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Denon Home 250 review: A superb sounding wireless speaker

Our Rating :
£349.00 from
Price when reviewed : £450

The Denon Home 250 sounds great, has impressive connectivity options and is very smart thanks to support for Amazon Alexa


  • Big, immersive sound
  • Attractive design
  • Excellent connectivity options


  • Expensive
  • No adaptive sound

Update: In late 2021, Denon added support for Amazon’s voice assistant, Alexa, to the Home 250, so you can now use the speaker just like one of your existing Echo speakers (minus support for Alexa Calling and Drop-In features). If you already own the speaker, all you need to do is update its firmware via the Heos mobile app.

Unfortunately, Denon also confirmed it will not be adding Google Assistant to the Home 250 as first promised, so if you had hopes of integrating it into a Google speaker group, you’ll have to look elsewhere. It does, as explained below, still offer limited functionality via Google Home, however.

Original review continues: Denon’s Home 250 is one of a trio of new multi-room wireless speakers from the Hi-Fi manufacturer, sitting alongside the smaller Denon Home 150 and larger Denon Home 350. With support for Spotify, Amazon Music HD, TuneIn, Deezer and more via Wi-Fi, plus AirPlay 2 and Bluetooth connectivity, it’s a versatile and excellent-sounding speaker that’s well worth considering if you can afford it.

What do you get for the money?

Measuring 295 x 216 x 120mm, the Home 250 is a fairly sizable unit. Beneath the grille are four separate drivers – two 19mm tweeters and two 100mm woofers – which are accompanied by a 133mm passive radiator. Each driver has its own dedicated class D amplifier and the speaker offers stereo playback, although this effect certainly won’t be as prominent as it might with a dedicated two-speaker Hi-Fi system.

As for its design, the Home 250 comes in either black or white and has an appealing, pared-down appearance. The speaker is covered by a water- and stain-resistant wraparound, meaning you should have no problems using it in your kitchen, and all controls are via a touch-sensitive panel on the top that lights up when you hover your hand over it. Here, you’ll find a play/pause button, volume controls and three quick-select buttons that let you quickly jump between different music sources.

Finally, the Denon Home 250 has built-in far-field microphones for detecting voice commands but with no support for Google Assistant or Alexa promised until later this year, these are effectively redundant at the time of writing. With no remote of any description, that means you’ll need to reach for your phone or get close enough to those aforementioned controls to change the volume or skip tracks.

What connectivity options does it have?

The Home 250 offers an impressive array of connectivity options. In addition to USB, 3.5mm and Ethernet ports, it delivers wireless music playback via Bluetooth and Apple Airplay. There’s also out-of-the-box support for Spotify Connect and you can stream thousands of different internet radio stations via TuneIn using the speaker’s accompanying Heos mobile app. Deezer, Amazon Music HD and Tidal are all supported too, and the speaker is able to stream other high-resolution formats, including 192kHz/24-bit FLAC, WAV, ALAC and DSD 2.8/5.6MHz files.

With no virtual assistant currently available, you’ll have to make do with linking Heos via the Alexa and Google Home mobile apps. However, it’s worth noting that this doesn’t always offer the same level of functionality as you’d get with a built-in voice assistant. In the case of Google Home, for instance, there’s no option to voice search for music using Google Assistant on your phone or other speakers, so you’ll have to make do with basic controls such as play, pause, skip and volume.

Rather frustratingly, there’s also no Google Cast option, so if you want to play radio from the BBC Sounds app, you’ll have to do so via the TuneIn option in the Heos mobile app or by connecting the Denon Home 250 to your phone via Bluetooth.

How easy is it to use?

Setup is very easy via the Heos mobile app (available for both Android and iOS devices), which guides you through the process. The app isn’t quite as refined or easy on the eye as I’d like – the settings menu in particular feels hidden away – but for the most part, it’s perfectly practical.

After you’ve added the Home 250 to your home Wi-Fi network, you can select the Music button to choose from a number of different services including TuneIn, Amazon Music, Deezer, Tidal and SoundCloud. From this menu there are also options to browse local music servers, along with the tracks on any USB storage device you might have connected or your phone.

Of course, if you’re mainly planning to use Spotify, the Home 250 is visible from the “Connect to a device” menu in the Spotify app as soon as you’ve added the speaker to your home network.

What’s the sound quality like?

Denon claims the Home 250 sounds best when placed 3 to 12 inches from a wall, as close to ear level as possible. There’s certainly truth in that; when placed in the middle of a room, music sounded much more boomy and the bass was less controlled. Ideally, though, a speaker this pricey would have adaptive room EQ, as found in Apple’s HomePod, the Amazon Echo Studio and Sonos Move.

Having said that, I found that the Denon Home 250 still offered a largely enjoyable listening experience at a range of volumes, wherever it’s placed. As you might hope for a speaker of its price, it has an excellent presence, especially in the lower frequencies, and I found it was able to comfortably fill my open-plan living area with sound. Mid-range frequencies, too, sound detailed and rich and there’s no unwanted distortion even when you turn the volume right up.

Treble is somewhat less prominent and, if anything, that adds to the overall pleasant, warm sound signature. Indeed, the speaker rarely sounds harsh in the way other single-unit speakers sometimes can. Should you want a brighter sound, you can easily adjust the equaliser to your own preference using the Heos app. It’s only a simple EQ with levels from -5 to 5 for treble and bass but that’s probably enough to overcome any problems you might have with the speaker sounding too boomy when placed in the middle of a room.

Should I buy it?

If the Denon Home 250 had launched with the integrated voice assistants promised for later this year, it’d be an emphatic yes. It’s a pricey speaker but the middle-sized Denon device offers superb connectivity and delivers a big, bold sound that can fill your home.

Without the voice assistant, though, there’s inevitably a temptation to look elsewhere. The Sonos Move, for instance, is a superb-sounding multi-room speaker that comes with support for both Alexa and Google Assistant. Best of all, though, it’s £50 cheaper.

Alternatively, if you’re an iPhone user, the Apple Home Pod has recently been slashed to just £200, meaning you could buy two, run them in stereo and still have change to spare. Sure, it lacks Google Assistant and Alexa but so does the Denon (and Siri is better than nothing).

It’s a shame really, because the Denon Home 250 doesn’t really do an awful lot wrong, but there are simply other products that do more for less. We’ll update this review when the firmware is released later this year, and I hope to be able to add another star.

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