Sony 2.0 Ch Stereo Receiver With Bluetooth

Setup Process: A Breeze To Get Started

Sony STRDH190 2-ch Stereo Receiver with Phono Inputs & Bluetooth

Thanks in no small part to the relative lack of extraneous features, setup is a breeze. Connect your speakers to the speaker terminals using your cut and stripped speaker wire. Next connect your audio sources to your receiver, making sure to use a phono cable with a ground wire if connecting to a turntable. Power the STR-DH190 on, and youre listening to music. This is a delightfully simple setup process when youre used to testing much more convoluted stereo equipment.

One note on Bluetootheverything is handled through the single button on the front of the device. Press it once to enter pairing mode if there is no previous pairing information on the receiver, and press it once to connect to the last connected device automatically as well. If youre already connected, pressing the button will disconnect the device. The remote itself has a Bluetooth button and a separate dedicated Bluetooth pairing button.

Sound Quality: Hard To Find Any Issues

The Sony STR-DH190 is somewhat of a marvel for its price. Its hard to find too many faults with the sound quality on this receiver. I tested using two pairs of floor-standing speakers: The Dali Oberon 5 and the Klipsch RP-5000F. Running it through the gauntlet of music from the intimate solo piano works of Nils Frahm to the tightly produced electronic music of Oliver, the STR-DH190 kept pace nicely, able to express the nuances of each track with relative ease.

Not only that, but the Sony STR-DH190 gets quite loud, thanks to the 100W of power per channel. I got into noise complaint territory a long time before I came anywhere near 100W per channel, but if you want the extra power it’s there.

The Sony STR-DH190 is somewhat of a marvel for its price.

Best Buy Customers Often Prefer The Following Products When Searching For 2 Channel Stereo Receivers

A stereo receiver, or AV receiver, is the hub of a home theater system. It takes audio and video signals from multiple sources and decodes them so you can play them on your display or other devices. The best receivers offer a wide range of features, including built-in streaming services, compatibility with high-resolution audio formats, and better surround sound processing. Browse the top-ranked list of 2-channel stereo receivers below along with associated reviews and opinions.

  • Rating 4.7 out of 5 stars with 7 reviews

    Product Description

    Pair your conventional speaker with this Prime SoundBase audio component. The line-level output converts your AV receiver or two-channel stereo system into a smart entertainment hub to provide wireless, high-resolution sound, and the 300W amplifier and audiophile-grade technology deliver powerful acoustics. The Wi-Fi and Bluetooth compatibility of this Prime SoundBase audio component supports multipurpose connectivity.See all Receivers

    Product Description

    Pair your conventional speaker with this Prime SoundBase audio component. The line-level output converts your AV receiver or two-channel stereo system into a smart entertainment hub to provide wireless, high-resolution sound, and the 300W amplifier and audiophile-grade technology deliver powerful acoustics. The Wi-Fi and Bluetooth compatibility of this Prime SoundBase audio component supports multipurpose connectivity.$499.98Your price for this item is $499.98Add to Cart

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    Features: The Bare Essentials

    The Sony STR-DH190 isnt brimming with features, but there are still a few things of note. One handy feature that the receiver has is the ability to turn on from a paired Bluetooth device, like your phone, even if the receiver is in standby mode. Just a small quality of life improvement so you dont have to go searching for the remote or walk over to the receiver every time you want to start listening to music.

    One handy feature that the receiver has is the ability to turn on from a paired Bluetooth device, like your phone, even if the receiver is in standby mode.

    You might also notice a Pure Direct button on the front of the device and the remote and wonder how it improves sound quality. Dont get too excitedthe only thing that it does is turn off the display lights to suppress noise that affects sound quality, and disable any EQ adjustments made to the bass and treble. This has been a feature on receivers for a long time now, and a hotly debated one.

