Denon HEOS

How much time do you spend at your bathroom sink? If the answer is "a lot", then Denon has a set of speakers for you. The HEOS 1 ($199/ea.) are wireless and Bluetooth endowed and can pass PCM resolutions up to 24-bit/192kHz (AIFF and DSD support are coming soon). The HEOS app supports Internet Radio and a number of streaming services including the only one that really matters, Tidal.

The HEOS products are lifestyle products.

I get the feeling that multi-room high-res audio has yet to draw some people in.

Hugo450r's picture

The presentation wasn't the most compelling for most people.

This setup seems to speak more to the hard core ,less so the casual and entry level users.

I think I understand the approach being attempted here but it doesn't speak to the mainstream.

Hugo450r's picture

on these peoples faces clearly communicates a sense of "blah".

Hugo450r's picture

is clearly having a hard time staying awake.

The second guy is clearly also contemplating a nap.

audiodoctornj's picture

I wasn't there so I can't judge the setup, but it does look like the only thing Denon was showcasing was the Denon wireless speakers which are pretty okay, nothing special, there.

What I will say is that the Heos amp is actually good sounding, and when used with a good pair of speakers the results can be quite musical.

I will say my company, Audio Doctor, has a lot of experience in this area, and there are some really good sounding examples of this concept:

The Naim Muso products which are similar in concept to the Denon Heos, and the Muso does sound really quite good. Another winer is he Paradigm PW Amp, $500.00 which is a 100 watt digital streamer/amplifier, which uses the really sophisticated ARC room correction system Anthem developed for their top rated surround sound processors, and this little amp is really quite excellent when used with a good pair of bookshelf speakers or floor standing speakers.

What I really like to show my clients is the step up from the Naim Muso which is an all and one steamer/speaker to the Naim Uniti line which is based on the famous Naim separates, a Uniqute combines a Naim dac/streamer/internet radio with a 30 watt amplifier inone compact little box for $2,595.00 we play that with a pair of Kef R 500 $2,595.00 and now you have a real music system.

So what we need to do as an industry is to embrace these better lifestyle products, which can lead more people into discovering that there are better quality music systems available, to the mass market brands that they may know about, and we can start creating more people that care about audio quality, who then might even embrace the more audiophile products that we all love! Viva the revolution!

lestes's picture

I think the real problem is that these companies are way late to the game that Sonos covered long ago. All of my peers who like music chose Sonos and they are satisfied. That leaves the Audiophile who wants to stream music throughout his house...a small subset indeed.

Hugo450r's picture

It's a small market segment for streamers at this price point and already saturated with Sonos and the Squeezebox Touch.

As a Sonos owner ( and previously a SB Touch owner ) I have no interest in changing my streamer. I listen entirely via streaming and since the Sonos has the ability to stream at CD quality it provides for my Tidal streaming just fine.

Upgrading from a Sonos doesn't become compelling until the streaming services start offering hi res or MQA or something else the Sonos can't do.

audiodoctornj's picture

I read the I have Sonos comments, and I find those comments to be a bit silly, especially as a post on a high end audiophile site.

Saying the you own something and there is no reason to upgrade flies against the audiophile mentality of exploring better products to get you closer to the music.

Sonos is to be credited as creating the first of this kind of product, however, they have stopped innovating and opened the door up for other manufacturers to enter the market with even better products.

The Paradigm streaming products are better, the Naim streaming products are way better, the Denon Heos is better, and the Devialet products are better, not to mention the NAD Bluesound line.

The concept of streaming products is that they are easy to use, and easy to implement, however, if you were to compare your Sonos to any of these products you would see an improvement.

What I really like is the Naim Uniti line which is a real audiophile product, ie a separate high end audio quality amp and dac based on the regular Naim line, to which you add a set of speakers to, the ability to have one common interface to control a real audiophile product and still have an all in one streaming amp/speaker combo makes the Naim line totally unique.

In terms of MQA NAD's streaming product line Bluesound is implementing MQA as a software upgrade.

So if you like Sonos that is great, however, you may love one of these newer more audiophile quality systems even more.

I know myself I love to upgrade, Galaxy Note 3 to Note 4 to Note 6, and so on with other technology, once there was only one company making streaming audio products, so you had only one level of quality now you have many options.

Michael Lavorgna's picture
The Bluesound Powernode 2 is an amp/DAC/streamer--just add speakers--controlled by the same BluOS app as the rest of the Bluesound components. There's also MOON by Simaudio's all-in-one NEO ACE which is also controlled by the Sim app. So the Naim line is not unique in this regard.