While the Sonos Arc is our recommendation for the finest Dolby Atmos soundbar, its high price point may deter some buyers. Hence, Denon's newest budget-friendly soundbar might be an excellent option.
Denon's new DHT-S217 model will be released for £249 in May. The worldwide price has not yet been disclosed, but it equates to approximately $320. That is much less than the $899 price tag for the Sonos Arc. The DHT-S217 improves upon the DHT-S216, which retails for $249 as well. The 217's most notable feature is its Dolby Atmos compatibility.
The soundbar relies on virtualization to offer Atmos a realistic 3D effect (through merely a left-and-right channel). Still, it should provide a more efficient home cinema audio than S216 - which depends on DTS Virtual: X. Denon's newest soundbar is meant to be utilized independently without adding an extra subwoofer to augment the bass frequencies.
Along with midrange and tweeters, it has two integrated downward-firing subwoofers for robust bass response. Such settings are expected to make the rumbling of explosive blockbuster blockbusters feel more engaging and immersive.
Picture: What Hi-fi?
As established, Dolby Atmos compatibility is included. Unlike the Sonos-Arc, the DHT-S217 does not use upward-firing drivers that bounce sound off the ceiling. Instead, it relies on signal analysis to create the illusion that various parts of a movie soundtrack are approaching you from all directions.
While there are no 'real' height channels required for genuine Atmos, simulated height media may sound very immersive - which helps Denon keep the price low. If this DHT-S217 is even remotely similar to the Denon Home 550 Sound Bar, we anticipate that it might lack the impression of overarching sound - but have a palpable sense of height and textured bottom frequencies.
Anyone who has fought to discern mumbling performers will appreciate the DHT-Dialogue S217's Enhancer technology, which lets you modify the volume level of on-screen speech without influencing the overall loudness of what you are viewing. Furthermore, you will be able to choose from various sound settings (Music, Pure, Night, and Movie) to match your listening material. The Pure preset delivers a realistic audiophile experience by eliminating any sound processing.
It is possible to connect the DHT-S217 to the television with the included HDMI or optical connections - or utilize HDMI eARC for increased audio quality. Besides, the soundbar has a Bluetooth connection, letting you stream music directly from your smartphone.
Denon has also added an HDMI input to connect a video device such as a media streaming player, which supports up to 4K quality clips with HDR Dolby Vision passthrough. It offers an interactive HDMI port to replace the one that might be lost when using HDMI ARC/eARC to connect the soundbars to the TV. In addition, optical input and analog aux-in connectors are provided for the connection of analog stereo components.
Those specs sound extremely promising - especially in light of the price. We would not expect a soundbar at this cost to include virtual Atmos, down-firing woofers, or HDMI eARC interconnection. Thus, this DHT-S217 might be an excellent option for anyone looking for the latest home cinema technology without spending a fortune.
Denon is attempting to remove the need for external speaker hardware equipped with a built subwoofer. Rather than buying a separate subwoofer, the soundbar is intended to deliver all of the necessary basses. While we did not test the soundbars yet, audio and movie enthusiasts would benefit significantly from the quality increases provided by separate components. Overall, the DHT-S217 seems to be rather appealing to the general public.