Denon CEOL RCD-N8 review:

Denon CEOL RCD-N8

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
Typical Price: $999.00
Compare These

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Good sound quality. Wide support for various media. Effective remote control. Good selection of inputs.

The Bad Poorly made speaker cables sap confidence.

The Bottom Line Denon has engineered this system extremely well to provide good-quality sound with wide media access at a reasonable price.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

8.2 Overall

The Denon CEOL is a well thought out, compact stereo system providing good-quality music from a wide range of sources, including your network and the internet.

Hardware

The Denon CEOL network audio system is a compact, decent-quality stereo system that includes a CD player, FM radio, iPod dock and digital media player for USB and network content. Your AU$1000 gets you three components: two compact loudspeakers and one main box of electronics, plus a remote control. You have a choice of gloss black or white.

The main electronics unit provides a stereo amplifier with a built-in CD player, FM radio tuner and a range of network functions. There's an iPod/iPhone dock on top — using the old 30-pin connection, so for newer Apple devices, you'll need a Lightning adapter. You can't use the dock for an iPad, since the connector is recessed. iPads, new iPhones, iPod Touches and iPod Nanos can be plugged in, using their own cables, to the USB socket at the front. This USB port delivers enough oomph to charge an iPad. Or you can use that USB socket for music from any mass-storage media device.

Networking can be wired or Wi-Fi. The unit provides all of its visual feedback via the front display panel — there is no video output option for controlling the device via your TV. The network functionality supports Apple AirPlay, access to audio on your network via DLNA protocols, use of the Denon remote app on both iOS and Android devices and, of course, internet streaming services.

One of those services, Last.fm, won't work in Australia without manipulating your network location settings in some way. The other two, vTuner-based Internet Radio and the Spotify subscription music service, both work here.

Denon has made getting the system up and going easy. Taking notes from Apple, it seems, you open the carton and find right at the top a clearly laid-out pamphlet labelled "Start Here". The full manual is provided in the unit on a CD ROM if you need more detail.

Audio

Initially, this system sounded very strange indeed. It was unfocused, without clear localisation. Any experienced listener would recognise what was going immediately: the speakers were out of phase with each other. That is, the "positive" terminal on one, but not both, was connected to the "negative" terminal on the amplifier. So if you feed a mono signal to the stereo system, while one speaker cone is pushing out, the other one is pulling in, instead of them working together.

  • Sony STR-DN1080

    The Sony STR-DN1080 is fully featured, easy to use and sounds great, making it one of...

  • Denon AVR-S920W

    The Denon AVR-S920W is an excellent mid-priced Atmos-ready receiver, with plenty of home...

  • Yamaha RX-V481

    This receiver checks most of the must-have feature boxes, and still delivers excellent...

  • Pioneer VSX-831

    The Pioneer VSX-831 offers a plethora of features, excellent ease-of-use and fine sound...

  • Yamaha RX-V681

    A big, blunt, black box that can do it all, the V681 combines a bevy of gotta-have features...

This week on CNET News

 
 

Discuss: Denon CEOL RCD-N8

Conversation powered by Livefyre