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Denon outfits Heos speakers with Bluetooth and high-res audio

Engadget Engadget 19/04/2016 Billy Steele
© Provided by Engadget

Denon debuted its Heos line of speakers nearly two years ago, a set of audio gear that looked to rival multi-room setups like Sonos and others. Now Denon is giving the speakers a bit of a boost by adding some new features. The Heos lineup now sports the HS2 label, so you can tell them apart from the group that arrived back in 2014. That's an important differentiation as the exterior design hasn't changed. What has changed is the addition of high-res audio and Bluetooth connectivity.

As far as the high-resolution audio is concerned, Heos by Denon HS2 supports uncompressed WAV (PCM), ALAC (Apple Lossless) and FLAC music files up to 24-bit/192-kHz over network or USB. And soon, you'll be able to play DSD and AIFF tracks, too. High-res playback is made possible by a 1.25GHz ARM A9 processor alongside 512 MB of flash memory and 256 MB of RAM. What's more, you can add any of the new HS2 gear to first-gen Heos speakers that you already own without having worry about compatibility issues.

Denon is also keeping the pricing the same as the original Heos devices, despite the additional features and upgraded internals. The Heos 5 and Heos 7 are available now for $400/£349 and $600/£499, respectively. In July, you'll be able to pick up the retooled Heos Amp ($499/£399) and Heos Link ($349/£299) which provide wireless amplifier and pre-amp options for any set of speakers. Last but not least, the Heos 1 and Heos 3 are both expected to arrive in the middle of the year, priced at $200/£199 and $300/£249 each.


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