Review: Heos HomeCinema

User-friendly and tough

Heos has endowed this with user-friendliness, and here one also gets tough, rich sound for one’s money.

Karakter
Heos HomeCinema
We think
The usability is top notch, many streaming services are supported, and with subwoofer included, the price is very favourable.
It lacks some nuances in the overtones, especially for music in stereo.
Specs

HDMI: 1 in/1 out (ARC)
Digital in: Optical
Network: Wi-Fi, ethernet
Wireless: Heos Multiroom, Bluetooth (accessory)
Analogue in: 3.5 mm mini jack
Subwoofer: Wireless
W x H x D: 101.7x 8.2 x 9.4 cm
Colour: Black

Annons
Annons
forfatter

Heos is Denon’s brand for multi-room products, and is one of Sonos’ direct competitors. It’s all about connections of the simplest kind, and everything is controlled with an app. That is to say, one can easily learn sound up and sound down just like the TV’s remote control, and just like Sonos.
Unlike Sonos and Bluesound, Heos has included a wireless subwoofer, and the soundbar also has an HDMI input and output on the back, where the output supports ARC. Since the input does not support the HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2, which are necessary to display the latest Ultra HD Blu-ray movies, the solution is to connect all HDMI sources directly to the TV and tap the audio signal back out to the soundbar via the HDMI input on the TV that has an ARC. Alternatively, you can use an optical digital cable. We did not notice any problems with lip sync on this one.
Unlike Sonos and Bluesound, Heos actually has support for DTS, which means you effortlessly get audio no matter what type of source material you are looking at.
Connecting to wireless networks is very easy. Connect your mobile phone with the supplied 3.5 mm audio cable, and the app asks you to enter the password for the network. Then the soundbar is controlled with the Heos app. Select TV or one of the many streaming options. Spotify, Tidal and Deezer can be found here. Other services like Apple Music work with Bluetooth, but one such adapter is an accessory.

Sound quality

Film is rendered with a good punch, and the subwoofer is hooked nicely to the soundbar and becomes a natural part of the soundscape. The dialogue sounds large and rich, and bass effects sound mighty and tough.
The virtual surround sound at Heos is not as large and holographic as that of some other soundbars, but it is still entertaining to watch movies. What it lacks is a little more open dialogue, which can sound a little veiled due to a colouring in the midrange.
Music in stereo works okay with rich bass. It is not as rhythmic as desired, and again we crave more airy overtones. It lacks a little snap in the piano; female vocals sound woolly, and the timbre characteristics are largely too murky.

Conclusion

Heos HomeCinema is a very user-friendly soundbar. It becomes a natural extension of the Heos family with multi-room products and is one of Sonos’ direct competitors. The included subwoofer provides better bass pressure than Sonos and Bluesound, unless they are supplemented by an external subwoofer, which becomes very costly.
Soundwise, Heos has plenty of energy with rich and rich bass. The dialogue is huge with good downward weight. It just lacks some nuances in the upper register. The same applies to music in stereo, which can sound somewhat veiled.

Also in this test

Yamaha YSP-2700

Hissing sound

The biggest problem with this soundbar is a huge hole in the soundscape.

Many speaker drivers and advanced DSP allow one to get virtually true surround sound.
There is a large hole in the sound between the subwoofer and the soundbar. The soundbar gives us the consonants from vocals, while the subwoofer provides the vowels.

Bluesound Pulse Soundbar

The most accomplished

Bluesound’s soundbar costs a bit more, but pays off in the form of a much better experiences on both film and music.

Very powerful sound, even without a subwoofer, timbre balance is great and user-friendliness very good.
There could also be even more air at the top.

Sonos PlayBase

The TV's resting pad

Sonos’ new sound base PlayBase acts as a base for the TV. But did it arrive too late?

The sound is balanced, and the room correction fixes problems. Increased chassis volume accommodates subwoofers.
It lacks HDMI inputs, and the sound is not as engaging as the best sound bases.

Sony HT-NT5

Good compromise

This is designed to lie flat and point towards the ceiling, but nevertheless sounds good facing forward. It works pretty good.

The most successful flat soundbar we have heard. Sounds both natural and open, and has good usability.
The focus of the soundscape is better from the soundbar that play directly forward.

Samsung HW-MS660

Impressive balance

Samsung’s soundbar sounds just as well on music as it does for movies.

The sound is very clear and clean, Samsung is in the forefront when it comes to natural sound.
The bass can once in a while almost be too rich.

Yamaha YAS-306

Rather complete

If you are looking for an affordable option with multi-room, and do not want an extra bass crate, then this one is good.

A low price and good usability are a plus, and the soundbar provides a rich enough audio without a subwoofer.
Music in stereo lacks energy and life.

Philips HTL5160

Clear speech

The Philips soundbar does its job, with crystal clear dialogue and a fairly balanced sound.

The balance in the sound is fine, and the soundbar simulates surround sound quite well. Google Cast provides great usability for streaming.
We want more overtones, and the stereo perspective on the music should be wider.

Bose SoundTouch 300

Not good enough

Bose has banked on user-friendliness, but has unfortunately forgotten about the sound quality.

In typical Bose style, the soundbar is very user-friendly, and room correction can help in difficult environments.
The sound is too bad, and it lacks support for multiple streaming services.

Klipsch RSB-14

A lot of sound pressure, little else

Klipsch has the highest sound pressure in the test. But the soundbar disappoints on sound quality.

When it comes to sound pressure, Klipsch is in a separate class. The user-friendliness of the Play-Fi multi-room is very good.
The sound quality does not measure up.
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