Sonos and Heos by Denon are popular choices for multiroom systems, offering the ability to easily customize audio over WiFi, but which option is better? Both of these multiroom systems are well known for their simplicity and cool playback functions. However, which should you choose?
Sonus is a great choice if you don’t have Wifi because it allows you to create (or amplify) your own network and supports CD quality, 44.1 KHz/16 bit audio. On the other hand, Heos offers dual-band WiFi and additional playback options via Bluetooth or USB, or auxiliary input. Heos also supports Hi-Res 96 KHz/24 bit audio. Both systems allow you to control them using an app.
Let’s find out more about the similarities and differences between these two systems.
|USB and auxiliary||With Play Only||Yes|
|Speaker with battery||No||Yes|
|Does adding a subwoofer or soundbar create a more powerful home theater setup?||Yes||Yes|
|Separate wireless network for speakers||Yes||No|
|Separate speakers for small, medium and large rooms||Yes||Yes|
|Tune room acoustics||Yes||No|
|Audio||CD quality, 44.1 KHz/16 bit||Hi-Res 96 KHz/24 bit|
What Is A Wireless Multi-Room Music System?
A wireless multi-room music system is one that allows you to place speakers all throughout your home and control them wirelessly from a central point (such as with an app). This way, you can stream audio all through your home or have different speakers stream different sources.
What Is The Sonos Multiroom System?
Sonos is known for overall flexibility in the manufacture of audio systems. They have produced more audio products than many other industry players.
The Sonos wireless multiroom system is very popular and owns the market by far. It is well known for its wireless network capabilities. It was the first wireless multi-room music system to become available. With Sonos Boost, you can create your own network and amplify your wifi signal if you need to stream music through your entire house.
The system allows you to place speakers in different rooms and enjoy control from a smartphone app. In addition, you can add a soundbar, wireless speakers, and a sub for a completely immersive experience.
The system also features the TruePlay function which allows you to adjust your audio settings to account for room acoustics.
What is The HEOS by Denon Multiroom System?
Denon is one of the most respected names in the audio industry. However, they came into the wireless multiroom market well after Sonos.
HEOS by Denon multiroom system is their foray into wireless multi-room systems. This system allows you to create a cool wireless music system in your home.
HEOS however offers the added advantage of Bluetooth and AUX. You can also control the system from a smartphone app and connect multiple speakers and a soundbar for an improved experience.
Sonos and Heos Similarities
As we already mentioned, Sonos is the bigger player in the market, but Heos does bring some great products and features to the table. Many of these products and features are swaying people to Heos.
Here are the similarities between them:
- Both are set up and controlled using a free smartphone app
- Both can stream most of the popular music streaming services
- Both allow you to use soundbars
Sonos And Heos Differences
· Ease Of Setup And Use
While the Sonos app works consistently and is much easier and straightforward to set up and use, the Heos app is clunky to navigate and the setup process is not as smooth as Sonos.
While Heos amplifiers are Bluetooth and dual-band Wi-Fi enabled, only brand-new Sonos are Bluetooth enabled with single-band Wi-Fi.
On the other hand, all Heos speakers have a USB port, and audio line-in jack, and many have a headphone jack. Heos also supports Hi-Res audio, 96 kHz/24 bit, while Sonos supports CD quality, 44.1 kHz/16 bit only.
Heos is built into several Marantz and Denon receivers. This feature will save you money as you do not need to buy a separate streamer as with Sonos which is not built into any modern receivers.
Sonos plays better with more systems and partners than Heos. However, Heos is normally more compatible ith older systems.
1. Sonos Connect
This amp from Sonos can drive any standard speaker. Many people use it to drive ceiling speakers, TV speakers among many other speaker systems. Although underpowered at 55 watts per channel, the Connect: Amp is very useful to audio lovers.
2. Sonos Amp
This is yet a new amp design from Sonos. It offers increased flexibility for the connected components. At 125 watts per channel, the amp is much more powerful compared to the Connect: Amp.
You get access to many configurations and custom controls from AirPlay 2 support and the HDMI input provided.
The amp can easily drive a pair of bookshelf speakers. Besides, it can be easily paired with two additional Sonos speakers with a subwoofer to build a 4.1 home theater.
It is easier to control with Alexa and even Google Assistant and can be used to run giant vintage speakers.
If you prefer to mount equipment above the ground, this amp can be easily mounted on the rack.
- Looks super cool
- Sounds great when adjusted
- Different EQ presets are required for TV and music
- A little bright-sounding out of the box
With a round depression on the top of the amplifier, stacking multiple amps is made easier. The frontal section has the usual interface elements including LED and touch buttons while the back panel has two ethernet jacks, HDMI and RCA inputs, power connectors, subwoofer out, speaker connections, and the pairing button.
Speaker Connection On The Sonos Amp
The basic speaker connectors on the Sonos amp are designed for banana plugs to facilitate clean speaker installations.
However, if your speaker wires are bare, you can still connect them to the Sonos Amp by an adapter made with standard screw terminals. The wires are connected to the adapter before plugging the adapter into the amp.
Once the connection is established, TruePlay tuning is opened and the connection is set by tapping the pair button on the back of the amp.
The Denon Heos Amplifier
Denon Heos Amp is a powerful amplifier with the ability to drive enough power to most bookshelf and tower speakers.
It has built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity making it easier to select music from the comfort of your chair.
