It has 6 HDMI inputs with HDCP 2.2 (6 in / 2 out) copy protection. There are 9.2 channel analog pre-outs for external amplification.

Front panel has HDMI and USB inputs.

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Detailed Specifications

And in the end let us list the detailed specifications of the receivers side-by-side.

Note: The following table shows only those details which are applicable for both models and excludes the ones that are applicable for only one model. If you want to see a full list of specs for each model please visit their individual pages here - Denon AVR-X4400H and here - Sony STR-ZA3100ES.

BASICS Denon AVR-X4400H Sony STR-ZA3100ES
BrandDenonSony
ModelAVR-X4400HSTR-ZA3100ES
TypeA/V ReceiverA/V Receiver
CountryUKUSA
Release Year20172017
AMPLIFIER Denon AVR-X4400H Sony STR-ZA3100ES
Channels9.27.2
Front Wide Channel Support
THX™ Certification
Continuous 6 Ω Rated
Certified 4 Ω Performance
Bi-amp Capability assignable
AUDIO Denon AVR-X4400H Sony STR-ZA3100ES
Maximum Channel Processing11.29ch + Phantom 2ch
Air Studios Monitor Certification
Dolby Atmos up to 7.1.4 up to 7.1.2 or 5.1.4 plus 2 phantom rear surround channels
Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization
Dolby TrueHD
Dolby Digital Plus
Dolby Surround Upmixer
Dolby Pro Logic
Dolby Digital EX
DTS:X up to 7.1.4 up to 7.1.2 or 5.1.4 plus 2 phantom rear surround channels
DTS Neural:X
DTS Virtual:X via firmware update
DTS Neo
DTS-HD Master Audio
DTS-HD High Resolution Audio
DTS 96/24
DTS Express
DTS-ES Discrete 6.1, Matrix 6.1 Discrete 6.1, Matrix 6.1
IMAX Enhanced
Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer Built-In
PCM 2-ch/Multi-ch Input 2-ch/Multi-ch Input
Music Playback via USBMP3, WMA, AAC, Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, DSD
DSD via HDMI 2-ch/Multi-ch Input 2-ch/Multi-ch Input
DSD via USB 2-ch Input
DSD to PCM Converter
USB DAC
DTS Dialog Control
Dialogue Lift Center Speaker Lift Up
Audyssey Dynamic EQ
Audyssey Dynamic Volume
Audyssey LFC
Audyssey Sub EQ HT
Audyssey DSX
Direct Mode
Pure Direct Mode
CALIBRATION Denon AVR-X4400H Sony STR-ZA3100ES
Auto Speaker Calibration System with Mic. Audyssey MultEQ XT32 D.C.A.C. EX
VIDEO Denon AVR-X4400H Sony STR-ZA3100ES
HDR10
HDR10+
BT.2020 color space
Dolby Vision
Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG)
Quick Media Switching (QMS)
Auto Low Latency Mode Pass-through
Variable Refresh Rate (VRR)
Quick Frame Transport (QFT)
3-D Ready
Video Signal Passthroughup to 4K 50/60Hz 4:4:4up to 4K/60p (YCbCr4:4:4)
Video Signal Upscaling up to 4K 50/60Hz 4:4:4 up to 4K/60p
Analog To HDMI Upconversion Component**, Composite Component, Composite
isf Certified Calibration Control
CONNECTIVITY Denon AVR-X4400H Sony STR-ZA3100ES
MHL Input
DLNA 1.5
FireConnect
FlareConnect
Chromecast Built-In
DTS Play-Fi
Works with Amazon Alexa
Works with SONOS
AirPlay AirPlay 2
InstaPrevue Input Source Prevue
Ethernet
Ethernet Switch 8-Port Gigabit
Wi-Fi
Bluetooth SBC
