In August of 2019 Denon launched the Denon DHT-S716H soundbar and the wireless subwoofer DSW-1H. In December, the announcement of the wireless multiroom speakers in the Denon Home series. The HEOS brand therefore seemed to be pushed into the background, because these Home speakers really launch under the Denon banner. You can also combine the soundbar, subwoofer and wireless Home speakers within a surround system. We got to work with the Denon DHT-S716H soundbar, Denon DSW-1H subwoofer and two Denon Home 150s that we use as rear speakers in our setup. You can read about the experiences with this setup in this review.
Installation and the HEOS app
To install the products, download the HEOS app from the Google Play Store or the App Store. You put the plug in the socket, the light on the device will flash. You start the HEOS app and can further set up the device. It works fine, but once set you are able to look at the app. The HEOS app is quite cluttered and it is therefore not immediately clear where you can find which information. At the bottom of the app you will find three tabs. The first tab Living room shows you the different connected devices. Here you can also create a surround set by dragging the Denon Home 150 speakers onto the soundbar. The second Music tab shows all supported music services such as Spotify, TuneIn, Deezer, Soundcloud and the possibility for TV, content from your phone, USB stick or music servers. The third tab shows the sound settings. Here you can also program six different Quick Select buttons with your own preferences.
To then go to Settings of your devices you have to go to the tab Music and click on the gear for Settings at the top left. Here you will find the Equalizer, but you can also adjust the rear speakers in terms of volume, while you can also adjust the distance individually per rear speaker. In hindsight it all makes sense, but an app should immediately clarify which option you can find where. And that is not the case. I was really over an hour before I found all the options I was looking for. The HEOS app therefore deserves a makeover and, above all, should become much more user-friendly. Fortunately, you do not have to use the app if everything is set up correctly.
Denon DHT-S716H soundbar and DSW-1H subwoofer
A few months ago, the Denon DHT-S716H soundbar appeared on the market. I had read a lot of good things about this soundbar and it is great that we have had the opportunity to test this model ourselves. The Denon DHT-S716H is a 3.0 channel soundbar and is expandable with the DSW-1H wireless subwoofer and rear speakers such as the wireless HEOS surround speakers or the wireless Denon Home 150 speakers . The soundbar has a suggested retail price of 899 euros, while the DSW-1H subwoofer has a suggested retail price of 699 euros.
First of all, the soundbar . It is 110 centimeters wide, 7.2 centimeters high and 14.8 centimeters deep and weighs 4.8 kilograms. The soundbar is not a standard rectangle, but has several layers on the front, while it slopes down to the back. It is a beautiful spatial design and has a fine fabric. The disadvantage of this fine fabric is that it really is a dust nest. This is in contrast to the Denon Home 150 speakers, which are equipped with a much thicker fabric. You can choose whether you place the soundbar on your TV cabinet, but you can also hang the soundbar via the keyhole slots on the back of the soundbar.
You have plenty of connections for your equipment. There are no less than four HDMI connections (ARC), 1 HDMI out, IR, Ethernet connection, Aux in, optical and USB. It is very good to see that there are no less than four HDMI connections, something that other manufacturers can certainly take over from Denon, because with other models you can already be happy to have two HDMI connections.
The soundbar has Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio surround decoding, support for HEOS multiroom and lets you play your music from all your favorite online services. All popular streaming formats are supported, including DSD (2.8, 5.6 MHz), FLAC, WAV, ALAC (192/24), MP3, WMA and AAC. Via the HEOS app you can connect various other equipment such as AV receivers the subwoofer and extra speakers. Google Assistant is also supported, albeit indirectly. So you need a Google Home (Mini) speaker to use it.
The soundbar comes with a somewhat simple remote control. It offers space for the six programmable buttons, volume, play / pause, power, next / previous and mute. It is somewhat sparse, so you have to work with the programmable buttons yourself to be able to control your favorite settings via the remote control. In addition, the plastic remote contrasts sharply compared to the high-quality materials of the soundbar itself. It suffices, but a little more attention could have gone to the remote control.
