Denon RCD-N7 CD Receiver System
Denon is one of those lesser known brands that I’ve always associated with quality products, there is just something about most of the Denon kit I’ve ever had contact with that just tends to speak to the “quality and build” fan in me so I was predisposed to some degree to like the Denon RCD-N7 CD Receiver System from the get go when I got my grubby little hands on one for a few days last month. Essentially the RCD-N7 is Denons attempt to make a solid entry in to the iPod friendly mini hifi system market but the RCD-N7 doesn’t just stop there it is also fully streaming capable boasting both a wifi and RJ45 ethernet port to handle networking duties.
One other reason I was happy to try out the Denon RCD-N7 is its full compatibility with Apples Airplay system which makes life very easy for those of us who use iTunes as our default digital media software. Needles to say if you are an apple fan and you need a small streaming box for use away from your apple TV box or Macbook then the Denon RCD-N7 is aimed squarely at you.
As I said previously I tend to associate Denon with solid build quality and I wasn’t disappointed with the RCD-N7, the casing and controls are well built, look attractive and have a simplicity and flowing curved design that was appealing to me. The unit I was testing was the white version (fits nicely in with your iPod) and came with a pair matched Denon SC-N7 speakers (also in white). Its should be noted that rather oddly if you buy the Denon RCD-N7 it does not by default ship with these speakers so if you want them be double sure you get the correct colour as both the unit and speakers are also available in black so unless youre a BIG Ska/2 Tone fan you probably don’t want a mismatched set
So how does this combo sound in general operation? Well I have to say I was very impressed with the power and general quality of results I received from both the iPod dock and streaming mp3s from my laptop, the CD player was a little less impressive taking a little to long to spin up for my liking. The AM/FM reciever side of things was pretty decent though I got occasional drop outs but I was not using a proper arial and spent most of my radio testing time with the Denon RCD-N7 using it for Internet radio and other streamed services such as Napster, Pandora and Rhapsody (as I suspect most buyers of the RCD-N7 will. Conveniently the RCD-N7 is also fully compatible with Denons iPhone/iPad compatible remote control app which I thought was a nice touch.
Sonically the Denon RCD-N7 performs admirably for such a compact setup, it is well matched with the speakers as one might expect and you get a sense of well controlled harmonic balance and attention to detail, the stereo soundstage is well handled and also quite finessed. Bass is handled well and never feels like it is going to start to run away into distortion even a quite hight volume levels. Realistically the Denon RCD-N7 is an extremely good choice for use in smaller to medium sized rooms and performs well in this role, though I would probably go for something with a pit more than it’s allotted 65-watt/ch @ 4ohms power rating in larger studies or living rooms.
One thing to note is that Denon has also made preamp outputs and a sub out available for connecting the unit to a separate amp if you do decide the RCD-N7 is what you want working streaming your main “big room” setup. All in all the Denon RCD-N7 is a solid, nicely performing and ascetically pleasing product, this of course comes with a price. The RCD-N7 is a little over priced compared to similar products from other manufacturers. Personally I think if matches your needs its definitely worth the extra cash.
Digitally transmitted play function for iPhone or iPod (built-in iPod dock)
Internet radio and network autio streaming via ethernet and wireless
Pandora, Napster and Rhapsody online support
Wireless (Wi-Fi) connectivity with WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup)
Compact 65-watt/ch (4-ohms, 1KHz) AM/FM/CD receiver
Built in iPod dock and networking capability.
Made for iPod and iPhone with digital audio transmission.
Internet radio and network audio streaming via Ethernet and Wi-Fi. Online support of Napster, Pandora and Rhapsody (Service subscription may apply)
Supports Apple AirPlay allowing streaming of music files directly from iTunes music libraries located on Mac, PC, iPod Touch and iPhone.
Allows playback of music files stored on PC or NAS when networked connected.
Front mounted USB input for playback of WMA and MP3 music files.
96kHz/24-bit audio format capability.
Hard button remote control included. Supports “Denon remote App” for operation control by iPod and iPhone.
Dimensions: 11.8 x 11.1 x 4.4 inches
Weight: 9.7 pounds
RRP: $599.00 (Check Current Pricing on Amazon)