HDBaseT Compatible
Enhanced ARC
HDCP Version2.22.2 (6 in / 2 out)
HDMI Input8 (1 front)6 (1 front)
HDMI Output3 (2 for MAIN, 1 for ZONE2)2 (1 Main, 1 Sub/Zone2)
USB Input1 (Front) for iPod/iPhone and USB memory1 (Front) for update and setting
USB DC Out Port
Analog Audio Line Input6 (1 front)4
Analog Audio Line Output
Phono Input
Optical In22
Optical Out
Coaxial In/Out2 / 1 /
Composite Video Input4 (1 front)2
Composite Video Output11
S-Video Input
S-Video Output
Component Video Input22
Component Video Output1
PC In
Multi-Channel Input
Analog Pre-Outs11.29.2
XLR Inputs
XLR Pre-outs
Front A/V InputsHDMI, USB, Composite, L/R AudioHDMI, USB
Speaker A/B assignable
Headphone Out 6.3 mm
ZONES Denon AVR-X4400H Sony STR-ZA3100ES
Zones33
Powered Zones 2 and 3 2
Zone 2HDMI, Component, Composite, Pre OutHDMI, Composite Video, RCA Pre/Line Out
Zone 3 OutsPre OutRCA Pre/Line Out
RS-232
+12V Trigger Output23 (80 mA)
Remote (IR) Input/Output1 / 11 / 2
MISC Denon AVR-X4400H Sony STR-ZA3100ES
On-Screen Display Advanced Graphic User Interface Graphical User Interface
GUI Languages93
Remote ControllerRC-1219RM-AAU217
Detachable Power Cord
RADIO Denon AVR-X4400H Sony STR-ZA3100ES
Analog Tuner FM/AM with RDS FM/AM
Digital Radio
Internet Radio TuneIn
Pandora
Spotify
Tidal
Deezer
Napster
SiriusXM Internet Radio
CONSTRUCTION Denon AVR-X4400H Sony STR-ZA3100ES
Speaker Terminals117
Large Speaker Terminals117
Color-Coded Speaker Terminals
Gold plated RCA terminals
POWER Denon AVR-X4400H Sony STR-ZA3100ES
Power SupplyAC 230 V, 50/60 HzAC 120 V, 60 Hz
Power Consumption710 W290 W
Standby Power0.1 W0.3 W
GENERAL Denon AVR-X4400H Sony STR-ZA3100ES
Dimensions (W x H x D)434 mm x 167 mm x 389 mm (with antenna: 434 mm x 236 mm x 389 mm)
17 1/8" x 6 5/8" x 15 3/8" (with antenna: 17 1/8" x 9 3/8" x 15 3/8")
430 mm x 174 mm x 410 mm
17" x 6-7/8" x 16-1/4"
Weight13.7 kg (30 lbs 3 oz)13.1 kg (28 lbs. 15 oz.)
Warranty3 Years5 Years
SPECS Denon AVR-X4400H Sony STR-ZA3100ES
Power Output (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2125 W (0.05% THD)80 W (0.09% THD)
Power Output (6 Ω, 1 kHz, 2165 W (0.7% THD)120 W (0.9% THD)
Input Sensitivity and Impedance (Line)200 mV/47 kΩ150 mV/50 kΩ
S/N Ratio (Line, IHF-A)102 dB105 dB (20 kHz LPF, 500 mV)
S/N Ratio (digital)102 dB96 dB (20 kHz LPF)
Frequency Response (Analog In)+1/-3 dB (10 Hz to 100 kHz, Direct mode)10 Hz - 100 kHz/±3 dB
DSD Sampling Rates via HDMI2.8 MHz2.8 MHz
Video Input Sensitivity/Output Level and Impedance1 Vp-p/75 Ω (Component Y)
0.7 Vp-p/75 Ω (Component PB/CB, PR/CR)
1 Vp-p/75 Ω (Composite)
1 Vp-p/75 Ω (Component Y)
0.7 Vp-p/75 Ω (Component PB/CB, PR/CR)
1 Vp-p/75 Ω (Composite)
Ethernet Standard100BASE-TX1000BASE-T
FM Frequency87.5 MHz - 108.0 MHz87.5 MHz - 108.0 MHz
AM Frequency522 kHz - 1611 kHz530 kHz - 1710 kHz

* - 480i/576i and 480p/576p only
** - 480i/576i only
*** - no 1080p/24 upconversion
**** - 1080p signal is not converted

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