Sound United’s Denon audio brand unveiled Thursday the Home Soundbar 550 compact soundbar with Atmos and DTS:X surround sound.

The Soundbar is also compatible with a range of supported platforms including HEOS multi-room wireless music streaming and is Roku TV Ready ensuring simple use and setup with connected Roku TVs. It will also work with other TVs without problem.

The Denon Home Soundbar 550, which will carry a $599 suggested retail price when it ships in February, measures just 25.95- x 2.95- x 4.72- inches and weighs 7.3 pounds, enabling an easy fit in front of and below most of today’s TV screens. Furthermore, the compact soundbar supports big audio output via supported Dolby Atmos and DTS:X object-oriented 3D surround sound from its built-in six-driver array.

The experience can be expanded further at any time by adding on select Denon wireless speakers and subwoofers, Denon said.

The unit supports high-resolution music from music services or networked music libraries using Sound United’s HEOS built-in WiFi whole-home wireless music streaming service. This will link with Denon and Marantz wireless speakers, AVRs and other components tied together through a dedicated HEOS control app. Owners of other Denon Home products can easily add the Denon Home Soundbar 550 as a separate wireless zone in their home, without the need for connecting wires.

The Sound Bar 550 can be used as a standalone soundbar or expanded with other wireless Denon Home speakers, including the Denon Home 150, 250 and 350, which all can be paired with the soundbar as rear-channel surrounds, the company said.

Purchases can also to add on the optional Denon DSW-1H wireless subwoofer if more bass punch is desired to support movie soundtracks or to accent music with deeper bottom.

The soundbar’s control panel lights up automatically when an approaching hand is detected, to allow quick fingertip operation of volume adjustments, play/pause functions or to skip and restart tracks.

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The soundbar can also be operated with the supplied remote control and HEOS mobile app equipped with three Quick Select buttons. This enables listeners to store their preferred source with listening modes, or Internet radio stations for fast intuitive single button selection.

The company said the Home Soundbar 550 is easy to set up and use. Denon nicely adds a single HDMI port with the new enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC) feature to enable streaming lossless audio formats, 4K video and Dolby Atmos without issue from a connected TV.

The Denon Home Soundbar 550 is Roku TV Ready meaning it will easily connect with a Roku TV enabling operation of the soundbar and TV from the Roku user interface and using a single remote. It is also compatible with Apple AirPlay 2 to easily stream from Apple devices. It is also the first Denon soundbar to include onboard software drivers for Control4, Crestron, URC, Elan, integrated home control systems.

The Soundbar 550 joins the existing Denon Home lineup of three wireless multiroom speakers, offering optimized, balanced performance and home décor-friendly designs. All Denon Home models also include easy access to popular music streaming services including Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music HD, TIDAL, and others. They all stream a wide selection of Hi-res audio files stored on phones, networked PC drives, and NAS devices, using Wi-Fi, AirPlay 2 or Bluetooth connections.

Beginning in the Spring 2021, Denon Home 550 and Denon Home wireless speaker owners will have the ability to activate voice capabilities using Amazon Alexa. All Denon Home products feature built-in microphones, which can be enabled via a firmware update, and will work with Alexa AI voice control. By enabling Alexa and linking to a Amazon account, the Denon Home device can be used like an Echo or Dot smart speaker to use Alexa as they normally would on any other Alexa enabled device.

This will allow using voice commands to control various soundbar functions including volume, select inputs, and adjust bass and treble levels. For privacy consideration, the microphones will not be enabled until activated by the user.

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By Greg Tarr

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