Denon Ceol with Apple AirPlay
Mini combo hi-fi gets iTunes streaming tech
Review Denon has been holding back on the release of its new Ceol music system until it received an Apple AirPlay upgrade, which happened this week. Now, as well as playing CDs, docking your iPod/iPhone, playing FM/AM and internet radio and streaming music from a wireless network, it can also link up with iTunes on your computer or iOS4 device. Throw in support for Internet streaming services from Napster and Last.fm and you’ve got a very versatile system.
Denon's Ceol features both the RCD-N7 combo hi-fi and SC-N7 speakers
There’s been some confusion about the pronunciation of Denon’s new box of audio tricks, but for now the company is sticking with kee-ohl (rhymes with keyhole) – Irish Gaelic for music apparently, and reflects the company’s base in Northern Ireland.
It’s a very neat looking white plastic box measuring 28 x 11 x 30cm and weighing a relatively lightweight 4.3kg. There’s a minimalist functionality about it and an almost retro feel in the way it seems to hark back to those early, pre-Touch iPods.
At the front is an OLED screen that will show up to three lines of text (the highlighted one in the middle is twice as big as the other two). Above it is a CD drawer with sliding disc tray and around it are a USB port which you can play tracks from, 3.5mm aux input and headphone jack, plus player controls.
On top is an iPhone/iPod dock hidden beneath a flip-up cover and around the back are stereo speaker outputs, subwoofer and aux analogue in/outputs, optical in, plus aerials for FM/AM radio and Wi-Fi, and an Ethernet port.
Interfacing aplenty includes both wireless and Ethernet networking
It’s available with a pair of SC-N7 standmount speakers from Denon, each with 12cm bass/mid driver and 2.5mm dome tweeter. While they have a nicely tuned midrange with a sweet tone to the high end, there’s not an awful lot of power in the bass.
Next page: Cabinet shuffle
Gaelic Keyholes indeed...
In Irish*, the word "ceol" has a single syllablle. "Ceo" is pronounced like the first syllable of "Kyoto" and the L is sounded as would be normal in English. Rhymes with "mole".
*never "Irish Gaelic". Ever.
Nice device though. Denon make very good small Hi-Fis. If I was looking, and there was one without the Apple nonsense, it would be on my list.
Of course, Ceòl also Scottish Gaelic* for 'music'... yet people forget such a language exists and is spoken.
*Yes, I agree with above post, Irish = Irish, but Scots Gaelic is "Gaelic"
I'm not a linguistics expert
I suppose calling the English language "English Modern Frisian-Latin" would be a bit cumbersome, hence "Irish" instead of "Irish Gaelic", but I think adding the Gaelic modifier adds a bit of clarity on an English-language site aimed at people who probably aren't familiar with the languages and dialects of the British Isles.
(it's all mostly Modern Indo-European anyway.)
"You can play back through up to six sets of speakers simultaneously, though it won’t let you assign different tracks to different speaker sets at the same time, so it stops short of being a genuine Sonos-bothering multi-room system."
You can play different iP*d/PC/Mac sources through different Airport express-connected speakers, though, and use an iP*d as a remote control for the PC or Mac iTunes. I do this to 6 sets of speakers from 8 possible sources, all controlled from a single MacBook running Apple Remote Desktop.
All for MUCH less than a multi-room Sonos.
I upgraded last night
Firstly the system has been out since before christmas and Denon have been dragging their feet on the airplay upgrade. It was announced for the beginning of Jan ( not 1st feb ).
It will find any music server over the network and browse / stream from that. Thats what I had been doing before airplay with Nullrivers media server software.
Airplay is great, the system is as well. Very powerful, anything higher that 20% on the iTunes volume causes the speakers to be very loud ( its a loud system ). That can be a pain, remembering to turn the volume down. ( iTunes volume controls the Ceol onboard volume)
I bought this system for its airplay capability and it works really well and doesnt occasionally skip unlike using Nullrivers media server (which crashed a few times with some mp3s).
But it rocks.
BTW their iPhone app will crash constantly if trying to browse media servers but it works ok for everything else ( could be Nullriver again )