The folks at Sonos have had a good run, a run that was mostly unchallenged… until now. Denon, no stranger to home audio, is getting into the wireless internet speaker game with the HEOS line. Read on for a review of the Denon Heos 7.
Denon HEOS 7 Review
Just like Sonos system the Denon HEOS speakers are smartphone or tablet app controlled. The system allows you to play the same, or different, music in up to 32 rooms. HEOS users can access all of their music and make their own playlists. Currently there are three Denon HEOS speakers the HEOS 3, HEOS 5, and HEOS 7. I will be listing my experience with the largest of the Heos speakers the “7”.
The first thing I noticed about the Heos 7 ($599) is that it doesn’t look much like a traditional speaker. Rather, it looks like a high-end iPhone dock. The speaker is rather large (8 x 18.9 x 6.5 inches) and heavy (9.9 lbs). This weight/girth isn’t surprising considering this monster has seven speakers packed inside. You get five active drivers (two tweeters, two mids, and one subwoofer) and two passive radiators for more bass augmentation. The power comes from clean Class D digital amplification.
The app was easy to use and allows you to stream from your onboard music or online services like Pandora, Rhapsody, TuneIn, Spotify, and more. I used the (free) app on an iPhone but it is also available for Android. There are three tabs across the bottom of the app – “Rooms”, “Music”, and “Now Playing”. The app is well designed and doesn’t require a manual to use. A cool feature is the “pinch to play” function which allows the user to quickly get all speakers on the same musical page. If you are a bit more old-school you can just stick a USB drive into the HEOS 7 and this can be shared to other connected speakers.
The sound is big like the speaker. The bass is turned up a bit which I like but some won’t. If too much bass isn’t your thing you can turn it down via the app or try the HEOS 3 or HEOS 5. The highs and kids are simply great.
All in all the HEOS system is a serious contender in the space and works/sound great.