Sony ES STR-ZA3100ES

    84
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    Highlights

    • 7.2 Channels
    • 9ch + Phantom 2ch Channel Processing
    • 80 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven)
    • Dolby Atmos, DTS:X
    • HDR10, Dolby Vision
    • 4K/60Hz Passthrough, 4K/60Hz Upscaling
    • Ethernet
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    Disclosure: We earn money from the affiliate links to products associated with content in this article.

    Overview

    Sony ES 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 84 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.


    Here is a history of the series, where you can view and compare the main specifications of the receivers.

    Evolution of the series
    Model Year Chann. Power Dolby Atmos DTS:X HDR10 HDR10+ Dolby Vision Pass. Price

    You can view their side-by-side comparison here: Sony .

    Pros and Cons

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

    PROs

    •   9ch + Phantom 2ch Channel Processing
    •   Dolby Atmos
    •   DTS:X
    •   DSD via HDMI
    •   Auto Speaker Calibration System with Mic.
    •   HDR10
    •   Dolby Vision
    •   eARC
    •   New HDCP Version
    •   Analog To HDMI Upconversion
    •   USB Input
    •   RCA Pre-Outs
    •   Composite Video Inputs
    •   Component Video Inputs
    •   Ethernet
    •   3 Zones
    •   Analog Tuner

    CONs

    •   Low Power Output - 80 W
    •   No Front Wide Channel Support
    •   No Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization
    •   No IMAX Enhanced
    •   No Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer
    •   No 360 Reality Audio
    •   No HDR10+
    •   No 8K Passthrough
    •   No Wi-Fi
    •   No Bluetooth
    •   Does not Work with Amazon Alexa
    •   0 8K Input
    •   No Phono Input
    •   No Digital Radio
    •   No Pandora
    •   No Spotify
    •   No Tidal

    And here are some specifications which fall into average criteria and are neither in PROs nor in CONs category:

    AVERAGE

    •   7.2 Channels
    •   6 HDMI Inputs
    •   3 HDMI Outputs
    •   RCA Line Inputs

    Sony 2017 Lineup

    In 2017 Sony released 5 new receivers. Here is the lineup:

    Sony 2017 Lineup
    ModelChannelsPowerMax. Ch. Proc.Pre OutsZones Price
    STR-ZA3100ES Image cannot be found 7.280 W9ch + Phantom 2ch9.23
    STR-ZA2100ES Image cannot be found 7.275 W9ch + Phantom 2ch2.23
    STR-ZA1100ES Image cannot be found 7.270 W7ch + Phantom 2ch3
    STR-ZA810ES Image cannot be found 7.270 W7ch + Phantom 2ch2
    STR-DN1080 Image cannot be found 7.2100 W7ch + Phantom 2ch2

    You can view their side-by-side comparison here: Sony STR-ZA3100ES vs STR-ZA2100ES vs STR-ZA1100ES vs STR-ZA810ES vs STR-DN1080.

    Predecessor

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

    UPGRADES Sony ES 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
    HDR10 vs
    BT.2020 color space vs
    Dolby Vision vs
    HLG vs
    Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC) vs
    More RCA Pre-Outs 9.2 vs 7.2
    DOWNGRADES Sony ES 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 ES STR-ZA3100ES vs STR-ZA3000ES.

    Successor

    In 2023 Sony ES STR-ZA3100ES was replaced by Sony STR-AZ3000ES. Let us now have a look at some important differences between Sony ES STR-ZA3100ES and its successor.

    UPGRADES Sony STR-AZ3000ES vs Sony ES STR-ZA3100ES
    More Channels 9.2 vs 7.2
    Higher Power Output 110 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven) vs 80 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven)
    Certified 4 Ω Performance vs
    More Channel Processing 11.2 vs 9ch + Phantom 2ch
    Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization vs
    DTS Virtual:X vs
    IMAX Enhanced vs
    360 Reality Audio 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
    VRR 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
    Wi-Fi vs
    Bluetooth SBC, AAC, LDAC vs
    Chromecast Built-In vs
    Works with SONOS vs
    DLNA 1.5 vs
    AirPlay AirPlay 2 vs
    More 8K Inputs 4 vs
    More Powered Zones 2 and 3 vs 2
    Internet Radio TuneIn & iHeart Radio vs
    Pandora vs
    Spotify vs
    Tidal vs
    Deezer 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 STR-AZ3000ES vs Sony ES STR-ZA3100ES
    DTS Express vs
    Less RCA Pre-Outs 0.2 vs 9.2
    Less Component Video Inputs vs 2
    Ethernet Switch vs 8-Port Gigabit
    Front A/V Inputs USB vs HDMI, USB
    +12V Trigger Output 1 vs 3 (80 mA)
    Analog Tuner FM vs FM/AM
    Less Presets 30 vs 60 (30/30)

    For more detailed comparison between the models please visit Sony ES STR-ZA3100ES vs STR-AZ3000ES.

