Denon Heos Review Sound System: wireless multi-room solution

In this article we will look at implementing such a scheme option Denon. Series Denon Heos HS2 refers to the second generation of its wireless multiroom-solutions and different support Hi-Res, 802.11ac for the integrated wireless adapter and Bluetooth devices in the end. Total in this product line, there are about a dozen models to choose the optimal configuration for your environment, as well as to interact with existing audio equipment. Management is carried out using a mobile application that supports local and network sources of music.

Brief characteristics of the considered devices we have collected in the table. It also provides the recommended prices for the equipment in question at the time of preparation of this article. When you look at them, do not forget that for this class of devices, the attitude of consumers to the price usually differs from the mass market.

Interestingly, the power to the AC manufacturer in the specification does not specify limited verbal description of spaces suitable for speakers of data from “Small and small rooms” for Denon Heos 1 to “Large rooms and open areas such as guest, patio, porch” for Denon Heos 7. According to its software capabilities, in particular the supported formats and sound sources, the devices do not differ.

Denon Heos 1 HS2 and Denon Heos 1 Go Pack

This device is the youngest and most affordable representative Denon Heos line. However, despite this, he has a couple of unique features. Packed device in a relatively small solid cardboard box. Making quite attractive – there are photos, description, features, some technical parameters. The package includes a power supply (20 V 2 A) for installation into a wall outlet, a network patch cable, audio cable, user manual.

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Optional Denon Heos Go Pack contains one battery, which can be used to convert the column in the portable version. It is attached to the bottom of the housing and the device has a built-in battery indicator of the four light-emitting diodes, which are often present on the laptop battery and the power switch.

Battery Options – 14.8 V, 2600 mAh, 38.48 Wh. The manufacturer noted the possibility of autonomy for six hours. Earlier in the package also includes a Bluetooth-adapter, but now this interface is built into the very column.

Colors devices may be black, in this test, and white. Corpus speaker is made of dark gray plastic. Overall dimensions are approximately 12 × 12 × 20 cm. Adding a battery increases the height of two and a half centimeters. To install the batteries you must first remove the special plug.

Denon Heos Review Sound System: wireless multi-room solution

The front side is closed by a metal grid, which has a lighter shade of gray. Behind it are, at the manufacturer’s information, the broadband Midwoofer and dome tweeter. At the bottom of the front we see a series of logo and at the bottom in a transparent soft rim is multicolor LED status.

On the top panel of speakers mounted volume buttons and mute. Established for this installation is vertical. Moreover, thanks to the threaded bushing, the device can be placed on a stand or wall.

Of the features pros models manufacturer also notes the water-resistant construction suitable for use in swimming pools and bathrooms. This characteristic can be useful and in mobile use.

Behind there is a hole for wall mount, USB port for storage devices (smartphone or charging) and a niche with other ports and controls – Bluetooth connect button on and reset, power supply input, analog audio, Ethernet port, button and indicator to connect to Wi- Fi.

Denon Heos 3/5/7 HS2

Packaging and assembly devices do not differ. Sturdy cardboard boxes with a good and useful design for greater protection during transportation put in extra from the usual cardboard. The package contains documentation, power supply, network patch cable, audio cable. The difference is only in the implementation of the power supply – the “troika”, 18 he format for installation in socket B 2 A, with almost three-meter cable and additional Velcro for fixing it. The “five” – a format like a laptop, on 18 3,6 A, with an external cable to the socket (total length – 140 + 140 cm). “Seven” have options requires 24 V 3,75 A (cable – 190 cm to 130 cm and the outlet to column). Based on the information on the manufacturer’s website for these models also has two color options – black and white.

Denon Heos Review Sound System: wireless multi-room solution

on all three devices, set the controls and ports similar. Speakers are key local volume control and mute. Behind there are multifunction button Bluetooth / reset, analog stereo, USB port for storage, port for connecting to a wired network, connect button and indicator to Wi-Fi.

Denon Heos 3 is made of dark matt plastic. vertical, but there are rubber feet that allow the model to place horizontally – Basic installation option.

Overall dimensions of the body having a complex shape – about 14 × 16 × 27 cm front side closed mesh fabric on which the company logo is present.. Behind it hides two broadband speaker.

