Denon DHT-FS3 Sound Bar  
Home Theater Loudspeakers Speaker Systems
Written by Julianne Stilson   
Thursday, 15 January 2009

The Basics:

The Denon DHT-FS3 Soundbar is a slim surround sound system designed to trim down pesky wires and provide a user-friendly experience.  The sound bar is most successfully place directly underneath the television screen for the most effective audio distribution.  The rear panel of the sound bar offers connections for coaxial, optical, A/V and iPod connections. 

The DHT-FS3 sound bar contains six speakers that implement Denon’s “X-Space Surround” technology to create a simulated surround sound experience.  The surround algorithms are essentially sound waves directed to specific sections of the room.  TV viewers will get the best performance in the center of the room, but the sound waves do cover a wide range through the empty space. 

The 15” by 14.2” subwoofer is surprisingly slim at 4 inches thick.  Due to the smaller size, the output wattage is 40 watts with a peak of 80 watts.  It contains a 16cm cone and has a frequency range of 45 Hz to 150 Hz .  The subwoofer feels just as solid as the build of the weighted sound bar.  The sub is connected and powered through the sound bar.


Regarding performance, we tested out the Denon DHT-FS3 system with Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.  When positioned in the middle of the room, the sound bar offered the most diverse auditory experience.  The final battle between the Pirate Lords and the entire East India Trading Company definitely had bullets and cannonballs bouncing all around our room.  The bass performance was relatively solid despite the small size of the subwoofer.  

The Upside:
Denon is appealing to consumers who are looking for a simple, gorgeous sound solution for their private home theater.  The simplicity of the design is quite attractive.  The performance is solid and would be an excellent solution for a minimalist approach in a bedroom or secondary television.  It also performs well with next gen gaming systems like the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.  

The Downside:

I have no idea why Denon left off HDMI input / output ports from the system.  It boggles the mind.  The DHT-FS3 also has difficulty bouncing rear directional sound off padded areas like curtains, but that’s a common flaw in sound bar technology.  The system works best when the sound can bounce off flat hard surfaces.  The sound bar also doesn’t use a microphone for calibration.  All calibration is performed through the lighted LCD menu on the front of the unit.  

Conclusion:

The Denon  DHT-FS3 sound bar has an MSRP of $1199, but can be found cheaper through online sources.  It’s a simple solution for those seeking a secondary system or perhaps even those introducing themselves to the home theater experience.  The control, design and performance on the Denon DHT-FS3 sound bar system is definitely worth checking out.
Manufacturer Denon
Model DHT-FS3





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