1-on-1 Comparison

Side-by-Side Comparison

Sony STR-ZA3100ES (USA version)

SCORE:
83

Highlights

  • 7.2 channels
  • 9ch + Phantom 2ch channel processing
  • 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

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Content

Overview

Sony STR-ZA3100ES was introduced in 2017. It is equipped with 7 channel amplifier with 80 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven) power per channel and is capable of 9ch + Phantom 2ch maximum channel processing. It supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, passes 4K/60Hz and upscales up to 4K/60p video signal.

We evaluated the a/v receiver and gave 83 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.

AMPLIFIER
79
VIDEO FEATURES
96
AUDIO FEATURES
86
CONNECTIVITY
78
MULTIZONE
90
MISCELLANEOUS
65
RADIO
59
OVERALL
83

Pros and Cons

In this section we present pros and cons of Sony STR-ZA3100ES.

PROS
  9ch + Phantom 2ch Channel Processing
  Dolby Atmos
  DTS:X
  DSD via HDMI
  Auto Speaker Calibration System with Mic.
  eARC
  New HDCP Version
  HDR10
  Dolby Vision
  4K or 8K Video Passthrough
  4K or 8K Signal Upscaling
  Analog To HDMI Upconversion
  Ethernet
  USB Input
  Composite Video Inputs
  Component Video Inputs
  Analog Pre-Outs
  Zones
  Analog Tuner
CONS
  No Front Wide Channel Support
  No Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization
  No IMAX Enhanced
  No Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer
  No HDR10+
  No Chromecast Built-In
  Does not Work with Amazon Alexa
  No Wi-Fi
  No Bluetooth
  Few 8K Inputs
  No Phono Input
  No Pandora
  No Spotify
  No Tidal

Predecessor

Here we are comparing Sony STR-ZA3100ES to its predecessor STR-ZA3000ES and displaying the major changes.

UPGRADES Sony STR-ZA3100ES vs Sony STR-ZA3000ES
More Channel Processing 9ch + Phantom 2ch vs 7.1
Dolby Atmos up to 7.1.2 or 5.1.4 plus 2 phantom rear surround channels vs
Dolby Surround Upmixer vs
DTS:X up to 7.1.2 or 5.1.4 plus 2 phantom rear surround channels vs
DTS Neural:X vs
Calibration Microphone Stereo vs Mono
Speaker Relocation vs
Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC) vs
HDR10 vs
Dolby Vision vs
HLG vs
BT.2020 color space vs
More Analog Pre-Outs 9.2 vs 7.2

DOWNGRADES Sony STR-ZA3100ES vs Sony STR-ZA3000ES
Dolby Pro Logic vs PLIIx
DTS Neo vs Neo:6
Less Component Video Outputs vs 1

For more detailed comparison between the models please visit Sony STR-ZA3100ES vs Sony STR-ZA3000ES.

Audio Section

7 channel Amplifier

Sony STR-ZA3100ES features 7 channel power amplifier. It is rated at 80 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven).

    Speaker Configurations

    Sony STR-ZA3100ES's 7 channel amplifier can be assigned for different speaker configurations.

    • Dolby Atmos Configurations: The following speaker configurations are supported for Dolby Atmos:
    • 5.2.2 with internal amplifier.
    • 5.2.4, 7.2.2 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 with internal amplifier.
    • 5.2.4, 7.2.2 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.

    Dolby Atmos

    Sony STR-ZA3100ES 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.

    DTS:X

    Sony STR-ZA3100ES 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.

    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.


    Sound Processing

    • 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.

    Room Calibration

    Sony STR-ZA3100ES comes with D.C.A.C. EX room correction system and includes the calibration microphone.

      Video Section

      HDMI

      Sony STR-ZA3100ES features 6 HDMI inputs. It has 2 outputs: 1 Main and 1 Sub/Zone2.

