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This full-range $249 Denon soundbar does DTS Virtual:X on a budget

Looking to get better sound out of your TV, but don’t want to spend a fortune or mess around with speakers and cables? Denon’s new $249 DHT-S216 soundbar could be the answer you’re looking for. With a focus on simplicity and decent sound, the DHT-S216 is Denon’s most affordable soundbar. It avoids features that typically drive up costs, like smart speaker functionality and whole-home wireless audio, in order to provide full-range sound out of a single enclosure.

The DHT-S216 accomplishes this through its mix of internals: It sports a pair of 3-inch, down-firing subwoofers, a pair of 1.75 x 3.5-inch mid-range drivers, and a pair of 1-inch tweeters. Denon hasn’t said how much power is being sent to these drivers, or how they’re amplified, but a press release notes that “advanced psychoacoustic algorithms” developed by DTS to realistically simulate a multi-channel soundtrack, is the key to making the S216 sound bigger than its short, 2.35-inch height suggests.

“The latest soundbar from Denon has been engineered to deliver the most lifelike listening experience, including detail, balance and bass extension far beyond other soundbars in this size and price range,” Michael Greco, Denon’s global senior director of brand management, said in the release.

The DHT-S216 employs one of two possible connections to your TV: HDMI-ARC or optical. If you use HDMI-ARC, which is recommended, your TV’s remote control will be able to adjust the soundbar’s volume. Otherwise, you’ll need to use the included remote or use a universal remote. With two HDMI ports (one input, one output) you can run a 4K Ultra HD source like a UHD Blu-ray player, through the soundbar if it’s more convenient to do so.

It also has two features that let you tailor the sound to your specific needs:

  • Denon dialogue enhancer, which improves dialogue intelligibility with three different modes. Users can also turn up dialogue without adjusting the overall volume level.
  • Three preset EQ options: Movie, night, and music.

Plus, if you don’t want any alterations to your sound, you can engage Denon’s pure mode, which leaves your audio signal as-is.

In addition to DTS Virtual:X and Dolby Digital multichannel support, there’s also a Bluetooth connection for streaming audio to the soundbar from a phone or tablet.

The $249 DHT-S216 is available right now through Denon’s authorized retailers.

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