Sony str dh190 setup

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Sony STR-DH Review

Shopping for a stereo receiver can be a frustrating, complicated, and above all else, an incredibly expensive endeavor, but the Sony STR-DH offers a much-needed respite. It’s lacking a lot of features you find in more expensive receivers, but by focusing on the bare essentials Sony is able to offer a very compelling product for unfussy buyers that just need to get sound moving to their speakers without blowing their entire budget.

What you lose are largely creature comforts—things like HDMI inputs/outputs (and therefore HDMI ARC compatibility), Wi-Fi and Ethernet functionality, Alexa / Siri / Google integrations, preamp outs, subwoofer outs. Okay, maybe a lot of those aren’t creature comforts to a good deal of shoppers, but I don’t imagine the STR-DH was very high on their list to begin with.

You do still get plenty of great features however, like phono inputs with proper pre-amp, Bluetooth connectivity, the ability to connect two sets of speakers, and a very generous W per channel of power. Is this enough for the price? I sure think so, but let’s unpack the rest of the features to see if it has enough to suit your needs.

Design: Minimalistic and premium looking 

I’m a big fan of the design of the Sony STR-DH Its minimalistic exterior somehow makes it look a lot more expensive. Sony didn’t need to overcomplicate the design of course because there aren’t 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. I’m inclined to believe it’s just a design choice.

On the front of the device you’ll see a large volume knob next to a smaller input selector knob, and opposite these, a inch headphone jack and an inch “portable in” port—handy 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-DH is similarly modest. Up top, there’s room for an FM antenna (included in the box), and a USB port for service purposes only. On the bottom row, you’ll 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 can’t 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. It’s likely just easier to cut and strip your own wire.

Setup Process: A breeze to get started

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 (hopefully by now) 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-DH on, and you’re listening to music. This is a delightfully simple setup process when you’re used to testing much more convoluted stereo equipment.

One note on Bluetooth—everything 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 you’re 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-DH is somewhat of a marvel for its price. It’s 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 RPF. 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-DH kept pace nicely, able to express the nuances of each track with relative ease. 

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

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

Features: The bare essentials

The Sony STR-DH isn’t 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 don’t 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. Don’t get too excited—the 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-DH, but certainly not all. This will limit the number of subwoofers you can seamlessly connect to, as many don’t have speaker wire terminals. Check out our article on how to connect a subwoofer to a receiver to learn more.

One omitted feature that is sure to bother a lot of people is the lack of a dedicated line-level subwoofer output.

Price: Absolutely unbeatable

At an MSRP of just $, price is one area where the Sony STR-DH is absolutely faultless. This is more than the amount of receiver I would expect to get for under $ Sure, I could talk about all the little things I wish it had, but it would be fairly unreasonable to do so. The STR-DH is a great deal for the amount that it costs, full stop.

Sony STR-DH vs. Onkyo TX

Another among the receivers that we tested was the Onkyo TX (see on Amazon), which at an MSRP of $ is more than twice as expensive as the Sony. So what do you get for more than double? You don’t get more power, as the Onkyo is rated at 80W per channel instead of the Sony’s W. You do however get Wi-Fi and Ethernet support, additional stereo inputs, two coaxial ins, two optical ins, and a subwoofer out. That’s a significant amount more connection options, but boy is it also a lot more money, so you better really need them.

Overall, I preferred the sound of the Sony STR-DH a little more, but just marginally so. The Onkyo is a perfectly fine receiver, it’s just a little hard to justify it when up against the absolute bargain in Sony’s corner.

Final Verdict

One of the best receivers for under $ 

The Sony STR-DH may offer a rather baseline set of features and connectivity options, but it does a great job at every one of them. It’s a beautifully minimalistic looking receiver that sounds great and gets the job done without any fuss. If you don’t have a huge budget, or any requirements beyond what this receiver can offer, it’s a winning choice.


  • Product Name STR-DH Stereo Receiver
  • Product Brand Sony
  • Price $
  • Release Date January
  • Weight lbs.
  • Product Dimensions 17 x x in.
  • Channels 2
  • Watts per channel W
  • Stereo RCA Inputs 4
  • Stereo RCA Outputs 1
  • Phono Input(s) Yes
  • Optical Input No
  • Coaxial Input No
  • Subwoofer pre out(s) No
  • Speaker terminal pairs 4
  • HDMI Inputs No
  • Bi-wirable Yes
  • Front I/O: ¼ inch headphone output, ⅛ inch portable input
  • Network Bluetooth
  • Warranty 1 year parts & labor

2: Setting/Connecting Speakers

Set up and connect the speakers according to the number of speakers that you are using.