    Audio Section

    7 channel Amplifier

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

      AMPLIFIER
      Channels7.2
      Power Output80 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven)
      Front Wide Channel Support
      THX™ Certification
      Continuous 6 Ω Rated
      Certified 4 Ω Performance
      Bi-amp Capability

      Speaker Configurations

      Sony ES 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.
      • 2-ch Bi-Amp: Sony ES STR-ZA3100ES allows you to bi-amp up to 2 main channels simultaneously. 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-ZA3100ES

      Dolby Atmos

      Sony ES 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 ES 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.
      DECODING
      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
      360 Reality Audio

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

        Video Section

        HDMI

        Sony ES 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 ES 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 ES 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 ES STR-ZA3100ES is able to pass 3D video through HDMI.

        HDR (High Dynamic Range)

        Sony ES 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.
        Sony ES STR-ZA3100ES
        VIDEO FEATURES
        HDR10
        HDR10+
        Dynamic HDR
        BT.2020 color space
        Dolby Vision
        HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma)
        HDBaseT Compatible
        Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC)
        HDCP Version2.2
        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

        Multi-zone Playback

        Sony ES 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 ES 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 ES 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.
        ZONES
        Number of 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

        Inputs and Outputs

        Audio

        • Analog Pre-Outs: Sony ES 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 ES STR-ZA3100ES has 10 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

        Front A/V Inputs

        • HDMI, USB
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        TERMINALS
        HDMI Inputs6 (1 front)
        HDMI Outputs2 (1 Main, 1 Sub/Zone2)
        8K Inputs
        USB Input1 (Front) for update and setting
        USB DC Out Port
        Optical Inputs2
        Optical Outputs
        Coaxial Inputs1
        RCA Line Inputs4
        RCA Line Outputs
        XLR Line Inputs
        Phono Input
        Multi-Channel Input
        RCA Pre-Outs9.2
        XLR Pre-outs
        Composite Video Inputs2
        Composite Video Outputs1
        S-Video Inputs
        S-Video Outputs
        Component Video Inputs2
        Component Video Outputs

        Sony ES STR-ZA3100ES Evaluation

        We evaluate Sony ES STR-ZA3100ES and give score of 84 out of 100. We also give separate scores for 6 different categories according to the available features and specifications some of which are listed below. These evaluations are relative and may change each time a new receiver is added to the database.


        OVERALL
        84

        Amplifier

        GOOD
        80

        We give Sony ES STR-ZA3100ES a score of 80 for Amplifier features.

        •   7.2 Channels
        •   Low Power Output - 80 W

        Audio Features

        EXCELLENT
        86

        We give Sony ES STR-ZA3100ES a score of 86 for Audio Features features.

        •   7.2 Channels
        •   No Front Wide Channel Support
        •   9ch + Phantom 2ch Channel Processing
        •   Dolby Atmos
        •   No Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization
        •   DTS:X
        •   No IMAX Enhanced
        •   No Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer
        •   No 360 Reality Audio
        •   DSD via HDMI

        Video Features

        EXCELLENT
        96

        We give Sony ES STR-ZA3100ES a score of 96 for Video Features features.

        •   HDR10
        •   No HDR10+
        •   Dolby Vision
        •   No 8K Passthrough
        •   Analog To HDMI Upconversion

        Connectivity

        GOOD
        78

        We give Sony ES STR-ZA3100ES a score of 78 for Connectivity features.

        •   eARC
        •   New HDCP Version
        •   No Wi-Fi
        •   No Bluetooth
        •   Does not Work with Amazon Alexa
        •   6 HDMI Inputs
        •   3 HDMI Outputs
        •   0 8K Input
        •   USB Input
        •   RCA Line Inputs
        •   No Phono Input
        •   RCA Pre-Outs
        •   Composite Video Inputs
        •   Component Video Inputs
        •   Ethernet

        Zones

        EXCELLENT
        90

        We give Sony ES STR-ZA3100ES a score of 90 for Zones features.

        •   3 Zones

        Radio

        AVERAGE
        59

        We give Sony ES STR-ZA3100ES a score of 59 for Radio features.

        •   Analog Tuner
        •   No Pandora
        •   No Spotify
        •   No Tidal


        For a full specification list please go to the specifications page:

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