Denon launched the CEOL Carino, a compact audio system that allows you to play audio from your PC or Bluetooth device. In this review we share our experiences with the CEOL Carino, which is for sale for just under 300 euros. The suggested retail price is 349 euros.
Denon Ceol Carino – specifications
The Denon CEOL Carino is a compact music system that uses DSP technology. The system can be connected to a computer via a USB cable to improve the sound quality, but wireless streaming from a tablet or smartphone with Bluetooth is also possible. The Bluetooth aptX technology ensures ‘lossless’ streaming in CD quality of music from any device that has Bluetooth. Coupling of devices can be done quickly via NFC, provided the device is equipped with this of course.
Denon indicates that the CEOL Carino is ideal for use next to a PC, but the system can of course also be used as an audio system for the living room. However, a USB-B input (including supplied cable) is integrated for pairing with a PC. The system delivers 25 watts per channel, supported by selectable DSP settings for automatic volume adjustment and a wide sound field. For those who are a fan of low tones, there is a pre-out connection to expand the system. In addition, the system has a headphone connection.
Denon Ceol Carino – design and installation
In the box of the Denon CEOL Carino you will find an ac cable, a USB cable for connection to a PC, two speakers with cabling, an amplifier unit, two stands for the speakers and a platform for the amplifier unit. In short, everything that you need to get started right away. In this review we used the CEOL Carino as an audio system for the PC (Mac), in a 4 by 4 meter room.
The amplifier unit of the CEOL Carino features professional pressure connections for a sturdy wired speaker connection, a minimalist front panel with mute and volume control and LED level indication, and selectors for Input, Bluetooth and sound modes. You can choose between a horizontal or vertical placement of the amplifier unit, which certainly can be useful on a small desk. The supplied platform ensures that the unit also remains vertically stable. The unit sees itself through a sensor in which position it is placed and the small LED display is adjusted accordingly. It is striking, however, that the touch buttons remain horizontally placed, a small minus.
Denon has the CEOL Carino with a white (our version) or black appearance and a compact design. The speakers are square, with a shiny finish and a fabric front and back. The standards for these speakers are also finished in white or black and allow the speakers to point upwards. The amplifier unit is also finished in white or black, with a black front panel with touch buttons for volume, input and additional settings. The LED display is quite small and shows minimal information about, among other things, the volume and the input. Unfortunately, the number that is being listened to is not shown here.
The installation is a piece of cake. Place the CEOL Carino in the desired location, pair the speaker cables, plug the ac cable into the mains socket and, if desired, connect the USB cable to your PC or Mac. Then sound comes out of the speakers at the touch of a button. Depending on the location of the speakers and the space on your desk you can use the supplied standards.
Denon Ceol Carino – use
Actually, the last paragraph of the previous heading also applies here because the use of the CEOL Carino is not very complicated. You can connect a PC with the included USB cable to play music directly, but you can also connect a device via Bluetooth. The latter is also quite simple; you turn Bluetooth on your smartphone or tablet and press and hold the Bluetooth button on the Carino. Then select the audio system on your mobile device or PC and the music is automatically transferred. If you have a smartphone or tablet with an NFC chip then the coupling will be a little faster and easier, just by holding the device against the NFC logo on the front. A third and final option is to connect an external device via the analogue input, but the chance is small that you will use it.
Denon supplies a compact remote control but we have not touched it during the review. The reason for this is that you probably have the CEOL Carino nearby so you can operate the device directly from the front panel, or use the media controls on your computer or mobile device. There is no special application with which the audio system can be operated. You do this with the relevant music app or media player on your computer, smartphone or tablet.
Denon Ceol Carino – audio quality
Perhaps the most important part of an audio system like the Denon CEOL Carino is the audio quality. The set is delivered with two fairly compact speakers, yet we can hear the audio quality we know from Denon. Despite the compact size, these speakers produce a reasonably dynamic, full and convincing sound. For on a desk even with sufficiently low tones. The desk that we used even resonated due to the impressive low tones, which, incidentally, was partly corrected with the standards.
However, if you want more of the bass, for example when you use the audio system to provide a larger space with sound, then there is the possibility to extend the set to a 2.1-channel system. A pre-out connection for a subwoofer is available for this. But, for an office of the size we have, the CEOL Carino offers excellent audio reproduction.
The whole room is filled with a dynamic and tight sound. The small speakers make voices appear crystal clear, have little trouble with high passages and also show sufficient power in low tones. Only at extremely high volumes, for example if you give a party, the sound may start to distort. However, the placement of the speakers is very close, especially if you let them shine from the sides. Denon has integrated a Wide Sound function for this (via the front panel) but the difference was barely audible.
Denon Ceol Carino – conclusion
All in all, we can describe the Denon CEOL Carino as a great sounding, user-friendly and sleekly designed audio system for the bedroom, office or other relatively small room. In a large living room the placement of the small speakers creates an insufficiently wide sound field, although the set might be able to handle it in terms of volume. Especially for those who spend a lot of time behind their computer and the internal speakers (or the already connected speaker) find nothing, the CEOL Carino is an excellent option. Cheap is the Carino with a price of just under 300 euros, however, not.