The top panel has three volume control buttons. At the bottom of the contour of the insert is used in translucent soft material in the center of a multi-color LED installed.

Behind there is a threaded sleeve for wall mount (may be interested in the case of the stereo configurations), reflex hole and all other ports and buttons.

Denon Heos Review Sound System: wireless multi-room solution

Denon Heos 5 has calculated only on the horizontal installation. Her body has dimensions of approximately 30 × 21 × 17 centimeters. Form a triangle similar to the projection. The lower part and the ends are made of plastic, all closed top mesh fabric.

In this model, two tweeter mounted two Midwoofer and passive radiator on the rear panel. In the center of the rear opening is provided for the convenience of carrying. On the front side has a logo of the manufacturer, and in the center of the bottom is color indicator.

On the right side mounted volume control buttons. Other inputs for the buttons and at the bottom of the rear panel.

The older model, Denon Heos 7 as a whole is similar in design to the “five”, but much larger (about 48 × 16 × 20 cm). The materials used are the same – dark gray plastic and fabric.

Denon Heos Review Sound System: wireless multi-room solution

Unfortunately, carrying handle, this time decided not to. But add a strip of lighter plastic on the upper edge. Installation option here, too, only one – on a horizontal surface.

Denon Heos Review Sound System: wireless multi-room solution

The composition and the location of the rest – buttons, connectors and indicators – has not changed. Somewhat unexpectedly, that this unit added a headphone output, which is installed on the left side.

Within two tweeters mounted, two mid-bass woofer and one (front side) and two passive radiator (on the back).

Denon Heos Review Sound System: wireless multi-room solution

Denon Heos Link HS2

This device is intended for connection to an existing audio system Denon Heos. It supports features not only audio, but also to capture and broadcast in the signal chain to its audio inputs. The model comes in a small box, equipped with a plastic handle for easy carrying. The package includes a power cable, manual, flat network cable, analog audio cable, IR emitter cable.

Denon Heos Review Sound System: wireless multi-room solution

The housing is made of cast-top box with metallic matte plastic and has the dimensions of 154 × 148 × 73 mm. It is assumed the only accommodation option – on a horizontal surface, where the device will be securely held with rubber feet. Note that the top panel is not flat, so put something else on top can be uncomfortable. In the center of the lower edges of the front side is a strip of multi-colored LED device status. On the right side provides the volume control buttons.

Rear panel connectors densely occupied, and also has a display and a few buttons. Here are: power cable entryway, a LAN cable, connect button on the Bluetooth and reset button and indicator connection Wi-Fi, USB port for storage, audio inputs (analog, digital coaxial and optical) audio outputs (stereo analog and separately on subwoofer, digital coaxial and optical), access to the IR transmitter output to external equipment control trigger.

Denon Heos Review Sound System: wireless multi-room solution

The last two items may be useful to include an external receiver at Denon Heos Link activation. To control the IR channel is marked compatibility with the equipment of the same manufacturer.

Denon Heos Amp HS2

This is another element of the system that can be used to integrate into an existing audio installation. The device comes with a manual and power cables, network and audio.

Denon Heos Review Sound System: wireless multi-room solution

The model can be considered a variant Denon Heos Link, but with built-in power amplifier. Externally Denon Heos Amp mean also similar to this device, but the larger size. The housing is made of plastic, such as gray. Overall dimensions are approximately 22 × 21 × 9 cm. The top panel is not flat, so install something else on top will not work. Besides, it has a ventilation grating. The front edge of the bottom of the installed LED status indicator. On the right side are located the volume buttons and mute.

Denon Heos Review Sound System: wireless multi-room solution

Denon Heos Amp

The rear panel contains all the connectors: power cable input, the connect button on the Bluetooth and reset, screw terminals for speaker cables (note that they provided protection using relays), subwoofer output, three variants of the audio input (minijack, two the RCA, optical digital S / PDIF), USB port, a port for a wired network connection, the button and the indicator to connect to Wi-Fi.

Unlike Denon Heos Link, to connect directly Heos Amp speaker without an amplifier. Optionally, you can add an active subwoofer. In addition, the model provides the opportunity to receive the signal from external sources and its translation into other series of devices.

