Denon DHT-S517 vs Sonos Arc

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A soundbar is a simple way to add three-dimensional sound to your home theater space, saving you both money and time compared to buying a full surround sound system. Comparing the Denon DHT-S517 vs Sonos Arc, you’ll see both have their strengths, and either one could be a great fit for the right space (>>> Find on Amazon).

Wondering which one you should buy? Let’s look at their main differences side by side so you can decide which one best suits your home theater.

Denon DHT-S517 vs Sonos Arc Side by Side

Denon DHT-S517Sonos Arc
Power (Watts)100W100W
Frequency range20Hz – 20kHz47Hz – 20kHz
Connectivity OptionsHDMI, Optical, 3.5mm Mini Jack, BluetoothHDMI, Wi-Fi, AirPlay 2
SubwooferYesNo
Dimensions41.3” x 2.3” x 3.8”45” X 3.4” x 4.6”
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Installation

As we’ve said, one advantage of soundbars is that they’re simpler to install than a full surround sound system, that holds true for both the Denon DHT-S517 and the Sonos Arc. Both can be installed on a shelf or wall-mounted, and are easy to connect to the other equipment in your system.

Where the Sonos Arc takes a slight edge here is its guided setup process and straightforward two-cable installation. It also has more wireless connectivity options, including screen casting and Wi-Fi connectivity, where the DHT-S517 only offers Bluetooth.

Easier to install: Sonos Arc

Ease of Use

The controls on the Denon DHT-S517 are simple and easy to access, and the included remote is straightforward and well-labeled. However, you will need to use these physical control methods since it lacks hands-free compatibility.

The Sonos Arc has built-in compatibility for multiple voice control services that support hands-free control. It also links to the Sonos app, letting you stream content or adjust the EQ through your phone. If you’d rather use a remote, it syncs with the one for your TV or projector, streamlining the control of your home entertainment system.

Easier to use: Sonos Arc

Bass Power

The full-range drivers in the Sonos Arc have a pretty good low-end output. For the maximum in bass power, though, the 50-watt subwoofer that comes with the Denon DHT-S517 give its bass an extra boost. That makes it the best choice for floor-rumbling movie sound effects or music.

More powerful bass: Denon DHT-S517

Overall Sound Quality

The 3.1.2-channel system of the Denon DHT-S517 uses up-firing speakers to produce a fully-realized 3D Dolby Atmos soundscape. Its dialogue enhancement feature adds more definition in the midrange so you hear every line clearly.

While the sound of the DHT-S517 is good, the Sonos Arc is better. Each of its 11 drivers has a dedicated amplifier, with a mix of forward, side, and up-firing speakers to create an immersive listening experience. Its Speech Enhancement setting gives it similar dialogue clarity to the Denon, with adjustable EQ and automatic room tuning calibration to optimize the sound to your space.

Best overall sound quality: Sonos Arc

Wireless and Smart Features

The only wireless connection option on the Denon DHT-S517 is Bluetooth, and it has no voice control or other smart features. In this regard, the Sonos Arc is the clear winner. It has built-in Wi-Fi connectivity and supports direct streaming through the Sonos App or AirPlay 2. Smart home owners will appreciate the option of hands-free voice control.

Better wireless connectivity: Sonos Arc


Denon DHT-S517

Denon DHT-S517

The Denon DHT-S517 is an excellent way to upgrade the sound in your home theater without spending a ton of money. The driver array in the soundbar, combined with the included wireless subwoofer, produces a powerful and immersive sound that’s well-balanced between the highs, mids, and lows. Dedicated left, right, and center channels give you the sonic movement of a surround sound experience.

The DHT-S517 is Dolby Atmos enabled and produces room-filling, detailed sound. It’s especially impressive in the mid range, with features like Denon Dialogue Enhancer for maximum clarity. It’s also easy to get this sound, with a fast and straightforward setup and easy control. The flip side of this is, you don’t get much in the way of sound customization. There are there sound modes (Movie, Music, and Night) but no detailed EQ, so those who like to tweak their sound may find the DHT-S517 disappointing.

The Denon DHT-S517 can be surface-mounted or wall-mounted, and has a lightweight and compact design that makes it easy to fit into any home entertainment space. It has the basic connectivity most need in a home theater, including optical, mini jack, and Bluetooth, though it doesn’t have the direct streaming or voice control capability of more expensive soundbars. Relevant comparison: Denon DHT-S517 vs Polk Signa S4

Pros

  • High-quality Dolby Atmos sound
  • Excellent definition and clarity in the mid-range
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Included wireless subwoofer has excellent bass response
  • Easy to connect and control

Cons

  • No smart features or voice control
  • Limited sound adjustment features


Sonos Arc

Sonos Arc

The Sonos Arc uses an 11-driver array, each of which has a dedicated Class-D amplifier for power. This includes 3 tweeters and 8 full-range drivers, with a mix of front, side, and up-firing cones. This creates a full surround sound experience for home theater viewers, replicating a multi-speaker setup without the hassle of multiple speaker installations.

The Trueplay tuning used by the Sonos Arc further enhances its sonic performance. The height channels are calibrated based on the unique acoustics of your space. You can also adjust the settings manually through the Sonos app to further customize the sound.

As far as the set-up and control, the Sonos Arc is intuitive and has the connectivity most home theater owners need, including wireless connectivity through Wi-Fi or services like AirPlay 2. It can also be controlled hands-free using Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant, making it a great choice for smart home theaters. Physically, it can be set up on an entertainment center or mounted on the wall, so it’s flexible across different types of spaces. It is on the larger side, however, which may be an issue in smaller or more crowded home entertainment systems.

Pros

  • Full, powerful sound from multi-driver array
  • Room-filling output with Trueplay tuning
  • Syncs to TV or projector remote
  • Built-in hands-free control
  • Wireless connectivity and screen mirroring
  • EQ adjustment in the Sonos app

Cons

  • No dedicated subwoofer
  • Larger than other soundbars


The Verdict: Denon DHT-S517 vs Sonos Arc

The Denon DHT-S517 sells at a lower price typically than the Sonos Arc. This makes it a great value for those with limited budgets, and its simple set-up and powerful bass are points in its favor, too. Side-by-side, though, the sound quality of from the Sonos Arc is better, and it offers more versatility both in how you connect and control it and how you can adjust the sound to your space. If you want options like EQ adjustment and voice control, the Sonos Arc is worth the higher cost (>>> Check the current price on Bhphotovideo).

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