STEREO GUIDE verdict
+ Well balanced, natural sound
+ Pleasant, relaxing characteristics
+ amazingly deep and precise bass
+ Stereo pairing possible and useful
- SPL quite limited
- as a single speaker very mono-like
Sound: Tonal Balance / Transparency8.4
Sound: Bass / Dynamics7.5
Ease-of-use / Connectivity8.5
The smallest system speaker Denon´s Home rage, the Home 150, is the most compact design vying for the favour of design-oriented buyers. Its fabric covering and rounded shape add a touch of ´hygge´ Scandinavian design to any home. Those who value acoustic virtues immediately recognise the differences to the larger speakers of the range: The Denon Home 150 is in fact a 2-way speaker without stereo virtualization.
This makes it the ideal side room addition to an existing HEOS setpup. Or as a twin pack to a true stereo system. Pairing two Home 150s is possible and, due to the mono circuitry, also makes more sense acoustically than with one of the larger models. And on top of that, a pair of these Minis costs no more than one of the big stereo one-box systems.
The 9 centimetre bass-mid driver is housed in a closed-box design compartment. You would not find any port venting or passive radiator in the home 150. For such a small speaker, this is rather unusual. After all, most manufacturers are trying to squeeze the last bit of sound energy out of just a few liters. However, the closed cabinet is said to deliver a more precise bass and therefore might be of signifcant advantage in case of problematic acoustical conditions, especially when positioned on a shelf or in a corner.
Applications and connections
Denon’s own app called HEOS is offering a very useful and easy-to-understand room correction Equalizer, which doses bass in three different quantaties. The app is available for iOS and Android. It offers streaming options but is also open to music coming from outside the LAN: An analogue input, Bluetooth and the ability to play from a USB stick or external hard drive offer a plenty of choices.
Three preset buttons on the top of the speaker allow you to store and recall your favourite playlists or internet radio stations which makes the Home 150 also a great choice for the use in bedroom or bathroom. Attention to detail: If you approach the control panel, the Denon Home 150´s proximity sensor is illuminating the buttons instantly
As with all components of the HEOS range, the integration of streaming services is exceptional. This means that the Denon Home 150 comes with an astonishing range of playback options. From Tidal to Amazon HD, Deezer to Spotify is supports the proprietary protocols, Qobuz and Apple Music also work via Airplay 2. Hires streams up to a resolution of 192/24 are accepted by all Denon HEOS components and the smallest one does not make any exception here.
Easy set up and let´s play some music
Connection the Denon to the LAN and setting up the HEOS app is quite easy. At least if you had already done the login procedure. Sometimes Denon models ask for updates and therefore switch to some deep-sleep mode for an unknown period of time. Once the connection is established, you can literally start listening to music in seconds, because the system is identifying music on your smartphone or on a server in the network instantly.
Amazingly mature bass at decent levels
If you want to surprise guests with a rich, room-filling bass fundament coming from a mini speaker, the Denon Home 150 is one of the best choices on the market. At least if SPL was not set to high levels which might be leading to a somewhat thinner bass.
With rock and pop music it didn’t sound quite as powerful and live as bigger speakers, but offers natural and well-defined voices. Even complex recordings like polyphonic choirs could be listen to with pleasure and astonishing transparency, without any harshness.
From the point of an impulse-afficionado, it might be a bit on the decent side. This makes it ideal both as a living room speaker suitable for long-term listening and as a background zone speaker in adjoining rooms such as the kitchen. He was also capable of reproducing occasional classical and jazz recordings pleasantly and without any hints of harshness. In this case, however, it is advisable to use the double pack with stereo pairing for the sake of a really mature, hifi-like stereo imaging. A soloist Denon 150 fed with acoustical recordings you would always recognize as a mono source somehow lacking ambience.
Alternatives to the Denon Home 150
People usually choose a Multiroom system because of the app and its streaming options. In this respect, the question of alternative products for Denon HEOS is futile. Other speakers in the HEOS range might offer more bass and SPL capacities but they are all chunky compared to the Home 150. If you’re still deciding which system to buy, you’ll find a technically comparable competitor in the Sonos One, which is on a similar level in terms of sound quality, but doesn’t offer such a rich bass as the Denon Home 150.
Specifications Denon Home 150
- Price: 250 $ (piece)
- Dimensions (W x H x D): 12 x 19 x 12 cm
- Weight: 1,7 kg
- Special Features: Analogue input, Heos compatible, Closed cabinet, Stereo pairing possible
- More at www.denon.com