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Sonos has filed a lawsuit against Denon alleging that the company's HEOS multiroom speaker system infringes "at least four Sonos patents" related to wireless audio products.

In a blog post on the official Sonos website entitled 'Protecting What We Invented', Craig Shelburne, Sonos co-founder and general counsel, reveals Sonos has notified D&M Holdings, the financial investment company that owns Denon, that it believes the "manufacture, distribution, and/or sale of the HEOS system infringes a number of Sonos patents related to wireless audio products".

Shelburne goes on to say that Sonos believes the Denon HEOS range makes "little or no effort to differentiate features of functionality" from its own Play speakers: "Beginning with its product name and messaging (which in some instances they have just copied word for word), Denon borrows liberally from virtually all aspects of the Sonos story."

Sonos says it welcomes competition and the wealth of new products in the multi-room audio market, but that it wants rival manufacturers to "come up with new ideas and true innovations". Clearly, Sonos believes that's not the case with the Denon HEOS range.

"As a next step, we will offer to sit down with Denon, explain our views and give them time to modify their products," says the post. "We are not asking for a royalty or other license fee – we just want Denon to build an experience that isn’t copying ours. 

MORE: Sonos: everything you need to know

More after the break

In our hands-on review of the HEOS system we did point out some similarities between it and the Sonos family, such as the names of the products and the prices, though there were also some key feature differences, including the way it used your own wireless network rather than a mesh network like Sonos.

The Denon HEOS line-up features the HEOS 3, HEOS 5 and HEOS 7 speakers, plus the HEOS Amp and HEOS Link. There's certainly some similarity to the Play:1, Play:3, Play:5, Connect and Connect:Amp naming structure.

We have asked for a comment from Denon. You can read the full Sonos statement here.

MORE: Multi-room audio: everything you need to know



The_Lhc's picture

You're welcome!

You're welcome! Smile

Graham Luke's picture


I applaud Sonos for trying to protect their intellectual property.

Sonos is stunning and should see off most of the competition anyway; the whole 'hires' thing seems little more than a scam, at best...

Simon 172's picture


The first viable competitor to SONOS and what do they do? Throw their dummies out of the pram!

Just shows how much HEOS is going to shake up the multi-room market place.

gowiththeflow's picture

HEOS will shake up nothing!

HEOS is just one of a number of multi-room systems that have appeared in an attempt to grab some of the market that Sonos have mostly created themselves.

It isn't the most serious competitor either (Bluesound may get that honour), but it does look very much like a blatent rip-off of Sonos, even if it's weaker in a few key areas.

Sonos have every right to protect their patents and IP, but I can't see Denon supporting their HEOS system for more than a few years anyway and will probably replace it with next week's new marketting toy by then.

Graham Luke's picture

Happy rip-off time?

Good grief!

So you'd be more than happy for a business competitor to steal your intellectual property and benefit at your expense?

Good luck!

michael hoy's picture

It looks like my Altec

It looks like my Altec Lansing InAir 5000.

Graham Luke's picture

Did they rip that off too?!?

Did they rip that off too?!?


Mark Mcloughlin's picture


Having owned and sold my Sonos system .. it was only matter of time before others took up the baton .. and betterd Sonos due to their poor SQ .. you the buyer have to supply all the music as the Sonos does nothing but allow you to move a speaker and music from one room to another.. they may have perfected this .. but now others have now joined them .. no doubt with better products and SQ.. it is called progress.

Graham Luke's picture


Poor SQ? Whatever, Golden Ears.