Denon HEOS AVR AV Receiver Review

We found setting up and controlling the HEOS AVR very easy thanks to the remote app and we tested it both as a wired 5.1-channel system and as a system that was composed of wired front channels and wireless surround channels and subwoofer. The wired configuration was very good and although not the best we've heard it did deliver an enjoyable experience with both movies and music. For the best results a bit of careful setup is required but even a complete novice should have the HEOS AVR up and running in minutes – which is rather the point. The wireless configuration was equally as easy to set up and we were pleased to discover the experience was essentially the same and there was no perceivable latency between the wired and wireless speakers. We also found that the receiver was equally as effective as part of the HEOS multiroom system making it a great all-rounder.

For those who are either looking for a less intimidating AVR or like the idea of having wireless rear speakers, then this is undoubtedly a product that is worth considering. In fact even a knowledgeable AV enthusiast would be happy with this receiver, as long as they don't want a system with more than five channels. As a result, thanks to its combination of design, features and performance, we're happy to award the HEOS AVR a Recommended badge.

What are my alternatives?

In terms of possible alternatives, it will very much depend on your point of view. For those who are attracted by the lifestyle aspects of the design, the simplicity and the wireless rear speakers of the HEOS AVR, then the HEOS Bar is also a possibility. This excellent soundbar has largely the same features as the AVR, plus it can run a wireless HEOS subwoofer and a pair of wireless HEOS rear speakers. You don't get quite the same level of performance at the front as the HEOS AVR but it's compatible with the HEOS multichannel system, along with the HEOS app, has the same number of HDMI inputs and also costs £799.

However if you're comfortable with the idea of an AV Receiver, don't mind something a bit more complex and are happy to put speakers all over your lounge, then the Denon AVR-X4300H has to be top of your list. This superb AVR includes nine channels of built-in amplification, Dolby Atmos and DTS:X support, 8 HDMI inputs and 3 HDMI outputs, along with HEOS multiroom support. It's also fully 4K compliant, has a set up microphone and an automated EQ system, an onscreen display, a nice remote control and greater amplification power. It can't run wireless rear speakers and a wireless subwoofer but apart from that the X4300 offers all the features found on the HEOS AVR plus many others and all for just £799. That's remarkable value for money when you consider everything the X4300H does, making it an obvious Best Buy.

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