Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

Denon’s new soundbar delivers Dolby Atmos at a budget price

Denon has launched a new version of its most affordable soundbar that is equipped with built-in subwoofers and can reproduce Dolby Atmos content virtually via a 2.1-channel speaker system. The $249 Denon DHT-S217 will be available starting in May from and authorized Denon retailers.

The DHT-S217 contains several significant improvements over the DHT-S216, which also sells for $249. The biggest feature is the 217’s support for Dolby Atmos content. The soundbar uses virtualization to present Atmos’ immersive 3D effect through just a left and right channel, but it should still produce a more effective home theater sound than the S216, which relied on DTS Virtual:X.

Related Videos
Denon DHT-S217 Dolby Atmos Soundbar seen sitting in front of a TV.

Another big change is the inclusion of two built-in down-firing three-inch subwoofers, which provide the low-end oomph for the “.1” element of the DHST-S217’s 2.1 sound system. Rounding out the driver array are two one-inch tweeters and two 3.5-inch racetrack midrange drivers. Denon claims that this setup will deliver crystal-clear dialogue with authoritative bass response that will “certainly please both music and movie enthusiasts.” If you want even more low-end power, the soundbar has an output for a wired subwoofer.

Close-up of Denon DHT-S217 Dolby Atmos Soundbar's rear ports.

Denon has also included an HDMI input that lets you connect a video device like a streaming media player, and can passthrough up to 4K resolution video with Dolby Vision HDR. That will provide an open HDMI port to compensate for the one that folks will lose when they connect the soundbar to their TV via HDMI ARC/eARC. There’s also an optical input and an analog aux-in jack for connecting analog stereo components.

Streaming music can be done over the soundbar’s Bluetooth connection, and an included remote control lets you access all of the soundbar’s functions including its four sound modes — Movie, Night, Music, and Pure — which turns off all additional sound processing.

You can place the DHT-S217 in front of your TV on a tabletop, or it can be wall-mounted using the built-in keyholes on the back of the speaker.

Editors' Recommendations

What is Sonos? The speakers, app, and everything you need to know about wireless music
Sonos Roadm in three colors.

When you think about wireless music, one name comes to mind. Sonos. And unless you’re a diehard analog music fan who shuns anything digital, you’ve likely encountered the Sonos brand. It effectively pioneered and normalized the idea of multi-room, digital wireless audio, and it’s still the gold standard to beat.

Curious about what exactly Sonos does, and how it works in the same world that already includes Apple, Spotify, and even your old Technics turntable? Is Sonos right for you? Let's dig into it.
What is Sonos?

Read more
How to know if you’re actually getting Dolby Atmos sound
pioneer elite dolby atmos enabled speaker system review insitutoplogo

With its object-based sound system, Dolby Atmos is the most immersive version of surround sound you can get at home. Though it took some time to catch on, the format is now supported by Ultra HD Blu-ray discs and streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, and Disney+. So, if you’ve got Dolby Atmos speakers, a Dolby Atmos-compatible AV receiver or soundbar, and access to Dolby Atmos content, you should be hearing Dolby Atmos sound, right?

Well, as it turns out, no, not necessarily. To understand if your Atmos system is delivering true Atmos sound -- and not just really good surround sound -- you need to understand how Dolby Atmos works with all of your media sources and components. It’s a bit technical, but we’re going to make it as simple as possible.
What exactly is Dolby Atmos?

Read more
Sonos CEO on Bluetooth epiphany: ‘you have to be humble enough to listen to customers’
Sonos Era 100, close-up on logo.

It can be hard for brands to admit when they got something wrong -- especially when they’ve spent time, money, and customer trust on a message. But taking a sober second look at a previous strategy, particularly when customers are telling you it’s not what they want, can be a necessary, if painful step.

That’s where Sonos finds itself today. With the launch of the company’s newest wireless speakers — the $249 Era 100 and $449 Era 300 — several previously held beliefs about what makes for a great home audio experience have been revised or tossed out entirely.

Read more