Besides, the HEOS app provided for free for Apple, Android, and Kindle supports wireless tuning and playing of music. You also get preamp enabled on the amp allowing connectivity to powered subwoofers for enhanced bass delivery.
Can The Denon HEOS Amp Power Outdoor Speakers?
Outdoor speaker lovers always want to know if the amp they use or buy can support outdoor speakers. Several times, audiophiles have to deal with the two situations below:
- Their home theater receiver is installed near the front of their house, and they would like to add more speakers to the back patio.
- Or, they would like to power a set of speakers mounted and pre-wired outside.
You can solve both two situations with the HEOS Amp. Also, if you have a good Wi-Fi extender, you will still be in a position to control the outside speakers with your tablet or phone. As a result, you will not have to move inside to change the music.
The Sonos App
The Sonos app is available for iOS, Android, FireOS as well as for Windows and Mac.
The app allows you to control your Sonos system from any room and connect to your favorite services such as music, podcasts, radio, audiobooks and Sonos radio.
The HEOS App
Denon HEOS has an application available for Android, Apple, and Kindle. Once you download it to your phone, it offers you abundant music to choose from and allows you to play them through your speakers without having to download them.
Besides, the amp supports TIDAL, Pandora, Amazon Prime, and SiriusXM. You can pull u songs, podcasts, or even radio for live streaming. And if you subscribe to Spotify Premium, you can seamlessly play your favorite playlists and albums from Spotify Connect.
What Other Connectivity Do You Get From The HEOS App?
Apart from Bluetooth connectivity that allows you to stream music or even listen to music from YouTube, you can connect to several HEOS speakers throughout the house without turning some of them off.
The HEOS app gives you the ability to choose a song for the speakers you have connected to the HEOS amp, and a different thing to play on other HEOS speakers.
You can also group the speakers and play the same music in all the rooms pre-installed with HEOS speakers. The high range of compatibility within HEOS components allows you to seamlessly mix and match them, especially with the app.
Want To Send TV Or CD Sound Signal To Other Rooms?
Sending analog or digital sound signals to other rooms is simple with the HEOS amp. It can easily connect to sources such as satellite boxes, disc players, portable music players, turntables, or streaming media devices.
Also, you can easily send music to the other HEOS speakers from any of the devices connected to the amp.
Best Wireless Multiroom Products For Small Rooms
For smaller spaces, you could go with either Denon’s Home 150 or the Sonos One.
Denon 150: Pairing two Denon 150’s together is a great option for to smaller spaces.
Sonos One: Similar to the Denon Home 150, the Sonos One is excellent for small spaces and offers additional such as humidity resistance, so you can use it in your bathroom.
Best Wireless Multiroom Products For Large Rooms
For larger rooms, Denon’s 250 and 350 Home Series as well as the Sonos Five are simply excellent.
Denon’s 250 and 350 Home Series: These are excellent for synchronization and so are great choices for audiophiles.
The Sonos Five: The Sonos 5 offers excellent sound and is from Sono’s next generation of wireless speakers.
Sonos vs Heos Design
In terms of design, both Sonos and Heos offer similar options. You can get your system in black or white and varying styles. Many of them are identical. However, Denon currently has more options to choose from in terms of design.
Sonos vs Heos Support
In general, Denon Heos will work well with older and newer wireless models. Moreover, they work well with multiple receivers for wired speakers.
In addition, you can customize your system quite easily with lifetime support. On the other hand, Sonos does not offer lifetime support.
Sonos vs Heos Pricing
Both Sonos and Heos offer a wide range of products with varying pricing. However, for the most part, the price ranges are comparable and range from about $200 to $1000. on.
What About Music Quality?
In terms of music quality, Both Sonos and Heos offer comparable quality. However, if you want real high-quality music from your wireless streaming system, you could go with a brand like Definitive Technology. Check out our comparison of Sonos vs Definitive technology to earn more.
Is The HEOS Brand Being Discontinued?
Because Denon devices now have HEOS built-in, the company is now referring to HEOS as a technology rather than a trademark. Some HEOS devices have already been rebranded as Denon, and others have been replaced with the revised Denon Home wireless speaker line. However, the HEOS App is backward compatible with all models.
Do Any Other Speakers Work With HEOS?
HEOS can stream music to a single or designated group of HEOS wireless speakers, but it may also be configured to use any two compatible speakers as a stereo pair. One speaker should be used for the left channel and the other for the right. Both speakers in the pair should be of the same brand and model to get the optimum sound quality.
Is Sonos Better Than Heos?
In terms of their multitool systems, both Sonos and Denon are wireless systems that also offer soundbars for televisions as well.
Heos works well with older and newer wireless systems and receivers. It also offers personal customization and lifetime support. The advantage Heos offer is that it will work even without Wifi and offers the best streaming quality possible.
Sonos on the other hand is very popular with an impressive line of products with excellent processing power. It works well with a wide variety of devices and apps. In addition, Sonos offer cool features like Boost which allows you to create your own wireless network
If you need an amp that is easy to navigate and can play with several different apps, you need Sonos. However, if you need an amp with the best streaming ability and can work in areas without Wi-Fi connectivity, Heos is the right choice for you.
The choice is therefore depends on the situation you are in, your listening needs, and available devices to be connected to the amplifier system.
Norvan Martin is the founder of BoomSpeaker.com. He is a professional Electronics Engineer and is passionate about home theater systems and AV electronics. BoomSpeaker was created as an online hub to share his knowledge and experiences as it relates to home theaters and home audio electronics.