Fortunately, you can set many things from the HEOS app, including the night mode. Do you live in an apartment or do you not want to wake up your children in the evening with loud noises? Then you can turn on the night mode to suppress loud and deep sounds. Very useful is the option to make voices sound louder. So are you watching an action scene and are you not perceiving the voices well? With this option you will no longer have any problems with that.
For a soundbar only, the sound is impressive, even without connecting the subwoofer. It is quite impressive what kind of bass comes out of the soundbar alone. For normal TV viewing, the soundbar alone offers considerable added value compared to the small speakers in modern televisions. However, if you want to go into a bit more depth in terms of sound, you can easily connect the DSW-1H subwoofer to the soundbar to create a 3.1 system. This subwoofer has dimensions of 406.4 mm high, 174.6 mm wide and 441.3 mm deep. It’s not a big subwoofer compared to models from other manufacturers, but the sound is no less with dual 5.25 ”drivers and class D amplification. The design is consistent with the soundbar thanks to the sloping front. It is a playful design with a splash of class.
So if you are looking for an extra layer in your music or movies, then this subwoofer adds a lot of extras to the sound. Explosions are shown with a good punch and a real gut feeling with various action films, while conversations are also easy to follow. Meanwhile, the soundbar knows how to reproduce all layers of the sound in detail. We can of course also expect that from a soundbar of 899 euros. And then it is a pity that this model misses a number of things that comparable soundbars do have. For example, there is no object-based audio support, which means that there is no support for Dolby Atmos and DTS: X . No 3d audio support on this model and that is a loss for your content. However, if we look at the sound quality of the soundbar for both films and music, this loss is largely undone, because what sounds this soundbar good.
What is particularly striking is the warmth and the surrounding effect of the sound. Low mids are very good, but small details in films or music are certainly not forgotten. Vocals and dialogues remain in the foreground and always easy to understand, while audio effects and music surround these vocals or dialogues beautifully. The placement in the room is also accurate: the audio field is convincingly drawn wide and placed with depth. This soundbar knows how to display almost every detail in the right way and is therefore an asset to many setup. Are you not completely satisfied with the sound? Then you can adjust various things to your liking in the app, where you will immediately notice the difference.
Denon Home 150
We have combined the soundbar and subwoofer with two wireless Denon Home 150 speakers in the back of the room. These speakers can also be used separately. The market for these smaller speakers is already quite saturated. Consider, for example, the Sonos One or the Harman Kardon Citation One. Denon is now trying with the Denon Home 150, while it has also launched larger WiFi speakers such as the Home 250 and Home 350. The Denon Home 150 does not look very different at first from the smaller WiFi speakers of the other brands, but it still has some unique features.
The Denon Home 150 is a mono speaker with two built-in Class D Power Amplifiers, two drivers, a 1 × 25mm tweeter and a 1x89mm woofer. The dimensions are 120x187x120 (WxHxD), making the speaker slightly smaller than the Harman Kardon Citation One. However, the price is slightly higher. Compared to the aforementioned Sonos One and the Harman Kardon Citation One, you get a Denon Home 150 speaker for € 249.
If you use two Denon Home 150s, you can set them up as a stereo system or as wireless rear speakers in a surround system. And that is what we created together with the Denon DHT-S716H soundbar and the Denon DSW-1H subwoofer. This wireless multi-room speaker is also equipped with different connections at the back. There is a USB connection, Ethernet connection, aux in and a Bluetooth connection button on the back. You can also take this speaker with you on holiday and then use it as a Bluetooth speaker, provided you have a power supply available.
Programmable buttons and voice assistants
Denon has chosen a luxurious fabric for the Denon Home 150 speaker, which itself is shaped like a small column. You will find the physical control panel on top. It lights up automatically when you are nearby. Here you will not only find the volume buttons and a pause button, but also three programmable buttons. This allows you to switch between your favorite playlist or a radio station at the touch of a button. Although the name HEOS has been released for this model, you can still use the HEOS app. And thanks to the integration of HEOS Multiroom and the accompanying app, you have direct access to all popular streaming services such as Spotify, Tidal, TuneIn, Deezer, Soundcloud and Napster.
