We have tested various sound bars and a fairly new category of those have emerged in recent years; the sound bars on which you can place your TV. However, the nomenclature is different for each manufacturer, and the model in this review is called a Speaker Base. We look at and listen to the Denon DHT-T110.
The sound bar, an elongated speaker that improves the audio quality of the TV, we´re all familiar with. Since 2013, however, we´ve seen a new product appear with speakers that are deeper and upon which a TV can be placed. These speakers are often equipped with a built-in (sub)woofer, which is possible due to the larger sized cabinet. However, the naming is tricky because we´ve seen different terms being used; Sound Plate, Sound Base, Sound Stand, Speaker Base, etc. Nonetheless, they are all based on the same principle; you put the TV on top of it and improve the sound quality of it.
Features & Specifications
The Denon DHT-T110 is on paper a very simple product. After all, you have one device that you place under your TV and where all the sound comes from. The Speaker Base consists of one unit with a built-in subwoofer. It is a 2-way speaker system with two 1/2" tweeters and 2 oval 2" x 5" mid / woofers.
The DHT-T110 is connected to your TV and other sources using either digital coaxial, optical or analog (3.5mm) connectors. Sadly it´s missing HDMI ports, something you´d expect a modern piece of equipment like this to have, especially for a price of 349 dollars. Anyway, you have to rely on the inputs available, but it also have wireless capabilities as the Denon has Bluetooth for streaming audio from a smartphone, tablet or PC.
Furthermore, the DHT-T110 is equipped with various sound modes that affects the audio playback, a Dolby Digital decoder, a night mode to reduce the dynamic range so you do not disturb the neighbors, and a special learning mode so that, for example, you can use the Speaker Base's remote control to control your TV. The speaker unit itself have several buttons, including one for the Bluetooth option, the TV sound, sound modes and volume. These buttons incidentally lights up in a certain way depending on the selected sound mode. The DHT-T110 is suitable for TVs with a size up to 50 inches (up to 60 lb), weighs 9.48lbs (4.3 kilograms) and has a dimension of 23.94 x 2.80 x 13.98 inches (608 x 71 x 355 millimeters).
Installation & Setup
Installation could not be any easier, it is indeed an all-in-one system where, in principle, one cable (apart from the power cord) is all that is needed. Just connect your TV using a digital audio cable, and if you want to connect a Blu-ray player or game console it can be done using the other digital or analog connections. As mentioned, it unfortunately lacks HDMI, something you should definitely consider.
The DHT-T110 is easy to install, but keep in mind the dimensions of the speaker relative to the cabinet on which you place your television. It is also wise to make sure that the dimensions of the foot/stand on your TV fits with the Speaker Base. Once installed and connected, the DHT-T110 is ready to use. No fussing around with difficult settings, as is also evident from the very simple instructions and the minimalistic remote control.
Simple To Use
Not only is the installation a piece of cake, it´s also very simple and quick to use. The speaker is equipped with Bluetooth allowing you to stream music from your smartphone, tablet or PC to play on the speaker. Once you have already paired a Bluetooth device with the DHT-T110, it´s done. Then you just turn on Bluetooth on your smartphone, press the Bluetooth button on the speaker to automatically connect the two devices, and choose the Speaker Base when you play media from your Bluetooth device.
Other than pairing Bluetooth devices there´s not much effort required when using the DHT-T110. The active input is automatically selected by the speaker and you´ll only occasionally need to make any adjustments with the remote, like switching sound modes for example. But even doing that is rare. It is very straightforward in terms of usage and capabilities. We would have liked an on-screen display though.
The most important part is of course the sound quality. At least that is one of the main concerns and the reason you spend quite some money for such a system. As with any sound bar, plate, base, or whatever the manufacturer wants to call it - know what it is you´re getting. It is not a 5.1 channel home theater system and it will therefore never sound like one. Yes, it has virtual surround sound and basically this means creating a wider sound field utilizing the room acoustics.
The Denon DHT-T110 is not a surround system, despite having cute sound modes. However, the sound field is wide enough to immerse you partly in the atmosphere of, for example, a movie. Surround effects are convincing enough and even the bass does a pretty good job with the lower frequencies, despite the obvious limitations of the 2″ x 5″ drivers. Dialogues are crisp and remain intelligible during violent action scenes. In general, the playback of audio for movies is quite good, with a reasonable range, decent dynamics and enough power. Quite enjoyable actually.
Also in the field of music playback from a connected source or Bluetooth, the DHT-T110 does not disappoint. Especially when you are turning on the dedicated music mode, which ensures that more space is created between the left and right channels. It is not as convincing as two big speakers placed to the left and right of your TV, but compared to other similar units, the Denon provide a reasonably good stereo effect. The DHT-T110 provides a dynamic sound with a compelling naturalness and freshness. Even when cranking up the volume the speaker holds up well without any significant distortion. It has enough power to fill a big living room with great music. Even when you stream music via Bluetooth the quality of the source material is largely preserved. The Speaker Base is a nice sound system for both the party and the romantic evening dinner.
Altogether, the Denon DHT-T110 Speaker Base is an excellent audio system that allows you, without much effort and hassle, to enhance the sound quality of your TV and connected components. The only thing we really miss is the ability to connect your TV and other components via HDMI. Apart from that you´ll get a more than decent audio quality, with plenty of bass despite the lack of a separate subwoofer, and the ability to stream music wirelessly from your mobile devices. The Speaker Base is not a surround system, but offers significantly better sound imaging than the built-in speakers of your TV and is therefore particularly suitable for those who do not want any bells and whistles or large speakers in the living room and just want to have fun and enjoy good sound.
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- IN THe bOX
- 2-way under TV Speaker Base
- 60 lb. weight capacity to hold up larger TVs
- Supports most of the screens up to 50”
- Bluetooth wireless streaming with aptX
- Optical and coax digital inputs as well as an analog input
- Dolby digital decoder built-in
- 3 listening modes
- 2-way speaker system with 2x 1/2” tweeters and 2x oval 2” x 5” mid / woofers chassis
- Dolby digital decoding with Denon Virtual Surround
- Dynamic Bass Technology for powerful and precise bass reproduction
- Bluetooth with aptX streaming for CD like sound quality
- Learns your remote control
- Simple remote included
- Connects directly to your TV with one cable
- Auto input switching
- Bluetooth connectivity for wireless music streaming
- Quick Setup Guide for an easy start
Digital input: Optical / Coaxial
• / •
Analog input (3.5mm mini jack)
Simple one wire setup
Bluetooth: A2DP / aptX
• / •
Dolby Digital decoding / DTS
Soundmode: Dialog, Music , Movie
Night listening mode
TV placement on top
• (up to 60 lb)
Control buttons on the unit
TV remote learning function
Auto input switching
Available color: Black
Auto Power Off
(W x H x D)23.94 x 2.80 x 13.98 in.
Weight in LBS
Denon DHT-T110 Speaker Base
Remote Control with included battery
Optical Digital Cable
1⁄8" (3.5 mm) Stereo Cable
RCA to 1⁄8" (3.5 mm) adapter