Denon Home Sound Bar 550 Review

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Verdict

Big audio from a small soundbar, the Denon impresses with its functioning and range of features. If you lot’re looking to meaty system to beef upward your TV’s audio and get a system that doubles upward every bit a music system for the front room, this is a soundbar worth considering.

Pros

  • Dolby Atmos and DTS:X
  • Confident ‘overhead’ performance
  • Entertaining with music
  • Lots of connectivity options

Cons

  • Volume ramping leads to an unbalanced presentation
  • Adding more than speakers is pricey

Availability

  • United kingdom of great britain and northern ireland
    RRP: £599
  • Usa
    RRP: $599
  • Europe
    RRP: €649

Central Features


  • Atmos and DTS:X
    Supports playback of both immersive audio soundtracks

  • Alexa voice help
    Option of Alexa or Google built-in

  • HEOS network
    Access to music streaming services such as Tidal and Amazon Music

Introduction

The issue of deriving a good quality experience from a TV has taken on more importance since flatscreen TVs became the norm. With TVs featuring less space for some bulky audio performance, it has fallen upon the soundbar to generate the necessary grunt.

But not anybody wants a giant soundbar. The Denon Home Soundbar 550 is another in a long line of pocket-size bars that look to solve the result for when there isn’t space for a more traditional-sized system.

And it tin can process Dolby Atmos and DTS:10 tracks to produce a sound much bigger than its dimensions. There’s also integration with music streaming services, as well every bit the long-awaited appearance of built-in voice assistance.

However, Denon has a Sonos Beam Gen 2-shaped problem, a soundbar with a similar spec. The Sound Bar 550 has a fight on its easily and it’s well specc’d for the battle.

Pattern

  • Tidy and trim appearance
  • Compact size
  • Wide connectivity options

The Denon shares the aforementioned attire equally its Home stablemates, wrapped in a fabric cloth. It looks dainty and very well-fabricated merely doesn’t necessarily mean information technology’ll garner a second glance. Only a black finish is bachelor, adding to the Denon’s discreet tailoring.

At 651 x 75 x 120mm (WHD), information technology’south around the aforementioned size equally the Sonos Beam 2, so information technology can comfortably sit beneath a Television set. It makes the Home Soundbar a good partner with TVs upwardly to 50-inches, though its audio operation suggests information technology could be paired with bigger sets.

Denon Home Sound Bar 550 touch controls

Aesthetically speaking there’s a bit more to this bar with a motion activated touch console on the top surface and Alexa light bar that peaks through the fabric embrace. In a recessed surface area around the rear are the ports: HDMI input, HDMI eARC output, digital optical, USB port, 3.5mm jack and Ethernet cablevision. That gives the Denon more options for plugging devices in than its Sonos rival. The HDMI input, for instance, is helpful if you lot’re short of a few on your TV.

Denon Home Sound Bar 550 connections

The remote is minor and feels insubstantial, the kind you’d lose between the sofa cushions if yous’re non likewise careful, with clicky presses that sometimes crave a few attempts. There are no playback buttons but sources, sound modes, volume (including bass) and presets all feature.

Denon Home Sound Bar 550 remote

Features

  • Alexa voice control
  • HEOS brings the music streaming apps
  • Upgrade path with other Home serial products

Alexa voice control – appear before the Home series went on sale – was
finally
added in September 2022, assuasive for easily-gratis control of the bar and Alexa fetch quests.

Denon Home Sound Bar 550 Alexa light bar

The HEOS platform knits the Domicile Soundbar 550’s online features together, and too brings the pick of using Google Assistant as an Alexa alternative. HEOS is built into Denon and sis make Marantz’due south products and to proceed the Sonos’ comparisons, works similarly to the S2 app by offering access to Internet stations and integrating streaming services such every bit Amazon Music, TuneIn and Tidal into its interface. Spotify Connect is also supported.

For more options there’south AirPlay 2 and a lowly form of Bluetooth (3.0), which suggests Denon would prefer you utilize the Wi-Fi/HEOS. File formats accepted over network and USB include MP3 and AAC (upward to 320kbps), WMA (upwards to 192kbps); FLAC, WAV and ALAC (up to 24-bit/192kHz) along with DSD ii.8 and 5.6kHz, enshrining the Habitation Sound Bar’s high-res audio capabilities.

Denon Home Sound Bar 550 HEOS

As an interface HEOS is more functional than sleek but offers a range of tweakable settings such every bit Dialogue Enhancer, Night Mode, presets, and an equaliser for treble and bass (-5dB to 5dB); as well every bit multi-room with other HEOS products and accessing music. Visually information technology’s a little banal, but no stability bug were encountered and operationally it’s speedy.

There’south interesting news for custom installers with support for software drivers for Control4, Crestron, URC, Elan, and others. Finally, the Dwelling 350, 250 and 150 tin can exist used as rear-channel surround speakers, and for more bass the DSW-1H wireless subwoofer is supported. It won’t exist a full Atmos arrangement given there are no upfiring speakers, but it’ll open up the bar’southward surround audio capabilities.

