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Denon debuts flashy new Cocoon AirPlay speaker docks

Denon has introduced two new Apple AirPlay-compatible speakers, the Cocoon Home and Cocoon Portable.

The Cocoon Home retails for $599 and is available in white or black (click to enlarge). Denon

Welcome another couple of pricey wireless AirPlay speakers to the market. They arrive courtesy of Denon, which has introduced the Cocoon Home ($599) and Cocoon Portable ($499).

Both models feature an integrated iPhone/iPod dock as well as the aforementioned AirPlay feature, which allows you to stream music directly from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch (or from a Mac or Windows PC running iTunes).

To set it apart from other audio docks on the market, Denon says its designers gave it a super glossy look "with a contemporary twist" that's unique because the clear plastic enclosure (on the back of the unit) is painted from the inside. And to add to that "seamless" appearance, all connections are housed in a solid metal base.

Denon's beauty shot of the Cocoon Portable. It didn't seem quite as glamorous in person. Denon

As for the Cocoon Home's specs, you're looking at 100 watts of total power (25-watt per driver, bi-amped), a ported enclosure, and a built-in, two-way speaker system with dual-layer woofers. Needless to say, there's a bit of digital processing on board (Denon refers to it as an "advanced DSP engine and 9-band digital equalization") to widen the sound stage and "insure precision sound reproduction."

Meanwhile the 25-percent smaller Cocoon Portable (it's available in black only) has a rugged, water-resistant construction, offers full networking capabilities, including AirPlay, DLNA, and Internet Radio, and its built-in rechargeable battery is rated for 5 hours of operation. Denon says the portable Cocoon delivers 50 watts of power, with two full-range drivers "specially tuned for outdoor usage." It's also worth mentioning that there's an integrated carry handle, plus a retractable slot for the remote control.

A Cocoon Portable spotted in the wild at a Denon preview event. David Carnoy/CNET

I got a quick look at the Cocoon Portable at a Denon preview event last week, but I didn't get a chance to hear it in action (I did snap a picture, however -- see above). It seemed very solid when I picked up, but then again, a $500 speaker dock should.

No word on exactly when the new units will ship, but Denon says it will be this summer, so expect them to turn up later this month or early September.