Denon vs Bose – Which Brand Is Better?

Norvan Martin
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Denon and Bose are two renowned and well-respected brands in the audio industry that produces high-quality speakers, headphones, soundbars,  and subwoofers.

In this article, we will cover a general overview of both brands, looking specifically at sound quality, durability, price and so on. Of course, each brand has different devices at different price points, however, we will compare them as closely as we can.

Bose speakers are known to offer good build quality, controls, and sound quality for most regular listeners. However, Bose is highly criticized by the audiophile community for having poor ‘highs’ and ‘lows’ (i.e. high frequencies and bass). On the other hand, Denon offers a better-balanced sound profile out-of-the-box. In fact, bose speakers and receivers are often more powerful, although with a bit more compression. 

Before we do that, here are some other comparisons in this series:

Read on to learn more.

Denon and Bose Comparison Table

CriteriaDenonBose
Brand ReputationWell-established brand known for audio and home theater products.Global brand recognized for innovative audio solutions and consumer electronics.
Sound QualityEmphasizes clear and dynamic sound reproduction.Known for producing balanced sound with a focus on wide appeal.
Build Quality/DesignCombines durable construction with modern and sleek designs.Designs often prioritize aesthetics, compactness, and user-friendly interfaces.
Product RangeOffers a wide range of audio and home theater products.Provides diverse audio products, including speakers, headphones, and home entertainment systems.
PricingVaried pricing with options for different budgets.Offers products across a range of price points, with a focus on premium audio experiences.
FeaturesIncludes advanced features such as wireless connectivity and voice control.Known for innovative features and technologies, such as noise-canceling headphones and compact speaker systems.

Quick History

Denon Quick History

The Japanese manufacturing company, Denon, was founded by Frederick Horn in 1910. It started off by importing recording equipment until 1910, when it started manufacturing recording equipment.

Denon HEOS

Denon used to be called ‘Nippon Denki Onkyo Kabushigaisha’ but later changed its name to Denon. The name Denon resulted from the merging of Denki Onkyo with the record label Nippon Columbia in 1947.

The company started by producing one-sided gramophones and records. However, they grew over the years because of mergers and expansion of the product line. Today, Denon is known for manufacturing high-end audio equipment, home theater systems, AV receivers, wireless stereos, and other electronic devices.

Bose Quick History

Bose is an American audio equipment company established by Amar Bose in early 1964. It is well-known for making high-end speakers, headphones, car sound systems, and other professional audio equipment.

Bose speaker set

Amar Bose started Bose because he was unhappy with the sound quality of a stereo he had bought. He did this to try to make sound systems better than they were at the time. Amar had taken the time to find out how important sound reverberation was to the sound system‌.

As a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Amar Bose knew how important research was to make excellent products. Therefore, he made this the driving force for the company’s growth over the past few decades.

Sound Quality

Denon Sound Quality

One thing that cannot be separated from the Denon brand’s decades of existence is the production of high-quality audio equipment. It boasts high-quality surround sound in all the home theaters and other audio equipment.

Denon receivers are very good at producing a warm sound that is accompanied by a clear sound effect. The sound quality of an average Denon audio equipment is crystal clear, which makes it an excellent choice for both commercial and professional use.

However, this does not eliminate the fact that they are good picks for home audio equipment. The brand has successfully kept up its reputation of impressive sound quality.

Bose Sound Quality

There is a lot of criticism about Bose speakers as it relates to sound quality. Many people believe Bose is an overhyped company that focuses too much on marketing and not enough on R&D to improve the quality of its speakers.

Many audiophiles for example lament the fact that Bose speakers tend to not have clearly defined highs and lows (bass). This is where the phrase – no highs, no lows, must be Bose came from.

While the above may be true, to Bose’s credit, some psychoacoustics has been a primary focus in the development of Bose’s audio equipment. This focuses on the effect of the reflected sound arriving at the listener’s head and thus tries to mimic a live performance with all their speakers.

This psychoacoustic design began with the Bose model 901, which was manufactured in 1968, and as a result of its success, it is still in production to this day.

But because Bose’s psychoacoustic approach is unusual and most audiophiles criticize it, that doesn’t make it sound any less impressive. The sound fills the room, making it seem like a live performance without losing any of the high, mid, or low frequencies.

