Two weeks ago we started working with the Denon DHT-S716H soundbar combined with the DSW-1H subwoofer and the Home 150 speakers. This time we will get started with the full Denon Home series. In addition to the previously mentioned Home 150 speaker, the Denon Home 250 and the Denon Home 350 also fall under this series of wireless WiFi speakers.
What is the Denon Home series?
The Denon Home speakers are the successor of the HEOS speakers and consists of the Denon Home 150, Denon Home 250 and the Denon Home 350. All three models can be used as stand-alone speakers, or can be used together in a multi-room setup. Control takes place via the HEOS app on your smartphone, which gives you access to music from your own network and streaming services.
The Denon Home 150 is the smallest speaker and is comparable in size to the Sonos One andthe Harman Kardon Citation One . This mono speaker has two built-in class D Power Amplifiers, two drivers, a 1 × 25 mm tweeter and a 1 × 89 mm woofer and has the dimensions of 120x187x120 (WxHxD). On top of the small column there are three Quick Select buttons that you can program yourself. A Denon Home 150 has a suggested retail price of 249 euros.
The Denon Home 250 is the medium-sized model within the series. This wireless stereo WiFi speaker has four built-in Class D Power Amplifiers, four drivers (+ passive radiator), 2 × 19 mm tweeters and 2x 100 mm woofers with a 133mm passive radiator. The Denon Home 250 has the dimensions 295x216x120 (WxHxD) and weighs 3.7 kilograms. The Denon Home 250 has a suggested retail price of 499 euros.
Finally, the Denon Home 350. This largest model within the Home series is also a wireless stereo speaker and has six built-in class D Power Amplifiers, 6 drivers, a 2 × 19mm tweeter and 2x 165mm woofer. Mid-range, this model has 2 × 50 mm. The dimensions are 380x225x180 (WxHxD) and the device weighs 6.3 kilograms. The Denon Home 350 has a suggested retail price of 699 euros.
Installation and the HEOS app
To install the Denon Home series you need the HEOS app. This app is available for iOS and Android. Installation is relatively easy. You plug the speaker into the socket, a light flashes and via the HEOS app you can search and set the speaker further. You press the physical connect button and enter your WiFi password and you are done. If you prefer not to use WiFi, you can also connect a physical internet cable. The installation procedure is relatively simple, but as the review of the Denon DHT-S716H soundbar revealed, the app is a bit cumbersome and in need of a refresh.
In the app basically has three tabs. The first tab “Rooms” shows you all your connected devices. The second “Music” tab is for all music services such as Spotify, Deezer, SoundCloud and TuneIn and content from your phone, USB or music servers. The third tab is for the sound settings. However, if you want to dive deeper into the sound settings, you have to go back to the Music tab and then click on the gear at the top left. Here you will find an equalizer to further adjust the sound to your liking and to further adjust the touch control and status of the LED lights. It works a bit cumbersome and takes a while to search, but once you find your way in the app, it is good to know that you have many different setting options.
Music services and multiroom
Music services are fully integrated for all three. Home speakers. Think of Spotify, Napster, Tidal, TuneIn, Deezer, AirPlay 2 and also WiFi and Bluetooth are supported. High resolution files such as 192kHz / 24-bit, FLAC, WAV, ALAC and DSD 2.8 / 5.6MHz are also supported. And of course, HEOS Built-in ensures that you can pair the Denon Home speakers not only with each other, but also with sound bars, network players and AV receivers for a multiroom experience. To do this, simply drag the connected devices over each other in the HEOS app, so that music is played synchronously. You do not have to use the HEOS app. If you have Spotify, you can directly choose Spotify Connect and use the Denon speakers. You can also use Apple Music via Airplay 2.
Stylish design suits this time
All three speakers are provided with a luxurious fabric, with the fabric of the Denon Home 150 which is less finely woven compared to the two larger models. Two colors are available, namely black or white. Where the Denon Home 250 and Home 350 mainly go in width as a rectangle with round corners, there the Denon Home 150 is a small pillar. However, the design is fully coordinated, making them a perfect match. The speakers look tasteful and perhaps minimalistic, which makes for a modern look.
