Denon has always stood out for its compact sound systems and Denon CEOLs are its quality mini systems. The best of the range has recently been very thoroughly renovated. This new Denon CEOL N10 adds better network connectivity and HEOS compatibility, opening the doors to a new universe. It is also capable of receiving orders using Amazon Alexa technology. Available for 600 euros, it has been awarded as the best compact music system in Europe. We have been able to test it to check its musical performance with the speakers that Denon offers as standard. We will see that it justifies its price by packing a lot in its relatively low volume. It measures less than an A4 with 28 centimeters wide, 30 deep and just 11 high, with perfect finishes and aesthetics for any home.
The Denon CEOL N10 is for those who do not want to make the leap to a more complex sound system. But he is clear that he wants to go a good step beyond independent speakers and other less advanced systems. The device itself is a receiver, that is, an amplifier with its own reproduction capacity. It has for this an integrated CD player, AM and FM radio, as well as digital, USB and analog inputs. It has Bluetooth so you can easily send music from a nearby mobile or tablet. But the key is your network connection (Ethernet or WiFi) to access internet radios and much more.
Denon N10 rear
But beyond the radios, the network makes it compatible with the majority of online music services . From Spotify, Tidal, Deezer… etcetera. It is also already compatible with AirPlay 2, and of course being Denon already with its HEOS. This (HEOS) is Denon's (and Marantz) proprietary multi-room system and makes it compatible with numerous devices, both sound sources and extra speakers.
Thanks to HEOS the Denon CEOL N10 will allow us to access thousands of radio stations, online music services, or the new AirPlay 2 that is multi-room too. But let's see a little more specifically what advantages and possibilities it offers. Suppose we have a home theater receiver in the main living room, some speakers in a bedroom or bathroom, and the CEOL N10 in the kitchen for example. We will have the TV in the living room connected to that receiver logically to enjoy movies, series and others. If we are watching a game, and we have to go to the kitchen to prepare something for some guests, we can continue the story there .
It will be enough to tell the CEOL with the application to connect to the audio of the TV in the living room (it will do so through the receiver). If we don't like football and prefer to escape to the kitchen to listen to something else, but our USB with music is in the living room or in another room, no problem. We can tell CEOL (via App) to play the music from our USB, connected in the living room (even if they are listening to TV there) or in another room (even if nothing is heard there). And this is just one of the possibilities or examples of how the HEOS system can be used to listen to what we want, where we want. The Denon CEOL N10 serves as both a playback point and a source. Its digital inputs can receive sound from a television and be the broadcast point as well.
In white, gray or black , the Denon CEOL N10 is an exquisitely designed device. The minimalism of its front is appreciated with the CD tray camouflaged on the screen. There are only the two buttons (power and CD opening), access to a USB and headphone output, complemented by other touch buttons on the top . That part is finished in gloss and designed to be transparent, to access the control buttons or to leave it exposed. For its part, the front screen is an OLED of high quality and visibility, another nice touch of elegance.
Inside the design is careful, but at a technological level. It has two internal amplifiers in efficient Class D that offer 65 W of power per channel . The digital-to-analog conversion chip supports all sound formats, and resolutions up to DSD and 192 kHz in PCM. Although the standard speakers seemed correct to us, the truth is that we will get much better use of this Denon with a higher category model. The good news is that the device will be able to get very good sound for medium or large spaces: somehow the only thing that limits this device are its original speakers. By the way, it also has a clock, programmable with alarms or the Sleep function, so it can be an ideal complement in the bedroom.
Alexa, put music in the living room
Another important innovation from Denon is that this device is already compatible with Echo and Amazon Alexa devices . Thanks to that we can give you vocal orders: change the source, increase the volume, change the track ... All through simple voice commands.
As we said above, this N10 is the first Denon CEOL with multi-room HEOS compatibility. That and being able to use it with Alexa is an interesting combination. We can have some devices grouped through the HEOS application and have the house full with the same music (party) . Or play different content in each room, for which the N10 can allow us to send the sound of the CD that is reading to another speaker or system. Or vice versa as we saw before. The new AirPlay 2 also allows you to take advantage of these multi-room possibilities, logically using iOS devices where appropriate.
The Denon CEOL N10 system is delivered (for 600 euros) with a pair of speakers in addition to the amplifier / receiver. These compact speakers measure just 9 inches high, 6 inches wide and 8 inches deep. They are two-way boxes, with a 12 cm diameter mid-bass speaker and a 3 cm diameter tweeter with a textile dome. They reproduce frequencies from 50 Hz in bass to 20 kHz and have a bass reflex port.
In our test they offered good sound, giving enough weight to the bass and good detail in the treble. We tested it in the same space as the compact Denon D-T1 which brings similar speakers, with slightly less internal volume. Perhaps because of the more capable amplification or a somewhat higher specification, the CEOL sounded more authoritativeand also more "air" in treble. The truth is that for many people, placing these speakers correctly (at ear height, about two to three meters apart, and not close to the back wall) is no longer necessary. The CEOL also has an outlet for a bass cajon, so that we can add impact (ideal for movies or rock) with an even simple one (they are very noticeable but you have to adjust them well to avoid excesses). But if we want to go further, as we said above, the internal 65 W of power will match many speakers even several times the price of the elegant Denon.
Denon CEOL N10
|Type||Mini stereo with CD player, radio, network connection and two speakers included.|
|Connections||Output: speakers, bass drawer and front headphones (3.5 mm jack). Inputs: RCA analog and 2 Digital Optical.|
|Advanced connectivity||WiFi, Ethernet, Bluetooth. Compatible AirPlay 2 and HEOS.|
|Other functions||Remote control, programmable clock (Sleep Timer, Alarm). Tone (Bass, Treble) and Balance controls.|
|Amplification||65 W at 4 Ohm, 20 to 20,000 Hz, Signal / noise ratio 86 dB, THD 0.1% (5W and 1kHz).|
|Speakers||Two included, two-way: 30mm dome tweeter, 120mm diameter mid-woofer|
|Frequency response (speakers)||50 Hz to 20 kHz|
|Colors||Black, white or gray|
|Dimensions||280 x 305 x 108 millimeters (wxdxh), 3,400 grams|
|Speaker dimensions||150 x 200 x 230 millimeters (wxdxh)|