The Denon HEOS AVR Combines Quality With Styling
The Denon HEOS AVR is an AV receiver that allows you to use Denon’s HEOS speakers as wireless surround channels. The HEOS AVR, at just 90 mm, is much smaller than conventional receivers and is easy to fit into a shelving unit. Build quality and styling are first class. The front panel is clutter-free – the only features are a large volume dial and a multicolored LED underneath the unit. If you own Denon’s speakers and are in the market for a small and easy-to-use AV receiver, look no further than the HEOS AVR.
- On the back of the device is an array of sockets, including four HDMI 2.0a inputs and an ARC-compatible output. They’re all fully 4K compliant, with support for 4K/60p, HDR, Dolby Vision, HLG, and HDCP 2.2 copy protection. Two digital inputs are provided (one coaxial, one optical) alongside two analogue inputs, a subwoofer output, and USB port. There’s an ethernet port as well. Also on the back are five speaker binding posts, which allow you to connect to speakers of your choice.
- Multiroom music playback is the HEOS AVR’s biggest draw, and Denon’s platform for this is very good. Using the HEOS smartphone app, you can send music to any speaker in your system, group multiple speakers together, and access music from many services. You can also stream music from NAS drives and PCs on your home network. Hi-res streaming is supported.
- HEOS AVR’s five power amps provide 50W per channel. You can use the HEOS AVR in a number of configurations, including 2.0, 2.1, 3.1 and 5.1, using a combination of wired and wireless speakers.
- The HEOS app is fast and simple. It scrolls through tracklists and albums with minimal buffering, and loads up tracks instantly. The app has three areas – the ‘Rooms’ menu, which is where you can manage the various speakers in your system; ‘Music’, where you can access music from servers and services, or switch inputs; and ‘Now Playing’, which has playback controls, a volume slider, and cover art. Most of the AVR’s functions are controlled by the app, but Denon also provides a physical remote for making quick volume adjustments or pausing playback.
- Once you set it up and play something you get a spacious soundstage and precise, detailed effects. The HEOS AVR dispatches sounds to the relevant speakers quickly and seamlessly. The receiver’s own bass extension is quite deep, so you can do without a subwoofer. The sound is well-rounded, smooth, and elegant. This AVR is as good for music as it is for movies.