Performance

  • Big, alpine sound
  • Lots of power and attack
  • Pretty adept with music
  • Book ramping causes a lack of residuum

Inside the enclosure are two 19mm tweeters, four 55mm full-range drives and 3 50X90m passive radiators. Like the Beam 2, there are no upfiring drivers, so the Denon achieves lift-off with immersive soundtracks by using digital processing.

The Home Sound Bar 550 gets terrific mileage out of its minor class with a performance that’south big, clear, and detailed. Similar LG’south tiny Éclair speaker, the Denon’s audio stretches the area of a screen – furnishings and dialogue positioned where they ought to exist. Even partnered with a 65-inch screen the Denon still managed to identify furnishings right in the corner of the upper frame when it was required.

And fifty-fifty without the help of the upfiring speakers there’due south a definite sense of verticality to the Denon’s sound. A run-through of Blade Runner 2049’s opening, and as the spinner descends there’due south not only first-class definition of the car’s engines merely decent heft to it likewise.

Denon Home Sound Bar 550 fabric

2049’s soundtrack presents issues for nigh soundbars, and information technology reveals the Denon’s (expected) lack of bass depth and extension. In that location’s some slight woofer distortion just the Sound Bar 550 manfully keeps it under command.

What bass there is, is impressive for unmarried box arrangement of its size. Powerful, punchy, and weighty, with the correct piece of content – like the opening titles of Succession – you can feel the low end of Nicholas Britell’due south score rumble through the floorboards. It’s besides a soundbar that gets the quiet/loud dynamic with confidence; the moment when Howard loses his temper during the dinner scene in ten Cloverfield Lane genuinely startled me.

The Denon’south audio is sharp and dynamic, but that presents an issue with book. It tin be tricky the get the right ‘loudness’ to avert coming beyond every bit likewise aggressive. The Denon’s volume doesn’t demand turning up that much to have an impact but above that and it becomes a fiddling fatiguing. In that location’s a slight lack of balance in voices when the book is turned up – and in other moments the Denon mistakes loud moments for
lots
of dissonance, losing points for subtlety.

Denon Home Sound Bar 550 design detail

Kept within a certain range and dialogue is clearly and cleanly reproduced, though I noticed in busier scenes that dialogue tin can get lost in the mix. This is probable down to the Denon lacking a dedicated centre speaker, but with the Dialogue Enhancer yous tin can tweak this attribute. Using the Enhancer does give dialogue a more processed tone, though.

And the Denon is not a soundbar interested in firing sounds either out broad or towards the listener. While information technology sounds large, it’s a front-heavy soundstage that doesn’t spread sound across the width of the Boob tube.

I’d rate the soundbar’s music performance equally lively. Transitions from tranquility to loud, as well equally highs and lows are ably described, with a superlative end that is sharp and clear and assisted by punchy bass. Rhythmically it’due south an entertaining listen

Voices have priority and in that location’south proficient separation of instruments, so they don’t feel clumped together. However, its music performance could benefit from more than width, the unabridged soundscape takes place within the centre of the soundbar. A proficient performance, but one that could further benefit from the type of expansiveness a soundbar similar the Samsung HW-S61A offers.

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Should you buy it?

For its punchy, large, and cinematic operation
Though its performance isn’t necessarily 3D in the truest sense, the Denon can produce a bog audio with plenty of power and attack

If you desire a more expansive sound
The Sonos Beam Gen 2, JBL Multibeam five.0 and to a certain extent, the Samsung S61A all produce bigger, wider performances for less

Final Thoughts

The Denon Home Soundbar 550 has enough of brawn to become with its smarts, creating a compelling (and small) dwelling movie house package for anyone looking to heave their TV’s performance. It was more expensive than the Sonos Beam 2, but in the run upwards to Christmas yous tin can find information technology for a lower price.

Denon’due south soundbar convinces with immersive audio and music, is well-stocked with smarts and connectivity options to make it the centrepiece of your living room. It is an assured performer and one of the better attempts at small grade cistron immersive bar.

How we test

Nosotros test every soundbar we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We utilize industry standard tests to compare features properly. Nosotros’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.

Detect out more about how we test in our ethics policy.

Tested over several weeks

Tested with Atmos, DTS:X, 5.1 and stereo content

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FAQs

Does the Denon Home Audio Bar 550 support DTS sound?

Yeah, DTS:X soundtracks are supported by this soundbar.

Full specs

UK RRP

United states RRP

EU RRP

Manufacturer

Weight

ASIN

Release Date

Model Number

Driver (s)

Connectivity

ARC/eARC

Colours

Vox Banana

Sound Formats

Rear Speaker

Multiroom

Denon Home Sound Bar 550

£599

$599

€649

Denon

3.5 KG

B08VDN7XTG

2022

Home Sound Bar 550

2x 19mm tweeter, 4x 55mm full-range drivers, 3x 50x90mm passive radiators

AirPlay two, Spotify Connect, Bluetooth 3.0, HEOS

ARC/eARC

Blackness

Alexa, Google Banana

Dolby Atmos, DTS:10, WMA, MP3, AAC, MP3, FLAC, WAV, ALAC, DSD

Optional

HEOS

Source: https://www.trustedreviews.com/reviews/denon-home-sound-bar-550

Posted by: Sadiyev.com