Sony ES STR-AZ3000ES (USA version)
- 9.2 channels
- 11.2 channel processing
- 110 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven)
- HDMI 2.1
- Dolby Atmos, DTS:X capable
- HDR10, Dolby Vision, 8K Upscaling, 8K Passthrough
- AirPlay 2, DLNA, Chromecast
- Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
- USB input
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Sony ES STR-AZ3000ES was introduced in 2023. It is equipped with 9 channel amplifier with 110 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven) power per channel and is capable of 11.2 maximum channel processing. It supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, passes 8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz and upscales up to 8K 50/60Hz and 4K 100/120Hz 4:4:4 video signal.
We evaluated the a/v receiver and gave 90 overall score out of 100. Our ranking system is based on the amplifier specifications, audio and video features, connectivity, multizone capabilities, radio and many other details.
Pros and Cons
In this section we present pros and cons of Sony ES STR-AZ3000ES.
|11.2 Channel Processing|
|Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization|
|DSD via HDMI|
|Auto Speaker Calibration System with Mic.|
|New HDCP Version|
|Auto Low Latency Mode Pass-through|
|4K or 8K Video Passthrough|
|4K or 8K Signal Upscaling|
|Analog To HDMI Upconversion|
|Many 8K Inputs|
|Composite Video Inputs|
|New Bluetooth Version|
|No Front Wide Channel Support|
|No Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer|
|Does not Work with Amazon Alexa|
|No Phono Input|
|No Analog Pre-Outs|
Here we are comparing Sony ES STR-AZ3000ES to its predecessor STR-ZA3100ES and displaying the major changes.
|UPGRADES||Sony ES STR-AZ3000ES||vs||Sony ES STR-ZA3100ES|
|Certified 4 Ω Performance||vs|
|More Channel Processing||11.2||vs||9ch + Phantom 2ch|
|Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization||vs|
|Music Playback via USB||FLAC, AIFF, WAV, DSD, ALAC, MP3, WMA, AAC||vs|
|DSD via USB||2-ch Input||vs|
|More Advanced Auto Speaker Calibration System||D.C.A.C. IX||vs||D.C.A.C. EX|
|Newer HDCP Version||2.3||vs||2.2|
|Auto Low Latency Mode Pass-through||vs|
|Video Signal Passthrough||up to 8K 50/60Hz and 4K 100/120Hz 4:4:4||vs||up to 4K/60p (YCbCr4:4:4)|
|Video Signal Upscaling||up to 8K 50/60Hz and 4K 100/120Hz 4:4:4||vs||up to 4K/60p|
|Works with SONOS||vs|
|Bluetooth||SBC, AAC, LDAC||vs|
|More 8K Inputs||4||vs|
|More Powered Zones||2 and 3||vs||2|
|Internet Radio||TuneIn & iHeart Radio||vs|
|More Speaker Terminals||9||vs||7|
|More Large Speaker Terminals||9||vs||7|
|Bigger Power Supply||440 W||vs||290 W|
|Higher Power Output (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven, FTC)||110 W (0.09% THD)||vs||80 W (0.09% THD)|
|Higher Power Output (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 channel Driven, FTC)||120 W (0.9% THD)||vs||110 W (0.9% THD)|
|DOWNGRADES||Sony ES STR-AZ3000ES||vs||Sony ES STR-ZA3100ES|
|Ethernet Switch||vs||8-Port Gigabit|
|Less Component Video Inputs||vs||2|
|Less Analog Pre-Outs||0.2||vs||9.2|
|Front A/V Inputs||USB||vs||HDMI, USB|
|+12V Trigger Output||1||vs||3 (80 mA)|
|Less Presets||30||vs||60 (30/30)|
For more detailed comparison between the models please visit Sony ES STR-AZ3000ES vs Sony ES STR-ZA3100ES.
9 channel Amplifier
Sony ES STR-AZ3000ES features 9 channel power amplifier. It is rated at 110 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven) and is able to drive 4 ohm speakers.
Sony ES STR-AZ3000ES's 9 channel amplifier can be assigned for different speaker configurations.
- Dolby Atmos Configurations: The following speaker configurations are supported for Dolby Atmos:
- 5.2.2, 5.2.4, 7.2.2 with internal amplifier.
- 7.2.4 with addition of external 2 channel amplifier.
- DTS:X Configurations: The speaker configurations for DTS:X are the same as for Dolby Atmos:
- 5.2.2, 5.2.4, 7.2.2 with internal amplifier.
- 7.2.4 with addition of external 2 channel amplifier.
