Product Review

Denon S-301 Home Theater in a Box

Part II

April, 2006

Cynthia Johnson


The main unit holds the DVD player, tuner, and most of the connectors (the power amplifiers for the two speakers and the subwoofer are in the subwoofer enclosure).


The rear panel has a lot of connections for such a compact system, even including an S-Video input, and component video as well as HDMI outputs. There is also an optical digital input and output if you want to send digital audio to a larger surround sound receiver (for example, if you want to use the S-301's DVD player with a receiver that has Dolby Digital decoding and 5.1 outputs).

Click on the photo above to see a larger version.

The remote control is easy to use on a day-to-day basis, because it has only a few simple command buttons on the front. The problem I found was that, once I connected my iPod to the S-301, the menu screen of the iPod was no longer active. I had to use the remote or S-301 front panel controls to select iPod music, and the OSD on the TV was necessary to see what was going on. The iPod connector is great, because it recharges the iPod while I use it, but since I want to put the system on my bedroom dresser - and I don't have a TV in the bedroom - I would like to be able to see the iPod menu selections on the S-301 front panel.

As a result, I ended up using the stereo analog outputs of the iPod connected to one of the stereo inputs on the S-301. It still sounded good, and I was able to now use the iPod menu screen, but the iPod doesn't get recharged. (Also, not all the options on the remote work with the iPod connected. Hey guys, iPod is BIG! Make the system work better with them, and not need a TV.)

Click Here to Go to Part III.

Copyright 2006 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity

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