Features

Denon Features

Denon has improved their product by introducing new features and improvements to the old ones according to the trend.

Here are some features you can expect from a Denon product:

  • Up to 13 Channel on the AV Receivers
  • Surround sound technology includes Dolby Atmos, Auro-3D, DTS, DTS:X Pro, IMAX enhanced, and others.
  • Up to 8 HDMI input port
  • Bluetooth, HEOS, Wi-Fi, and AirPlay 2 streaming support.
  • Multiple input and output ports
  • Built-in phono equalizer on the turntable
  • Voice control features include Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, and Google Assistant.

Bose Features

Bose has features for expressive audio, intuitive controls, and modern components for better use. It is pretty easy to identify a Bose product when you see one. Some of the most common features of Bose devices are patented and device-specific.

Most Bose speakers support all audio formats, like Flac and Wav. They also have voice support, like Amazon Alexa, built-in music streaming platforms, like Deezer and Spotify, and seamless wireless connectivity for listening to music in multiple rooms through the Sonos setup and SoundTouch.

You can also expect to find a micro USB port and a 3.5mm headphone jack/aux cable on a typical Bose device.

Most Bose headphones also have a background noise canceling feature that blocks out all the surrounding noise and allows you to focus on the sound from the headset. Because of this feature, Bose headsets are a great choice for professional uses like conference calls.

Build Quality

Denon Build Quality

You can be sure of a pretty decent build for any Denon product you choose. As a company, Denon has been consistent with the build quality of its products over the years.

Denon AVR-X6700H

If you are someone who prefers a strong build quality for your appliances, Denon might be a hard road to take for you. This is because most Denon appliances are mostly heavy on design and less on strength.

Denon receivers are still up for the contest against other well-rooted brands in terms of build quality. It is commonly compared to brands such as Yamaha and Marantz, but the choice here is dependent on individual ‌preference.

Bose Build Quality

Bose products are not something you can rely entirely on when it comes to ‘build’ quality. The build quality can be divided into the internal build and the external structure.

However, for a brand that has been a big player in the audio equipment industry, Bose seems to focus more on the internal build quality at the expense of the structural delivery. Therefore, this leads to a great-sounding device that has a poor structure.

Although, another factor that might be worth of note is the fact that the build quality varies from device to device. While some Bose products fall short of expectations, others are extremely durable.

For example, while most Bose speakers are usually reviewed to be of below-standard build quality, the headphones have enjoyed excellent reviews. An example of this is the Bose QuietComfort 35 II headphones, which most users have reported to have one of the best build quality.

Ease of Use

Denon Ease Of Use

On average, Denon products are easy to use. They come with soft buttons that are clearly labeled in plain terms for ease of understanding. Size also contributes to its ease of use. Denon has a line of lightweight and portable products in the audio market that almost anyone can easily operate.

Another factor that contributes to their ease of use is their connectivity. It offers a range of wired and wireless connectivity that allows it to be used and operated anywhere in the house and professionally.

Bose Ease Of Use

A great number of Bose products are easy to use. This means that even without technical know-how, you can operate them without stress.

For example, the QuietComfort 35 II headphone has a design that can be turned 360 degrees, adjusted to an angle, and can be folded easily.

The Soundlink Micro is another Bose portable Bluetooth speaker that is designed with a freestanding mount which makes it ideal for use anywhere including the bedside, bookshelf, and other places. This includes poolside too since the Bose Soundlink Micro is waterproof and can stand easily.

Cost

Denon Cost

Denon products are much more affordable than most other audio system manufacturers. This does not mean they have less quality than the other brands.

Most Denon receivers, for example, deliver amazing quality at an affordable price, from $400 to modern, high-performing ones such as the Denon AVR-X6700H with Ultra HD at around $3000.

Note that no matter how cheap the price of a Denon product is, it will still deliver a decent quality of output for what it is designed for.

Here are some price ranges for different devices from Denon:

Bose Cost

One of the most important pieces of information you need to understand before choosing a Bose product is the fact that they are quite expensive. However, most people will unconsciously prefer to buy Bose products. This is basically for two reasons:

  1. Bose has a brilliant marketing strategy which makes them one of the most popular brands in the world.
  2. Bose speakers have a sound that makes your brain mimic the feeling of being in a live show. This is because of the tremendous investment by Bose in research and development.