- Configurations without height channels: There are also other speaker configurations available which do not include height channels:
- 5.2, 7.2 with internal amplifier.
- Bi-Amp: You can bi-amp front left and right speakers. During bi-amplification two amplifiers are used for one speaker. One amplifier powers the midrange and tweeter section of the speaker and another amplifier powers the low frequency woofers. Each amplifier is less loaded and performs better. In order to use this feature speakers must have 2 pairs of connectors.
Sony ES STR-AZ3000ES supports Dolby Atmos. It is a cinematic audio format in which sounds exist as individual entities, called audio objects. In Dolby Atmos, any sound 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. 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.
- Dolby Surround Upmixer: 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.
- Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization: Dolby Atmos height virtualization is a digital signal processing solution that leverages Dolby's deep understanding of human audio perception to create the sensation of overhead sound from the listener-level speakers.
Sony ES STR-AZ3000ES supports DTS:X. 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: DTS Neural:X is an advanced 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.
- DTS Virtual:X: DTS Virtual:X bridges the gap between DTS:X codec and the reality of so many consumers' homes, allowing you to enjoy multi-dimensional sound regardless of room size, layout, or speaker configuration. If you have a limited speaker setup you will miss a full immersive potential of your entertainment system. DTS Virtual:X adds height and surround audio effect to your system without adding height speakers. It works with multiple configurations and delivers immersive sound experience out of 5.1 or even 2.1 speaker layouts.
Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC)
Audio Return Channel (ARC) feature allows the compatible TV to send audio signal to the a/v receiver through the same HDMI cable which is used to send audio and video signals to the TV. So one HDMI cable is used to transfer audio signal in both directions. New Enhanced ARC will support uncompressed audio formats such as Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master Audio whereas the previous ARC could support only Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS, DTS HD, and PCM.
Sony ES STR-AZ3000ES comes with D.C.A.C. IX room correction system and includes the calibration microphone.
Sony ES STR-AZ3000ES features 4 HDMI 2.1 inputs with 8K support and 2 inputs with 4K support. It has 2 outputs: 1 Main and 1 Sub/Zone2.
- 8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz Passthrough: 4 out of 6 inputs pass up to 8K 50/60Hz and 4K 100/120Hz 4:4:4 and the rest of the inputs pass up to 4K 50/60Hz 4:4:4 video signal.
- 8K Upscaling: Sony ES STR-AZ3000ES can upscale up to 8K 50/60Hz and 4K 100/120Hz 4:4:4 from HDMI and analog sources.
- Analog To HDMI Upconversion: The a/v receiver supports video upconversion, so you can connect your analog Composite video sources and Sony ES STR-AZ3000ES will output them via HDMI. This means that you will need only one HDMI cable to connect to your TV.
- BT.2020 Color Space: BT.2020 or Rec. 2020 is a color standard which delivers a wider color gamut compared to Rec. 709. It covers approximately 75% of the total visual spectrum while the Rec. 709 covers only 35%.
- HDCP 2.3 Copy Protection: All inputs and outputs are HDCP 2.3 compliant which is a requirement for 4K/HDR copy-protected content transmission.
- 3D Ready: Sony ES STR-AZ3000ES is able to pass 3D video through HDMI.
HDR (High Dynamic Range)
Sony ES STR-AZ3000ES supports HDR (high dynamic range) video formats such as HDR10, Dolby Vision and Hybrid Log-Gamma. High dynamic range video has greater dynamic range than standard dynamic range (SDR) video with brighter whites and deeper blacks. The result is greater contrast and more details in dark and bright areas, better color and depth.
- HDR10: HDR10 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 10-bit color which corresponds to 1024 shades of the primary RGB colors. It is technically limited to a maximum of 10,000 nits peak brightness, however common HDR10 contents are mastered with peak brightness from 1,000 to 4,000 nits.
- Dolby Vision: Dolby Vision is a set of technologies developed by Dolby Laboratories for high dynamic range (HDR) video. It covers content creation, distribution, and playback. Like HDR10+, it includes dynamic metadata that are used to adjust and optimize each frame of the HDR video to the consumer display's capabilities in a way specified by the content creator. Dolby Vision allows for a maximum resolution of 8K up to 12-bit color depth, maximum peak brightness of 10,000 nits and a color gamut up to Rec. 2020. It uses Dolby's proprietary dynamic metadata defined in SMPTE ST 2094-10.
- Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG): The Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) is a transfer function developed mainly for HDR live video feed and over-the-air broadcasts. It is an HDR format that uses BT.2020 color primaries and a bitdepth of 10-bit. It is backward compatible with the transfer function of SDR and is designed to be better-suited for television broadcasting, where the metadata required for other HDR formats is not backward compatible with non-HDR displays. HLG defines a non-linear optical-electro transfer function, in which the lower half of the signal values use a gamma curve and the upper half of the signal values use a logarithmic curve.
Sony ES STR-AZ3000ES is IMAX Enhanced certified. To qualify for IMAX Enhanced certification, 4K HDR televisions, projectors, sound bars, a/v receivers, loudspeakers, powered subwoofers and other premium home entertainment devices must meet carefully prescribed performance requirements established by IMAX, DTS and Hollywood's leading experts.
- What makes an IMAX Enhanced A/V receiver different from an A/V receiver with DTS:X technology? DTS:X technology is commonly found in most multi-channel A/V receivers on the market today. All IMAX Enhanced A/V receivers include DTS:X technology and deliver additional features, such as auto-sensing of IMAX Enhanced content, via IMAX Mode. IMAX Mode indicates that your A/V receiver supports fully immersive IMAX signature sound.
- IMAX Enhanced Content: IMAX Enhanced studio partners have announced IMAX Enhanced versions of movies that exclusively feature IMAX's signature picture, sound and scale.
- Picture: Stunning, ultra-vivid 4K HDR picture that utilizes the newest, proprietary Digital Media Remastering technology (DMR) developed by IMAX. DMR accurately reduces noise and grain under the filmmaker’s guidance to best optimize the content for a much higher-quality, higher-brightness display. Without this technology, high-dynamic range content can actually look worse than what was originally seen and intended by the filmmaker.
- Sound: IMAX and DTS have partnered with award-winning Hollywood sound mixers leveraging DTS:X codec technology integrated in home audio equipment and select televisions to deliver an IMAX signature sound experience with deeper bass and more dynamic range.
- Scale: Select IMAX Enhanced titles that were shot with IMAX-certified cameras or specially formatted for IMAX theatres feature its exclusive expanded aspect ratio, enabling viewers to see the full scale and scope of the picture on 4K HDR TVs.
- Streaming Services: IMAX Enhanced is now available on the world’s biggest streaming services, including Disney+, BRAVIA CORE, Tencent, iQiyi and more.
Sony ES STR-AZ3000ES supports Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) for lag-free and smooth gaming.
- Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM): Auto Low Latency Mode enables the ideal latency setting to automatically be set allowing for smooth, lag-free and uninterrupted viewing and interactivity. When the receiver detects a gaming signal it will enter ALLM. The signal will also be sent to the TV causing it to automatically switch to a low-latency, low-lag mode for gaming. Some functions will not be available on the receiver and TV during ALLM.
- Variable Refresh Rate (VRR): VRR enables a gaming source such as a console or computer to deliver video frames as fast as it can, which in many cases is slower than the normal static refresh rate. It allows the TV to adapt to certain frame rate which reduces or eliminates lag, judder and frame tearing for more fluid and better detailed gameplay.
Sony ES STR-AZ3000ES offers multi-zone playback which allows you to play different input sources in 3 different rooms.
- Powered Zone 2: You can use the unit's 2 amplifier channels by connecting Zone 2 speakers directly to the speaker terminals. The remaining 7 channels will be left for main zone amplification.
- HDMI Output: Sony ES STR-AZ3000ES offers HDMI output for Zone 2. This means that it can send two different HDMI signals to two displays.
- Audio Pre Output: If you have a dedicated power amplifier for Zone 2 you can connect it to the a/v receiver via pre outs and control volume from the a/v receiver.
- Composite Video Output: Sony ES STR-AZ3000ES has analog Composite Video output for Zone 2. This means that it can send a different video signal to the TV.
- Powered Zone 3: You can use the unit's 2 amplifier channels by connecting Zone 3 speakers directly to the speaker terminals. The remaining 7 channels will be left for main zone amplification.
- Audio Pre/Line Output: If you have a dedicated amplifier for Zone 2 you can connect it to the a/v receiver via pre/line outs and use "pre out" option to control volume from the a/v receiver or use "line out" option - send fixed signal and then control volume on the Zone 3 amplifier.
Inputs and Outputs
- Also, Sony ES STR-AZ3000ES has 11 channel processing but has only 9 channel amplifier, so it needs the external amplifier connected to the analog pre-outs in order to reach the maximum speaker configuration.
- Analog Line Inputs: There are 4 line inputs for analog audio connection.
- Digital Inputs: 2 optical inputs and 1 coaxial input are available for digital audio connection.
