Denon CEOL Mini hi-fi: AirPlay ready, we go ears on

Denon has announced the launch of the Denon CEOL (pronounced coool) a mini hi-fi system that offers internet radio, network music streaming, iPod/iPhone dock, USB memory, AirPlay and much more; this comes from a shiny, white box that is considerably more consumer friendly than its range of home cinema amps.

The new £600 CEOL by Denon Network Music System (RCD-N7), as it will be officially known, will be available in the next couple of weeks in the UK, however Pocket-lint has already grabbed a play with the new gadget ahead of everyone else.

In the flesh and the well constructed, well made box of tricks will sit pretty in any modern house, although you will have to like white as there is plenty of it.

Information like the tracks you are playing via your Apple iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad are displayed on the front of the unit so you don't have to keep getting your "I" device out of your pocket, and it all works via iTunes as prescribed by Apple - although you will need your iTunes library on a computer turned on and connected to the same network for it to all work.

Failing the urge to use AirPlay, the CEOL will be supported by Denon's iPhone app in due course, a spokesperson for the company told us.

As for the sound performance, it's as good as you would expect, however we have to add the caveat that we listened to it in a noisy showroom (thanks to AWE in Epsom) rather than the peace and tranquillity of our home.

The RCD-N7 is a compact network CD receiver that lets users dock their iPod or iPhone into a dedicated cradle on the Ceol’s top to enjoy music via a direct digital feed.

A fast broadband connection to the Internet is achieved via an Ethernet cable or wireless LAN (Wi-Fi), allowing for a unique music experience anywhere at home.

The Ceol also offers AirPlay music streaming via a feature upgrade.

Oh, and it plays CDs too.