Customer Reviews: Sony STR-DN840 7.2 Channel 1050-Watt A/V Receiver (Black)
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The "Product Description" and "Product Features" sections above report conflicting Wattage ratings for this receiver. The product description states 165W a channel. The product feature states 150W a channel. The correct Wattage for this receiver is 150W a channel. The STR-DN1040 is rated at 165W per channel.

The current trend in modern A/V home theater receivers is to embrace every possible form of modern technology that enables users to get the most out of their audio needs. This includes all forms of media, both online and in an enthusiast's personal collection, regardless of the digital or analog source. Sony has taken this into consideration with this new receiver but only for newer devices. Sony has been slow to add features such as AirPlay, Bluetooth, and WiFi to their receivers. Both the STR-DN840 and the STR-DN1040 now offer these features and they are a welcome addition. The Sony STR-DN840 and STR-DN1040 are both very nice receivers with some limitations that I'll describe below. They are designed to satisfy those who will integrate current technology, but are sparse in their support of older technology.

The STR-DN840 is a 7.2 receiver that delivers 150W at 8 Ohms into each of the seven channels. Frequency response is 20Hz to 20KHz with total harmonic distortion (THD) at a nominal .9%. The amplifier portion of the unit supports bi-amping and can handle 4, 6, or 8 Ohm speaker loads. These specifications are pretty typical for an A/V receiver and they support enough power to satisfy most consumer installations.

As far as connectivity, the STR-DN840 has six HDMI inputs; two AV inputs (one front and one back); two analog audio inputs; one coaxial input; two optical inputs; and one AM and FM antenna input, respectively. There is no phono input, so don't expect to add a turntable without a separate phone amp. Outputs include two pre out, one HDMI out, one composite video out/monitor out, and one headphone out. Network connectivity is provided by one Ethernet jack on the rear panel and integrated WiFi. Both 3D over HDMI and an audio return channel are also supported.

While the STR-DN840 offers a nice selection of inputs and outputs, it's not an appreciable amount of connections for those with a number of devices. For those with a TV, VCR, CD/DVD, Roku box, turntable, cassette deck, video camera, and Wii gaming console, the STR-DN840 doesn't offer all the connections needed to attach each of these devices. The lesson here is to list all your items with associated connections to be sure you'll be able to connect all of them to this receiver. In contrast, the STR-DN840s bigger brother, the STR-DN1040, supports a larger amount of connections. If you're interested in the STR-DN840 and find it doesn't offer all the connections you need, take a look at the STR-DN1040 and see if that better suits your needs. If you have a number of older devices to connect, manufacturers like Yamaha integrate a number of older-style inputs into their receiver; you might want to keep looking around.

The one feature that stands out for a receiver at this price is integrated Bluetooth and WiFi. Onkyo and Yamaha both offer these features at a higher price point than the STR-DN840, which is a nice selling point for Sony. Both the STR-DN840 and STR-DN1040 offer wireless capabilities with Bluetooth and WiFi. Some receivers offer network ability, but a WiFi adapter has to be configured separately to get wireless access with a local network. Sony integrated WiFi into the STR-DN840 and the STR-DN1040 and this is an excellent feature.

Another nice feature is 4K video pass through and upscaling, which supports the latest generation of 4K televisions. Upscaling ensures media at lower resolutions display on the 1080p format. Sony assumes you'll have this receiver for a number of years, so 4K video pass through is a nice feature. It allows the receiver to grow with you, if you plan to upgrade to this new breed of television.

Additional features supported by the STR-DN840 are iPod and iPhone connectivity by USB. You can also freely download Media Remote and Network Audio Remote apps to use your iPhone or Android device as a remote control. This is a relatively new feature many manufacturers are beginning to integrate. In addition, Sony has integrated the ability to sync to other Sony BRAVIA devices utilizing an HDMI CDC connection. These devices include Sony Blu-ray Disc players, BRAVIA HDTVs, and Sony home theater equipment.

Network services built into the receiver are music streaming through Music Unlimited, Pandora, Slacker, and vTuner. Music can also be streamed using Airplay. This opens the receiver up to a new world of musical content that extends far past the typical terrestrial AM/FM radio stations.

In terms of sound processing, the STR-DN840 has a number of sonic fields build into the unit. These sonic fields emulate the acoustic characteristics of different ambient environments, such as a jazz club, Berlin Philharmonic Hall, or a live concert. Some find this feature a novelty while others love it. It's an added feature worth exploring. Yamaha's RX-V line of receivers integrates a larger number of sonic fields. If this feature is important to you, you might want to also take a look at Yamaha's receiver line and compare it with other manufactures before purchasing this Sony receiver.

The STR-DN840 also supports the usual array of decoding formats required to reproduce many types of audio playback.

