We tried the Denon CEOL-N10 mini hi-fi system!

The Denon CEOL-N10 is the fourth generation of the CEOL range. It supports multi-room systems. It also offers the latest Wi-Fi technology, Alexa support and AirPlay

Denon CEOL-N10 review

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CEOL is a mini HiFi system that can be easily installed in any room, together with speakers. You can buy the system without speakers and use it with your own speakers. However, if you have the option, you should opt for the complete package. The dedicated speakers feature optimised passive crossover control and a soft dome tweeter designed specifically for the N10.

The design of the Denon CEOL-N10 is similar to some previous CEOL systems, although slightly more sophisticated. It features scratch-resistant acrylic sheet and a hard-coated finish. The top cover is backlit and also has LED touch-sensitive controls. The front of the product features an OLED display. The OLED screen provides useful information about what you are listening to. In addition, the large remote control makes it easy to control. The HiFi system can be connected to the TV using the available sockets or a turntable can be added. The USB port on the front is compatible with virtually any USB drive, so you can play your own content.

Features

A huge bonus of the Denon CEOL is the amazing amplifier module. The Class D power stage can deliver huge amounts of power without disturbing the sound spectrum.

Let’s see what features this device has to offer:

Wi-Fi, Airplay and Bluetooth connectivity, access to music services (Spotify, Pandora, etc.), easy setup, Alexa voice control compatibility, AM/FM tuner, CD player, USB connection, two optical inputs, support for various audio formats, HEOS multiroom system, remote control, dual-layer scratch-resistant finish.

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Current formats such as FLAC (24 bit / 192 kHz), WAV (24 bit / 192 kHz), AIFF (24 bit / 192 kHz) and ALAC (24 bit / 96 kHz) can be played. Support for the WMM protocol guarantees high-quality wireless audio transmission over the network. The built-in digital amplifier is 65 watts per channel (4 ohms).

The latest AirPlay 2 feature is available for wireless audio streaming from iOS devices and multi-room set-up. The built-in Bluetooth module features NFC (Near Field Communication) for fast communication with Bluetooth devices.

The front panel features a power on/standby button with operating mode indicator. Other controls (source selector, volume control, joystick for menu navigation and playback control) are located on the top acrylic panel. The front panel has a built-in USB port that supports iPod/iPhone charging in standby mode, and a mini-jack socket for headphones.mRear panel inputs.

The Denon CEOL N10 uses a new Texas Instruments TAS5142 amplifier chip, whose signal is fed digitally without any intermediate DA/AD conversion, thus avoiding inherent noise and distortion.

For easy control, the CEOL is Amazon Alexa compatible. To get started, you just need to download the HEOS app. The HEOS app allows you to connect various music systems using Wi-Fi. This means that up to 32 HEOS -compatible units can be connected at the same time. Once set up, you can easily stream music and control everything with the HEOS app. The app also allows you to access internet radio services and streaming services.

With both AirPlay and built-in Bluetooth, connecting devices is really easy. The Denon CEOL-N10 also features Wi-Fi and internet radio. You can even access more music via the built-in CD player and AM/FM tuner.

Power

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In terms of performance, one of the things that impressed us about the Denon CEOL-N10 is its ease of use. While it’s packed with features, it’s not complicated to use at all and still delivers an amazing quality experience.

Operating the CEOL-N10 is incredibly simple, thanks to the easy-to-use buttons or the included remote control.

We tested the device in a large living room. The acoustics in the room were not yet ideal, with bare walls and a parquet floor surface causing reverberations that resulted in acoustic imperfections. Based on our on-site acoustic measurements, we determined where, what type and how many acoustic panels should be placed for optimal acoustics. We recommended broadband panels and diffuser front panels for the walls and ceiling, and corner bass traps for the corners. For the floor, we recommended acoustic carpeting, which is thicker and more densely woven than standard carpeting. By using these, a significant improvement in sound quality can be achieved.

We also tested the CEOL-N10 in a variety of musical styles. Denon has nothing to be ashamed of in terms of sound performance. The punchy 60-watt amplifier means it delivers incredible volume and fantastic sound quality at all levels. The mids were exceptionally clear, although sometimes a little muffled, while the highs sounded beautifully crisp. There was no extra bass emphasis, and the resonance created by the bass meant that we didn’t always hear the sound as completely perfect.

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Summary

The compact mini stereo system can be placed in any size room. It produces a very nice sound, although not perfect. It offers a number of modern features, one of the biggest advantages being the HEOS multiroom system and the other a powerful amplifier. Setup is surprisingly simple and easy to do. You can use it with your own speakers, but you can also pair it with other speakers. The downside of the Denon CEOL-N10 is its rather high price.

Written by Róbert Polgár