Denon HEOS 1 with Go Pack Review
The new Denon HEOS 1 and Go Pack are a great addition to the line—perfect for a remote, battery-powered solution that streams your tunes wirelessly outdoors.
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I’ve had the HEOS by Denon system for several months now. My wife and I use the HEOS 7 as our primary TV speaker. We enjoy the deep lows and clear sound that allow us to hear word and feel every explosion. As a matter of fact, we even received our first noise complaint from our apartment neighbors… the speaker was at 50%. Oh well. The Denon HEOS 1 is something different, and we were excited about a model specifically designed for outdoor use.
The HEOS 5 makes for a great bedroom speaker while the HEOS 3 takes residence in my office creating a whole home (apartment) speaker system that is run from a Kindle Fire HDX. When Denon told us that they had a new HEOS 1 and a Go Pack to pair with it, I jumped all over it. For one thing, the kitchen could use some audio help.
The big kicker was that the HEOS 1 and HEOS 1 Go Pack were designed to be used outside. We’ve got a great open porch space that we like to spend time on. Whether we’re cooking out, fishing in the pond, or just enjoying the weather, we’ve been missing quality sound out there. Central Florida humidity is somewhere between subtropical and swampy, so bringing any of the other HEOS speakers outside was a risk I wasn’t willing to take.
If you own any of the original Denon HEOS speakers, you’re going to notice some physical differences. The new HEOS 1 is shorter and leaves the speaker cover fabric off. Inside, the speaker has been designed for resist humidity. In addition to the patio where we intend to use it, it also makes a great bathroom speaker option for whole home systems.
Adding the HEOS 1 Go Pack turns this into a completely wireless system. The lithium-ion battery provides up to 6 hours of play time. The design also improves the humidity resistance to splash resistance. You know, because it’s impossible for the kids to let you leave the pool dry. There’s even a Bluetooth dongle to continue playing your music wirelessly when you’re away from your home wi-fi. It doubles as a rubber cover for the back plugs to keep them safe from water.
Denon HEOS 1 Specifications
- Amplifier: Dual Class D digital amplification
- Speakers: Dual driver speaker system (2 active drivers, wide range mid-woofer, soft dome tweeter)
- Inputs: Wireless, RJ-45, Auxiliary, USB
- Wireless Connectivity: Standard 802.11 a/b/g/n on 2.4 GHz and 5GHz bands
- Wired Connectivity: RJ-45 jack
- Supported Audio Formats: MP3, WMA, AAC (MP4), FLAC (lossless), WAV
- Power Supply: AC 100 – 240V, AC 50 – 60HZ, auto-switching power adapter
- Weight: 4 pounds
- Dimensions: 7.44 x 5.08 x 5.04 inches
- Operating Temperature: 41 – 95 degrees Fahrenheit
- Available colors: Black and white
- Price: $199
Denon HEOS 1 Go Pack Specifications
- Power Source: Lithium-ion Battery
- Run Time: Up to 6 hours
- Additional Connectivity: Bluetooth
- Device Charging Capability: USB
- Weight: 0.71 pounds
- Dimensions: 1.3 x 4.92 x 4.65 inches
- Operating Temperature: 41 – 95 degrees Fahrenheit
- Available Colors: Black and white
- Price: $99
Denon HEOS 1 Go Pack Setup
If you’re a veteran of the Denon HEOS system, setup is no different than the other speakers. Download the app, plug in your device using the auxiliary port, go to “Add New Device”, and follow the instructions. It really is a fairly straightforward process that takes just a few minutes.
Pro Tip: when you are setting up a wireless system like the Denon HEOS, pay attention to your router and its setup. A simultaneous dual band router like the Linksys E3000 will give you a greater range and stronger signal. It’s especially important if you’re in an apartment or other shared space setting to change the channel on your router to avoid interference from the plethora of surrounding signals.
If you’re wanting to take advantage of the Denon HEOS 1 Go Pack, you’ll need to take the base cover off and install the battery to the base. It’s an easy twist on/off operation very similar to switching lenses on a DSLR camera. Simply plug in the HEOS 1 as you normally would with the battery installed to charge it. I didn’t time the charging cycle since it comes at half charge. All lithium-ion batteries should be shipped and stored this way since that is its most stable state. Plan on a couple of hours before you’re ready to hit the pool or back porch, though.
I use Spotify Premium as my chosen music source. I like the ability to stream higher quality music than free services and to download my playlists for offline listening. This was my chosen test medium for the HEOS 1. Using a variety of songs including rap, country, rock, instrumental, and pure vocal, I was able to detect a slightly higher sound quality in the HEOS 3. Considering the difference in housing construction and the better specifications of the HEOS 3, this wasn’t a surprise.
Where speaker systems really begin to differentiate themselves is in the ability to carry solid sound quality at high volumes. Since a volume of 50% was pushing the limits of what my neighbors might be willing to let me get away with, I had to take the HEOS 1 on a field trip. For the sake of quality, I decided to use the auxiliary port rather than the Bluetooth connection.
With volume at the top of the range, there was little loss in sound quality and no detectable distortion. In fact, I was really impressed at how well a full range pure vocal rendition of “Be Still My Soul” sounded at 100% volume without becoming muddled. The lack of a solid deep end became more noticeable at high volume though.
Creating ambiance in my office with the HEOS 1 by Denon only takes about 20% volume most of the time and less when I’m trying to really focus on the task at hand. Listening via wi-fi, I ended up with an impressive 7 hours and 20 minutes of run time on a fully charged battery.
The HEOS 7 is still your go to option for big sound. However, the HEOS 1 provides excellent sound quality as a small room, bathroom, or patio speaker. On it’s own, you can certainly crank it up loud enough to warrant a noise complaint in an apartment. However, you’re not going to enjoy truly room filling sound and big lows that accompany its older brothers.
The HEOS 1 Go Pack makes the HEOS 1 the only completely wireless and portable member of the family. The size of the HEOS 1 doesn’t lend itself to being your poolside party speaker. A pair of them may be effective at creating a background aura in stereo though. Providing music for a family picnic or patio dinner is definitely in its wheelhouse.