We’ve spent a lot of time reviewing and comparing outdoor speakers here, and one of the main challenges with planning an outdoor sound system is acquiring all of necessary equipment, which usually will include a receiver, without quickly breaking the bank. This is particularly true with bigger setups that go beyond a simple pair of loudspeakers.
That’s why we were excited to see the Sony STR-DN1080, a highly powerful 7.2 channel a/v receiver, retailing at such a competitive price. If you’re looking to set up more than one pair of outdoor speakers, or perhaps get a home theater unit that can power an additional 2.1 outdoor sound system on the side, you’d be hard pressed to find a better valued piece of equipment for the job than this one.
As a preface, we’ll say that this should be considered a somewhat specialty piece of equipment because it goes above and beyond what many people will actually need, and thus ought to pay for. When it comes to outdoor speakers, most people will get by just fine with just a single pair, and anything more than that might not even be feasible to set up anyhow, even just a simple additional outdoor subwoofer. If all you need is a way to power a single pair of speakers, the STR-DN1080 will be overkill – all you’ll need is a simple two channel receiver with enough power. To that end, we currently recommend the Yamaha R-S202 which is a lot cheaper. You can instead spend the savings where it counts: on a better pair of speakers.
But some people do want to go bigger, with more than two outdoor speakers. If the enclosure you’re planning to fill is larger, more speakers might be called for, and a two channel receiver won’t cut it for that. The next problem? Good multi-channel receivers can get expensive, but, for the sheer amount of power and features the STR-DN1080 brings to the table it’s honestly quite amazing how inexpensive it is compared to it’s equal tiered competitors.
Lets talk specs: the STR-DN1080 is a 7.2 channel 2-zone a/v receiver, meaning it can be used for both a home theater or a sound system, or even both at the same time – there are a lot of possibilities. 165 W of power per channel is more than enough to adequately power any of the speakers we’ve reviewed here. Beyond that, the STR-DN1080 comes with just about all of the cutting edge bells and whistles there currently are: multiple wireless and app-pairing options, 4K, Dolby Atmos / DTS:X, the works pretty much.
The design is kind of dated we’ll admit, including the non back-lit remote control, if you’re even going to use it ever, but that’s hardly a concession worth mentioning for what you get for the price. If you’re looking for a receiver to power a higher end multi-pair outdoor sound system, or an all-inclusive unit that can do it all, it’s hard to find a better product than this one to do the job.