Denon's tradition in the world of minicans is great, and from his expert hand comes this Denon D-T1. In compact dimensions of only 21 centimeters wide by 10 cm high and 29 cm deep, we will see that it combines enough connectivity and features for a medium room or living room. Its 2.8 kg weight contains a 15 W amplifier per channel and a compact disc player. It also counts as internal sources with radio and Bluetooth receiver, apart from an optical digital input. It is on sale for 300 euros in black or satin gray along with the two speakers.
Premium sound in a small package
The new Denon D-T1 micro system inherits the premium sound quality of its predecessors, such as the award-winning DM-41, in a compact, modern design. The possible sources are in addition to the built-in CD player, an FM / AM radio and the optical digital input . In addition, Bluetooth reception allows you to conveniently send music from a mobile phone or any other compatible device. The radio is traditional, that is to say the classic AM / FM (not DAB). It does not have a network connection (cable or WiFi) and therefore we do not access Internet radios. Neither are shared libraries or network music services. In return, and via Bluetooth, it will be easy to do it through a mobile or tablet (or computer). The only limitation will be to be in the same room.
The advantage of the new Denon is that it offers in the traditional “mini-system” format , with a span of width, superior device performance. Of course and as we will see, it offers us much better music than common compact speakers. Although the power output is not exaggerated (it is 15 W per channel) it is more than enough for the included speakers. And it will allow a leap in quality if we decide later to change them for more capable ones. Many of these mini systems are limited by the size and quality of the original speakers. Although Denon makes a good effort with the pair that comes with the D-T1.
Speakers: two-way and bass-reflex
The pair of boxes that comes standard with the Denon D-T1 are two-way. They measure 25.5 centimeters high, 24 deep and 15 cm wide, for a weight of 3.4 kg (each). They contain two speakers : a tweeter for the treble, with a 25mm diameter dome. And a mid-woofer with a 12 cm diameter cone. The box is open on the back, that is to say it is bass-reflex.
It declares an impedance of 6 Ohm, just to which the mini-system delivers its 15 W of power. The frequency response goes in the bass to 50 Hz and in the treble to the audible limit of 20 kHz. Other nuances aside, there we have a clue to why other speakers could offer more quality later. If we choose ones with more volume and more capacity to lower the bass, the Denon has no problem amplifying up to 20 Hz. Regarding this, another thing that we miss in this mini system would be a bass box output. It is another very effective way to complement your original speakers.
Compact Disc Reader
Having a CD player on the same device is a clear advantage. This “slot” type reader is capable of reading original (printed CD) or recorded and rewritten (CD-R / RW) discs . In the latter and apart from music in standard format the Denon D-T1 is also capable of reading MP3 or WMA music files.
It may seem that in a device of the XXI century the CD player is over, but nothing of that. To begin with, it is a good wink for older people: for many, “putting on a record” is an expression with the full meaning of those three words. It is the only way, along with radio, that many people still understand listening to music. On the other hand, more and more not so old people are discovering the clubs of their brothers or parents. And finally, in the absence of a USB connection (which is missed), being able to record our selection of songs on a CD-R is a practical way to have “playlists” for every occasion.
Optical and analog input
In addition to its own internal sources, such as CDs or radio, the Denon D-T1 has inputs for other sources . On the one hand, a rear analog stereo input with the traditional coaxial RCA connectors. There we can connect any source: a tape deck, a record player (with a phono preamp, the Denon doesn't have it), and so on. Using an RCA to stereo jack adapter cable, it will also be practical to connect a mobile phone through its headphone output, or any portable player. Perhaps it would have been a detail to have another front input of that type directly (3.5 mm stereo jack).
The other input for external sources is sure to be widely used: digital optics. If we install the mini system near the television, it can be an excellent way to enhance its sound. All televisions have digital optical output and there we can connect it to the Denon easily. It will be enough, in addition to connecting the fiber optic cable, to configure the TV so that it outputs PCM sound through that output. This is because the Denon is not a home theater receiver but a music amplifier and it would not understand Dolby or DTS digital signals. Apart from the television, the optical input can be perfect for a console if the mini system is destined for a "playful" room.
Headphones and alarm clock
The Denon D-T1 still has a few cards up its sleeve. A 3.5mm front outlet lets you connect headphones for private music enjoyment. It is another good solution for a room or bedroom, as well as being useful in a living room. Thinking precisely about the bedroom option, the mini system has a clock and we can program it. That is, it can wake us up every day with our favorite station, or whatever music we want. And it also has an off timer, in case we want to fall asleep listening to music.
Through the menu and with the remote control we access some other functions that are hidden without it. In addition to the clock and its programming, the Denon has tone and balance controls. Although the ideal is to listen to the music unchanged, the tone controls are always useful . If we listen at a very low level for example, our ears do not pick up the bass and treble equally well. Slightly boosting both ranges in low-level listening helps a lot (the equivalent of reasonable loudness). On the other hand, there are records produced with bass, or treble, somewhat exaggerated, and if we listen louder, the excess is annoying. The tone controls will help tone it down and the D-T1 has them.
It only takes a few minutes to have this mini system unpacked and ready to play. Just place the speakers, connect them to the chain, plug it in and… that's it. The ideal speaker placement is about two meters apart and at ear level . That is, approximately one meter above the ground if we listen while sitting, measured at the top. The separation will help to hear the stereo effect well: the soloists will appear to be in the center of both speakers and the soundstage will be wide and with a certain depth, especially if we separate them at least 25 or better 50 cm from the rear wall.
We tested the Denon D-T1 in a large room and with various speaker positions. We found that they are capable of offering a good scene, and also an unexpected sound level. This mini system sounds clearly better than today's compact systems or "speakers". For the same price, it is clear that this old recipe of having the electronics on one side and the speakers in separate wooden boxes is still the best.
The ease of putting on a record and just listening to it is also welcome. The reader is not very fast (swallowing and reading the disc) but once in motion, everything goes smoothly. And above all it sounds surprisingly good, even at moderate levels. The 15 W give a lot of themselves and the speakers are honest, with good clarity in the voices and good detail in treble. Those 50 Hz declared as the lower limit for bass in practice are more than enough. There or above is the punch of a drums, or the low notes of a double bass or piano. There is not much music with frequencies below those notes, even movie effects are there. But the important thing is that by the second song we have already forgotten the figures. The Denon allows us to immerse ourselves in the music, or what we are doing while listening to it in the background. Despite the number of “musical” products on the market today, yes, a traditional mini system still makes a lot of sense. The D-T1 is a perfect example of this and how for its 300 euros we can sound a living room or bedroom very well.
|Type||Mini stereo with CD player and two speakers included.|
|Connections||Output: front speakers and headphones (3.5 mm jack). Inputs: RCA analog and Digital Optical.|
|Other functions||Remote control, programmable clock (Sleep Timer, Alarm). Tone (Bass, Treble) and Balance controls.|
|Amplification||15 W at 6 Ohm, 20 to 20,000 Hz|
|Speakers||Two included, two-way: 25mm dome tweeter, 120mm diameter mid-woofer|
|Frequency response (speakers)||50 Hz to 20 kHz|
|Colors||Black or satin gray|
|Dimensions||210 x 290 x 100 millimeters (wxdxh), 2,800 grams|
|Speaker dimensions||150 x 240 x 255 millimeters (wxdxh), 3,400 grams|