You hardly need to use the HEOS app after setting up. If you use Spotify, you can choose Spotify Connect directly in Spotify and use the available Denon speakers. Apple Music is currently missing from the app, but should be added at a later time. However, you can use Apple Music via Airplay2 and Bluetooth is also supported. The Denon Home 150 speaker also has two microphones on board. However, these are not yet activated. According to Denon, the voice assistant Amazon Alexa will be activated later this year, which means that we will have to miss the Google Assistant for the time being or perhaps not appear at all. However, you can indirectly control the Denon Home 150 with another voice-controlled speaker such as the Google Home (Mini). Then it works via the Google Assistant. You can also include the Home 150 within the Google Home app.
In terms of sound, the Denon Home 150 can compete with the aforementioned competitors. The sound is clear in all layers. Vocals come out well and the bass is quite deep, without really overdoing it. For comparison, the bass of the Sonos One and the Harman Kardon Citation One is much more prominent. However, where those speakers sometimes exaggerate considerably, that is certainly not the case with the Denon Home 150. The overall picture is dynamic, powerful and well balanced on the Denon Home 150, which is very positive.
You can of course use the Denon Home 150 as a single speaker to play music or as a stereo pair with two speakers. However, the latter is recommended. The speaker is simply too small to fill a living room properly, so you quickly turn the sound too loud, which results in a somewhat forced reproduction. With that higher volume, a lot of detail is lost with a single small speaker. However, that is something we also see with the same speakers from the competitors. Compared to the Sonos One and the Harman Kardon Citation One, however, it is a full-fledged speaker that has an advantage through the illuminated physical control buttons, as well as through the connections on the back. However, it is also the most expensive speaker of the three.
Wireless 5.1 surround system
If you combine the Denon DHT-S716H soundbar with the DSW-1H subwoofer and two Denon Home 150 speakers, you have a fully wireless surround system. With a total price of 2.096 euros, I had quite high expectations. And those have certainly come true. From the HEOS app, drag all devices onto the soundbar and enable the surround option for a wireless 5.1 surround system. Every house is different and it is therefore good that you can adjust the rear speakers individually in terms of distance and volume. The option is quite hidden in the cluttered app, but once you have everything set up, the enjoyment can begin.
The lack of object-based audio is not even noticeable anymore, because this set knows by warm sound to bring that real cinema feeling into the living room. You imagine yourself in the middle of the action and that is after all what we want with a 5.1 surround system. The Home 150 speakers reproduce surround effects with sufficient dynamics and punch, without exaggerating or transcending what is happening in the front of the room. It is a dynamic display where the balance appears to be of paramount importance.
Thanks to HEOS Multiroom you also enjoy multiroom audio and the way in which you can achieve this is very easy with your favorite streaming service. A soundbar is (rightly) not preferable when listening to music compared to a full-fledged stereo set, but the slightly less critical audiophile will be very satisfied with the detailed music reproduction of this Denon set. The suggested retail price of the set is 2,096 euros. That is on the high side, but at the time of writing you can buy the set for 1,900 euros, which seems to be a great price for what you get.
Denon knows with the DHT-S716H soundbar , DSW-1H subwoofer and two Denon Home 150 speakers put a very good surround system on the market, which is also pulled loose flexible and offers a lot of quality. The warm sound with great detail, the design of the soundbar and subwoofer and the Home 150 speakers, which can also be used individually, are an asset to any film lover. And then it is also good to see that this set is also excellent for the music lover.
The small negatives such as the lack of Dolby Atmos and DTS: X, the plastic remote control and the cluttered app are surmountable, but this everyone will have to weigh up for themselves. In any case, know that you get quality with this Denon set. And you can certainly expect that from a set of over 2,000 euros. This Denon set more than lives up to expectations, but you will have to dig deep into the pouch.