We have tested the Denon HEOS multiroom app!
The Denon brand is best known for its award-winning AV receivers and amplifiers, but that’s not all.
The company offers a wide range of products – from speakers to subwoofers, amplifiers to wireless speakers – all of which can be connected to HEOS ’multi-room system.
HEOS (Home Entertainment Operating System) is a Denon wireless multi-room sound system found on Denon and Marantz wireless speakers, receivers / amplifiers and other audio products. HEOS requires a home WiFi home network to work. It is free to download and compatible with iOS and Android smart devices.
It can be used to stream music from the following services: Amazon Music, Deezer, iHeart Radio, Pandora, Mood Mix, Napster, Sirius / XM, SoundCloud, Spotify, TIDAL.
Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are also available, but using Wi-Fi also allows you to transfer uncompressed music files, which is of better quality than music streamed via Bluetooth. Supported digital music file formats: MP3, AAC, Apple, DSD, Flac, wav, WMA.
Not only can HEOS be able to play online music services and digital music files, if you have a HEOS-compatible home theater amplifier, it will also play and stream music from connected sources (CD player, turntable, etc.) to any HEOS wireless speaker.
The HEOS also performs very well with a pair of stereo speakers. For the best sound quality, be sure to have both speakers of the same brand and performance.
HEOS and Surround Sound
The HEOS is also suitable for wireless surround sound transmission if you have a compatible speaker or home theater receiver. Any two HEOS-compatible wireless speakers can be integrated into the system, allowing DTS and Dolby digital surround signals to be sent to these speakers.
After installing the HEOS application on your smartphone, clicking the Setup Now button finds the application and connects to all HEOS-compatible devices.
Music streaming using the HEOS Multiroom system
Once installed, you can stream music directly to compatible HEOS devices via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, no matter where you are in the house. The HEOS application can also stream music directly to the receiver, so you can listen to music through your home theater system.
A HEOS link
Another way to use HEOS is with HEOS Link. The HEOS Link is a preamplifier specifically compatible with the HEOS system that can be connected to any existing stereo / home theater receiver or speaker with analog or digital audio inputs, even if they do not have a built-in HEOS application.
HEOS and Alexa
HEOS devices can be controlled using the Alexa voice assistant immediately after connecting the Alexa application on the smartphone to compatible HEOS devices. Once the connection is established, HEOS-compatible wireless speakers, or an Alexa-compatible home theater receiver or speakers can be controlled by voice control via our smartphone or dedicated Amazon Echo device.
HEOS first appeared in 2014 as HS1. However, in 2016, Denon introduced the 2nd generation of HEOS (HS2), which was augmented with additional features. Equipped with a separate button for HEOS wireless speakers and Bluetooth streaming. With Hi-Res audio support and 5 GHz wireless transmission support, the HS2 has been further expanded.
To connect the speakers to a Wi-Fi network, all you have to do is charge the HEOS app, or use an Ethernet cable or a 3.5mm connector to transfer data from your smartphone or tablet to your device. The flashing LEDs on each product indicate its status.
Alexa allows you to control playback with voice control, it also has a Bluetooth connection, although it lacks the aptX required for “CD-like” 16bit / 44.1kHz streaming.
If you want to use HEOS on multiple devices, you may want to create a Denon account. This allows us to save different passwords and quickly sign in to our accounts when we switch to another tablet or smartphone.
While Spotify works through Spotify Connect, the other applications appear in the HEOS application itself. If you want to send music to multiple speakers, you can easily set the desired configuration. The range is capable of playing 24bit / 192kHz music streams via wireless network or USB and also supports DSD up to 5.6MHz.
The only small downside is that the Settings panel is in the Music section, so for example, if you’re in Tidal and want to change your device settings, you have to quit all the way. It would be better if it was a little more accessible. A HEOS 1 speaker was used during the test.
We tested the HEOS application in a smaller studio, where the acoustics were perfect, the printed sound-absorbing panels on the walls ensure the right ratio of bass, and the diffuser, complete with front panels, created an ideal sound. In the case of a studio, optimal acoustics are much more important, as the quality of sound recordings depends on this.
The HEOS system delivered an impressive performance that is an experience to listen to. When used in smaller rooms, Denon recommends stopping the bass in the EQ settings. He handled the treble confidently, but the HEOS system lacked precision or fine dynamics.
The HEOS multiroom system together with the DENON speakers is not necessarily capable of the best quality sound, it could be more accurate, dynamic and pleasant. The settings are very simple, you can find and connect to devices very quickly, and the plethora of features is really impressive.
Written by Róbert Polgár