Along with the growing popularity of custom home theater builds, the comparison of Onkyo TX-RZ820 and Sony STR-ZA3100ES takes place. According to the results of our review, Onkyo TX-RZ820 received 7.7 points out of 10 possible, and Sony STR-ZA3100ES was rated 6.3 points. Both AV receivers were introduced in 2017. Based on the data on the characteristics and features of both models, we can conclude that TX-RZ820 has better performance than STR-ZA3100ES.
For the built-in amplifier, the devices received different marks - 9 and 7, respectively, on a 10-point scale.
The number of channels is equal to the number of possible connected speakers. Both receivers can handle the 7.2-channels configuration.
RMS stands for the actual power of the receiver. The higher this value, the louder the sound can be produced. The differences between the models in terms of RMS power are significant - for the TX-RZ820 this value is 160/8 W/Ohm, and for the STR-ZA3100ES it is 70/8 W/Ohm.
|Stereo power (RMS), W/Ohm||160/8||70/8, 90/6|
|Output impedance, Ohm||8||8, 6|
|THD in stereo, %||0.08||0.09|
After reviewing the audio features of each model, we can rate the TX-RZ820 8 out of 10, and the STR-ZA3100ES - 7.
Most receivers now come with a microphone included. It is with the help of this microphone that the auto-calibration system functions, which adjusts the sound of the receiver to the room.
|Digital to analog converter (DAC)||AK4458 384 KHz/32-bit||N/A|
|Pure direct (straight)||✔||✔|
|Auto speaker calibration||AccuEQ||DCAC EX|
|Speaker A/B switching||✖||✖|
|Other audio features||has not||Sound Optimizer|
The connectivity of competitors in our comparison is markedly different, Onkyo TX-RZ820 scored 8, and Sony STR-ZA3100ES scored 6 out of 10.
Bluetooth connection is now one of the main communication protocols for the receiver's control or even music broadcasting.
|USB||1 (USB 2.0)||1 (USB 2.0)|
Now music streaming services are gaining more and more popularity. They allow users to listen to millions of songs by subscription.
|Apple Music (AirPlay)||AirPlay||✖|
|Other streaming services||Deezer, TIDAL||has not|
The presence of many connectors makes the receiver more versatile. But there are also narrowly targeted models, the number of connectors which are limited to a certain area of use. And when choosing their own receiver, users need to consider exactly your goals for using the receiver. For extensive connection, Onkyo TX-RZ820 got 8 points, but Sony STR-ZA3100ES received 9 points.
Onkyo TX-RZ820 is equipped with 7/2 HDMI inputs and outputs, and Sony STR-ZA3100ES has 6/2 HDMI inputs and outputs.
HDMI eARC is the next step in the development of audio return channel technology, which works in conjunction with HDMI 2.1. Using eARC provides the highest sound quality for home audio systems. HDMI eARC is available on Sony STR-ZA3100ES.
Connecting a vinyl player or phonograph is possible using a Phono input which is represented by mini-jack or RCA connectors. Only the TX-RZ820 has a Phono interface.
|HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel)||✔||✔|
|HDMI eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel)||✖||✔|
|Digital content protection (HDCP)||HDCP 2.2||HDCP 2.2|
|Subwoofer output (LFE)||2||2|
|Headphone output||1 x 6.3||0|
|Optical digital input||2||2|
|Coaxial digital input||1||1|
|Phono (MM) input||✔||✖|
|Front panel connectors||HDMI, phones, setup mic||USB, HDMI, setup mic|
|Multi channel preamp output||✔||✔|
The AV receiver is the heart of the home theater. And in this case, support for all current video formats ensures the best user experience, so it is very important to consider this when choosing a device. Video features of rivals in our comparison were rated 7 out of 10.
|HDR (High Dynamic Range)||HDR10||✔|
|4K signal pass-through||4K/60Hz||4K/60Hz|
|8K signal pass-through||✖||✖|
|HDMI signal pass-through||✔||✔|
|3D signal pass-through||✔||✔|
|HDMI pass-through in standby mode||✔||✔|
|Analog to HDMI scaling||✖||✖|
|HDMI to HDMI scaling||✖||✖|
|Other video features||HLG, BT.2020||HLG|
In terms of evaluating additional features, the TX-RZ820 got 8 points, but the STR-ZA3100ES has 6.
Only the Onkyo TX-RZ820 has the ECO mode.
|App control||iPhone, iPad, iPod, Android||iPhone, iPad, iPod, Android|
|Tuner||AM, FM||AM, FM|
|Auto power off||✔||✖|
|Graphical user interface (GUI)||✔||✔|
|Firmware update||network, USB||network, USB|
|Other additional features||IP Control||has not|
As the center of a home media system, each multichannel receiver has an additional set of terminals for connecting the second set of speakers to create additional audio space in Zone 2 or even Zone 3 where audio can have the separate source.
|Zone audio output||speaker, preout||speaker, preout|
|Zone HDMI output||✔||✔|
|Multi-room control||FlareConnect||has not|
|Remote control input/output (IR)||1/0||1/2|
|DC trigger output (12V)||1||3|
For the ability to create multichannel surround sound, each of the receivers received 7 points out of 10.
IMAX Enhanced is a licensing and certification program under which home theater devices deliver crisp 4K HDR pictures and powerful sound as it was designed by the IMAX engineers. The STR-ZA3100ES licensed by IMAX.
|Dolby (other)||Dolby Digital Plus||Dolby Digital Plus|
|DTS HD Master||✔||✖|
|DTS (other)||has not||DTS-ES, DTS 96/24, DTS-HD|