Denon Heos Review Sound System: wireless multi-room solution

Additional Options

Besides the above, in the family includes several devices. Heos HomeCinema is a combination of the soundbar and wireless subwoofer, and is intended for use in the home. Soundbar is a traditional “stick”, the horizontal size of which corresponds to the format of 46 “TV. For its location, you can use two options – on a wall and on a horizontal surface on rubber feet or to the rack. The latter will be useful to raise the standard of the TV leg. Behind are niche ports connecting cables, as well as buttons to connect and interface with a subwoofer. The power supply of the device made outside. The advantages of such a solution, apart from noise reduction – a thin cable to the soundbar. Because local governments are also only have the volume buttons + / – / Mute.

Because connections are provided similar to the usual columns of options, advanced input and HDMI output (with support for HDMI ARC) and digital optical and coaxial audio inputs. Wireless subwoofer has dimensions of about 17 × 32 × 31 cm. The power supply is built into the casing. The rubber feet supplied allow to place it vertically or horizontally. The range of the radio link to the soundbar is eight meters. The solution supports popular formats of digital audio tracks, including Dolby Digital and DTS (regular, non HD version).

Denon Heos Extend is a dual-band wireless repeater / access point that supports 802.11n. It may be useful to increase wireless coverage and improve the quality of customers. Note that this problem can be solved with the use of other equipment, so that specifically target this device makes sense only if you want to have everything under one brand.

Denon Heos Drive can be considered in a sense, a device created by the principles of traditional multiroom solutions. This model is installed in the rack and supports four zones served by class D amplifiers with maximum output of 60 W (can link aggregation to increase capacity) and equipped with a switching matrix. In addition to working as part of Denon Heos system, this model can be integrated into other multimedia system with support for popular network management protocol.

Installation and Configuration

To connect to a home network, you can use a cable connection and Wi-Fi. In the first case, simply using a cable. The second method requires you to pass on information about the device name and password network. This can be accomplished by the application of corporate audio cable, but easier to use WPS technology, if supported by your router. You can also connect the speakers to the network cable, and then through its own small Web-based interface to switch to a wireless network.

Management and configuration of the system is carried out only from the proprietary software for Android and iOS. It can curse that the smartphone device and connected to different wireless networks (for example, operate in different ranges), but this does not affect operation. Before using the system should check for firmware updates. Note that the process is not a quick install them.

Basic settings are common to all models include: naming, network connection settings, equalizer (separate adjustment of bass and treble), the quality of the digitization line input, choice of backlight brightness. For Denon Heos 3 additionally have a point selection options for installing the speakers – vertical or horizontal. For Denon Heos Link, you can select the operating mode of the signal at the output, as well as the external device control parameters (receiver or amplifier).

The additional options provided for displaying information about the device (including a MAC-addresses and software versions), configure the network addresses, check for firmware updates. For further Denon Heos Amp has balance adjustment and limitation of maximum power.

The basic version of the system all the devices operate independently as a separate column. Next, the user has several options for configuration changes. Firstly, it can combine the different devices in the group. In this case, they will be managed jointly, except for the separate volume control options. These elements can also be called “zones” or “premises”. The second option in the current version of the system – the union of two identical speakers in a stereo pair. In this case, the management will also be cooperative, but each will only play your channel. Options for the format configuration of more than 2.0 currently does not support.

If a problem occurs with the equipment, you can by using the buttons on them to reset some settings or fully return the device to factory state, including the restoration of the original firmware.

Using

Just the same local network, you can use up to 32 Denon Heos series devices. Playback control, as we said above, is carried out with a smartphone or tablet with the established proprietary software. The control device must be in the same LAN segment as the Denon Heos system. All units have equal rights of access and running with a program of music playback can be stopped from the other copy. Note that some of the settings as inherited, including grouping columns, their names, the equalizer adjustment. The speed of response to user actions in a program usually does not cause comments, particularly when adjusting the volume. The only thing, which can take a few seconds – a change in power source.

The main window of the utility has three pages. The first, which is entitled “Facilities”, presented all found in the LAN column and their status. The top line has a quick-stop button (To pause) all devices at once and an icon to bring up the menu change column names. Before proceeding to the second or third page you need to first select the managed device or a group. The last organized very simply – by dragging the icon of one device to another.