This manual describes the installation, connections, and setting procedures using the stereo

speaker system with A/B speakers as an example.


&#x; Connect speakers with a nominal impedance of 6 ohms to 16 ohms.

&#x; When you connect all the speakers with a nominal impedance of 8 ohms or higher, set "SP IMP." to

"8 OHM". In other connections, set it to "6 OHM". For details, see "6: Setting the Speakers" (page 19).

&#x; Before connecting cables, be sure to disconnect the AC power cord (mains lead).

&#x; Before connecting the AC power cord (mains lead), make sure that metallic wires of the speaker cables

are not touching each other between the SPEAKERS terminals or on the receiver rear panel. If the wires

are touching, it may result in damage to the amplifier circuit.

How to connect speaker cables

Connect speaker cables with the polarities + (red)/&#x; (black) matched between the receiver

and the speakers as illustrated below.

Strip the jacket to 10 mm (13/32 in) at each end of the speaker cables, and then tightly twist

the speaker wire strands. Insert the stripped ends of the cables into the terminals as

illustrated below.

10 mm

(13/32 in)


&#x; Be sure not remove too much of the speaker cable sleeves, so as to prevent the wires of the speaker

cables from touching each other.

&#x; Improper connection may result in fatal damage to the receiver.



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Sony STR DH User Manual Operating Instructions Docget




masterpage: Left



For the customers in the USA

Owner’s Record

The model and serial numbers are located on

the rear of the receiver. Record the serial

number in the space provided below. Refer to

these numbers whenever you call upon your

Sony dealer regarding this product.

Model No. STR-DH

Serial No.

To reduce the risk of fire or electric shock,

do not expose this apparatus to rain or


To reduce the risk of fire, do not cover the

ventilation opening of the appliance with

newspapers, tablecloths, curtains, etc.

Do not expose the appliance to naked flame

sources (for example, lighted candles).

To reduce the risk of fire or electric shock, do

not expose this appliance to dripping or

splashing, and do not place objects filled with

liquids, such as vases, on the appliance.

Do not install the appliance in a confined

space, such as a bookcase or built-in cabinet.

As the main plug is used to disconnect the

unit from the mains, connect the unit to an

easily accessible AC outlet. Should you notice

an abnormality in the unit, disconnect the

main plug from the AC outlet immediately.

The unit is not disconnected from the mains

as long as it is connected to the AC outlet,

even if the unit itself has been turned off.


Risk of explosion if the battery is replaced by

an incorrect type.

Do not expose batteries or appliances with

battery-installed to excessive heat, such as

sunshine and fire.



To reduce the risk of thermal

burn hazard, do not touch the

hot surface where this symbol is









For the customers in the USA

This symbol is intended to alert

the user to the presence of

uninsulated “dangerous voltage”

within the product’s enclosure

that may be of sufficient

magnitude to constitute a risk of

electric shock to persons.

This symbol is intended to alert

the user to the presence of

important operating and

maintenance (servicing)

instructions in the literature

accompanying the appliance.

Important Safety Instructions

1)Read these instructions.

2)Keep these instructions.

3)Heed all warnings.

4)Follow all instructions.

5)Do not use this apparatus near water.

6)Clean only with dry cloth.

7)Do not block any ventilation openings.

Install in accordance with the

manufacturer’s instructions.

8)Do not install near any heat sources such

as radiators, heat registers, stoves, or

other apparatus (including amplifiers) that

produce heat.

9)Do not defeat the safety purpose of the

polarized or grounding-type plug. A

polarized plug has two blades with one

wider than the other. A grounding type

plug has two blades and a third grounding

prong. The wide blade or the third prong

are provided for your safety. If the

provided plug does not fit into your outlet,

consult an electrician for replacement of

the obsolete outlet.

10) Protect the power cord from being walked

on or pinched particularly at plugs,

convenience receptacles, and the point

where they exit from the apparatus.

11)Only use attachments/accessories

specified by the manufacturer.



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