After launching the Home Sound Bar 550, Denon has announced another Dolby Atmos soundbar system, this time with upfiring speakers.
While the Home Sound Bar 550 was an Atmos soundbar for compact spaces, the new DHT-S517 is a 3.1.2 channel system that’s bigger in size and comes with a wireless subwoofer to deliver those thumping low frequencies.
There’s always been something of a hoo-hah with Atmos soundbars that use digital processing rather than height speakers, but the Denon looks to put that issue to bed with its speaker configuration. Precision-engineered and finely tuned by the Denon Sound Masters, the latest soundbar features a 7-driver array comprised of left/right channel tweeters and midrange drivers, a dedicated centre-channel, and two up-firing speakers to deliver height effects.
This model does not support the HEOS smart interface, relying instead of Bluetooth connectivity to stream music from the likes of smartphones and tablets. Physical connections include an HDMI eARC port (for passthrough of lossless audio), a HDMI input, digital optical out and a 3.5mm jack.
The centre channel should maintain clarity of dialogue, but if you need more assistance then Denon’s Dialogue Enhancer improves the intelligibility of dialogue further, with three available modes to tweak as you see fit for whatever you’re watching. The feature uses a dedicated level control, so raising the volume here won’t raise the overall system volume.
More general sound modes include Movie Mode, Music Mode, Pure Mode and Night Mode, with Pure Mode eliminating any surround processing to deliver a purer music listening experience.
On the announcement of the new soundbar, Denon President, Trip Randall said: “While TV manufactures have developed thinner and thinner screens with high resolution and great picture quality, space for speakers has notably diminished, resulting in a sacrificed sound experience. “With our newest Denon sound bar, you’ll immediately boost your home theatre experience to upgraded 3D sound and will find your viewing experience makes exponential leaps forward for the better. It takes a legacy brand like Denon to deliver this kind of spectacular, immersive sound, all with an easy-to-use set-up that is compatible with any TV.”
The Denon DHT-S517 is also much cheaper than we were anticipating for a speaker that integrates upfiring speaker drivers. Priced at £379 / €399 (US pricing is TBC), the DHT-S517 will be available on the Denon website and other authorised retailers at the end of January 2022.
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