      • 4K/60Hz Passthrough: All inputs pass up to 4K/60p (YCbCr4:4:4) video signal.
      • 4K Upscaling: Sony STR-ZA3100ES can upscale up to 4K/60p from HDMI and analog sources.
      • Analog To HDMI Upconversion: The a/v receiver supports video upconversion, so you can connect your analog Component and Composite video sources and Sony STR-ZA3100ES 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 2.2 Copy Protection: All inputs and outputs are HDCP 2.2 compliant which is a requirement for 4K/HDR copy-protected content transmission.
      • 3D Ready: Sony STR-ZA3100ES is able to pass 3D video through HDMI.

      HDR (High Dynamic Range)

      Sony STR-ZA3100ES 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.

      Multi-zone Playback

      Sony STR-ZA3100ES offers multi-zone playback which allows you to play different input sources in 3 different rooms.


      Zone 2

      • Powered Zone 2: You can use the unit's 2 amplifier channels by connecting Zone 2 speakers directly to the speaker terminals. The remaining 5 channels will be left for main zone amplification.
      • HDMI Output: Sony STR-ZA3100ES offers HDMI output for Zone 2. This means that it can send two different HDMI signals to two displays.
      • 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 2 amplifier.
      • Composite Video Output: Sony STR-ZA3100ES has analog Composite Video output for Zone 2. This means that it can send a different video signal to the TV.

      Zone 3

      • 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

      Audio

      • Analog Pre-Outs: Sony STR-ZA3100ES has 9.2 preamplifier outputs which allow you to connect the a/v receiver to the external power amplifier. You may want to use a high quality external amplifier for certain channels, usually for front L/R and center, and use the a/v receiver to power the rest. Also, Sony STR-ZA3100ES has 9 channel processing but has only 7 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.

      Video

      • HDMI:
      • Inputs: 6 (1 front)   Outputs: 2 (1 Main, 1 Sub/Zone2)
        8K Inputs: 0
      • Composite Video: Connect you VCR, Laserdisc player and other old video equipment with composite video cables.
      • Inputs: 2   Outputs: 1
      • Component Video: Component video connection gives you the higher quality video compared to the composite video connection. So in case your old DVD player and other equipment do not have an HDMI output but have Component video output use this connection over the composite one.
      • Inputs: 2   Outputs: 0
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      Specifications

      Here we list all the available features and specifications of Sony STR-ZA3100ES.