The second page is the main choice for the broadcasts. Here are all available in the current installation source. Among them, at the moment there are:

  • network services tunein, Deezer and SoundCloud (list of work in our market);
  • sources in the local network (DLNA server);
  • music from connected to the columns of the USB-drives;
  • Broadcast audio to the audio inputs;
  • music from the local mobile device libraries.

In addition, the list contains items of user playlists, history, and favorites. It is worth to note that most of the options, including broadcast to online sources, media servers, local devices and inputs do not require the utility on your smartphone. That is, it can be turned off and discharged from the mobile device. The truth in this case, there is a risk of “losing control” and left without the ability to quickly turn off the sound on the network.

To broadcast music from your PC or laptop, you can use Bluetooth or DLNA compatible software player. Alternatively, you can install it on software to implement DLNA server and control the operation of the mobile application.

In the upper left corner of this window is a sign of the gear, which is designed to display the system settings menu, described above. It includes items such as the addition of a new device, adjust the sound sources (such as services and local audio inputs), HEOS account, update software, and diagnostic services. The parameters of each speaker are selected through the item “My devices”.

For online services requiring accounts, provided for convenient storage of all parameters in Denon Heos single account. To create only need to specify the email address (it is not checked) and password. After that, you can only use it on all smartphones to automatically connect to all services.

Conveniently, the solution is not closed and is able to interact with the media server with DLNA protocol. So you can easily use a network drive to your home directory of any size without worrying about the power of the speakers platform.

When connecting the USB-drive (note that supports the NTFS file system) songs recorded on it are available for all devices on the network Denon Heos. In addition, they are also distributed and DLNA protocol, so it can be played back on any other compatible equipment. Service supports most common audio formats, including MP3, M4A, FLAC and the ALAC, and is able to index content by tags. Information about the maximum amount of media library in this scenario, the manufacturer does not specify. But in our opinion, for the tens of thousands of songs in any case it is more convenient to use a separate media server.

Most models have a separate analog stereo audio, and Denon Heos Link device there are two digital inputs. They can choose from the menu as sources. This allows you to stream music from one room (for example, with traditional radio player or vinyl) to any speakers in the system. Probably for this service is also used by DLNA protocol.

With the local audio recordings of the program it works quite standard. She is able to read tags, providing options for sorting and grouping them.

The third page is similar to the usual media players: in the center – the logo of broadcasting or album art, and underneath are the playback controls and volume. Additionally, you can select individual levels for device groups, change the order of play (in the case of the albums or playlists). An icon in the upper right corner allows you to add the stream to your favorites, a sign in the upper left corner – to manage the playlist.

Another option is to interact with speakers broadcast them via Bluetooth audio (supports only stereo audio profile broadcast and control, microphone in columns none). Although, of course, in this scenario, the whole ecosystem Heos is irrelevant and is not used at all. The only thing, which can be useful program – to act in the role of the control panel (navigation, volume). But it is perhaps easier to make from the same smartphone, where there is a Bluetooth connection.

Testing has shown that the system is really quite simple to operate. Although sometimes it lacked the traditional remote control and when operating in the original program – what some familiar functions for media players. In general, the speakers manage to react quickly enough. No power switch on the top is a bit confusing. Especially because the brightness of the LEDs of the columns is too great for low light and night. However, it can be reduced in the configuration.

Work on the cable network and 5 GHz 802.11ac for sound stability is ideal. Perhaps this is the first kit to the realization that there is no wireless features comments from the perspective of the quality of the built-in controller. When operating at 2.4 GHz laden neighbors live broadcast vysokobitreytnyh records interrupted.

When using multiple devices in the group failed to detect an inconsistency us at the hearing. In the test were two or three devices, including a connection for Wi-Fi. The only thing where we noticed a problem – FLAC, Broadcast with USB-drive in Denon Heos 5 on Denon Heos Link in finding them in the same group. Whereas the same scenario involving Heos 3 worked great. When placing the devices in different rooms of this effect may be negligible.

Given the level and cost of the system, are important formats are supported when playing files from local drives, media servers, and mobile devices. First of all, we remember that we are talking exclusively about a stereo. It is clear that with the massive options lossy MP3 / M4A / WMA is no problem here, but obviously they are not the main options for users of these models. Keep music in WAV / PCM’s not worth it, despite the low cost of storage. More importantly, this format will require higher network bandwidth. It is better to look towards FLAC and ALAC, which in this system can be used in versions with 16/24 bit and 44.1 / 48 / 88.2 / 96 / 176.4 / 192 kHz. So we can say that with the vast number of common formats lossless compression device data is quite able to cope, and we would recommend to use them in this configuration.

