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(Pocket-lint) - Denon has introduced built-in Alexa support for its Denon Home range of wireless speakers.

A free firmware update also adds the ability to wirelessly link Denon Home 150, 250, or 350 speakers to the Denon Home Sound Bar 550 to act as rear channels in a surround setup. Add a Denon DSW-1H and you can have the full 5.1 experience.

Maybe of more use to most, however, is the Alexa support. The voice assistant is now available across the range - you no longer need an Echo or another Alexa-enabled device nearby.

To use it, owners of Denon Home kit have to turn on the microphones built into the speakers through the Denon Heos mobile app. Then they need to link their speakers to the Alexa account.

Once activated, a Denon Home speaker will see the previously dormant front light strip glow. This indicates the microphone is working.

Alexa can be used to play music, read out the latest news or weather, and pretty much do anything one of Amazon's own devices is capable of.

Those who prefer privacy at times can mute Alexa but touching one of the new capacitive buttons on top of the speaker, which have now be activated.

Owners of a Denon Home Sound Bar 550 also get improved bass response from their speaker after this firmware upgrade.

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Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 30 September 2021.