    One omitted feature that is sure to bother a lot of people is the lack of a dedicated line-level subwoofer output. You will still be able to connect to some subwoofers using speaker wire and the second set of speakers terminals in the back of the Sony STR-DH190, but certainly not all. This will limit the number of subwoofers you can seamlessly connect to, as many dont have speaker wire terminals. Check out our article on how to connect a subwoofer to a receiver to learn more.

    Upgrade Pick: Yamaha R

    Sony 2.0

    May be out of stock

    *At the time of publishing, the price was $300.

    The Yamaha R-N303 is much more expensive than the Sony STR-DH190, but all of our panelists considered its extra cost justified. Not only did it sound subtly better in our listening tests, but it also includes useful features that less-expensive receivers lack, such as Wi-Fi streaming and digital audio inputs. Yet it still comes in at a price that allows you to put together a very good basic audio system for about $500.

    Both of our listening panelists picked the R-N303 as their favorite in our listening tests, and I agreed that it sounded better than the Sony STR-DH190. It sounds a little richer, a little fuller and more enveloping, panelist LeRena Major said. The Sony is good, but it sounds a little tinny in comparison. Panelist Dan Gonda agreed: The lows and highs sound fuller with this one, he said. I slightly preferred the smoother sound of the Cambridge Audio AXR85 because it made cymbals sound more natural and less harsh. But the R-N303s extra features make it a much better value.

    Our measurements confirmed that the R-N303s power output is similar to that of the Sony STR-DH190: 107 watts per channel into an 8-ohm load, 155 wpc into a 4-ohm load. However, the R-N303 does not reduce bass output at higher power levels as the Sony STR-DH190 does.

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    Why You Might Want A Stereo Receiver

    Generally speaking, a receiver combines a power amplifier , a preamplifier , and a radio tuner. All of these components are available separately, but most people prefer a receiver because its usually more affordableand, as a single, all-in-one component, it requires fewer wires and connections and takes up less shelf space.

    We can think of two primary types of buyers who would be interested in a stereo receiver: those who want to listen to vinyl records and those who want a step up in sound quality from that of an all-in-one wireless speaker.

    While wireless speakers can sound very good, almost all of them compromise sound quality in favor of a compact size and a decor-friendly design, and few can play as loudly and as clearly as a receiver and good traditional speakers can.

    Vinyl records have become popular once again. While some newer turntables have phono preamps and even Bluetooth wireless built in, most good ones do not, making them difficult to connect to wireless speakers. Most stereo receivers have phono preamps built in, so you can plug in a turntable and get good sound with no need to add extra components.

    The best bookshelf speakers

    The Best Bookshelf Speakers For Most Stereos

    The Q Acoustics 3020i is our favorite pair of passive bookshelf speakers, while the Edifier S1000MKII is a great choice if you need a powered speaker set.

    Any of the top picks in our best AV receiver guide will deliver far more features than a stereo receiver will, including the ability to power a surround-sound system and the ability to switch video signals and route them to a TV or projector. But AV receivers are notoriously difficult to connect and configure. With stereo receivers, the process is simple: Wire up a couple of speakers, connect whatever sources you want to use , and then hit the power button and turn up the volume. Theres littleor nothingto configure. Those who understandably want a simple way to play back music will enjoy having so few controls to mess with.

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    The Best Stereo Receiver

    • We didnt see any new stereo receivers announced at CES 2021, so we dont expect our picks to change anytime soon.

    If youre looking for a simple, affordable option to get excellent stereo sound, the Sony STR-DH190 is your best choice in a stereo receiver. It has the essential features most listeners want, including Bluetooth and a phono input for a turntable, and its easy to set up and use. Our listening tests show that youd have to spend more than twice as much to get better sound quality.

    Our pick

    The STR-DH190 handles phono, Bluetooth, and more, and it delivers a lot of power for its price.

    Buying Options

    *At the time of publishing, the price was $150.

