Denon Ceol N12DAB might just be the music center to buy this year

Denon N12DAB
Tech Week Score
- George Baumratner

With the new Denon Ceol N12DAB microsystem, your music listening options are virtually limitless. The main innovation in the Denon Ceol N12DAB CD receiver model is an HDMI ARC input for connecting a TV and a Phono input for connecting a vinyl player, while in comparison with the N10 model, one optical input has been removed. The front panel of the central unit is designed in a minimalist style, and most of its space is occupied by a large, easy-to-read display. The main system controls – touch buttons – are located on the top panel.

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The center of the Denon Ceol N12DAB facade is occupied by a disc transport tray, under which there is a high-contrast 3-line OELD display. On the front panel there is a power/standby button with an operating mode indicator and a tray open key. The remaining controls (source selector, volume control, joystick for menu navigation and playback control) are placed on the top acrylic panel. There is also a tag for pairing with Bluetooth devices with NFC. The front panel has a built-in USB port that supports charging your iPod/iPhone even in standby mode, and a mini-jack for headphones. Denon Ceol N12DAB also comes with a remote control.

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Denon Ceol N12 is equipped with a large number of built-in signal sources. There is a CD player with fast disc loading and an almost silent operating mechanism, as well as a very high-quality FM/AM tuner. However, this is only part of the list of features of this model, most of which are related to the network functionality of the Denon Ceol N12DAB. It provides playback of music files from various devices (network connection via Ethernet or Wi-Fi), as well as the use of various online services. Denon Ceol N12DAB can be included in the proprietary HEOS wireless multiroom system, and can also be connected directly to devices that support AirPlay/AirPlay 2 technology. The HDMI input supports ARC audio return channel, which is convenient when connecting to a TV. There is an MM phono stage on board.


Denon Ceol N12DAB can work with HEOS technology, on the basis of which you can create a wireless multiroom installation consisting of HEOS-supported components, including specialized wireless speaker systems. At the same time, a special application allows you to control the receiver, assign playback of certain content to various groups of HEOS devices, play different music tracks in different rooms, or synchronously broadcast music in all rooms at the same time. At the same time, access to such online services as Spotify Connect, Tidal, Deezer, Sound Cloud, Napster, TuneIn is supported.


The system provides tone control in the bass and treble areas, one analog and two optical inputs. To increase bass response, you can connect an external active subwoofer to the Denon Ceol N12DAB. For those who like to listen to music with headphones, there is a corresponding output on the front panel of the central unit of the system. The built-in Denon Ceol N12DAB amplifiers develop an output power of 60 W per channel and this is more than enough to fully drive small speaker systems.

The system is equipped with a specially designed 2-way Denon SC-N10 acoustic system, which has accurate and balanced sound. Compact bookshelf speakers Denon SC-N10 are often included in the package of this company’s microsystems, but they can also be purchased separately. These speakers will be an excellent choice for sounding small residential areas, and also, when using a suitable subwoofer, will be an excellent alternative to a soundbar. The Denon SC-N10 speakers feature damped MDF cabinets and are available in black or white finishes.

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This model has a two-way configuration and is equipped with high-quality speakers that can provide high sound pressure without noticeable distortion. ON the front panel of the Denon SC-N10, which is covered by a removable protective grille, there is a 12-centimeter woofer, as well as a 30 mm dome tweeter. The tweeter is equipped with an oval chassis, which further protects it from vibrations and also serves to more effectively dissipate heat from the magnetic system. The speakers are connected to a crossover filter made according to a simple circuit and tuned to a fairly high frequency of 3.5 kHz. This provides a smoother sound in the midrange and overall the Denon SC-N10s are very well suited for listening to acoustic music.


On the rear panel of the speaker systems there is a bass reflex output hole, the small diameter of which allows you to place the speakers quite close to the wall. Denon SC-N10 is equipped with a block of input sockets in the form of a pair of reliable screw terminals. The latter circumstance allows you to use almost any cables of your choice with the Denon SC-N10. The speakers are equipped with self-adhesive rubber supports, which ensure their good stability on various surfaces and the necessary vibration isolation. Denon SC-N10 speakers are capable of providing vibrant and balanced sound. The level of bass that the Denon SC-N10 has allows you to listen to music without using an additional subwoofer, but when watching movies it is still better to supplement it with a subwoofer.

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