The Denon Heos HomeCinema HS2 is a soundbar that comes with current trends and developments in all areas. The soundbar can be installed in various ways, comes with a wireless subwoofer and has a suggested retail price of 799 euros.
At the end of March Denon announced the successor of the Heos HomeCinema soundbar to. The successor has all sorts of things that the first version did not have and that’s good news, since the first soundbar was pretty scary in terms of functionality – while Denon asked for the top prize. That old soundbar had no bluetooth, no 4k transmission and could only be operated through an application. Did Denon learn from that reception? We will review this in the Denon Heos HomeCinema HS2 review.
Denon Heos HomeCinema HS2 – design and specifications
If you like the Heos Bar in terms of design, we have good news: the manufacturer has both series let them come together in this design. There are elements of the Bar and the first HomeCinema present. So there are again only three buttons on the wide speaker, namely for the sound. The other operation happens (unfortunately) via the app; more about this later in this review. You can also choose to hang up or place the soundbar and all supplies are included. There are even paws included.
The Denon Heos HomeCinema HS2 features bi-amplified mid-woofers and tweeters with dsp processor, of course including wireless subwoofer. The bar is equipped with double 2-inch by 5-inch precision drivers that reproduce both the higher bass tones and the midtones. A pair of 20mm dome tweeters provide the high frequency range. A large number of audio files, including flac, alax, aiff and dsd in high resolution, can be played through the system. There is also support for AirPlay and bluetooth.
The soundbar has a slimmer design than its predecessor, it can have metal feet (if you put it yourself) and built-in power supply (so you do not have a big block behind the cupboard). The device has only one HDMI input and output (with Audio Return Channel) and has Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus and DTS decoders. Furthermore, there are optical, coaxial, aux and usb connections. The soundbar now also supports 4k uhd video unfortunately the previous iteration did not. That is really a supplement.
Since you pay the main prize for this soundbar and subwoofer, it is not only true that you can expect the above specifications and design elements. You can also expect a little extra for 799 euros and Heos does a good job in that respect. For example, various cables are supplied, such as an HDMI cable, audio cable (necessary for installation) and Ethernet cable. So you get a complete package as it were, and you do not have to dig through the drawers first, looking for that hdmi cable that you know is there.
Denon Heos HomeCinema HS2 installation
Just like the previous HomeCinema soundbar from Heos you have to install the soundbar on your Wi-Fi network using the free application. You have to connect the smartphone to the soundbar with the included audio cable and follow the steps you see on the screen. If something does not go well, then you notice that by the color of the LED lighting. A blue color indicates that everything works as it should work. And unlike Heos HomeCinema, everything went well at once.
Connecting the subwoofer is as easy as with all other soundbars with a wireless subwoofer. You put the plug in the socket, after which it automatically connects to the soundbar. You therefore do not have to perform any special operations for this. We did not measure it exactly, but it seems that the plug of this subwoofer is longer than that of the previous model. This will hopefully prevent you from encountering complications while connecting, which we used to do before.
When you connect the Heos HomeCinema HS2 to the Wi-Fi network (or to the router, using the included ethernet cable), you can also use other speakers of the same brand in a multiroom setup. If you put other Heos speakers in different rooms, you can listen to the same music in all rooms. Making a surround setup is not possible. Do you want to do that with products of this brand, then you can go for the Denon Heos Bar (even if you want more hdmi connections).
Denon Heos HomeCinema HS2 – in use
Unfortunately Heos does not deliver a remote control with the set. You are therefore on the application designated and that is not really yo of the – still not. Installing and adding devices is simple, but for the rest you get to deal with a dated design, limited and sometimes almost hidden functions and you can only do the majority of the actions via the app. So you can only change sound mode within the app and that is annoying. With a remote control that kind of thing just goes much easier and faster.
This results in afternoons where you do not feel like taking your phone to switch from one of the two sound modes, even though the music does not sound as good in the film mode. or the movie or series less well in music mode. When you choose a soundbar, you choose more for convenience and less for other things. Because not everyone is convinced of the idea behind the soundbar (how can you put a complete audio system in such a bar?), These are things that are malicious and can damage the market.
In addition, the app has strange design choices. For example, if you use Spotify Connect and play a song, you lose access to the sound mode and other settings that are important. If the sound is still in film mode and you are already listening to music, you should shut down Spotify (by going back to the TV sound), switch modes and then switch on Spotify again. It is also not at all clear where you tweak the sound further because the button for that is very small.
You have to make it as easy as possible for users. The same applies to support for music streaming services. Despite the fact that Denon Heos HomeCinema HS2 supports a wide range of music streaming services and other audio capabilities, it is a pity that we have to do without Google Cast, for example. There is support for Spotify Connect, music from your home network or a USB device and services such as TuneIn, Deezer, Soundcloud and Tidal. Apple Music is missing on this list.
Denon Heos HomeCinema HS2 – audio quality
Heos, and Denon in general, deliver few products where the sound quality is poor. And the Denon Heos HomeCinema HS2 also has a wide, deep and also warm sound reproduction. With the two modes (film and music) you can change a few settings on the fly, making the media consumption better. In addition, there are also standings for conversations (which come out better, while effects disappear behind) and there is an evening mode, where everything sounds softer.
The qualities of the subwoofer usually come out well. As far as we are concerned, the standard setting is just a bit too intense, but that is purely personal. With the aforementioned extra sound settings (which were pretty well hidden), you can set the level of the subwoofer and solve any problems. Do not play too much with the treble and bass settings, because then the sound can very quickly sound tinny or just sounded away. That is why we recommend keeping those settings as close as possible.
Where the previous HomeCinema soundbar from Heos did not really stand out in terms of high tones, we notice that for this model well arranged. There is still a limit, but that is only searched for the better, electric guitar work of for example Muse. Then it takes a while before you reach that limit. The deep tones really come out very well. Together with the sounds in the middle, you are assured of a room-filling, rich and deep sound that you say to yourself.
Denon Heos HomeCinema HS2 – conclusion
All in all, this is actually the soundbar that Heos previously should have issued so that the first Heos HomeCinema never had to see the light of day. In comparison with this iteration, the soundbar sounds much better, the subwoofer does its best and we are happy with the support for hi-res material. Moreover, it is true that it was really crazy that there was no bluetooth present on the first HomeCinema, but the HS2 fortunately there is about. There is also support for Apple’s music network.
In contrast, Heos has not solved all problems with the HomeCinema. There are many different types of connections and network possibilities, but we lack multiple HDMI ports. We wanted to connect more HDMI sources, so that all the sound could go directly to the soundbar. Moreover, we still miss Google Cast and we find it very unfortunate that no remote control is included. The free download application leaves something to be desired.