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Denon Ceol N10 Review: Wi-Fi, Ethernet, Spotify & More

A woman smiling between two speakers - Denon Ceol N10 review

In our world of ever-expanding technology, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to how we listen to our music. Long-gone is the cassette tape, now that we have iPods, Sonos, Smart Devices, and of course, our smartphones, to meet our musical needs. Having said that, no matter what the tech-giants throw our way, some of us still love a good-old Hi-Fi. An all in one machine to play a CD, plug in an AUX cable, or crank up the radio – what more could you want?

Well, as you might expect, even the hi-fi is being upgraded and now comes in the form of the Denon Ceol N10. This flashy model does everything you might want in a Hi-Fi – and possibly more. So, to keep you in the technological audio loop, we’re going to review the Denon Ceol N10 and see how it fares in 2020.

The Denon Ceol N10 Hi-Fi is a much more compact and tech-savvy version of the traditional hi-fi, with features including internet radio, music streaming services, and Ethernet and Wi-Fi connections. Well, we’re going to take a closer look at these features, and also at the functionality and usability of this popular Denon model.

So, if you’re considering purchasing this next generation hi-fi, read on for our Denon Ceol N10 review, and find out if this is the upgrade your home audio system has been waiting for.

 

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Speaker on desk with plant - Denon Ceol N10 review
Photo credit: Med Badr Chemmaoui via Unsplash

 

Denon Ceol N10 Review: WiFi and Ethernet Connectivity

When it comes to playing music, not many of us think of hi-fis anymore. But what was once a has-been is again becoming a must-have. And that certainly seems to be the case for the Denon Ceol N10 hi-fi. So, with that in mind, we’re going to delve into the many features this new Denon model has to offer. We’ll look at the internet connections available on this hi-fi, review the sound quality, and put all the smart features to the test.

Ready to review the Denon Ceol N10? Let’s see what this hi-fi system can do!

Connectivity: Ethernet & Wi-Fi

One of the main reasons we wanted to review the Denon Ceol N10, is to take a closer look at the internet connectivity. This model has the ability to connect to the internet via Wi-Fi, and also through an ethernet cable. Whilst we certainly won’t complain about the Wi-Fi connection, it is the ethernet option that makes this model stand out. If you’re choosing to listen to the radio via the internet, or are streaming music (more on that later), an ethernet connection will ensure you have no lag, and a crisp, clean audio connection. This is a serious plus, as the high-quality sound is what people want. And they are almost guaranteed it with a stable Ethernet connection.

In the past, there was absolutely no need to connect a hi-fi to the internet, but now it is the key to unlocking the many features that make it such a desirable purchase. The Wi-Fi connection means that you can use this hi-fi with almost all your smart home devices – which we’ll go into later in the review.

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Wi-Fi and Mobile Data symbols
Photo credit: Praveen kumar Mathivanan via Unsplash

 

Bluetooth Connectivity

Bluetooth is, of course, one of the main connectivities available on the Denon Ceol N10. This allows you to connect to laptops, PCs, mobile devices, and even to your smart TV. It enables you to play directly from music streaming services via your devices, making this a totally seamless audio experience. Of course, you don’t only have to use this sound system to play music. Bluetooth means you can use this system purely as a speaker, so you can also listen to podcasts, TV shows, or even movies if you choose. It might not have the portability like some speakers or soundbars. But it is still a handy feature that is a definite tick in the box for functionality in our eyes.

So far in this review of the Denon Ceol N10, we’ve only looked at the internet and Bluetooth connectivity, and we’ve barely scratched the surface. This model also offers HEOS, and AirPlay2 connections which open doors to a whole host of device compatibilities.

Let’s take a closer look at these features.

Multiroom Streaming via HEOS & AirPlay 2

If you invest in more than one Denon system and place them in different rooms, you can connect them for multiroom streaming. This enables you to play the same song throughout the house, a little like the Sonos sound system. You can do this using the HEOS app, which is one of the biggest selling points to the Denon systems. The HEOS app gives you access to music streaming through a whole host of platforms. This includes Amazon Music, Spotify connect, Napster, Tidal, and Deezer. This is a huge upgrade from previous Denon models, which only granted access to Spotify through HEOS.

Alternatively, you can use the Apple AirPlay 2 feature for multiroom streaming too. Although this feature only allows you to play music stored on an Apple device, it is still a nice additional feature for those who use Apple products.

Spotify open on laptop
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Audio Inputs: USB, Optical, & RCA

In our review of the Denon Ceol N10, we had to cover the audio inputs, which are extensive. Firstly, you can connect via the USB port, which is compatible with USB drives. You can play audio files including MP4, FLAC, ALAC, M4A, plus DSD audio stream if you choose.

When playing music via the USB port, the track title will be displayed on the front OLED display. Plus, if you’re using the HEOS app, you can access all the tracks there too. Another nice feature provided through HEOS there too.

