Review of Denon HEOS 1 HS2: start small
Many of us have heard about the multiroom, and some even know what it is. Until recently, network multi-room entertainment system was only available to the inhabitants of the luxurious country mansions. But now to join the wonder able any of us. Get started building your own real multiroom you can compact wireless HEOS 1 HS acoustics from the Denon.
Specifications Denon HEOS 1 HS2
- Function: network multispectral acoustics
- Amplifier: class D, 2 channel (bi-amping)
- Output power: not available
- Drivers: tweeter soft dome, wide-band mid/bass
- Network interfaces: Ethernet (RJ-45), Wi-Fi 2.4/5 GHz (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth
- Inputs: USB 2.0, a 3.5 mm AUX Jack (analog input)
- Supported file types (via USB, Ethernet and Wi-Fi): WMA (up to 192kbps), AAC. MP3 (up to 320 kbps), ALAC (up to 24bit/96kHz), WAV, FLAC (up to 24bit/192kHz), DSD64/128
- Mobile app: for iOS, Android, Kindle Fire
- Streaming services (in Russia): TuneIn, Deezer, SoundCloud
- Network Protocol (for playback from NAS): DLNA
- Power supply: from external adapter ~ 100-240V, 50 Hz, rechargeable lithium-ion battery HEOS 1 Go Pack HS2 (option)
- Working time on one charge the Go Pack: 6 hours
- Dimensions (without Go Pack): 189x129x128 mm
- Weight (without Go Pack): 1.45 kg
- Go Pack weight: 0.3 kg
In a cardboard box with no claims to luxury are the speaker itself, power supply, high quality flat Ethernet cable cord to 3.5 mm connectors and documentation.
We also got the optional module Go Pack HS2 is a Li-Ion battery in the form of a stand column and a silicone end cap that covers the connectors and makes the column spill-proof.
Without this module, the column is powered by a network adapter and is essentially stationary, and with the “stand” becomes portable. It will take anywhere and not be afraid that she will get under a rain break. The idea is quite reasonable: homebody, seldom trying to get out of the house, the battery is not needed. And travel lovers picnic and can purchase even more than one such module, as a couple — unless, of course, their toad won’t mind. Batareika, unfortunately, not cheap.
Appearance and design
The intricate shape of the body column with the irregular hexagon in cross-section and trapezoidal lateral facets are dictated by the desire to get the best sound. There are no parallel surfaces, the internal reflections which create so-called “standing waves” and resonances, which frequency characteristic loses linearity.
Housing made of durable plastic made in the highest high quality. By the way, the Denon on the performance and finish does not save.
On the top edge there are three buttons: on/off (also Mute) and volume control. On the bottom is covered with a removable lid recess with five contacts for connection with the Go Pack.
The rear is a threaded socket and the hole (silicone plug) wall mount, below — USB connector. Here it is time to say that the first version of the HEOS 1 Bluetooth adapter was optional, it had to be purchased and installed in this connector. We have the same updated model with a built-in “sinezub”. It is very good, since USB was released. Therefore, it is possible at any time, charging mobile equipment, or to connect external storage device (USB flash drive, portable HDD) with music files (supports Hi-Res available).
Below the USB connector are (left to right): button Bluetooth pairing, power Jack, analog line input AUX (3.5 mm connector), network RJ-45 connector for a wired connection with the network (later we will explain what it is), you will see a button labeled CONNECT (it starts the connection process via Wi-Fi), to the right is a small led indicator.
Under the signboard HEOS is another indicator, larger, it displays the status column and also participates in the connection.
Speakers in column two: Squeaker soft silk dome and broadband medium-low-frequency driver with a diameter of about 6 cm — at the big desire it is possible to see through the metal grill. Each of these speakers, a separate amplifier channels — this design is typically used in professional Studio monitors. It allows to refuse from bulky passive crossovers, replacing them with compact electronic with the possibility of fine correction of the frequency characteristic. Both amps operate in class D with strict restrictions on dimensions is the only possible solution.
To start using HEOS 1, it is enough to connect to the device via Bluetooth. It’s quite simple, it is only necessary to read the user’s guide, which button and how long you need to hold and what color should flash the indicators. Or even simpler: follow the instructions free mobile the HEOS app (for iOS and Android) — with its installation on the smartphone to start working with the column.
After pairing via Bluetooth we can use the built-in player application or launch a favorite music player and listen to music. But therefore we use only the microscopic part of the support column. But to implement them in full, you must be connected via Wi-Fi or Ethernet.
If we connect with a network cord and router we have an active DHCP server, everything is easy.
Column machine is issued an IP address, it becomes available in the home network, and you can add in the mobile app our device and get control over it. By default, the column shows how voiced area, workroom, bedroom, childrens and so on. But it is possible to assign any other designation.
However, if you live in a big house and in each room you have installed by HEOS, simply leave the proposed principle: for example, went into the kitchen and switched to the appropriate zone.
But what if the connection cord is not desirable or not possible?
Then you need to take the supplied audio cable (3.5 mm — 3.5 mm) and connect them to AUX-in speakers and headphone output of your smartphone. The app tells you what to do next. The system receives the cable from the smartphone all the necessary information, in particular, the SSID of the Wi-Fi network, and prompts for a password to the access point. Then the cable can be hidden — the column is connected.