    Our listening panel found that the Sony STR-DH190 sounded as good as any other receiver under $200, and it has the features we think most people consider important in a stereo receiver: Bluetooth , a phono preamp , and plenty of power. You can find better performance and more features elsewhere, but only at a much higher price. The STR-DH190 has a user-friendly design and remote, too, but it also makes a few sacrifices to reach that ultra-low price: Its speaker-cable connectors are rather flimsy, its proprietary FM-antenna connector is annoying because it forces you to use Sonys cheap supplied antenna, it doesnt have an AM tuner, and it doesnt sound as smooth and natural as our upgrade pick, the Yamaha R-N303.

    Buying Options

    May be out of stock

    *At the time of publishing, the price was $300.

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    Remote & Convenience Features

    IR Remote : The supplied IR remote provides wireless operation of the Sony STR-DH190 stereo receiver. It also offers basic playback control for your connected Bluetooth audio streaming device.

    Sleep Timer: The receiver can be set to turn off automatically after a specified time

    Auto Standby: This energy saving feature enables the receiver to set to automatically switch to standby mode if it is not in use or no audio signal is sent to it for 20 minutes.

    Sony 2 Channel Stereo Receiver With Phono Inputs And Bluetooth Connectivity

    Made for your record collection. The Stereo Receiver brings together your vinyl and digital music. The perfect match for the PS-HX500 or PS-LX300USB turntables, you can switch effortlessly between analog and digital with simple Bluetooth connectivity and connect to all your equipment. With its low-profile design , the receiver fits easily into any conventional AV cabinet.

    Smarter Bluetooth Connectivity

    Not only can you connect to the stereo through Bluetooth and play all your favorite tracks, but with Bluetooth Standby, you can turn your receiver on straight from your paired smartphone or tablet.

    Connect All Your Equipment

    The stereo has four analog audio inputs and one output, for easy connection to your audio recording device and other audio equipment.

    Exceptional Listening Experience

    Features

    Every component in the stereo has been designed for detail and clarity. Plug your turntable into your receiver via the phono input for appropriate pre-amplification and EQ. The receiver has four analog audio inputs and one output, for easy connection to your audio recording device and other audio equipment. There is an FM tuner with 30 digital presets with station names, as well as auto tuning. The best part of it all, the stereos A+B function lets you connect two sets of front speakers. You can easily switch between A or B or use both together to run outdoor speakers or set them up in a different room from the same amp.

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    Flaws But Not Dealbreakers

    Its easy to see where Sony cut corners to get the STR-DH190s price down. The connectors for the speaker cables are small spring clips, which means you have to use speaker cables of 14 gauge or thinner, and its easy to dislodge a wire accidentally when youre connecting and disconnecting other devices.

    This model has no AM radio tuner. I personally dont know anyone who uses a traditional stereo system to listen to AM, but if youd like to, consider our upgrade pick instead . It also lacks a line-level subwoofer output, so if you use a subwoofer, you will have to connect it through an extra set of speaker cables instead of a neater and more reliable line-level connection. For more information on subwoofer connections, check out The Five Cs of Subwoofer Setup.

    The biggest concern is that the FM antenna uses a proprietary connector, which works only with the flimsy, 5-foot-long wire antenna Sony provides. This component should be good enough to pull in most of the stations in an urban area, but people living in the country will probably want a better antenna. Its possible to splice a better antenna onto the Sony antenna. Still, if FM is a priority and you live in an area with reception problems, you might be better off with our upgrade pick.

    Why You Should Trust Us

    Sony Str

    Ive reviewed audio gear professionally since 1990. I have written reviews for magazines and websites including SoundStage, Sound & Vision, Home Theater Review, Lifewire, and Home Theater. Ive probably conducted more brand-concealed tests of audio components than any other journalist, and my home has a dedicated listening room and a fully equipped test bench, as well as equipment Ive purchased or built specifically for comparison tests like this.