One feature missing is the addition of zone 2 playback, which would enable a second set of speakers to be installed in another location, like outside on the deck, downstairs in an office, or in some other room. Zone 2 coverage would make the remote app much more important because it could control the second zone from a different location within the living space. This feature is available in other receivers in this class range, but absent in the STR-DN840.

An additional feature missing is a phono input for those of us who still enjoy vinyl and want to connect a turntable to the receiver. This can be overcome by the purchase of a separate phono amp. These range in price from $50 for cheaper ones to hundreds of dollars for audiophile amps. The STR-DN840 isn't as accommodating for legacy (older) equipment and Sony obviously assumes most consumers are integrating newer, modern devices with the receiver.

Sonic quality is excellent for a receiver of this class. It has plenty of punch and power to drive a surround sound system and hold up against the workings of a decent subwoofer. Turning the volume down doesn't result in an appreciable loss in low end, as is common with cheaper receivers. Dynamic range is also good. Don't expect a thin and homogenized reproduction of sound. Music and movies play well with nicely detailed reproduction.

The STR-DN840 has a reasonable-sized footprint for having as much packed into it as it does. It measures 16.9" x 6.14" x 12.97".

Sony did the right thing by integrating Bluetooth and WiFi directly into the STR-DN840. These are very important features to many consumers and they make this receiver quite attractive. The STR-DN840 contains a nice selection of features at a very attractive price. It lacks multizone coverage and is a bit anemic in terms of connections for those with a number of components. It is also lacking in terms of support of legacy equipment, such as a turntable. For the average consumer, it has all the latest technological features built into it, ready for use. Sonically, it performs well as a consumer-grade receiver. It has clarity and detail that will certainly make it a crowd pleaser within its price class.
5656 comments| 264 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 11, 2013
I'm very frustrated with this purchase. I wanted to love it. The reviews were good. CNET rated it as the best receiver value of the year. So I jumped on it. While the features are great and the sound is good, there's one hiccup that keeps bugging me: when switching inputs (sometimes simply when switching between parts on a Blu-ray) the video will fail to be passed on to the TV. Audio will be fine, but I get no picture. Usually switching the TV off and back on again will take care of the problem, but not always. I was hoping that the recent update would take care of the issue, but no such luck. I know that some may think this a small snag, too small to drop the rating to 2/5 stars, but it is an ongoing nuisance that continually frustrates me. When I pay good money for a product, I expect it to function at least as intended. I haven't researched this issue so I don't know if others are having the same problem, just be warned that this issue exists

Update - 1.10.14:
After spending more time with the receiver, fiddling with settings, and swapping hdmi cords, I still am unhappy. Not only does the problem persist, I recently was unable to get any image whatsoever. I did a hard reset to factory settings with no luck. After switching the setting for "hdmi control" (which I've done many times before the reset), the image decided to appear on my screen. I'm now considering contacting Sony, but I am very wary of the hassle and questionable outcomes of sending electronics in for repair/replacement, if they're wiling to even cooperate, that is (note: this is not a knock against Sony's warranties in particular, just electronic companies in general). Based on my experience with this receiver, I cannot recommend it to anyone. Unless you absolutely need Bluetooth and wi-fi, other receivers should be considered. I understand that this problem may only affect a few customers, but the fact that a receiver has a problem with such a basic function which hasn't been corrected with firmware updates should give you pause.
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on February 16, 2014
The sound quality from this receiver is excellent. Also, the Wifi and sound settings are a great addition. Though these features are great, the issue with the picture cutting out on my television is a pain. I contacted Sony about this issue and they advised me that there is no fix. The only thing they advised was to unplug the system, disconnect all the wires and let it sit for a couple minutes. After, I was suppose to reconnect everything and turn the system back on. This did not fix my problem. Next they told me to reset the receiver. By doing this, my problem was solved but all my FM and AM presets as well as my Wifi network and speaker settings were erased. Thus, I needed to perform the machine setup again. My picture has cut out twice since I have owned this receiver. I have owned it for a total of 36 hours I might add. I am currently in the process of a return and I feel that I should let other buyers know of this issue before they spend $450.00 on this unit. Though it has great features, disconnecting and resting the receiver is a hassle especially when it cost $450.00.

If you want more information google search Sony STR-DN840 problems. The picture cutting out will be one of the top issues. Also, there is a laundry list of people complaining about the same thing. I am not the only one.
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on March 20, 2014
I am very happy with this receiver. The only down side I have found is an annoying pop up that happens when turning up sound or any kind of adjustment made to it while watching TV or playing video Games.

