The HEOS 1 is wireless multiroom speaker that's looking to sonically shoot down the Sonos PLAY:1. It's also the smallest in the HEOS family that started with last year's HEOS 3, HEOS 5 and HEOS 7, and we've just got our hands on and opened our ears to one.
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It's a classy-looking speaker, available in matte white or black, and feels extremely solid. It actually feels weightier than it is, at just 1.42kg.
One of the neatest things about the Denon HEOS 1 is the optional HEOS 1 Go Pack (£79), which consists mainly of a battery that simply twists onto the bottom of the speaker to enable complete portability. It's a 2600mAh battery which charges while attached to the speaker, and Denon claims it's good for six hours of playback. Four LEDs indicate the battery life.
The Go Pack also includes a rubber flap to cover all the sockets in case of a sudden downpour, upgrading the HEOS 1 to being IPX4 water restistant. Finally, there's a Bluetooth dongle that pops into the USB socket around the back.
So no Bluetooth built in, then, but the HEOS 1 does have Wi-Fi as standard. Control is via the existing HEOS app, available for iOS and Android. The USB socket's not just for that dongle, either, and can accept a USB key full of tunes.
As well as being a standalone wireless speaker, the Denon HEOS 1 can be paired with a second HEOS 1 via the app for stereo sound.
Upon first listen in a demo room, the HEOS 1 was impressively room-filling by itself, despite its size. But combined with another, the stereo pair was a level above. Of course, that's no cheap option, with each HEOS 1 weighing in at a hefty £199.
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Until we get one (or two) HEOS 1s in for a proper test and set them up against some of their Sonos rivals, it's difficult to judge them on sound alone. We're keen on the design and simplicity of the multiroom setup, though, and the Go Pack adds a whole new level of versatility.