      BASICS
      BrandSony
      ModelSTR-ZA3100ES
      TypeA/V Receiver
      CountryUSA
      Release Year2017
      AMPLIFIER
      Channels7.2
      Front Wide Channel Support
      THX™ Certification
      Continuous 6 Ω Rated
      Certified 4 Ω Performance
      Bi-amp Capability
      AUDIO
      Maximum Channel Processing9ch + Phantom 2ch
      Air Studios Monitor Certification
      Dolby Atmos up to 7.1.2 or 5.1.4 plus 2 phantom rear surround channels
      Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization
      Dolby Atmos Music
      Dolby TrueHD
      Dolby Digital Plus
      Dolby Surround Upmixer
      Dolby Pro Logic
      Dolby Digital EX
      DTS:X up to 7.1.2 or 5.1.4 plus 2 phantom rear surround channels
      DTS Neural:X
      DTS Virtual:X
      DTS Neo
      DTS-HD Master Audio
      DTS-HD High Resolution Audio
      DTS 96/24
      DTS Express
      DTS-ES Discrete 6.1, Matrix 6.1
      IMAX Enhanced
      Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer
      PCM 2-ch/Multi-ch Input
      Music Playback via USB
      DSD via HDMI 2-ch/Multi-ch Input
      DSD via USB
      DSD to PCM Converter
      USB DAC
      DTS Dialog Control
      Dialogue Lift Center Speaker Lift Up
      Digital Legato Linear
      In-Ceiling Speaker Mode
      OP Processing
      Sound Optimizer
      Tone Control All Channels
      Audyssey Dynamic EQ
      Audyssey Dynamic Volume
      Audyssey LFC
      Audyssey Sub EQ HT
      Audyssey DSX
      Direct Mode
      Pure Direct Mode
      CALIBRATION
      Auto Speaker Calibration System with Mic. D.C.A.C. EX
      Calibration MicrophoneStereo
      EQ for D.C.A.C.31 band EQ
      Speaker Relocation
      Automatic Phase Matching
      VIDEO
      Enhanced ARC
      HDCP Version2.2
      HDR10
      HDR10+
      Dynamic HDR
      Dolby Vision
      HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma)
      BT.2020 color space
      QMS (Quick Media Switching)
      ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode)
      VRR (Variable Refresh Rate)
      QFT (Quick Frame transport)
      3-D Ready
      Video Signal Passthroughup to 4K/60p (YCbCr4:4:4)
      Video Signal Upscaling up to 4K/60p
      Analog To HDMI Upconversion Component, Composite
      isf Certified Calibration Control
      CONNECTIVITY
      MHL Input
      DLNA 1.5
      FireConnect
      FlareConnect
      Music Connect
      Remote Monitoring with ihiji
      Chromecast Built-In
      DTS Play-Fi
      Works with Amazon Alexa
      Works with SONOS
      AirPlay
      InstaPrevue Input Source Prevue
      Ethernet
      Ethernet Switch 8-Port Gigabit
      Wi-Fi
      Bluetooth
      HDBaseT Compatible
      HDMI Inputs6 (1 front)
      HDMI Outputs2 (1 Main, 1 Sub/Zone2)
      8K Inputs
      USB Input1 (Front) for update and setting
      USB DC Out Port
      Analog Audio Line Input4
      Analog Audio Line Output
      Phono Input
      Optical Inputs2
      Optical Outputs
      Coaxial Inputs1
      Composite Video Input2
      Composite Video Output1
      S-Video Input
      S-Video Output
      Component Video Input2
      Component Video Output
      PC In
      Multi-Channel Input
      Analog Pre-Outs9.2
      XLR Inputs
      XLR Pre-outs
      Front A/V InputsHDMI, USB
      Speaker A/B
      Headphone Out
      ZONES
      Zones3
      Powered Zones 2
      Zone 2 OutsHDMI, Composite Video, RCA Pre/Line Out
      Zone 3 OutsRCA Pre/Line Out
      Zone GUI for Zone 2
      RS-232C Interface
      +12V Trigger Output3 (80 mA)
      Remote (IR) Input/Output1 / 2
      MISC
      On-Screen Display Graphical User Interface
      GUI Languages3
      Remote ControllerRM-AAU217
      Detachable Power Cord
      RADIO
      Analog Tuner FM/AM
      Presets60 (30/30)
      Digital Radio
      Internet Radio
      Pandora
      Spotify
      Tidal
      Deezer
      Napster
      SiriusXM Internet Radio
      CONSTRUCTION
      Speaker Terminals7
      Large Speaker Terminals7
      Color-Coded Speaker Terminals
      Gold plated RCA terminals
      POWER
      Power SupplyAC 120 V, 60 Hz
      Power Consumption290 W
      Standby Power0.3 W
      GENERAL
      Dimensions (W x H x D)430 mm x 174 mm x 410 mm
      17" x 6-7/8" x 16-1/4"
      Weight13.1 kg (28 lbs. 15 oz.)
      Warranty5 Years
      SPECS
      Power Output (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 280 W (0.09% THD)
      Power Output (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 2110 W (0.9% THD)
      Power Output (6 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2100 W (0.09% THD)
      Power Output (6 Ω, 1 kHz, 2120 W (0.9% THD)
      Power Output (6 Ω, 1 kHz, 1 channel driven, FTC)150 W (0.9% THD)
      Input Sensitivity and Impedance (Line)150 mV/50 kΩ
      Rated Preout Level and Impedance2 V/1 kΩ (All channels and Subwoofer)
      S/N Ratio (Line, IHF-A)105 dB (20 kHz LPF, 500 mV)
      S/N Ratio (digital)96 dB (20 kHz LPF)
      Frequency Response (Analog In)10 Hz - 100 kHz/±3 dB
      DSD Sampling Rates via HDMI2.8 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)
      Ethernet Standard1000BASE-T
      FM Frequency87.5 MHz - 108.0 MHz
      AM Frequency530 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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