Denon DHT-S716H Review – The elegant, flat control centre under the TV

The Denon DHT-S716H is not only supposed to offer better sound when watching TV, but also home cinema from a single device, including DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD. Sufficient connections for various sources, plus HEOS Built-in for integration into a multi-room audio streaming system, ensure that Sound United LLC. speaks of a premium soundbar.

Fine sound is what the television evening is supposed to be, and as is well known, the television alone is not equipped for this. A so-called soundbar is the simplest solution for this, because it can be integrated as harmoniously as possible into the living environment with minimal effort, while at the same time it can drastically improve the quality level of the sound. Many a model is even capable of functioning as a particularly flexible audio system, i.e. not only for television. Sound United LLC. wants to offer just as flexible a solution with the Denon DHT-S716H.

Sound United LLC. can refer to a comparatively large number of soundbar systems, whereby the company has chosen the Denon brand in particular. Here it is noticeable that the developers at Denon are particularly keen on realising particularly slim, very elegant solutions, which thus meet one of the most essential requirements of many consumers around this product group, namely the already mentioned very simple integration into the living space. This also applies to the Denon DHT-S716H, which has a so-called slim design…

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Slim design concept – Elegant and slim…

The Denon DHT-S716H is a classic soundbar, i.e. a solution that finds its place directly under the TV. There are two options available for this, either placed on a lowboard or sideboard, or mounted on the wall, depending on your preference. Wall mounting is of course much more flexible, as there is usually enough space for the additional soundbar, but even placing the TV on a lowboard or sideboard should not be a problem in the case of the Denon DHT-S716H.

This is due to the fact that Denon’s developers have opted for a so-called slim design concept, meaning that the Denon DHT-S716H is very, very flat. But it is not “small”, which should not be underestimated. The Denon DHT-S716H measures no less than 1,100 mm in width, so it doesn’t look lost even under TVs with a very generous screen diagonal. The really important dimensions for optimal placement are anyway the depth, which is only 148 mm, and the height, which is only 72 mm. Even with feet, which are part of the scope of delivery, the Denon DHT-S716H is only 88 mm high. The soundbar thus virtually nestles into the AV system and therefore doesn’t appear to be a disturbing factor even in a modern, rather unobtrusively designed living ambience. It presents itself in discreet black, one could also say anthracite. Silver borders on the sides provide a visual contrast. The status LED is found directly on the bottom of the front.

However, one thing should be explicitly mentioned in this regard, namely the different orientation for placement on a piece of furniture and wall mounting. While the Denon DHT-S716H is placed flat on a piece of furniture, it is tilted at a 90° angle for wall mounting, so that it also nestles very, very flat against the wall.

By the way, what we really liked is that the designers decided on elegant lines, so the Denon DHT-S716H doesn’t just have a simple rectangular case. Rather, it has a slightly curved upper side as well as an equally elegantly curved front, which makes the overall picture even slimmer and also looks very attractive.

A word about the wall mounting, you don’t have to worry about a solid mounting, because the Denon DHT-S716H has a very robust, but still plastic and thus very light case. It weighs only 4.8 kg. By the way, a separate wall mounting device is not necessary, the case of the Denon DHT-S716H has keyhole suspensions on its backside. A template for drilling the corresponding holes in the wall is included in the delivery.

An abundance of interfaces

Denon sees the Denon DHT-S716H as the central interface in the living room, as an AV system, and not “just” as a sound bar. It is therefore equipped with a variety of interfaces to connect a wide range of source devices.

It is remarkable that the Denon DHT-S716H does not only offer one or two HDMI inputs, but actually four. Many customers will probably never need these, as they don’t even own that many source devices. However, those who use a streaming solution from Amazon, for example, and want to connect a game console as well as a DVD or Blu-ray player, or who perhaps still have to integrate the set-top box of a Pay TV provider, can do all of this without any problems, and there is no lack of interfaces for this. All four HDMI inputs of the Denon DHT-S716H are designed as HDMI 2.0a and equipped for 4K Ultra HD pass-through, are HDCP 2.2 compliant and support Dolby Vision as well as HDR, so there are no restrictions in this respect either.

Of course, the Denon DHT-S716H also has an HDMI output to connect to the TV set. It goes without saying that not only an ARC, i.e. an audio return channel, is supported, but also HDMI CEC for convenient control of all essential functions with a single remote control, especially that of the TV set.

Both an optical and coaxial S/PDIF interface are available for digital audio sources, and analogue audio sources can also be connected, although a 3.5 mm stereo mini jack connector is provided for this purpose alone.

If you want to use storage media or portable audio devices directly as a source, you can do so via a corresponding USB port.

A much more convenient option, especially for mobile devices, is of course “wireless” integration via Bluetooth, whereby the Denon DHT-S716H also supports the aptX codec for signal transmission in “CD quality”.

A 3.0 channel system…

In principle, the Denon DHT-S716H is designed as a so-called 3.0 channel system, i.e. a left, right, and center channel is displayed. However, a look inside reveals considerably more drivers, and no less than nine of them.

The drivers are mounted diagonally on the front, so that they radiate optimally into the room when placed on a low or sideboard, as well as when mounted on a wall. Three drivers are available for each of the three channels, so the Denon DHT-S716H is designed as a three-way bass reflex system for the left, right and centre channels, with the bass reflex ports located at the rear. Since the bass reflex port is very close to the wall, its effect is amplified and a really rich reproduction is achieved even with very compact dimensions.

The drivers of the Denon DHT-S716H are powered by particularly energy-efficient Class D amplifier modules, whereby six channels and DSP-based signal processing are used for optimum control.

The manufacturer promised that the design and especially the fine-tuning of the sound characteristics had not only been based on more than 100 years of experience as a proven hi-fi and home cinema specialist, but that it had of course also involved the relevant experts for home cinema systems.

Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master Audio included…

The most important thing for a soundbar is of course which formats it can handle, and that’s where the Denon DHT-S716H really comes into its own. It is not limited to Dolby Digital and dts, but also allows the signal processing of Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD as well as DTS-HD Master Audio, so that you are at least as far as possible well equipped for current contents. Immersive surround formats such as Dolby Atmos or DTS:X, on the other hand, are left out, which is probably a problem in this class. Solutions that can actually present these formats credibly and realistically in the form of sound bar systems play in a completely different price class than the Denon DHT-S716H.

Much more essential is the fact that the Denon DHT-S716H has different sound modes in order to optimally adjust the playback to the respective content, but also to the time of day. “Music” and “Movie”, these two modes are probably self-explanatory, and the so-called Denon Dialogue Enhancer is also available to optimise speech intelligibility. Not uninteresting is also the special night mode, in which low frequencies are lowered accordingly to allow a somewhat more subtle playback especially of movies with a actually brilliant sound backdrop at an advanced hour.

The setup…

It should be explicitly mentioned here that the manufacturer supplies all cables, so apart from an HDMI cable for the connection to the TV, there is also an optical cable as well as a cable with a 3.5 mm jack plug in the package, so that even older TVs don’t have to be left out and an analog source can be directly integrated without any additional accessories.

After unpacking, one is probably done with the installation after only a few minutes, as it is really absolutely simple. Just set it up, make the HDMI connection to the TV, plug in the power and you’re ready to go. Speaking of power, the Denon DHT-S716H has an integrated power supply, so you don’t have to worry about hiding an external power supply. Moreover, you can simply purchase a longer cable in case of need in order to guarantee the best possible discreet cable routing, for example for wall mounting.

The simple volume control is carried out in the tried and tested way using the TV’s remote control alone, and the Denon DHT-S716H is also activated as soon as the TV is switched on. When it is switched off, the Denon DHT-S716H also switches to standby mode. By the way, if the Denon DHT-S716H is placed directly under the TV and its infrared diode is hidden, the soundbar has an IR repeater so that the control continues to function smoothly. In addition, the Denon DHT-S716H has a learning function, so that you can use a universal remote control to call up other functions of the soundbar directly and not have to rely on the included infrared remote control. Moreover, if you want to control the most essential functions of the system, you can do so directly on the device. Among the control elements are, let’s mention this right here, among others six quick selection buttons that can be used for easy access to favorite functions and selected programs.

At least if it’s just a matter of using the Denon DHT-S716H as a solution for better TV sound, the setup and commissioning is actually done within a few minutes. But the Denon DHT-S716H can do more…

This requires that the system also be connected to the network, in the simplest case using the integrated WiFi module. Alternatively, an RJ45 Ethernet interface is also available to use a classic network cable. This cable is also included in the package.

