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Denon Cocoon iPod AirPlay Dock Systems Preview

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Denon Cocoon Home

Denon Cocoon Home

Summary

  • Product Name: Cocoon Home and Portable Airplay Speaker
  • Manufacturer: Denon
  • Review Date: August 10, 2012 05:10
  • MSRP: $599 (Home); $499 (Portable)
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool
  • Buy Now

Cocoon Home

  • Dock: iPod, iPhone, iPad
  • Streaming: AirPlay, DLNA, Internet Radio
  • Internet connection: Ethernet or WiFi
  • Inputs: 3.5mm, USB
  • Control: App (iOS/Android), top capacitive buttons, remote, RS232 over IP, Web browser
  • Amplifiers: 4x25w, Class D
  • Drivers: 2x40mm tweeter, 2x 100mm woofer
  • Colors: White, Black
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 451 x 236 x 170 mm
  • Weight: 5.4 Kg

Cocoon Portable

  • Dock: iPod, iPhone, iPad
  • Streaming: AirPlay, DLNA, Internet Radio
  • Internet connection: Ethernet or WiFi
  • Input: 3.5mm
  • Control: App (iOS/Android), oversized rubberized buttons, remote, RS232 over IP, Web browser
  • Amplifiers: 2x25w, Class D
  • Drivers: 2x 100mm woofer
  • Colors: Black
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 352 x 180 x 136 mm
  • Weight: 3.3 Kg
  • Battery Life: 5 hours
  • Water resistant, integrated carry handle, retractable slot for remote

Executive Overview

Denon has really gone "all in" with their new Cocoon dock design. They have released not one but two docks with essentially the same form factor. While it makes the pictures confusing to look at, it does present a unified front. If the Cocoon design is a hit with consumers, they'll have two different choices. If it isn't, however, Denon may have backed themselves into a corner. The new Denon Cocoon docks come in two flavors: Home and Portable. First we'll look at the Cocoon Home.

Denon-Cocoon-back     cocoon_drivers

To keep things simple, all the Cocoon images featuring the white finish will be the Cocoon Home. The black finish will be the Portable. While the Portable only comes in black, the Home is available in both white and black. The Cocoon Home is a traditional iDevice dock with a fairly nifty pull-out shelf. It is iPod, iPhone, and iPad compatible. The front of the shelf features a digital LED readout for displaying track information.

In addition to docking, the Cocoon Home can connect to your device via 3.5mm jack (stereo, located on the back) or to a USB storage device. Of course, the main claim-to-fame of both of the Cocoon devices is Apple's AirPlay. This allows wireless streaming to the dock without the need for wires. This only works with iDevices natively, though there are apps for Android and other operating systems that give AirPlay support. The Cocoon docks are DLNA certified for local streaming and have native access to Internet Radio (a paltry three presets are available). The Cocoon docks have Ethernet ports for a wired Internet connection but are also WiFi enabled. Denon specifies the the Cocoon docks can stream wirelessly from Android devices but it is unclear how that is handled.

There are capacitive buttons on the top of the unit for control as well as a loudness button on the back. There is remote control included with the Cocoon Home but it can also be controlled via an app (iOS or Android), RS-232 over IP, and with a web browser. The Cocoon Home is needs to be plugged into the wall for power and sports four, 25 watt, Class D amplifiers. As you can see from the picture above, the Cocoon Home has four drivers, two 1.5" tweeters and two 4" woofers in a front ported enclosure. Denon has included a digital EQ to fine-tune the sound of the Cocoon Home though it is not clear if this is user configurable or not.

denon_cocoon_portable     denon_cocoon_portable_back

The Cocoon Portable has two main differences with the Cocoon Home. First it is smaller and lighter. The Cocoon Home is 9-1/4 by 17-7/10 by 6-7/10 inches and weighs 12 pounds. The Cocoon Portable is 7-1/10 by 13-4/5 by 5-3/10 inches and weighs in at 7.25 pounds. As the name implies, the Cocoon Portable can travel with you and runs not only on connected power but also with an integrated, rechargeable battery (Denon states five hours of run time). It has an integrated handle on the back as well as a slot for holding the remote. It features all the same streaming as the Cocoon Home but loses the USB port. The Cocoon Home is also water resistant.

There are a few more differences with the Cocoon Portable. The finish is slightly different than the Home. The Portable features a one-piece chassis and rubberized buttons. The back ports have a rubber cover to protect them from the elements and dirt. Rather than four amps and four drivers, the Portable has only the two 4" drivers and their accompanying 25 watt amps. Of course, the digital EQ is included to tune the system for this single driver per channel setup and is reportedly tuned for outdoor performance. The front port is also removed which likely reduces the system's bass response, but helps in protecting the internal components from moisture.

Conclusion

The price is, of course, the sticking point with many of these new AirPlay devices. The larger Denon Cocoon Home will retail for $599 while the smaller Cocoon Portable will run $499. While not overpriced compared to other AirPlay speakers, the Denon Cocoon offerings aren't exactly undercutting the competition. In fact, they appear to be pitched as higher-end solutions. With the promise of not only AirPlay but Android streaming, extra ports for additional devices, and your choice of standalone or portable versions, the Denon Cocoons are sure to find homes.

For more information, please visit www.denon.com.

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About the author:

As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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