Denon DHT-FS3 Sound Bar with Subwoofer Reviewed

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denon_soundbar.gifThe first thing you will notice about Denon's DHT-FS3 Sound Bar ($1,199) and accompanying subwoofer is the absolutely gorgeous physical styling. It has a glossy piano black finish and rounded edges and matching subwoofer that will compliment any home theater set-up. It is a breathtaking unit that very well might upstage the sexy good looks of your 1080 flat HDTV if you are not careful. Additionally, the DHT-FS3 is one of the shorter sound bars on the market, meaning that if you put it in front of the TV on the tabletop, it won't block the TV the way some sound bars will.

The DHT-FS3 uses six three-inch drivers that employ Denon's X-Space simulated surround technology to create virtual surround sound. Sound from the six drivers in the main chassis radiates at a very wide angle, so a similar surround sound is heard at any spot in the room, giving audience members flexibility to sit wherever they choose. The audio is on par with other comparably-priced sound bars, but it doesn't compare to true 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound systems. It does, however, benefit from the outboard subwoofer, which offers bass from 45HZ-150 HZ and adds an additional 40-80 watts of power. There is no mic for room calibration, so all room factors are input via the menu system.

Competition and Comparison
Compare the Denon DHT-FS3 sound bar against the competition by reading our reviews for
Definitive Technology SSA-50 sound bar, the Boston Acoustics P400 sound bar, and the Atlantic Technology FS-5000 sound bar. You can also find more information by visiting our Sound Bar section and our Denon brand page.

HTR Product Rating for Denon DHT-FS3 Sound Bar with Subwoofer

Criteria Rating

Performance

3.5

Value

3.5

Overall

3.5

Disagree with our product rating? Email us and tell us why you think this product should receive a higher rating.


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High Points
Jimmy Choo has nothing on this sound bar. It is sex-on-a-stick good-looking, which is saying something for a speaker that mounts on a wall near an HDTV.
• The DHT-FS3 doesn't block an HDTV when positioned on the same table or equipment rack, as you will find with other sound bar speaker systems.
• This all-in-one speaker includes a subwoofer (some sound bars don't) and provides a fairly good approximation of surround sound. It's not a true 5.1 or 7.1 system, but it's pretty good, considering its physical limitations.

Low Points
• There is no decoding for Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio, so when running the best audio from a Blu-ray player into this sound bar, you are going to be a little behind the curve in terms of the highest-resolution HD audio codecs.
• The DHT-FS3 has few connections, with no HDMI inputs, meaning you'll have to run your video sources through your HDTV set.
• An iPod dock is optional, but not included at nearly $1,200 in retail price. Surely anyone with a system like this will want to connect an iPod.

Conclusion
This unit is gorgeous, sleek, and doesn't block the TV when sitting in front of it. While you could get better sound with a true 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound system, for the money, you get a fairly believable surround sound experience with the Denon DHT-FS3. Wife acceptance factor is off the charts and it boasts sound to match when compared to other players in this new category of loudspeakers.


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