Well, if the router is at hand, it is necessary to connect the bundled Ethernet cable to add in the HEOS app and then turn off the cord — column machine will switch to Wi-Fi. Nothing complicated, the program politely tells what to do.
The choice of content source, music playback, switch tracks, compile playlists and collections, adjusting the volume and tone at high and low, and switching between zones (those who got multiple HEOS), — all this is done via the mobile app. Sources can include streaming services, TuneIn, SoundCloud and Deezer (the latter, unfortunately, paid). Will lose those files that are on the device (menu selection has a corresponding item) or on any of the devices available on a home network, NAS, computers or, for example, drives that are connected to your TV. Or on a flash drive in the USB connector of the speaker.
In a situation when there is no Wi-Fi network, useful or old-fashioned Bluetooth connection to the smartphone cable (this allows to save a little battery power).
If you have two HEOS speakers, you can connect them in stereo mode. When they are located in different rooms, it is able to reproduce the same music at the same time. And here is the tracking mode, when a column is automatically included when you come into the room, and continues to play the song that you started listening to another is not possible — it would greatly increase the cost of an already expensive system. In addition, a special sense in this kind of solution is not: the power consumption of the speakers is small, so easier to enable simultaneous playback in areas where you move.
Here is the time to notice that the HEOS — a family in which the first model is the most compact and affordable. There is another HEOS 3, HEOS 5 and HEOS 7 — the increase in numbers increase the number of drivers, dimensions and power systems. It is clear that they are designed to indicate areas of different sizes.
Autonomy and battery
Charge Go Pack should be enough, according to the documentation, for six hours. We have a column stretched out even more for a wired network connection and a little less on Wi-Fi. But we listened to at a moderate level, as the room was small. The battery is shown with a line of blue LEDs on the rear side of the battery is to be lit, you should press the button on the right.
The program was listening to music of different genres: from hard rock to chamber and symphonic classics in FLAC at resolutions up to 24-bit/192 kHz and DSD in a bit. Among the other music listened to the album, Fantastic Negrito “Last Days of Oakland”, which received this year’s Grammy as best contemporary Blues album.
Before listening did not bother to go to the settings section of the gadget in the application and set up a high level of quality (there are still normal).
According to the user manual, thus changing the parameters of transcoding when streaming over your network to other HEOS devices. If listening occurs in the primary device, this switch does not change anything, but we still switched just in case.
Sound devices strongly depends on the location: if you put a column next to a reflective surface (e.g. wall), the volume increases markedly, it added bass. The best option in the corner, but not close to the walls, but at some distance, which is easy to determine by ear. However, stock power is enough when placed in the center of the room. You can add a little bass, since this is done only by increasing the gain in the bass channel, so the tone control does not introduce distortions and does not affect sound quality.
The position of the listener relative to the speakers, of course, matters, but not to the same extent as with conventional acoustics. From HEOS 1 great dispersion: when rejecting off-axis radiation of the speaker in the range of about 170° is practically not observed and a decrease in high frequencies. Some of their deficit occurs if you go the column to the rear. This system is specifically created with the expectation that the listener is not sitting in front of her and walks around the room and does her thing. If to be exactly positioned against the column, you may notice some excess brightness in the upper range, but this is easily fixed tone control.
The bass is neat, collected, firm, but not too deep, because with such a compact body to obtain them is simply impossible — against physics you will not trample. But, in our experience, for the subjective perception of bass is not the most important lower cut-off frequency range, and transient response, the rate of reaction dynamics to changes in the signal. Oh, and the uniformity of custody. For example, if acoustics is capable of reproducing low frequencies from 20 Hz, but has a gap in the 100-200 Hz, its sound may seem “liquid” and not enough bass. By the way, when passionate desire to get really deep bass can be added to the HEOS 1 “native” wireless subwoofer.
Column plays equally well regardless of where the files are located — on the smartphone, a network drive or connected memory stick. Thus a significant gap between material in standard definition (16-bit/44.1 kHz) and Hi-Res, and between Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. By the way, if the role of the source use a smartphone, don’t forget to deactivate in preferences the option to disable the Wi-Fi module after the lock screen, otherwise the playback will be interrupted. While playing with network shares or USB drive this will not happen — the smartphone is asleep, and the column will continue.
Genre preferences HEOS 1 does not show — fun sounds any music, even a Symphony. Very well captured vocals. This indicates a smooth frequency response and generally competent design. That is not surprising — Denon have huge experience in the development of mini – and Microsystems engineers, the company knows how to get awesome sound from small speakers.
Portability acoustics Denon HEOS 1 HS2 relative, but to take it with me in a car ride to a barbecue or to the country — no problem. It is also interesting their sound is clean, balanced and surprisingly large for such a compact device. In addition to that this column is part of a large family of HEOS, which makes it easy to increase the power of a home audio system. Moved from a small rented apartment in the home more — bought a bigger model, and the youngest left in the kitchen is already the beginning of the present multirama. Then got a big TV, and to it added a HEOS Soundbar. This system can grow along with your well-being.
- great quality of execution;
- expressive sound;
- full network functionality;
- a thoughtful algorithm settings;
- the capacity of the system by adding other components HEOS.
- no accurate indication of battery charge.
The author of the text: Vasily Zuev
Picture device: Daria Golubovich