During my vacation in December, I had the opportunity to try out a compact soundbar speaker system.
I don’t know about you, but I tend to watch more movies over the holidays than any other time of year. Stole Christmas (2000), Die Hard, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Love Actually (Don’t Judge). myself).
But I’ve seen those movies dozens of times during previous holidays, and this year, thanks to the Denon Home Wireless 5.1 home theater system I installed just in time for the festive holidays to begin, every movie is new to me. life was breathed in.
- The Denon Home Wireless 5.1 home theater system is now $1,532 via Amazon (opens in new tab)which is $400 off.
As an audio editor, you can test a lot of soundbars. However, as I mentioned in my opinion piece on the soundbar, I found this device to offer even better TV audio. Of course, for review purposes, I’m constantly swapping out the latest soundbars in and out of my TV’s audio setup. That is, until now.
From the entry-level Sonos Ray to the flagship Sony HT-A7000 soundbar to the full 9.1.5-channel Dolby Atmos LG S95QR system, I’ve been lucky enough to try out some great new soundbars over the past few months. . It’s a box, but I was more impressed with Denon’s setup.
I haven’t yet done a full Tom’s Guide review of the Denon Home Sound Bar 550, either as a standalone soundbar or as a home theater 5.1 setup, but it’s been a consistently rewarding experience over the past few weeks. And I’d even say the Home 550 is one of the best soundbars I’ve heard when it comes to the natural sound of TV dialogue.
The Home Sound Bar 550 is Denon’s flagship soundbar model, but it’s no bigger than the entry-level Sonos Ray. A rectangular cloth-covered model, he Denon is 26 inches wide (compared to his 22 inches on the Sonos Ray). And while the Sonos only has four speakers, the Denon packs six speaker drivers, plus he has three passive radiators to handle on-screen dialogue and stereo effects.
Given the slim design of the cabinet and the four largest drivers, which don’t exceed 2 inches, the Home Soundbar 550 was able to project dialog forward very well in my living room. It was totally engaging, in a natural, nuanced way, rather than in a voice-hittering, pistonic way like some soundbars I’ve heard. It drew me into what is said to be the on-screen action.
The Denon’s compact dimensions and mid-range price point ($649 / £599 / AU$999) may suggest it’s better suited for small to medium-sized rooms and TV screens. But below the 55-inch Samsung Given the sound performance we experienced putting it on, we’re confident that it will make an ideal partner for a larger screen without feeling underperforming or looking out of place.
Stereo sound was impressive with everything I’ve seen. I’m glad I was able to get the system to sound right in my room with very few customization adjustments via his EQ settings in the HEOS app. The integration was balanced, but there are bass and treble and subwoofer level controls that needed fine-tuning.
Speaking of which, as a 5.1 home theater system, the Denon Home Sound Bar 550 is partnered with a matching home subwoofer ($599 / £499 / AU$1,099) and a pair of Home 150 speakers ($249 / £219 / AU$399 respectively). increase. ) to process surround sound information. Both speaker elements seemed perfectly matched to the soundbar’s sonic signature, and the subwoofer added enough weight and dynamic energy to propel the on-screen action forward.
HEOS connectivity allowed me to set up in minutes with all components wirelessly connected. This is my first time experiencing the HEOS platform at home. And I have to say that I was very impressed with the ease of connecting each wireless speaker, the robust connectivity, and the ease of accessing the HEOS app when switching inputs and controlling music streaming services. Hmm.
Dolby Atmos Upside
Dolby Atmos support is on board, but the upward-height speakers typically associated with getting the most out of the format aren’t built into the Home Soundbar 550 or Home 150 speakers. At least, as far as I know.
This didn’t stop the Denon speaker system from making the most of movie soundtracks.
Objects moved seamlessly around the room, and when the effect was panned to the rear speakers, the sonic signature did not change as it moved from one speaker to another. It’s not my experience when evaluating the rear effects performance of LG’s S95QR surround sound package, which costs $100 more than Denon.
Despite my passion for watching movies in surround sound, my priority has meant that my TV’s audio settings have been scaled down and more streamlined to suit my home aesthetic. Wires and bulky speakers were often a problem for family members.
But this Denon Home setup introduced me and my family to a small-footprint, viable system that expertly balanced sonic finesse with enough punch for high-octane movies. No more worrying about placement eating up precious living space or disrupting a room’s aesthetics, the Denon Home Sound Bar 550 is ready to ring in the new year with pride under your TV screen. And it seems.
A full review of the Denon Home Sound Bar 550 will be published soon.