The HEOS AVR has a very specific brief and we think that overall it hits that brief thanks to a combination of clever design, useful features and performance. It certainly has the looks of a lifestyle product and its simplified appearance won't frighten less tech-savvy consumers. We understand the logic behind dropping all the front panel controls, along with the display, but the loss of any onscreen display is a shame and the remote has been simplified a bit too much. However both of these points are largely academic because the HEOS AVR has been designed to be set up and controlled using the highly effective HEOS App. This simplified approach also applies to the rear connections which eschew most legacy inputs in favour of HDMI but, whilst we completely agree with this approach, we would have liked to see a couple more HDMI inputs.

We found setting up and controlling the HEOS AVR very easy thanks to the remote app and we tested it both as a wired 5.1-channel system and as a system that was composed of wired front channels and wireless surround channels and subwoofer. The wired configuration was very good and although not the best we've heard it did deliver an enjoyable experience with both movies and music. For the best results a bit of careful setup is required but even a complete novice should have the HEOS AVR up and running in minutes – which is rather the point. The wireless configuration was equally as easy to set up and we were pleased to discover the experience was essentially the same and there was no perceivable latency between the wired and wireless speakers. We also found that the receiver was equally as effective as part of the HEOS multiroom system making it a great all-rounder.

For those who are either looking for a less intimidating AVR or like the idea of having wireless rear speakers, then this is undoubtedly a product that is worth considering. In fact even a knowledgeable AV enthusiast would be happy with this receiver, as long as they don't want a system with more than five channels. As a result, thanks to its combination of design, features and performance, we're happy to award the HEOS AVR a Recommended badge.

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