The audio-visual receiver most commonly enjoys iterative changes year on year as new facilities come on board. But the new $1299 HEOS AVR is in many ways an entire rethinking of the breed, from its clean lines and single-knobbed fascia to its deep embedding of the HEOS wireless multiroom system by Denon, to deliver whatever kind of music and movie system best fits your home.
Each HEOS product in the increasing ecosystem features multiroom networking and app control from the famously simple HEOS app for smartphones and tablets. There have been standalone wireless speakers, two-channel amplifiers and soundbars previously available, but the new AVR raises things to a room system capable of running two-channel systems with or without subwoofer, or a three-channel system incorporating a centre speaker (again with or without a subwoofer), or a full 5.1-channel system with proper surround speakers. The AVR will adapt to its set-up to deliver a suitable output.
Any HEOS wireless speaker can be used in the surround position, removing the need for speaker cables across the room. But conventional surrounds can also be used, since the AVR has its own Class-D amplification behind speaker sockets for the a full five speakers, with power rated at 5 x 100W into four ohms (1 kHz, THD 0.7%) or 5 x 50W into eight ohms (20Hz-20kHz, THD 0.05%).
Socketry is all 4K-capable, with four HDMI 2.0a inputs with HDCP 2.2 to work with Ultra HD Blu-ray players and other UHD sources. The AVR has its own processing for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio.
Connectivity is either wireless or wired, and of course delivers full HEOS abilities, including Pandora, TuneIn, Spotify, Deezer, Tidal, Soundcloud and network streaming of formats including high resolution audio: DSD (2.4, 5.6), FLAC, WAV, ALAC (192/24), MP3, WMA, AAC File Playback (USB / Network).
A receiver with only one knob? - we're in shock. And remember that HEOS is partly based on Australian-developed technology, always a bonus!
Distributor QualiFi tells us the RRP here will be $1299 and expected availability is end of April. For the latest information visit: www.heos.com.au