I am back to give better advice after using this product for some time.
After using the receiver now for about 3 month, I can safely say that I kind of wish I would have selected something other than this Sony. It is true what people are saying about the picture cutting out. My picture always comes back after about 10 seconds, but it will happen at random times. I guess Im going to have to just accept it, but I would not recommend the player.
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on August 7, 2014

I started developing no signal issues within six months of purchase. There are others who are experiencing same issues and can be found at:


The STR DN840 started saying no signal when I use the HDMI TV Out port. I have Comcast box connected to it and I am using BenQ projector. It has been working for six months, but it recently started saying no signal. I can hear the audio when I take out the HDMI cable from the HDMI TV Out port. I thought my issue was the HDMI cable it self and I purchased a new one, but the same thing happens with the new HDMI cable. I took the HDMI cable out of the STR DN840 HDMI TV Out port and directly connected to the Comcast box and then to the BenQ projector and I can see video and hear voice from the BenQ's built in speakers. I even used my LG TV and took out the BenQ out of the eqution and it still says no signal using the HDMI TV Out port.

I was told to send the STR DN840 to a repair shop in NY for repair. I have to pay shipping and the hassle that goes with it. The receiver is now collecting dust and I am out of $500!

UPDATE 1/13/2015,

After losing faith, I finally sent the unit for a repair as the following shows:

12/23/2014, Unit arrival:
Dear UR Customer
Your unit has arrived at United Radio Service and has entered our workload.

12/31/2014, More information:
Dear UR Customer
Based on updated information, your unit has been entered into the workload.

1/1/2015, More Research by the Repair and Consultation with Sony:
Dear UR Customer

Further assistance is required from the manufacturer to facilitate the
repair of this unit. If any information is required, we will contact you.

1/12/2015, my Email to the repair shop:
My Receiver has been with you since 12/23 and I have been getting updates, but I recently saw in your website that you noted "HDMI BOARD NOT AVAILABLE, NEED TO GO TO ESCALATION." This doesn't look good. Please let me know if this means replacement or you are still fixing the system.


1/13/2015, reply from repair shop:
We did duplicate the issue you were having with the unit, but when we went to order the parts needed for a repair they are no longer available. Because the unit is still in warranty we are reaching out to the manufacturer on your behalf so that the issue can be resolved for you. Sony will likely reach out to you within the next 3-7 days to discuss what options are currently available.

Thank you for your time and have a good day.

Update from Sony (Wrong number provided and they want to give me the same defective model)

I apologize for the delay in the repair of your unit unfortunately a part needed for the repair is not available, as an alternative we are ready to offer you an exchange for a brand new unit, same model number and the remaining of the original warranty, in order to process the order we need to confirm your address, please reply back with your address information so we can confirm it or feel free to contact us back at 1-800-222-7776. Thank you for your time and patience.

Francisco CHQ4
Sony National Customer Relations

----------------------------------------THE END OF MY SONY SAGA----------------------------------------------------
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon August 3, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
For an AVR in this price range, I expected the user experience to be a lot better. The first thing you'll notice is the lack of a graphical user interface. It is an shockingly glaring inconsistency. No XMB (XrossMediaBar) or any kind of GUI like that found on their other AV product. Even my inexpensive Blu-Ray player has icons for ease of navigation. With the Sony STR-DN840, it's just plain white text on a black background. The menus are sometimes confusing and entering in text with the remote control is a huge pain (no popup onscreen keyboard to let you type in the password to your WiFi, for example). By contrast, my Denon AVR-1913 7.1 Channel 3D Pass Through and Networking Home Theater Receiver with AirPlay and Powered Zone-2 Capability, while not fancy, has an easy-to-use graphical menu system that is light years ahead of the Sony.

The features I liked best are the jog dial for quick input source select and 6 HDMI inputs. I connected my 5.1 speakers using Sewell Direct SW-29863-12 Deadbolt Banana Plugs, 12-Pair. Very painless with the banana plugs. If I had to use the thumbscrews, I'd quite quickly go mad. I wish that the ports were color coded by group for easier identification (center, front L/R, surround), but that's a very minor thought.

As far as connectivity, I appreciate the inclusion of WiFi and Bluetooth, 2 features that my Denon lack. I love that I don't have to have another wire running around my apartment, however, this isn't perfect. As mentioned before, you have to key in your WiFi password by punching in the letters one at a time on the remote. There's no onscreen keyboard, which EVERYONE else has (PS3, XBOX360, WDTV, etc). You have to hold down the tiny SHIFT button in the lower left corner, then hit one of the keys to cycle through the letters. For "y", for example, you have to hit the corresponding button 3 or 4x to cycle thru 9, w, x, then y. If you aren't careful holding down the shift button, these keys control the input source as their main function, so you'd end up switching inputs and exiting the setup process like I did several times.

After getting the AVR on the network, the first thing I did was update the firmware, which took about an hour. I'm not sure.. I took a nap during the process because it took so long. The download itself was fast, but the installation took forever.

