Wait, a $900 soundbar without a subwoofer, surround speakers, or object-based 3D audio support? That’s indeed the case with the Denon DHT-S716H, but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. While this pricey, HEOS-enabled soundbar lacks (out of the box, at least) surround and low-frequency channels, not to mention Dolby Atmos and DTS:X support, it has an ace up its sleeve: warm, detailed, and surprisingly deep sound, which you can always augment later by adding a wireless subwoofer or surround speakers.

Clearly designed with discriminating listeners in mind, the DHT-S716H also comes with four HDMI inputs (far better than the usual one or two) and support for Denon’s HEOS high-resolution multi-room audio platform.

Configuration

The Denon DHT-S716H is a 3.0-channel soundbar, which uses a total of nine built-in drivers (including three tweeters and six mid-range cones) to deliver the left, center, and right audio channels. The soundbar doesn’t come with any up-firing drivers, so there’s no object-based audio support for such 3D sound formats as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.

While the DHT-S716H lacks 3D audio support, it does comes with a different killer feature: HEOS, Denon’s high-resolution multi-room audio platform. Thanks to its HEOS support, the DHT-S716H lets you play tunes or TV audio on other Denon HEOS-enabled speakers in your home.

You can also easily upgrade the DHT-S716H’s audio to 3.1- or 5.1-channel sound by pairing it with other HEOS speakers, such as the DSW-1H subwoofer and/or (for example) a pair of HEOS 3 wireless bookshelf speakers. While the DHT-S716H’s HEOS support affords plenty of flexibility, the HEOS speakers themselves don’t come cheap. The DSW-1H subwoofer, for example, costs a cool $600, while the HEOS 3 speakers go for $300 each. Denon didn’t supply the DSW-1H or any other wireless surround speakers for this review.

Measuring 43.38 x 5.88 x 2.88 inches and weighing in at about 10.6 pounds, the DHT-S716H is relatively easy to handle. Placing it in front of my 55-inch LG C9 OLED TV, the curved top of the soundbar blocked a sliver of the LG’s screen, but I didn’t find it terribly bothersome given its non-reflective fabric covering. That said, you could always opt to hang the soundbar on a wall using the rear mounting holes (no mounting supplies are included, although there is a mounting template).

Inputs and outputs

The DHT-S716H boasts one of the most generous arrays of inputs and outputs I’ve seen in a soundbar, starting with the four—count ‘em, four—HDMI inputs. Most of the soundbars I review only offer a single HDMI input, while high-end soundbars will occasionally give you two.

denon dht s716h inputs Ben Patterson/IDG

Yes, the Denon DHT-S716H boasts four HDMI inputs, not just two (or one).

Besides the HDMI inputs, there’s also an ARC-enabled HDMI output, optical (Toslink) and RCA-style digital audio inputs, a wired ethernet network port, a USB port that supports music files (including MP3, AAC, and FLAC), a 3.5mm audio input, and a jack for an IR receiver (not included). All of the ports are included in a central rear cavity, rather than being shunted off to the left or the right.



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