Why is this important? Well, as described above, the Denon DHT-S716H is not just a simple soundbar for television, it is a true all-in-one audio system, and these days that includes music streaming, and in this case even multiroom audio music streaming, based on the HEOS platform, whereby Sound United LLC. now speaks of HEOS Built-in.

HEOS Built-in for music streaming and more…

HEOS Built-in, this may appear at first as one of many logos on the package of the Denon DHT-S716H, but behind it is an immensely powerful, versatile platform that covers almost all network-compatible solutions from Denon, but also those from Marantz. Originally conceived as an independent product line HEOS by Denon, HEOS Built-in is now a streaming platform that primarily allows multi-room audio streaming with a wide variety of devices. This starts with the simple wireless speaker, goes on to soundbar systems such as the Denon DHT-S716H and on to hi-fi solutions and network AV receivers. No matter which device is involved, this HEOS is built into the multiroom audio streaming system and can be used in combination with other such devices and controlled centrally via an app.

This app, the HEOS app, is therefore also important for the Denon DHT-S716H, as it is first set up as a streaming system, and then the control is done comfortably in everyday operation.

HEOS Built-in initially allows access to your own content, which is stored centrally on a network storage solution, a so-called NAS (Network Attached Storage System). Here HEOS Built-in is extremely versatile, because in addition to data in lossy formats such as MP3, AAC or WMA, WAV, AIFF, FLAC and ALAC are also supported. The spectrum here ranges from Linear PCM format to hi-res audio with up to 24 bits and 192 kHz, but DSD is also supported, be it DSD with 2.8 MHz or DSD with 5.6 MHz.

Probably the most important sources for a system like the Denon DHT-S716H will be different online offers for many users, be it Spotify, Deezer, Napster, SoundCloud, Amazon Music, TIDAL or TuneIn Internet Radio.

As described, all this can be controlled very comfortably, almost intuitively via the HEOS app for Apple iOS and Google Android, which also shows a high performance, so that one can navigate smoothly through one’s own media library or the offers of online providers. Own playlists and an accurately working search function also make handling easier, as well as creating groups for simultaneous playback in several rooms is no problem.

The six quick-select buttons already mentioned are now also used for streaming, as they can be used to call up a streaming offer directly without having to use the app. Practical, for example, when you want to listen to music at high speed and can therefore start it easily with the remote control, but don’t need a smartphone or tablet.

HEOS Built-in can do even more… The Soundbar listens to the word

Heos Built-in is also the interface for voice control of the Denon DHT-S716H. Amazon Alexa as well as Google Assistant can be used for this purpose, although it should be noted that the Denon DHT-S716H is not sufficient on its own, but rather requires a Google Home or Google Home Mini or an Amazon Alexa device or a corresponding Smart Speaker in the network. In addition, the appropriate app and skill must be installed for Amazon Alexa, and the appropriate app for Google Assistant must be used for the setup. The Denon DHT-S716H is thus designated as “Works with Alexa” or “Works with Google Assistant”. Thus, the volume can be controlled via both services, one can jump from title to title and the different inputs can be activated.

HEOS Built-in for surround and subwoofer

But HEOS Built-in is responsible for another exciting option around the Denon DHT-S716H, namely the addition of a subwoofer or even surround speaker, so that ultimately a full 5.1-channel surround system can be realized by the user himself.

HEOS Built-in not only allows multi-room audio streaming throughout the entire house, but also allows individual systems to be combined. This is useful for pairing two wireless speakers into a stereo pair, or for connecting a subwoofer “wirelessly” to the Denon DHT-S716H, such as the Denon DSW-1H subwoofer. This gives you a 3.1 channel system, whereby the configuration is absolutely simple via the HEOS app.

This is also true if you want to build a complete surround system using the latest Denon Home Series solutions such as the Denon 150 Wireless Speaker, which is a very compact wireless speaker with HEOS built-in, and instead of using it as a single streaming solution, you assign a pair of these speakers to act as surround speakers. The signal transmission, to emphasize this again, is of course via WLAN, so no additional signal cables are required across the room. Only a power outlet must be available for the two surround speakers.

