What Is Denon HEOS?

Expand your music listening options throughout the home

HEOS (Home Entertainment Operating System) is a wireless multi-room audio platform from Denon. It's featured on select wireless powered speakers, receivers, and soundbars from the Denon and Marantz product brands. HEOS works through your existing Wi-Fi home network.

The HEOS App

HEOS operates via a free downloadable app on iOS and Android devices. After installing the HEOS app on a compatible smartphone, select Setup Now. The app finds and links to any HEOS-compatible devices you have.

Stream Music With HEOS

After setup, use your smartphone to stream music to compatible HEOS devices using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth no matter where the devices are located in your home. You can also use the HEOS app to stream music to the receiver. This way, you can hear music through your home theater system or stream music sources connected to the receiver to other HEOS wireless speakers.

HEOS can stream music from Amazon Music, Pandora, SiriusXM, SoundCloud, Spotify, TIDAL, and more. In addition to music streaming services, you can use HEOS to access and distribute music from locally stored content on media servers or PCs.

Although you can use either Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, streaming with Wi-Fi provides the ability to stream uncompressed music files, which are of better quality than music streamed with Bluetooth.

Digital music file formats supported by HEOS include MP3, AAC, Apple Lossless, DSD, Flac, WAV, and WMA.

Besides online music services and locally accessible digital music files, if you have an HEOS-enabled home theater receiver, you can access and stream audio from physically-connected sources (CD player, turntable, or audio cassette deck) to any HEOS wireless speakers you may have.

HEOS Stereo

Although HEOS supports the capability to stream music to a single or assigned group of HEOS wireless speakers, you can also configure it to use any two compatible speakers as a stereo pair. Use one speaker for the left channel and another for the right channel. For the best sound quality match, both speakers in the pair should be the same brand and model.

HEOS and Surround Sound

HEOS can send surround sound wirelessly. If you have a compatible soundbar or home theater receiver (check the product information to see if it supports HEOS surround). You can add any two HEOS-enabled wireless speakers to your setup and then send DTS and Dolby digital surround channel signals to those speakers.

HEOS Wireless Multi-Room Audio System Logo and Products

Denon, Inc.

The HEOS Link

Another way to access and use HEOS is the HEOS Link. The HEOS Link is a specially designed preamplifier that is compatible with the HEOS system. It can connect to any existing stereo or home theater receiver or soundbar with analog or digital audio inputs that don't have HEOS capability built-in.

Use the HEOS app to stream music through HEOS Link to hear the music on your stereo or home theater system. You can also use the HEOS link to stream music from your smartphone or audio device to other HEOS-enabled wireless speakers.

HEOS and Alexa

The Alexa voice assistant can control a select number of HEOS devices by activating the HEOS Home Entertainment Skill. After the link is established, use either your smartphone or dedicated Amazon Echo device to control many of the functions on any HEOS-enabled wireless speaker or Alexa-enabled home theater receiver or soundbar.

Most major music streaming services can be accessed and controlled directly using Alexa voice commands.

The Bottom Line

Denon originally launches HEOS in 2014 (referred to as HS1). In 2016, Denon introduced the second generation of HEOS (HS2), which added the following features, which aren't available to owners of HEOS HS1 products:

  • The inclusion of a separate button on HEOS wireless speakers to activate Bluetooth streaming.
  • With Bluetooth built-in to all HS2 devices, an extra Bluetooth dongle isn't required.
  • Addition of Hi-Res audio support.
  • 5 GHz wireless transmission support.
  • Compatibility with the HEOS Home Entertainment Alexa Skill.

Wireless multi-room audio is becoming a popular way to expand the reach of home entertainment, and the HEOS platform is a flexible option. However, HEOS is only one platform to consider. Others include Sonos, MusicCast, and Play-Fi.

Was this page helpful?