Denon, HEOS Lineup Stresses Inter-Brand Synergy
Hot on the heels of the HEOS line’s first A/V receiver (AVR) introduction last week, - a line positioned with non-intimidating aesthetics while viable for technophobic consumers - new product announcements in both the Denon and HEOS lines are designed to cement their inter-brand functionality have followed. This includes the HEOS Bar soundbar, the HEOS Sub subwoofer, and the new Denon S-Series AVRs.
The HEOS Bar ($899), a wireless, three-channel, low-profile soundbar is upgradable to 5.1-channel status and usable with either a HEOS amplifier and passive speakers or with any pair of HEOS speakers, said Jeff Cowan, Denon/HEOS vice president of training, who detailed the string of introductions at a webinar last week.
He explained that the HEOS Bar – as well as the newly introduced HEOS Sub – since they are connectable to a home network using the 5GHz band, freeing up additional zones on a network. The setup also circumvents any possibility of signal latency, he added. The Bar offers four HDMI 2.0a inputs with HDR video support, and HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel) output with CEC – the recommended signal path from a display to the soundbar, because it guarantees the integrity of the original signal, he said. Also featured are four integrated IR repeaters, eliminating any issues of blocked IR signals. It also offers Hi-Res Audio support, “out of the box,” said Cowan. Drivers are mounted at 45-degree angles for above- or below-TV mounting flexibility.
The HEO Subwoofer ($599), endowed with a 185-watt Class D amplifier, offers dual 5 1/4-inch extra-long-throw woofers, is applicable in either a vertical or horizontal configuration, and is usable with the HEOS Bar or HEOS AVR via a wireless connection, or it can be used as a HEOS networked device.
The entire lineup of Denon’s S-Series AVRs, except for the entry-level model, is networking and is HEOS-compatible. The line, ranging from $279 to $579, and due out in April, also supports both Dolby Vision and Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) – the HDR format for live-broadcast video. Overall, the line boasts improved sound quality by virtue of the use of upgraded D/A converters – AKM 32-bit 786kHZ DACs.
The entry-level AVR-S530BT, at 70 watts x 5, has built-in Bluetooth setup assistance.
The AVR-S730H, at 80 watts x 7, offers Dolby Atmos and 5.1.2 support out of the box, as well as DTS:X support. Other features include dual-band Wi-Fi and an Ethernet port.
The top-line AVR-S930H, at 95 watts x 7, offers eight HDMI inputs and two outputs, as well as 30 fps (frames per second) 4K scaling.
“HEOS integration really adds value to our AVRs,” added Cowan, pointing out that, regarding multi-zone/multi-source capability, Zones 1, 2 and 3 can play another source.
Cowan also commented on the recent acquisition of former Denon and HEOS parent D+M Group by Sound United, saying, “Our HEOS investment will continue to grow.”