Denon’s AVR box promises proper wireless surround sound

Power cables aren’t wires though, right?

Hey, that soundbar’s got no grill…

Pah, soundbars. If you could compress 10kg of marketing wormtonguery into a 1kg box, what would you have?

Five-in-one dishwasher tablets?

No. Well, yes. But we’re talking about the idea that you can have a single slim speaker that replaces all five of the speakers in a proper surround set-up. Piffle. You might get software-induced spatiality, sure, but that ain’t going to make a child’s eyes light up like a proper, speaker-driven surround effect.

How many times have I told you: a child’s eyes aren’t supposed to light up.

So spaketh the soundbar seller! But Denon to the rescue, perhaps, with the HEOS AVR. It’s not a soundbar, but the TV-topped picture there has already kicked off the story that, because it’s placed where a cursed soundbar isn’t, it’s something to do with sound.

Next clue is “HEOS’, which is Denon’s wireless audio product portfolio. Which leads you merrily on to ‘AVR’ which is a model name prefix to strike joy into the heart of gnarled old techsters such as us, for it pertains to the world of AV receivers!


Holy Toslinks! Not those hulking black buttony beasts from the bad old days?

Indeed, of which the HEOS AVR is a near relative. Round the back you’ll find a brace of 4K-ready HDMI inputs, and an audio-return enabled HDMI output to connect to your TV. Plus, a proper set of of speaker connections, with which you could wire up a five delicious home cinema speakers and a subwoofer. But did you see us wink there, when we said ‘could’?

I just thought it was the old trouble.

You ‘could’ plug in some speakers or, because this box is imbued with Denon’s HEOS network trickery, you could use the app to link up five HEOS speakers, of which there are several different sizes. And the HEOS subwoofer, shortly to become available seperately from its hateful soundbar team-mate. Binko, bonko – wireless surround sound!


Uh, won’t those five wireless speakers each need power?

Well, yes. But! If you had some passive speakers about that you wanted to use instead, you could make them wireless using a couple of Denon HEOS Amp extender box thingies!

Which will also need plugging into the mains, yes?

Ummm… OK. This is fabulous actually, because it looks like the best way to hook up the £799 (around US$970) HEOS AVR is to use some old-school speakers having gone shopping for some tasty speaker cables. But, you still get to incorporate your now-boombastic and child-impressing lounge system into a wider HEOS multi-room set-up, and to stream stuff to it from your Bluetooth or Wi-Fi phone or whatever. Win!