    In the course of creating and updating this article, Ive drafted two different listening panels. The latest panel comprised Dan Gonda, a sax/clarinet/flute player who performs with several Los Angeles groups and LeRena Major, a Los Angelesarea saxophonist who has worked in a variety of positions in the music industry and is a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Both have served as panelists in several previous listening tests for Wirecutter and SoundStage. My original panel comprised Wirecutter senior staff writer and headphone editor Lauren Dragan, who has also reviewed high-end home-audio equipment for publications such as Home Entertainment, Home Theater, and Sound & Vision, and Wirecutter editor-at-large Geoffrey Morrison, who has written for CNET, Forbes.com, Home Entertainment, Home Theater, and Sound & Vision.

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    Design: Minimalistic And Premium Looking

    Im a big fan of the design of the Sony STR-DH190. Its minimalistic exterior somehow makes it look a lot more expensive. Sony didnt need to overcomplicate the design of course because there arent a tremendous amount of features to make buttons for, but this same design is mirrored in a lot of their more expensive, feature-rich products as well. Im inclined to believe its just a design choice.

    On the front of the device youll see a large volume knob next to a smaller input selector knob, and opposite these, a 0.25-inch headphone jack and an 0.125-inch portable in porthandy for playing audio from your phone, computers, and plenty of other devices. There is of course a button for Bluetooth, and a button to toggle between either set of speakers or both.

    Its minimalistic exterior somehow makes it look a lot more expensive.

    The back of the Sony STR-DH190 is similarly modest. Up top, theres room for an FM antenna , and a USB port for service purposes only. On the bottom row, youll see the phono in jacks for connecting a turntable, the 4x audio in jacks and 1x audio out, and the speaker terminals. Unfortunately, Sony uses flimsy little spring-loaded terminals that cant accommodate banana plugs, and only narrowly fit the pin-type tips that I had handy. As long as you keep this in mind, and use 14 gauge speaker wire or smaller you should be fine. Its likely just easier to cut and strip your own wire.

    How We Picked

    In our original version of this guide, we limited the price of the receivers we tested to $200. However, we had some requests from readers to explore more expensive models, so we raised the ceiling to $400 for our most recent round of testing. As before, I began my search for the best stereo receiver by scanning Amazon, Best Buy, and other retail websites. I excluded any model that had garnered a significant number of quality complaints on Amazon, and I generally didnt seek out models that seemed similar to another model in the same line but had one or two fewer features.

    The only feature we considered mandatory for the receivers we tested was some sort of radio tuner. All but one of the models we tested included a phono input for a turntable, and all but one included Bluetooth. Only one, the Yamaha R-N303, offered built-in Wi-Fi streaming and multiroom audio, but you can upgrade any receiver by adding these features via an Amazon Echo Dot or Echo Flex, both of which have an analog output that works with any receiver.

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    How We Tested

    We compared the stereo receivers in the only way thats valid: by using a switcher with the receivers labeled only by number, and by randomizing the order of the receivers for each listener. With this testing setup, there was no way for any listener to tell which receiver they were hearing. To accomplish this, I used a custom-built, remote-controlled switcher with nothing but a single relay, 2-inch-long cables, and a couple of banana plugs and jacks between the receivers and the speakers.

    I also took pains to get the volume level of the receivers matched to a high degree of precision: less than ±0.1 dB, a difference too small for the human ear to detect. This is critical to fair testing because if one receiver is only slightly louder than the others, listeners are likely to prefer it. The receivers volume knobs, which work in 1 dB steps, werent precise enough to obtain an adequate match, so I added a Behringer DS8000 distribution amp, which let me match the levels to an accuracy of ±0.03 dB.

    During the blind testing, I asked each panelist to judge the receivers based purely on sound quality, including these characteristics:

    • How natural was the sound on vocals? On instruments?
    • Did the receiver sound clear and undistorted when playing loud hip-hop, rock, and R& B? How about when playing softer music?
    • Were the bass, midrange, and treble sounds all well balanced with each other?

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