HiFi home audio and theater have become much more accessible in recent years, and a big reason for that is companies like Yamaha and Sony producing very affordable receivers.
Enter the STR-DH190 and R-S202 – two of the most popular and best selling 2 channel stereo receivers on the market for years. How do they actually measure up to each other though? Do they have any significant differences? And, is one decidedly better than the other? That’s what we’re going to answer in this comparison article.
What Are The Differences Between The Sony STR-DH190 and Yamaha R-S202, and How Much Does Each Actually Matter?
The STR-DH190 and R-S202 are mostly similar actually, and practically speaking will function all the same for most people in most situations. But, there are a few discussion worthy differences between the two:
The Yamaha R-S202 has a little more RMS power rating (100W) for each channel than the Sony STR-DH190 does (90W), but, the Yamaha R-S202 achieves that benchmark with a little more total harmonic distortion (THD) and a little less frequency bandwidth. Most people will never come close ever driving that much power to a pair of speakers, though, and the odds that these differences would actually cause an audible difference is very slim to practically none in our opinion.
The Sony STR-DH190 has an RCA phono input while the Yamaha R-S202 does not. A phono input is mainly designed to directly connect a turntable (to play vinyl records). If you want to use a turntable with your receiver, you should choose the STR-DH190 or any other receiver with the same input. Otherwise, it is possible to connect a turntable without a dedicated phono input, but you will need a phono preamp to ensure the signal is powerful enough. Some turntables have preamps built in, but you can also get one separately for fairly cheap.
Front Panel EQ Adjusters
Both the receivers have the ability to EQ the treble and bass up and down with the remote, but the Yamaha R-S202 has the EQ buttons also built into the front panel and you don’t have to worry about needing the remote in that case. Not a huge deal, but it could be a significant enough convenience for some people to care about.
Minimum Impedance Rating
The Yamaha R-S202 is rated for speakers with a minimum impedance of 8 ohms, while the Sony STR-DH190 is rated for speakers with a minimum impedance of 6 ohms. The vast majority of noncommercial passive speakers are 8 ohms so this probably won’t matter for most people. Also, the R-S202 could honestly power a pair of 6 ohm speakers safely, but you’d just have to be a little more mindful of the volume and for any audible clipping.
Common Questions Asked About the Sony STR-DH190 vs Yamaha R-S202
Can the Sony STR-DH190 or Yamaha R-S202 Connect to a Dedicated Subwoofer?
Neither receiver has a dedicated sub-out input that’s specifically designed to connect to a subwoofer, and receivers that do have one are typically denoted with the decimal X.Y in their title where Y is the number of sub-out terminals. So, a 2.1 receiver would have two main left/right speaker terminals and a subwoofer terminal.
It is technically possible to connect a powered subwoofer in other ways, but it is not ideal, mainly because with no crossover point in the receiver, the speakers will still be “told” to play the full range on top of what the subwoofer is being “told” to, and the overlap can cause a muddy effect.
Can the Sony STR-DH190 or Yamaha R-S202 Connect to TV and Play Its Audio?
The STR-DH190 and R-S202 are called “stereo” receivers, meaning they’re generally intended and designed to run independently functioning left and right speakers for music or other audio only. But, it is still possible to connect either to a TV to use a pair of passive speakers with the TV. There could be a few ways to do it depending on your TV’s outputs.
If your TV has a standard 3.5mm jack – most do these days – you can simply use a 3.5mm to RCA Y cable and connect the TV to the “line-in” RCA inputs on either receiver, and this is probably the simplest and easiest way to do it.
Another option is to use and HDMI or optical output on your TV to connect to the same line-in RCA inputs, but, you will need a DAC (digital to analog) converter to send the proper signal type to either receiver. There are a plethora of cheap DACs that can convert a variety of input/connection types.
Which Should You Choose Between the Sony STR-DH190 or the Yamaha R-S202?
Practically speaking, the Sony STR-DH190 and Yamaha R-S202 are basically the same thing and can do the same stuff. There are a few small technical differences between the two, but the odds that those result in a noticeable quality difference will be practically zero for most peoples’ setups.
These two receivers also have a few input/compatibility differences, but they can all pretty much be overcome with a cheap adapter or cable. The Yamaha R-S202 does have the EQ buttons on the front panel so you don’t have to deal with using the remote, but that’s really the only quality-of-life usability difference between the two that’s worth mentioning.
At the end of the day? The best choice for most people will probably be whichever is the best deal at the time. We have seen both of these products get intermittently discounted by quite a lot, so it is worth keeping an eye out for that.
Get the Sony STR-DH190 on Amazon (affiliate link)
Get the Yamaha R-S202 on Amazon (affiliate link)