Denon's CEOL - T3: It's in the Air...

Tuesday, 15 February 2011 |

So... Denon has officially joined the Airplay party. The Denon’s CEOL network music system effectively consigns the concept of traditional hi-fi to history. Although ‘mini’ in comparison to many of the competitors on the shelves today, the CEOL (pronounced kee-ohl) is ‘transformative’. It is made up of a single-piece RCD-N7 network CD receiver and a set of SC-N7 stand-mount speakers.

The back of the unit happily offers two pairs of substantial binding posts, FM/AM tuner connections, an optical digital audio input and two auxiliary phono stereo inputs and best of all... an Ethernet input too. There is also a nifty little port for a subwoofer, (output). Denon didn’t stop there. The CEOL boasts a centre mounted CD tray and 3-line OLED display. They even opted for a USB reader and on the top is a concealed a docking station for an iPod/iPhone.

The cherry on the top, (even though there are more features than have been mentioned), is the AirPlay capabilities. The CEOL is the first of its hi-fi system kind to support Apple’s wireless replay system. With a simple upgrade you can stream direct from iTunes on your Mac or PC, or via an iPhone 3GS/4, iPad or iPod Touch. AirPlay gives the user the ability to simultaneously stream music to as many as six pairs of speakers.

In a nutshell... Denon’s CEOL Hi-Fi is small, modern looking, great sounding and affordable. It brings together all the great things about single unit systems and throws in technological sophistication without compromising power. (No wonder it scored a Five-star review from T-3: The gadget website).

-Information sourced from T-3: the Gadget website: Posted by Steve May on Thu 3 Feb 2011

Marantz Melody Series: MC-R603

Friday, 11 February 2011 |

In the Melody series, Marantz’s MCR603 CD-receiver has out-ranked and outclassed its predecessors. Given a five-star ranking from Stuff magazine if they are so keen on it, it would be crazy not to trust it.

The CD receiver unit on this outside seems pretty standard, in a really sleek silver-gold casing, in usual Marantz class and style. But it is not the outside that makes this machine worth having. The interesting bits and pieces are on the inside.

The M-CR603 functions as an AirPlay client for iPhones, iPods, iPads and the best of all, it does this iTunes library from any computer running iTunes. It is relatively simple to enable this capability, simply download the iOS 4.2 software update from iTunes and you are “wirelessly” set for a music streaming session.

The unit itself has more attitude than an angry biker, with 60 Watts per channel, the Melody Media is more dynamic and versatile than most of its’ competitors. The AirPlay and CD playback, are strong and controlled, the DAB tuner still throws out performance – even in weak reception areas, and the high-quality net radio (192kbps or higher) is also an impressive feature.

The only real downfall is that there is no Wi-Fi built into the unit, it has to be physically connected to the Wi-Fi router – it does kind of defeat the real purpose behind the concept of AirPlay, but in order to use the internet or stream music from DLNA-equipped NAS drives and computers – a router is still very much needed.

If you aren’t very much into the Apple iTunes fad, it isn’t really too much of an issue, all you need is to plug in an optional Bluetooth receiver (RX101) into the M-XPort – place neatly at the back of the unit and stream music from your other devices.

Overall, the unit is powerful, good-looking and gives you the options that many other CD receivers don't. We like it.

Q300's...Space for Sound

Monday, 7 February 2011 |

KEF has bought out the all new Q300’s. These speakers are beautifully proportioned in terms of sound and style. Although larger, in all directions than the B&W 685’s, the sound quality is worth it.

These speakers boast a biwire speaker terminal arrangement which is “...brilliant in its simplicity...” ( review: The speakers themselves are far more individual than the iQ30 range of standmounters.

As with many of the KEF speaker ranges, give these speakers a “little space” and the quality of sound is very good, and easily a good addition to your home theatre system.

-Information taken from: