Denon announces HEOS by Denon, taking on Sonos with Spotify, Deezer and Napster support
Denon announced a new multi-room audio range called HEOS by Denon during the D&M Group European Dealer Conference in Marbella.
The new wireless speaker line-up is set to take on Sonos, who according to Denon's CEO Jim Caudill, is the "originator of this category", and it will include HEOS 7, HEOS 5 and HEOS 3 speakers, along with a link, amp and extend unit. The president of marketing and sales for the company Terry O'Connell also said a HEOS by Denon competitor to Sonos's Play 1 would be coming in January for the range to take on Sonos "head to head".
Its name comes from Home Entertainment Operating System and it hooks up to an existing Wi-Fi dual-band 802.11n network. The speakers will be able to bring music from local and cloud sources, sync playback across each speaker in every zone, as well as play something different from each speaker.
The HEOS by Denon range will work with Spotify, Deezer, Tunein, Napster and Pandora to begin with, but Denon claims it working with iTunes, Sirus, iHeart, Rhapsody and Beats Music to incorporate them eventually - but no Google Play was mentioned.
The biggest of the range is the HEOS 7 that features five class D amplifiers, two custom tweeters and mid-woofers, a sub-woofer and two radiators.
Taking it down a notch, the HEOS 5 offers four class D amps, two tweeters, mid-woofers and a passive radiator, while the HEOS 3 has a 2-channel digital amp and dual full-range woofers.
All three of the units offer both USB and aux-in inputs and they will be available in black or silver. The range will be controlled via an app which is available for iOS and Android, but Denon has said that Windows Phone is also a platform that is being considered.
Similar to Sonos, you can pair up two HEOS 3 speakers to make a wireless audio system and the Extend unit will act as a bridge just like the Sonos Bridge does.
Denon has said the range will come to Europe in "mid-August" and will be directly competitive with Sonos in terms of pricing.
The company has said that will be offering a "90 days to be amazed" scheme for the range though, following research that suggests 50 per cent of multi room customers purchase a second unit after 90 days.
The scheme will give customers 20 per cent off their second HEOS by Denon unit if they purchase it within 90 days of their first HEOS by Denon product. Denon also hinted at a free 90 day trial with a music service, although it wouldn't give any further details on which one for now.
Pocket-lint is at the conference and so we will give you our first impressions of the HEOS by Denon range soon.