I use my Denon a lot for streaming music to it over my wireless network. Once both devices are connected to my WiFi, the Airplay icon appears and I can play music through my speakers wirelessly. The name of the song appears on my Denon LCD ticker. For Sony, the addition of Bluetooth is great! Once I got AVR paired to my iPhone, I was able to stream music to it from anywhere in my apartment. I had no problems with signal loss, as my apartment isn't very big (under 700 sq ft). The downside, though, is that the AVR showed my device as "BBP_S_IPHONE". The apostrophe and space were replace with an underscore, and there's no song title displayed. For connecting over WiFi, the pairing process is slightly more complicated and I had to add a Control Device. I found it confusing and it took me about half an hour to get that figured out. Once connected via WiFi, the readout is the same however. No song title is displayed. Is it really important to know what song's playing? This may not bother you, but for me I've gotten used to knowing what's playing whether it's on a friend's music player or my own, especially when I'm hearing a new song I'm not familiar with.

The apps for iPhone are not great. To fully control the AVR, you need to download 2 apps. They basically just replace the physical remote buttons with a graphical equivalent. Denon did it right and made an app where you can control everything right from your iPhone (selecting web radio, inputs, etc). Sony's app is severely lacking.

As for the 4k upscaling, I cannot test since I do not have a 4k TV. Overall, a solid performer with a terrible interface that ought to make you think twice. I hope SONY releases a firmware update that adds the XMB because right now, the interface is downright awful.
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on July 20, 2014
This receiver is really awesome when it works. The sound is great, and the connectivity options means you can just pull out your tablet and phone, enable WiFi/Bluetooth, and listen to your music.

The problem is that the network module on this receiver is poorly made. I had to return the first one of these I bought to Amazon, because the WiFi didn't work at all right out of the box. It just got stuck on the "Please wait…" screen forever. That was annoying, but things happen. Amazon sent me a new one, and I was happy for about 3 months with it.

Well, today, the WiFi on the new one crapped out, too. It's the same thing all over—I just get stuck on "Please wait" again. Bluetooth broke too. I had been using bluetooth for months almost every day with my phone without a hitch, and suddenly today, my phone will no longer pair with it. I tested my phone in my car (which also has bluetooth), so I know it's the receiver.

If this receiver actually worked all the time, it would be perfect. But instead, I'm going to have to try send this thing back to Amazon again and see what my options are.
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on May 6, 2014
This is the 2nd Sony receiver I've had that can not handle the main purpose I bought the receiver for, to consolidate and switch multiple HDMI signals for a single input into my TV. I'd hoped the first one was a fluke, but this one is even worse. From my DirecTV DVR I lose the HDMI signal at least every 10 minutes. The TV is still on but goes black, with a "no signal detected" message. The fix is to quickly pause the DVR and then power down and power up the receiver to it gets the handshake from the DVR back. VERY annoying and the last Sony receiver I'll ever buy. This was not a problem with my previous Pioneer receiver, that that swtich out being the only difference in my setup.
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on February 20, 2014
This receiver does what it says and is a good value for the price point. It was easy to install and I found the fit and finish, connector quality, etc. to be typical of mid-range receivers. The remote is similarly middle-of the road (e.g. no backlighting, glow-in-the-dark buttons, etc.).

One anti-feature I find quite annoying is that it shuts itself off when the audio stream is stopped for a few minutes. I've not four a way to defeat this or change the timeout, but I haven't looked either.

This nanny feature has questionable green value in that the receiver isn't drawing that much energy when idle to begin with. Furthermore and more importantly, in this age of DVR, people pause shows all the time for bathroom breaks, to answer the door, make some coffee, etc. You come back to restart your program and this frigging receiver is shut off clobbering your video and audio streams. I have an older HDMI 1.0 HD disk player that doesn't deal with this very well.

So far, I haven't developed an arthritis problem by having to power it back on :-), but I find this feature to be annoying on principle if not in practice.
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on May 7, 2014
I have had this system installed for about 3 months. I had 4 Yamaha A/V receivers and one was 20 years old; it went kaput. I did not want to spend the money to get a Yamaha and this had very good reviews and a good price. I hooked it up to my living room HD TV. I have a 5.1 system in the room. I went through the normal setup. Every time I tried the automatic set up (with the external microphone) I received an error. I finally contacted Sony and they got back to me very quickly (that was nice). They informed me that when you hook up a 5.1 system the rear speakers should be hooked up to the surround output jacks, not the rear output jacks. This was NOT evident in the manual. I actually like the sound from this system better than my older Yamaha system. Another feature that I find frustrating, is the graphical interface. Although it is adequate, it looks like an IBM DOS computer from 1970. Everything is text. My guess is that they had to seek out a 60 or 70 year old DOS programmer to write the interface. Anyone under 40 would never even imagine that the interface would consist of selecting from a list of 4 typewritten lines. Other than the setup and interface, it is a great sounding receiver for a great price.
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