The Denon HEOS AVR

Denon unveiled Wednesday a new audio/video receiver (AVR) supporting its HEOS wireless music system and bringing a new sleek modern design to the category notorious for its traditional black box appearance.

The new product called simply the “Denon HEOS AVR” will ship in April at a $999 suggested retail and has been designed to deliver a 5.1-channel surround sound experience without rear-channel cables cluttering the room.

The receiver is said to provide the simple set-up and operation of a soundbar with the higher quality surround sound of a 5.1 speaker arrangement.

Read more on the Denon HEOS AVR after the jump:

The Denon HEOS AVR has a sleek, slimline contemporary design that shuns the ages-old black box look of past AVRs. Although it looks different, Denon assures the HEOS AVR incorporates the same home theater expertise and technology for which the company is known.

The HEOS AVR can be easily set up to fit almost any room configuration. An intuitive HEOS app is designed to step the user through the configuration process to deliver properly balanced surround sound in the home theater room and integration with other HEOS-enabled speakers and devices in the wireless whole-house music network.

The wireless AVR also can be used with HEOS speakers for the surround channels to create an almost cable-free multi-channel system. Furthermore, it will drive conventional speakers with built-in Class D amplification at up to 50W per channel. The receiver is designed to accommodate a mix of wired and wireless speakers at the same time.

The HEOS AVR includes four HDMI 2.0a/HDCP 2.2 inputs — including one with support for Audio Return Channel — to accept 4K Ultra HD content with high dynamic range (HDR) from both 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray players and online video streaming formats.

For simplified operation, the HEOS AVR has the ability integrate with and learn TV remote commands with main AVR functions available from the TV remote.

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The HEOS AVR will stream music from a home computer or online services including: Spotify Connect, Pandora, and TIDAL for limitless entertainment.

The HEOS wireless multi-room music system enables adding speakers at any time, and will ship different music choices to different rooms or broadcast one audio selection throughout the wireless music network.  Multiple presets are provided for favorite functions, and to stream music directly from a phone or tablet via Bluetooth.

The Denon HEOS AVR also includes: support for popular high-resolution audio formats including: DSD (2.4, 5.6 MHz), FLAC, WAV, ALAC (192/24), MP3, WMA, AAC File Playback (USB / Network), and will support high-resolution audio streaming.

The receiver will play a wide range of surround sound formats including Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio.

The Denon HEOS AVR was one of the first product announcements to come from the long-popular Hi-Fi audio brand following the announcement that Bain Capital, the private-equity investment company that owns Denon parent D+M Group, is selling the D+M Group to private equity firm Charlesbank Capital Partners (CCP). The latter already owns DEI Holdings, a division of which is Sound United LLC, which controls the Polk Audio and Definitive Technology lines.

The D+M brands are now under the Sound United name and umbrella, joining Marantz and Boston Acoustics to comprise one of the largest suppliers of mid-to-high-end AVRs, speakers and soundbars in the world.


By Greg Tarr


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