From the field…

As we have already mentioned, when it comes to size and design, Denon’s developers and designers have done a great job, the Denon DHT-S716H shines with a very, very slim and elegant appearance and therefore fits easily into any living room. Allegedly not having enough room for a decent audio solution around the TV is not an excuse. Also the installation is solved in an exemplary way, starting with all the utensils you find around the Soundbar in the package, starting with the cables up to the drilling template, up to the actual installation, which even with the network connection for the use of all functions accompanies and guides the user point by point through the necessary steps.

Thus, the installation and setup of the Denon DHT-S716H is done in no time and the soundbar is completely ready to provide good sound.

And it truly does. Quite frankly, one can be a little sceptical in view of the ultimately very slim dimensions of the Denon DHT-S716H, because it is well known that rich sound requires a corresponding volume. However, the engineers at Denon have actually succeeded in eliciting really convincing sound despite the compact dimensions of the Denon DHT-S716H. Decades of experience cannot be outweighed by anything else…

It never ceases to amaze us during such tests how horrible a modern television without an audio solution actually sounds, even if it comes from a renowned manufacturer and can even be assigned to its premium class. Fortunately, you get used to good sound very quickly, so that you don’t really want to watch TV without a soundbar. Thus, we would like to warn you right from the start that if you simply put the Denon DHT-S716H into your living room for testing purposes, you won’t want to do without it.

Watching TV is really fun with the Denon DHT-S716H, especially when watching movies. Picture and sound must actually form a unit here, if one of them doesn’t fit, the whole magic is missing. The Denon DHT-S716H delivers an appealingly voluminous sound, and probably also due to its width and the cleverly arranged drivers as well as the DSP-based signal processing, it can also convey a believable width and thus a correct stereo image. Even talk shows, sitcoms and news are drastically enhanced with the Denon DHT-S716H, even if you might think that the difference here with and without an audio solution shouldn’t be that serious. The Denon DHT-S716H gives voices body and expression, whereby we liked the special mode for improved speech intelligibility very much and the night mode was also convincing. It’s simply practical to enjoy convincing sound at the touch of a button without alarming roommates or even neighbors. Whether the “Movie” mode is perceived as more optimal than the standard rendering is first and foremost a question of personal taste.

This also applies to the “Music” mode, which we wouldn’t activate, because even without any major changes, the Denon DHT-S716H delivers quite appealing sound when it comes to playing music. The fact that you can directly access the full bandwidth from your own content, including hi-res audio, as well as all common online services, invites you to bring music into your living room in the most uncomplicated way. Of course, the Denon DHT-S716H is not equal to a conventional hi-fi system in this respect, but can be recommended for relaxed music playback without compromises.

By the way, we haven’t really missed a subwoofer, even if you might think that such a one is indispensable in this class. At least the Denon DHT-S716H is quite good enough without a subwoofer. Whereby, movie freaks who want the right flair in their own four walls, even for blockbusters, should consider the purchase, as well as the addition of surround speakers for a real 5.1 channel surround system. Such a surround system can hardly be realised more simply and with such little effort than here via HEOS Built-in and thus “wireless”.

Getting to the point

The Denon DHT-S716H is an extremely flexible, elegant and slim soundbar system that can really unfold fine sound from a single device. However, if you want to upgrade, you can do so “wirelessly” and easily with both subwoofer and surround speaker, resulting in a true 5.1 channel system. HEOS Built-in ensures this. This platform also guarantees an inexhaustible source of music from the network, easy and intuitive to use. All in all, the Denon DHT-S716H is an impressive all-in-one system at a really fair price.

HiFiBLOG Award Impressive

It never ceases to amaze us how horrible a modern television without an audio solution actually sounds, even if it comes from a renowned manufacturer and can even be assigned to its premium class. Fortunately, one gets used to good sound very quickly, so that without a soundbar one does not really want to watch television anymore. This is just a warning, if you put the Denon DHT-S716H into your living room for testing purposes, you will not want to do without it.

Manufacturer:Denon Deutschland – A Division of Sound United
Distribution:Denon Deutschland – A Division of Sound United
Price:€ 899,-
The Good– Extremely elegant
– very slim design
– easiest installation
– all cables included
– Numerous connections
– attractive sound
– simple operation
– HEOS Built-in for streaming
– Expansion for subwoofer and surround speakers
The Bad– DSP programs for film and music are a little too “thick”
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Michael Holzinger

Michael Holzinger, founder and editor-in-chief of HiFi BLOG and, has been working for years as a journalist in the fields of IT, photography, telecommunications and consumer electronics.

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