- Inputs: 6 Outputs: 2 (1 Main, 1 Sub/Zone2)
8K Inputs: 4
- Composite Video: Connect you VCR, Laserdisc player and other old video equipment with composite video cables.
- Inputs: 2 Outputs: 1
Here we list all the available features and specifications of Sony ES STR-AZ3000ES.
|Front Wide Channel Support|
|Continuous 6 Ω Rated|
|Certified 4 Ω Performance|
|DAC Specs||192 kHz/32 Bit|
|Maximum Channel Processing||11.2|
|Air Studios Monitor Certification|
|Dolby Atmos||up to 7.1.4 with external amp|
|Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization|
|Dolby Atmos Music|
|Dolby Digital Plus|
|Dolby Surround Upmixer|
|Dolby Pro Logic|
|Dolby Digital EX|
|DTS:X||up to 7.1.4 with external amp|
|DTS-HD Master Audio|
|DTS-HD High Resolution Audio|
|DTS-ES||Discrete 6.1, Matrix 6.1|
|Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer|
|Music Playback via USB||FLAC, AIFF, WAV, DSD, ALAC, MP3, WMA, AAC|
|High Resolution Music Playback via USB and/or Network||192 kHz/24 bit|
|High Resolution Audio Formats via USB||FLAC, AIFF, WAV, DSD, ALAC|
|DSD via HDMI||2-ch/Multi-ch Input|
|DSD via USB||2-ch Input|
|Dialogue Lift||Center Speaker Lift Up|
|In-Ceiling Speaker Mode|
|Tone Control||All Channels|
|High-resolution Music Enhancer||DSEE Ultimate|
|Audyssey Dynamic EQ|
|Audyssey Dynamic Volume|
|Audyssey Sub EQ HT|
|Pure Direct Mode|
|Auto Speaker Calibration System with Mic.||D.C.A.C. IX|
|Automatic Phase Matching|
|HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma)|
|BT.2020 color space|
|ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode)|
|VRR (Variable Refresh Rate)|
|Video Signal Passthrough||up to 8K 50/60Hz and 4K 100/120Hz 4:4:4|
|Video Signal Upscaling||up to 8K 50/60Hz and 4K 100/120Hz 4:4:4|
|Analog To HDMI Upconversion||Composite|
|isf Certified Calibration Control|
|Remote Monitoring with ihiji|
|Works with Amazon Alexa|
|Works with SONOS|
|Bluetooth||SBC, AAC, LDAC|
|Bluetooth Headphone Transmission|
|HDMI Outputs||2 (1 Main, 1 Sub/Zone2)|
|USB Input||1 Front for USB memory|
|USB DC Out Port|
|Analog Audio Line Input||4|
|Analog Audio Line Output|
|Composite Video Input||2|
|Composite Video Output||1|
|Component Video Input|
|Component Video Output|
|Front A/V Inputs||USB|
|Powered Zones||2 and 3|
|Zone 2 Outs||HDMI, Composite video, Pre Out|
|Zone 3 Outs||Pre/Line Out|
|+12V Trigger Output||1|
|Remote (IR) Input/Output||1 / 2|
|On-Screen Display||Graphical User Interface|
|IP Control for CI|
|Detachable Power Cord|
|Internet Radio||TuneIn & iHeart Radio|
|SiriusXM Internet Radio|
|Large Speaker Terminals||9|
|Color-Coded Speaker Terminals|
|Gold plated RCA terminals|
|Power Supply||AC 120 V, 60 Hz|
|Power Consumption||440 W|
|Standby Power||0.5 W|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||430 mm x 194 mm x 440 mm|
17" x 7-3/4" x 17-3/8"
|Weight||19.0 kg (41 lb 15 oz)|
|Power Output (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2||110 W (0.09% THD)|
|Power Output (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 2||120 W (0.9% THD)|
|Frequency Response (Analog In)||10 Hz - 100 kHz, ±3 dB (with sound field, equalizer and 360SSM bypassed)|
|DSD Sampling Rates via HDMI||2.8 MHz|
|DSD Sampling Rates via USB||2.8 MHz, 5.6 MHz|
|Video Input Sensitivity/Output Level and Impedance||1 Vp-p/75 Ω (Composite)|
|Wi-Fi Standard||IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac|
|Wi-Fi Terminal Frequency||5 GHz, 2.4 GHz|
|Bluetooth Frequency||2.4 GHz|
|USB Terminal||Type A, Ver. 2.0, 5 V, 1 A|
|FM Frequency||87.5 MHz - 108.0 MHz|
* - 480i/576i and 480p/576p only
** - 480i/576i only
*** - no 1080p/24 upconversion
**** - 1080p signal is not converted