It must be said that the white version is not completely white, but rather light gray. The speakers have appealing designs, which will certainly fit well in most interiors. The speakers also have physical inputs on the back. There is a USB port and an aux input and you can also connect a network cable if your WiFi connection is not stable enough. However, I have not had any problems with WiFi in combination with these speakers.
All speakers have illuminated buttons on the top. If you move your hand just above the speaker, the buttons light up. Here you can play and pause music, but also use the Quick Select buttons. This way you can immediately switch between your favorite radio station or, for example, a specific playlist. The stylish glass plate on the top is also striking, which gives an extra dimension to the class of these speakers.
How do the Denon Home speakers sound?
It should come as no surprise that the sound quality increases as you take a larger Denon Home speaker. Despite the smaller size, the Denon Home 150 still manages to surprise. The bass is less prominent when compared to a Sonos One or Harman Kardon Citation One, but that is only positive in this case. Music sounds more true to life, so details are not overshadowed by too present bass. It sounds a little more balanced. A single Denon Home 150 does not know how to fill a living room well in terms of sound, the speaker is simply too small for that. At a high volume it soon sounds too forced. It is more of a speaker for the smaller space or with it, for example in a surround setup. If you still want to use a Home 150 in a larger room, we recommend a second Denon Home 150 speaker for a stereo setup. In terms of price, however, you also end up with a single Denon Home 250 speaker.
The Denon Home 250 is the intermediate model in the series. And the step from the Denon Home 150 to the 250 is still smaller than from the 250 to the 350. Admittedly, the sound quality of the Denon Home 250 is better than the 150, but the difference is not as big as you would expect. In addition, we miss the mature sound that we expect with such a speaker size. This seems to be mainly due to the low tones, which are somewhat behind compared to what you would expect with such a model. It sounds a bit duller and more closed, which makes the balance a lot less. The speaker knows how to set mid and high tones better than its smaller brother, but we can still conclude that the Denon Home 250 is a bit behind compared to the big brother in the Home series.
The big winner in sound quality is of course the Denon Home 350. Not only is the speaker the largest of the three (and larger is often better with audio), there are also more and larger drivers. The Denon Home 350 particularly knows how to reproduce the bass well and even makes you feel it without exaggerating. All layers of the music are detailed in this model and the volume is so high that you could also use this model as a party speaker. The Denon Home 350 knows how to produce such impressive sound that other WiFi speakers do not come close to it. Highs sound clear and lively, vocals are warm and full of dynamics, and you can really feel the low tones without dominating. The price is therefore there. This model has a suggested retail price of 699 euros and for that price you could also buy two floorstanders, although you can of course also connect two Denon Home 350s together for a true stereo reproduction. However, if you don’t have room for an extensive hi-fi system with several large speakers, you can also use the Denon Home 350 perfectly.
Voice assistant still on the way
The Denon Home series is equipped with microphones, but these are currently switched off. Denon will switch on the microphones later this year through an update and the voice assistant Amazon Alexa will also be supported. The Google Assistant is therefore missing and that will be perceived as a minus for many people. In the Netherlands, we use the Dutch-language Google Assistant more often than Amazon Alexa. After all, the latter speech assistant does not speak Dutch yet. However, if you already have another Google Home (Mini) speaker at home, it is good to know that you can include this Denon Home series within the Google Home app. So you can control these speakers indirectly through another Google Home speaker.
With these three models, Denon is fully committed to the market for wireless WiFi speakers. Denon does not compete with this in terms of price, because brands such as Sonos and Harman Kardon are cheaper. However, Denon is fully committed to the quality of the Home series and they have generally succeeded very well. The Denon Home 350 is a beast of a speaker and sets a new standard when it comes to a wireless WiFi speaker. The Denon Home 150 can easily compete with the Sonos One and Harman Kardon Citation One thanks to a detailed reproduction of the sound without the excessive bass of the competition. The Denon Home 250 is certainly not a bad speaker, but does not set such a good standard as the big and small brother, respectively. He falls between two stools. Although all three speakers are priced well, the Denon Home 150 and 350 are well worth it. In the case of the Denon Home 250, the price is just a bit too high compared to what you get for it.
The design of the speakers is completely in line with this time and they certainly do not look out of place in your interior. The HEOS app is in need of a refresh and you also have to take into account that there are no voice assistants available on the speakers yet. Denon can solve this in both cases and let’s hope this will happen in the short term.