MAHWAH, N.J. – Denon is expanding its Heos Wi-Fi multiroom-audio brand to tap new niches at opposite ends of the market.
In June, the company will ship its first portable Heos Wi- Fi speaker, a $199-suggested model with optional battery pack. It’s also the company’s first Heos speaker with optional Bluetooth dongle.
In July, the company will ship a $2,499-suggested product that adapts Heos multiroom-audio technology to installed multiroom-audio systems.
Denon is also developing a Heos-equipped soundbar for summer shipments but hasn’t revealed details.
The new products will join three current Heos Wi-Fi speakers: the $599 Heos 7, $399 Heos 5, and $299 Heos 3. The company also offers $499 Heos Amp and $349 Heos Link preamp.
For portable use, the two-way monaural Heos 1 will be available with optional $99 Heos 1 Go Pack, which consists of a six-hour battery, a Bluetooth USB adapter, and a Splashguard to cover the speaker’s ports. The Splashguard adds IPX4 splashproof protection, and the Bluetooth adapter turns the Wi-Fi speaker into a Bluetooth speaker when the speaker is out of Wi-Fi network range. Within Wi-Fi range, the speaker shares a Bluetooth source with any Heos Wi- Fi speaker that’s on the network.
Like other Heos wireless speakers, two Heos 1 speakers can be used in one room as separate left-right speakers to widen the sound stage.
In July, the company will ship the $2,499-suggested Heos Drive, a component-size rack-mountable four-zone preamp/amp that uses Heos technology to distribute network- music sources and cloud sources around the house. Like the Heos tabletop speakers, the Drive can be controlled from Denon’s Heos app.
For custom-install use, the Drive lacks the wireless capabilities of current Heos products, so it distributes music via speaker cables to in-wall and in-ceiling speakers, and it connects to the home network via Ethernet cable.
Denon’s current app will control a Drive along with a mix of wireless Heos speakers placed in rooms where custom speakers can’t be installed, said product manager Paul Belanger. The Drive appears as four zones in the Heos app. Up to eight Drives can be installed to create a custom-installed multiroom-audio system with up to 32 wired zones.