The Denon D-F107 is the audio maestro’s latest stab at creating a mini hi-fi that’ll satisfy both golden-lugholed audiophiles and people that value style and compactness in a gadget. Basically, we all love great-sounding audio... but do hi-fis always have to be ugly? Denon reckons not.
The D-F107 is a three-piece deal, or two-piece if you decide to buy it without the speakers. There’s a CD player unit, a receiver with DAB and FM tuners, and a pair of compact but reassuring solid speakers. You get all the cables and antennae you need too, so you can just pull it out of its boxes and wire it up straight away.
It’s a handsome system. Our test sample was black-finished, and when set up it’s a pleasingly compact size. Of course there are a few cables that’ll need hiding, but the tasteful looks and clean, simple LED displays should fit in with almost any home decor.
Feature-wise you get a CD player and DAB+/DAB, FM and AM radio tuners, plus a USB port for listening to MP3s and a selection of auxiliary inputs for other audio gear. There’s a 3.5mm line input at the front, and at the back you’ll find three sets of stereo phono inputs, including one designed for turntables. We’d have liked to see a digital input too, but no dice.
The USB port can also take a direct connection to an iPod for playback and charging duties, although it’ll only work with the last few generations of Apple’s music player. You can also hook up Denon dedicated iPod docks, thanks to the proprietary port at the back.
Whack in your favourite CD and the Denon D-F107 will do it proud. For such a small system it delivers a surprisingly assured performance, laying out treble, mid-range and bass so that each part of the music is distinct, yet still coherent and punchy. Clear vocals, crisp snare drums, eardrum-pleasing electronic bleeps – the system replicates them brilliantly.
The same goes for the DAB tuner, which serves up beautifully clear, crackle-free sound and is a joy to use, instantly seeking out and locking down stations.
?At £600 the Denon D-F107 isn’t particularly cheap, although if you’re used to listening to music through an iPod speaker dock or traditional mini system it’s likely to prove a revelation. It goes alongside the Arcam Solo Mini as one of the best small hi-fis around.