Look out Sonos! New Dolby Atmos soundbar is an affordable way to upgrade your TV

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If you want to upgrade your next movie night with some stellar sound, Denon has launched a new Dolby Atmos-certified soundbar – the DHT-S517 – that arrives with a soundbar and wireless subwoofer for £520 less than Sonos’ equivalent offering. Yes, £520 less than the Dolby Atmos-certified equivalent from smart audio brand, Sonos. Denon promises to deliver 3.1.2 channels of audio.

Under the bonnet, this compact soundbar packs seven individual speakers – a dedicated left and right channel tweeter, midrange drivers, a centre-channel speaker, and two up-firing speakers. The latter two are designed to create a room-filling sound, with audio bouncing off the ceiling.

One area that Denon can’t compete with Sonos is the branding, while the Arc has a slick, memorable name, the latest from the Japanese brand is called the DHT-S517. It comes with support for both HDMI eARC and digital optical input. Between those two, you should be able to connect this kit to a wide range of different TVs. For those who don’t know, eARC is the best option as it instantly allows you to control the speaker with your existing remote control – with the telly handling all of the input. While that’s still possible with digital optical, it won’t happen automatically and you’ll need to do some programming in the settings.

For those who want to use Dolby Digital Plus and expand to a 7.1-channel surround sound system, you’ll need to use eARC as digital optical can’t support these formats.

Of course, opting for eARC means you’ll be down one port on the back of the telly – not ideal if you have a slew of games consoles, Blu-ray players, Sky Q boxes, Fire TV Stick, and more to connect to your telly. Thankfully, Denon DHT-S517 includes an additional HDMI input on the soundbar – so you can connect whatever had to be unplugged from the HDMI eARC port at the back of your telly in there. That’s something Sonos doesn’t offer with either of its soundbars, the Sonos Beam 2 or the pricier Sonos Arc.

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If you want to use your soundbar to listen to music, Denon DHT-S517 includes support for Bluetooth so you can stream from any smartphone or tablet. Sonos uses its own Wi-Fi streaming system, which allows you to beam lossless audio with a few taps – a much better solution. However, unless your guests have an Apple-branded device with support for AirPlay 2, it does mean they’ll need to download the Sonos app to connect to the system and listen to their playlist, which is admittedly much faffier than Bluetooth.

The Denon DHT-S517 soundbar and subwoofer comes pre-packaged with the HDMI and optical cables you’ll need to get set-up. It launches later this month with a price tag of £379.

Sonos One SL (Certified Refurbished)

This compact speaker packs the same internals as the pricier Sonos One, but drops the microphone array used for voice assistants Alexa and Google Assistant. If you’re looking for a great sounding speaker with support for AirPlay 2 and the ability to build out a multi-room smart sound system, this is a brilliant place to start.

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Sonos Move (Certified Refurbished)

Sonos’ first portable speaker is a triumph. At home, this Wi-Fi-enabled speaker acts exactly like any other Sonos – synchronised music playback between multiple rooms, AirPlay 2 capabilities, and more. But take the Move outside and it transforms into a portable Bluetooth speaker. It’s even water-resistant, so you can use it to DJ at the beach or pool.

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Sonos Beam – First Generation (Certified Refurbished)

Sonos Beam is a compact soundbar that elevates the audio from your television for movie nights and boxset binges. There’s even a dedicated mode to boost dialogue – perfect for late-night viewing when you don’t want to turn up the volume too high. Beam synchronises with your existing TV remote for easy control too. When the TV is off, Beam can stream music and more using the Sonos app, your voice, and Apple AirPlay 2.

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Sonos Five (Certified Refurbished)

If you’re looking for the ultimate Sonos speaker, this is it. The Five offers stereo sound and is the only speaker in Sonos’ line-up that offers a 3.5mm port, so you can connect a turntable, CD player or other audio device to your wireless sound system. Just like Sonos’ other speakers, you can use the Sonos app or AirPlay 2 to beam tracks, podcasts and radio stations to multiple speakers around your home with a tap or two.

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Sonos Arc (Certified Refurbished)

If you’re looking for the best addition to your home cinema setup from Sonos, this is it. Packed into its sleek design, the Sonos Arc packs 11 speakers – including two dedicated to firing upwards to bounce off the ceiling and support you in sound. Arc boasts support for Dolby Atmos too


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