We’re also very impressed with the optical input, as this gives you the option to connect to a UHD TV, plus Blue-ray players too. Optical inputs give a much clearer and high-resolution sound that the standard RCA input. Which, of course, you can also use to connect to the TV. Having the option to connect to the TV essentially gives you the option to enhance the audio of anything you’re watching on TV too, including movies. This removes the need for any additional speakers, such as soundbars. It also increases the functionality and usability of the Denon RCD N10, which is always a bonus when making a high-end purchase.

 

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Amazon Alexa & Google Assistant

Perhaps one of the most popular selling points of the Denon Ceol N10 is the Amazon Alexa compatibility. With so many of us using smart devices throughout the home, Denon must have known this would be a popular upgrade, and it certainly is. You can easily hook up your Amazon Echo or Dot easily via the Alexa Skills, which then gives you the option to control your Denon N10 playback via Alexa. A nice feature, and it certainly adds to that seamless feel, along with the AirPlay and Bluetooth features we’ve already mentioned.

The Denon Ceol N10 is, of course, also compatible with Google Assistant. Simply set up your chosen Google device via the HEOS app, and away you go. Both Smart Assistants can skip tracks, select sound sources, increase or decrease volume, all via voice control.

 

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Bluetooth Smart Speaker - Denon Ceol N10 review
Photo credit: Lazar Gugleta via Unsplash

 

Sound Quality

We couldn’t review the Denon Ceos N10 sound system without discussing the speakers, and they are certainly worth a mention. On the first look, this compact sound system might not look like it will pack a punch. But these two bookshelf speakers are surprisingly powerful. At full power, the two 65W outputs deliver 4 ohms, which even at high volumes provides a rich and impressive sound quality. If anything, the bass might be lacking slightly, but coming from two compact speakers you certainly can’t complain.

Standard Features: CD Player, FM & AM,

The Denon Ceos N10 might come with a whole range of high-tech features, but it’s good to see some of the classics. And by this, we mean the CD player. In fact, despite the compact size of this hi-fi, the disk drive sits neatly at the front of the system, and if you didn’t know it was there, we’d doubt you even notice. It’s a nice touch for those that still play CDs, and the sound quality is exceptional. If you’re not one for listening to the radio via the internet, you can, of course, always opt for the AM and FM tuner. With the latter retrieving signal from the internal antenna, you’ll get a perfect signal every time, so no need to go online if you don’t want.

 

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Usability & Design

In terms of design (and we love to review design), you can’t knock the Denon Ceos N10. Firstly, it looks sleek and modern. The front of the system contains very few buttons, and a wide OLED screen and clear display. The usability of the Denon N10 is also second to none. On top of the main receiver is a simple touch-panel. Here you can skip songs, increase or decrease volume, and the buttons also light-responsive. The two bookshelf speakers that come with the receiver are also nice and compact. As we’ve said, the size definitely doesn’t affect the audio output, and the mini feel to this system is certainly appealing. This system would easily complement a living room setup. And, whether you choose the black or the white, will look neat and stylish in any room.

Of course, we couldn’t review the Denon Ceos N10, without discussing the remote control. When it comes to audio systems, the design of remote controls is often too small, and difficult to use. This isn’t the case for the Denon N10. With clear buttons and a wide range of functions, it definitely does the job.

The only flaw in the usability of the Denon Ceos N10 is when it comes to access streaming services via the remote control. You can choose to control your Denon system using either the remote control or the HEOS app. However, if you choose to access streaming services when using the remote, you will need to sign-in to HEOS using the remote control and the OLED screen. Whilst this isn’t a huge issue, it is a bit fiddly. It’s a shame that the HEOS details aren’t stored on the device itself.

 

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Denon Ceol N10 Review: The Verdict

If you’re looking for an all-encompassing sound system, we have to say the Denon Ceol N10 is high up on our recommendations. With multiple audio inputs and both Ethernet and Wi-Fi connections, this hi-fi makes a highly compatible piece of technology. Of course, the additional features including Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant definitely top it off. In terms of usability, you can’t knock the Denon Ceol N10. It is incredibly simple to use, but still has a high-quality feel to it. We especially like the scratch-free touchpad and the wide OLED screen which is also a nice design feature. If you choose to opt with the Denon speakers, you won’t be disappointed with the sound quality. For such compact speakers, you get a surprisingly powerful audio output. Having said that, you can assume that the Denon N10 receiver will work exceptionally well with other Bluetooth speakers should you choose to go that way too.

Did we have any complaints with the Denon Ceos N10? Perhaps only when it comes to accessing streaming services via the remote control. Of course, this is purely from a convenience point of view. For the huge number of features and compatibility options on this audio system, it certainly isn’t enough to put us off purchasing the Denon Ceos N10. And overall? Well, we’re suitably impressed.

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