Multi-featured Speaker System 

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The popular Ivy Restaurant was the location where I first cast eyes on the subject of this next review.

Denon Ceol Carino Bluetooth Computer Audio System
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The CEOL Carino is a Denon audio system that has been designed to combine USB connectivity to a computer and Bluetooth streaming from a range of mobile devices when delivering its audio content.  Decked out in a fairly fingerprint resistant lacquered black (there is a white version), this kit consists of the main Carino box, two satellite speakers and a small remote control unit.  You also get base stands for the three main elements, mains power lead, standard USB lead for connecting to a computer, multi-language Quick Start Guide in the box.  As the Carino does not require any additional software to perform its tasks, the CD is relegated to the job of containing the User Guide in PDF format.

The main Carino box, with dimensions of 201 x 175 x 67mm (D x W x H), places all its physical connections out-of-sight at the rear of the box.  Here you will locate the four speaker terminals, speaker optimisation switch plus ports for USB, analogue in and subwoofer connection along with the power socket.  The front of the box features touch-sensitive controls for power, Bluetooth, switching between USB and analogue input plus activating the unit’s auto volume and wide sound features.  A display window will show the current settings.  When the auto volume feature is not activated, you will have access to a touch sensitive volume wheel with a centrally positioned mute button.

Attaching the two satellite speakers (125 x 88 x 139mm (D x W x H) to the main box is straightforward as you attach the colour coded leads to the appropriate terminals – just press on each terminal and insert the bare wire into the hole that appears.  Due to the length of the permanently attached speaker leads, the satellites can be positioned up to 155cm from the main unit.  While the base stand for the main unit can be used to position the Carino in an upright or horizontal orientation, the speaker stands enable the speakers to sit at a slight angle so that the output is directed upwards.

There is an option to add a subwoofer to the system, However you will need to provide this unit and the connection lead.  Personally I was happy to listen to the Carino’s output without any benefit that might have been provided by a subwoofer.

With the various connection options, the Carino gives you a choice of receiving input from a computer via USB, a mobile device using Bluetooth or any device that can connect to the AUX port with a 3.5mm jack lead that you need to supply.  You will probably need to make some minor adjustments in order to receive input from a computer. 

Step-by-step instructions, provided in the User Guide, will lead you through the process of changing your current output device (speakers) to that of the Carino unit which will appear on the Sounds dialogue box once this USB device has been recognised by Windows.  There are also instructions for Mac users when setting up the Carino for their system.  Bluetooth pairing is basically straightforward although the NFC feature was a little hit & miss.  Usually it worked but there were a couple of occasions when it didn’t.

One particular feature of the Carino that really appealed to me was the Auto Volume function.  I often find, especially when using an AUX connection, that the volume level between devices can be considerable.  As a result I constantly need to change the volume level to suit the input device.  Auto Volume, while not perfect, does help remove possible volume differences by instigating a default level setting so that there is less need to jump up, or search for the remote control unit, to adjust the volume level to suit your ears.  Actually searching for the remote would have been a useless activity until I replaced the dead battery supplied with the review sample.

The Denon Carino is a two-channel device with advanced DSP equalizer and processing technology delivering 25W on each channel with a full range of drivers and passive bass radiator.  It has support for Bluetooth 3.0 with aptx and CD quality wireless streaming.  Checking the website revealed that this unit is available priced at £299.99.

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OverallDenon Carino CEOL rated 76 out of 100

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