Pretty basic interface panel – the power button, 6.35mm headphone jack, input selector knob that seems a bit redundant, and a beefy volume knob that has a nice feel.
The back panel is about as basic as it gets – five RCA inputs for various ancillary devices and A/B spring clips for the speaker wire, which means the unit can’t accept banana plugs and you’ll have to strip speaker wire and weave the copper strands into the clips.
Another notable feature that’s lacking is a sub-out input, and Sony says this unit is not designed to be compatible with a subwoofer. Technically you could hook up a subwoofer that has line-out inputs with a dual RCA cable, but without an internal cross over you’ll likely get some overlap between the speakers and subwoofer both trying to reproduce the low frequencies, resulting in a muddy sounding bass. You might be able to make it work by setting the subwoofer crossover at the speakers’ response floor or the point they drop off enough to be inaudible, but don’t count on that strategy being reliable.
The STRDH190 has 2 x 100W channels which should handle two to four 6 or 8 ohm rated speakers. We strongly discourage trying to power 4 ohm speakers with this receiver, but those are specialty products and people who have them probably already know that. You might run into some issues with higher power handling speakers with the volume cranked up – if you start to hear a grainy like distortion that means the amp isn’t powerful enough and your speakers are clipping, and you should turn the volume down immediately else risk blowing them out.
While the STRDH190 has Bluetooth, a basic remote is additionally included if you need it. It needs two AAA batteries. It’s the same universal remote that comes with a bunch of Sony’s receivers:
Overall Take, As Compared to the Competition
Truthfully, any 100 W channel receiver from a reputable brand will power home speakers just fine. You should find the cheapest option that has the features you want and put as much money as you can into the actual speakers. The STRDH190 is a good, inexpensive choice that we’d recommend, but…
…Pioneer has a similarly priced receiver that’s exactly the same, but it also has a dedicated sub-out line and binding posts which can accept banana plugs or spade connectors. At the time of this writing/update it’s our top choice for a budget receiver (link to review). It’s availability seems to be intermittent though, and audio prices are fickle anyhow, so if you can snag the STRDH190 at the best price it’s a solid choice.