Denon's affordable Dolby Atmos soundbar has Sony and JBL in its sights

Denon DTH-S218 soundbar on a wooden media unit sitting beneath a wall mounted TV
(Image credit: Denon)

While we're more than familiar with Denon's impressive range of home cinema amplifiers, it should also be known that the company makes a range of soundbars too. The latest addition to its lineup is the DHT-S218, a soundbar that's set to strike the balance between affordability, convenience and sound performance. 

The S218 is set to include a myriad of useful features, starting with its wired connectivity spec. As expected, it includes HDMI eARC for connecting to your TV, but it also features an HDMI passthrough connection that supports 4K and Dolby Vision HDR. The Sonos Arc, which happens to cost over three times this Denon, does without that feature, so we're already impressed. There are also connectors for optical audio, analogue and a subwoofer output. You'll also be able to pair your phone, tablet or laptop to this soundbar wirelessly via Bluetooth, and the LE (low energy) codec is supported too. 

Denon has outfitted this soundbar with six total drivers in a 2.1 configuration. That includes two 25mm tweeter units, two 90x40mm racetrack midrange drivers, and two 75mm subwoofer units. Much like the Sony HT-S2000 we've reviewed recently, this Denon bar doesn't include upward-firing drivers, meaning Dolby Atmos audio is achieved via psychoacoustic processing to give the impression of height effects. There doesn't appear to be support for DTS:X either, although Dolby Audio is supported in practically every format.

This soundbar should also remain fairly unobtrusive when it comes to taking up space in your entertainment set-up, as it measures a compact 13 x 90 x 6.7cm (hwd). It only weighs 3.6kg too, meaning it should fit comfortably on most media units. 

We've covered features, sound and convenience, but the final pillar is price, and this is where the Denon DHT-S218 gets seriously interesting. It costs just £249 (around $315 / AU$480) and is available to purchase right now. A Dolby Atmos soundbar at that price is borderline unheard of, with rivals from Sony, JBL and Sonos all costing considerably more. We're certainly intrigued by this new budget challenger. 


Read our full Sony HT-S2000 review

And check out our picks for the best budget soundbars

As well as the best Dolby Atmos soundbars

Lewis Empson
Staff Writer

Lewis Empson is a Staff Writer on What Hi-Fi?. He was previously Gaming and Digital editor for Cardiff University's 'Quench Magazine', Lewis graduated in 2021 and has since worked on a selection of lifestyle magazines and regional newspapers. Outside of work, he enjoys gaming, gigs and regular cinema trips.