HEOS 1 + GoPack
We were delighted by the sound quality of the little HEOS 1 speaker — the top half of its response is delightfully open and non-fizzy, and there is enough bass to deliver an enjoyable overall balance; we didn’t feel the urge to mess with EQ as we have done with larger HEOS units.
Close up it delivered quite the impact, and even half a room away it was pushing Leonard Cohen’s vocal on ‘Going Home’ forth into the room out in front of the simple backing, and holding together the vocal’s bass content with the higher rasping (so easily split into different elements by lesser speakers). We sat the HEOS 1 right next to Bose’s SoundLink Mini II and flipped our Bluetooth from one to the other — the HEOS 1 delivered a slightly larger sound, and left the Bose sounding as if it pinched the mids a little thin. The Bose is cheaper of course, smaller and lacks the multiroom and app side of things, but it’s useful as a widely known reference, and good as it is, the HEOS 1 clearly sounds better, wider, broader, and a tad more relaxed.
The optional GoPack attaches neatly to the HEOS 1 — you unscrew the existing baseplate (and store it somewhere safely!) then twist on the Go Pack battery platform, which adds a couple of centimetres of height. This charges automatically whenever the HEOS 1 is plugged into the mains.
That’s the power sorted, but how to stream to the HEOS 1 when you’re outside your home Wi-Fi range — there is no built-in Bluetooth in HEOS products, remember. Well, also provided is a neat combination of USB Bluetooth dongle and rubber splashguard (pictured), which can plug into the rear USB port and thereby provide a Bluetooth connection while also protecting against dirt and water ingress during travel. (It’s rated to IPX4.)
Portable, compact, and sonically well-pitched, the HEOS 1 is another valuable addition to the HEOS range.