Another option work with the system, or rather its individual components, is a translation of the compositions of the DLNA protocol. That is, the device can act not only as media servers with USB-drives, but also as receivers. Note that in this scenario actually Denon Heos system services are not used.

Despite the fact that the ability to integrate with other systems is supported with model Heos Drive, actually there are drivers for the entire ecosystem of HEOS, working, particularly in the Crestron and Control 4. So if you already have these solutions and want to quickly add another zone for the music that is described in the article equipment may suit you.

Sounding

Subjective evaluation was conducted on the music of different formats and genres, including classical, jazz, rock and electronic music. Noise and background no obvious distortion at medium volume levels we have not noticed. The output power is more than enough in most cases, especially when it comes to background music scenarios where you will rarely use more than one third of the scale installation. Subjectively, the most balanced sound seemed a model Denon Heos 5. The compositions of different genres on it sounded smooth and familiar. Denon Heos 1 for its size serves very well, but some complex compositions feels uneven frequency response. Denon Heos 3 ratings, we recall, only one type of dynamic loudspeakers, sound generally in the central part of the spectrum, and on the edges to be expected there is a recession, although the bass is usually enough, and the top can be adjusted in the settings. The older model, Denon Heos 7, in spite of its configuration, to be honest, is not impressed. Many compositions of the lower part of the spectrum sounded strange, strongly emphasizing some tools.

The following illustration provides frequency response measurements speakers Denon Heos 3/5/7 HS2, measured on the normal and with a deviation of 45 degrees to the side. Any special comments, we will not give. In this case, it would be better to focus on their own experiences. All the more so check them out on their content in the showrooms will be relatively easy (their list can be found on the manufacturer’s website for your region).

For a dynamic model of the head Denon Heos 3 HS2 results can be considered average. While that sounds like it Denon Heos 5, the measurement results are not impressive. The unevenness is too great for this class. On older models managed to slightly improve performance at high frequencies, but the overall results, in our view, not correspond to the cost of the devices.

Conclusion

Considered the system copes well with the declared features. The pluses is attributed not only strimingovyh support services, but also the user’s own media library. In this case you can use including high-quality recording in modern lossless compression formats. Additional devices can be integrated into an existing system Denon Heos installation as both receiver and transmitter. The proposed software for mobile devices is stable, has a fairly user-friendly interface, although a few remarks to him still there. Since the program (firmware and devices themselves) can be updated, the possibility of developing solution is, for example, in terms of adding new services. The second generation of the system can also work over Bluetooth, and thanks to support DLNA protocol, you get the opportunity to realize the interaction with other devices and programs. The disadvantages is the lack of support to write Apple and Google branded music services. Of course, they can be used via Bluetooth or audio, but that’s another story.

From hardware features the best solution is to recognize the installation of high-quality and advanced wireless controllers in all models. Today, in an urban setting only work in the 5 GHz band can count on the stability and speed of the wireless connection. And if we talk about homes, the second range will be useful for the organization of its own separate network exclusively for the transmission of broadcasts. Synchronized sound of multiple devices within the apartment makes a strong impression, especially if you remember that all of this work without wires. Also note the presence of USB ports and audio inputs on all devices, which increases the convenience and versatility. The sound quality from the speaker line systems seemed to us debatable, if we talk not just about the script of the background listening to online broadcasts. From models of this level we expected more.

As for the idea of the system itself, we can say that fundamentally new here is nothing. We are looking at most of the other multi-hand and the use of modern trends, especially wireless technology, mobile devices and streaming services. This is the main advantage is the combination of several known technologies into a single system with simple controls. The pros solutions is the ability to record and self-installation and configuration, does not require professional installers. Among the applications, when such a solution is convenient, we can offer servicing small businesses, apartments and private houses (if you can not repair), studios, offices and other premises, when you want to have a relatively low-cost managed from a single point system with good sound quality .

Source: denon

Denon Heos Review Sound System: wireless multi-room solution was last modified: October 9th, 2016 by Casey Rembrandt