TVs continue to push boundaries on what is possible with their design and size. However, the consequence is that as TVs have taken on a slimmer look and increased their screen sizes, they have also sacrificed on the speakers.
So what do you do if you are restricted by your budget but still want to improve the quality of audio of your TV?
Well, you find yourself quality affordable soundbars. And that is what we are looking at here today- two of the most affordable yet still capable speakers that you can find on the market. We are talking about the Denon DHT-S216 and Bose TV Speaker.
Let’s take a closer look at what makes these two soundbars tick and why they are certainly worth checking out.
The Denon DHT-S216 soundbar will cost you around $250 on Amazon. For the low price, you also get some pretty decent specs such as the DTS Virtual:X support.
The Denon may not give you the same kind of punching power that you will get with some high-end soundbars, but if you are looking to boost your TV’s audio and add in a bit of bass, then the Denon certainly punches above its weight class.
The Bose TV Speaker on the hand will cost $279 on Amazon. While it doesn’t offer the deepest bass, it still gives you smooth and crisp sounds that are sure to up your entertainment system.
You will certainly not be disappointed when you are watching your favorite TV shows. Plus it has Bluetooth.
Both the Bose TV Speaker and the Denon DHT-S216 cost under $300. They are pretty affordable considering that some soundbars go as high as over $1000. Of course, the Denon is the cheaper of the two. So if you are wondering if their prices are worth it? Yes, they are!
When you take a first look at the Denon DHT-S216, it seems average-looking. There are no special features with its design. That said, it will fit perfectly under a 55 inch TV. It is 35 inches wide, has 4.7 inches of depth, and has a height of 2.3 inches.
You will not get a bracket, or mounts with the Denon DHT-S216 though. That said, it features several ports at the back which include the HDMI ports and AUX-in.
The soundbar also comes with two mid-range speakers and two downward-facing speakers. All this helps provide decent surround sound.
Finally, you get a remote with the Denon DHT-S216 which you can use to control all basic functions.
But how does the Bose TV Speaker compare?
Compared to many other soundbars on the market, the Bose TV Speaker is on the smaller side. The tip is made from plastic while the front has a metal grill. Granted, it is made of plastic but the Bose TV Speaker feels tough, robust, and durable.
The soundbar doesn’t come with a subwoofer but you have the option of buying the Bose Module 500 or the module 700 which of course, will cost you extra.
Due to the small size of the Bose TV speaker, it can fit neatly between the legs of a 55 inch TV.
The Bose TV Speaker has universal holes on its underside, allowing you to wall-mount the speaker. It has a height of 2.21 inches, a depth of 4.02 inches, and is 23.38 inches wide.
The Denon DHT-S216 despite it being larger than the Bose TV speaker feels less quality built. The Bose TV speaker feels strong and sturdy and premium with the metal grill.
Performance and output
The Denon DHT-S216 may not come with a subwoofer, but it still offers some pretty decent output.
That said you may need to figure out the perfect configuration for your type of content. The DTS Virtual:X however is ideal for movies and music. It offers decent basses and nice highs.
Let’s focus our attention on the Bose TV Speakers. One of the main features that you get with this soundbar is the bass adjustment. You can use this if you want to alter the sound profile.
We should probably point out that the standard settings offer a well-balanced and neutral sound that is clean and crisp. Very often you’ll find that there is no need to change it.
Okay granted, the bass is not the lowest so it may fall short when you are looking to watch some action-packed movies or heavy thump music. That said, the rest of the sound is quite clear and crisp allowing you to make the most of different types of entertainment.
As far as the sound stage goes. The Bose TV speakers perform decently. It seems as though the sounds are coming from different locations other than a central point.
So there’s that. The Bose TV Speaker has a 2.0 speaker set up. This means that it has speakers on its ends which then work to create sound in the center of the soundbar. It doesn’t have the best surround sound, but it’s decent enough.
If you are keen, you are still going to notice that the sound is coming from in front of you. While it is possible to adjust the level of bass, you will not get much else in the way of control or even a preset EQ.
The Bose TV Speakers may have a decent sound stage and may even allow for adjusting the bass, but it still doesn’t offer the level of quality sound and output that you get with the Denon DHT-S216. The Denon also has much better surround sound.
A simple design that works. That is what you get with the Bose TV Speaker. For instance, it shows a light when it is connected via Optical or HDMI ARC to the TV.
It will also show a light if you decide to connect via Bluetooth. The Bose TV speakers don’t have voice control but if you connect it to a Bose bass module 500 or module 700 subwoofers you get Amazon Alexa.
The speaker will shut down during a period of inactivity of 20 minutes, that is if you are using Bluetooth. However, if you connect the Bose TV speaker via HDMI cable it will shut down after two and a half hours.
Speaking of Bluetooth, you can wirelessly stream via the Bluetooth feature. Thinking about music or your favorite podcast? Yes Sir!
Okay, so the Bose TV Speaker boasts some pretty decent features for the price. But how does the Denon DHT-S216 perform?
It comes with a dialogue enhancer feature that improves the clarity of the sound coming from the soundbar. It also has 3 EQ presets- a feature you don’t get with the Bose TV speakers.
Furthermore, the Denon DHT-S216 also features 4K and HD compatibility.
The Denon DHT-S216 comes with some extra features that you don’t get on the Bose TV speaker. For instance, it has 4K and HD compatibility. It also has 3 equalizer presets. Here Denon takes the clear win.
The Denon DHT-216 despite it being the cheaper of the two options offers more features and better sound quality. For once it has more bass than the Boss TV speaker. It is also wider and does a decent job at surround sound. Not to mention it has 4K and HD compatibility.
But things are not all bad for the Bose TV Speaker. It also offers clear and crisp sounds and its small size means that you can place it neatly under any size TV. What’s more, it is compatible with the Boss Module 500 and Boss Module 700 just in case you want a bit ( or a lot more ) kick to your lows and you don’t mind spending a bit extra.
That said, the Denon DHT-216 is the more affordable option for the person who is budget-restricted, and for its price, it does a pretty good job at punching above its weight class. All in all, if you just have under $300 to spend on a soundbar that will improve the quality of audio of your TV, the Denon is the way to go.
However, the Bose TV Speaker gives you the option of upgrading by connecting to a Bose Module 500 and Bose Module 700 subwoofers.