Denon DHT-S216H review: An inexpensive all-in-one soundbar with sweet sound and DTS Virtual:X support

    With its budget-priced, all-in-one soundbar, Denon opted to deal with audio efficiency fairly than dabble in wi-fi or smart-home performance, and the outcomes are—for essentially the most half—a pleasure to listen to. While the $250 DHT-S216H can’t hook up with your Wi-Fi community or take orders from Alexa, this low-profile soundbar boasts clear, crisp sound, together with spectacular bass due to its built-in subwoofers and (in a primary for Denon’s soundbar lineup) DTS Virtual:X audio.

    We had been fairly happy with the DHT-S216H’s audio efficiency general, given its funds price ticket. And whereas DTS Virtual:X audio can sound a tad harsh at occasions (notably in the case of dialog), we had been usually fairly impressed with the immersive really feel of this more and more widespread digital 3D {surround} mode.

    You can’t join the DHT-S216H to your Wi-Fi community (which implies there’s no assist for Denon’s HEOS wi-fi multi-room audio platform) or management it with Alexa or Google Assistant, however you possibly can improve it with virtually any wired subwoofer, whereas evening and dialog-enhancer modes regulate the soundbar’s audio for late-night listening or for dialog-heavy motion pictures and TV exhibits.

    This evaluation is a part of TechHive’s protection of the best soundbars, the place you’ll discover critiques of competing merchandise, plus a purchaser’s information to the options you need to think about when buying.


    Despite its lack of a separate subwoofer (though you possibly can add one later if you want), the Denon DHT-S216H nonetheless counts as a 2.1-channel soundbar, with that “.1” designation (for low-frequency results) coming courtesy of the soundbar’s pair of 3.0-inch downfiring woofers, which get a lift from the bass reflex ports on the left and proper sides of the unit.

    For the left and proper channels, the DHT-S216H serves up two drivers for every, together with a 1.0-inch tweeter and a 1.75 x 3.5-inch rectangular mid-range driver. Because the soundbar lacks a central driver, the left and proper channels fill within the hole to create a digital middle channel for dialog. All 4 left and proper drivers are hid by cloth that extends to the center of the cupboard’s prime.

    Ben Patterson/IDG

    The all-in-one, 2.1-channel Denon DHT-S216H encompasses a pair of down-firing subwoofers.

    Besides the lacking middle channel, the DHT-S216H additionally lacks up-firing drivers, which may provide peak channels for object-based 3D audio codecs comparable to Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. That mentioned, the soundbar does assist the more and more widespread DTS Virtual:X format, a virtualized 3D audio expertise that does a surprisingly good job (though not good, as I’ll describe momentarily) of bringing immersive {surround} sound, full with peak cues, to funds soundbars that aren’t geared up with up-firing drivers.

    Measuring 35 x 2.35 x 4.7 inches and weighing in at an affordable 7.5 kilos, the DHT-S216H is comparatively simple to select up and carry, whereas its low profile received’t block the underside fringe of most TVs (together with my very own 55-inch LG C9 OLED TV, which has an unusually low-slung base).

    Inputs and outputs

    The DHT-S216H comes with a reasonably customary assortment of inputs and outputs for a funds soundbar, with a notable (and welcome) exception.

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