Today Denon took the wraps off a pair of new HEOS wireless audio products. The HEOS Bar ($900) is a 3.0 soundbar that supports 5.1 surround while the HEOS Subwoofer ($600) offers a wireless option for adding deep bass to your compatible system.
First and foremost, these are HEOS devices, so they are designed to work in harmony with Denon’ wireless multi-room audio ecosystem. That includes the ability to stream hi-res audio to multiple zones, as well as put together a wireless surround system—all controlled by a smartphone or tablet app.
HEOS Bar soundbar
The HEOS Bar differs from the existing HEOS HomeCinema soundbar in that it supports 5.1 surround-sound with wireless rear speakers and is a 3-channel device as opposed to 2-channel.
When used in a 5.1 configuration, the HEOS Bar’s surround channels and subwoofer are not networked. Instead, they use a direct 5 gigahertz connection so there’s no risk of latency. Plus, with this approach, implementing 5.1 surround does not tax your Wi-Fi network the way some other networked, wireless systems that offer 5.1 surround do.
If you don’t have surround speakers, a virtual surround option is there to help make movie soundtracks more immersive.
This soundbar features six channels of class-D amplification. It has four HDMI 2.0a (with HDCP 2.2) inputs and one HDMI output (with ARC support), so it can serve the role that an AVR typically handles including switching between sources that support HDR 4K content.
Denon noted that the HEOS bar is engineered to provide enough bass extension and output that it does not require a subwoofer. A total of six 2″ x 5″ oval-type mid/woofers purportedly provide sufficient oomph for casual listening. But at the same time, the company has a new wireless sub it would like you to know about, the HEOS Subwoofer.
These drivers are positioned at a 45-degree angle, so the HEOS Bar can be used in both the horizontal and vertical orientation, depending on whether it is wall mounted or rests on a stand.
Here’s a YouTube video from Denon talking about the HEOS Bar.
The HEOS Subwoofer
This new sub uses dual 5.25″ drivers that are mounted in a compact ported cabinet. Class-D amplification of unspecified wattage provides power.
HEOS Subwoofer is designed to be positioned horizontally or vertically, and it is slender enough that when it’s horizontal, it can fit underneath a couch.
The company does not list frequency response specifications, but it does promise the sub uses DSP algorithms to “provide optimized low-frequency response across the entire dynamic range.”
The crossover of the HEOS subwoofer adapts to whatever configuration it is assigned to, depending on the capabilities of the speaker system it is connected to.
This subwoofer is compatible with the entire range of HEOS products. You could use it in a 1.1 system in conjunction with a single HEOS speaker, or in a 5.1 system with either a HEOS-equipped AVR or the new HEOS Bar. It also works with the HEOS Amp, HEOS Link, and the new HEOS AVR.