Unfortunately, there are so many brands in the audio equipment industry with less prestige than Bose but which offer similar quality products at a lower price.

Check out the price tags for their most common products:

  • Bose earbuds: $180 – $450
  • Bose headphones: $100 – $550
  • Bose bass module speakers: $400 – $850
  • Bose Soundbar: $300 – $850

Space Requirements

Denon Space Requirements

There are several portable product lines from Denon that are perfect for use almost anywhere with great portability. These products range from home theaters, soundbars, and Bluetooth speakers, to receivers and amplifiers.

However, it is worthy of note to understand that space consideration for using these products is not about their size alone, ventilation requirements are another contributing factor to the space consideration.

Inadequate space could cause the device to heat up hence causing a possible shutdown. For an average Denon appliance, particularly those that require putting in an enclosed area, a minimum of 5 inches is required around it for ventilation.

Bose Space Requirements

Most Bose products, including the home theater, AV receiver, and speakers, do not require too much space as they aren’t normally large and bulk. They include shelf speakers, minimal home theaters, and AV receivers with pretty sleek designs.

Bose speakers such as SoundLink Color Bluetooth speakers can be used on the bookshelf without disturbing the arrangement of books.

Remote Controls

Denon Remote Controls

Denon offers ease of access for using their devices and the opportunity to ‌control the device while sitting away from it.

A remote function unique to Denon is HEOS, which allows users to enjoy music on the device from any room. The HEOS feature is a wireless multi-room sound support that uses an integrated Android/iOS app.

Aside from the HEOS feature, you can control a Denon device with the Denon remote control app. However, this is only possible if the phone that has the app and the Denon device are connected to the same Wi-Fi source.

Bose Remote Controls

Bose has invested a great deal in ensuring that its users get the best audio experience. The Bose remote control is a sleek gadget that allows you to control your home entertainment without stress. They add this remote to almost all Bose products except for the headphones.

A pretty interesting factor to admire about the Bose remote control is the fewer buttons. The remote control adds usability to its delicate design. It allows you to perform all the desired tasks with a few clicks of the buttons.

Connectivity Options

Denon Connectivity Options

Power consumption by Denon devices varies from device to device. For example, the power range for an average entry-level Denon receiver is around 140 watts for 1 channel and 70 watts for 2 channels. However, the power range/consumption for an average soundbar is roughly around 53 watts.

To make the best use of your Denon device, it would be best to read through the user manuals to understand the power range of the particular device.

Bose Connectivity Options

Here are the main connectivity options compatible with most Bose speakers:

  • Bluetooth
  • Wi-Fi
  • RCA
  • HDMI

Power Range

Denon Power Range

Power consumption by Denon devices varies from device to device. For example, the power range for an average entry-level Denon receiver is around 140 watts for 1 channel and 70 watts for 2 channels. However, the power range/consumption for an average soundbar is roughly around 53 watts.

To make the best use of your Denon device, it would be best to read through the user manuals to understand the power range of the particular device.

Bose Power Range

The power rating of Bose devices is not shown on most of their devices. But, according to different reviews from their users, the power range depends on the kind of device.

For example, the power range of an average mini home speaker like the Bose SoundLink Mini 2 is around 30 to 50 watts. The wattage of a larger speaker, such as the Bose Soundbar 300, is around 65 watts.

Frequency Response

Denon Frequency Response

Most Denon portable bookshelf speakers have a frequency range of around 80Hz – 100Hz. But the range common to most portable speakers is 80Hz. However, Denon AVR Receivers such as the AVR X4000H have a frequency range of 16Hz to 200Hz.

Bose Frequency Response

Most Bose speakers have a frequency response of around 25Hz to 20kHz. However, for most Bose headphones, the frequency range is between 100 Hz and 10 kHz.

Conclusion 

Denon is a brand that dates back to the early days of sound systems, but because it produces quality sound systems, it still owns the market. Denon products are quite affordable, with quality that outweighs the price. Although every product comes with its flaws, Denon produces those that can be easily overlooked. Bose products are the best option for those looking for a sound system that can simulate a live performance. However, most audiophiles feel this is not a natural sound and it is hence heavily criticized amongst audiophiles.

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Norvan Martin is the founder of BoomSpeaker.com. He is a professional Electronics Engineer and is passionate about home theater systems and AV electronics. BoomSpeaker was created as an online hub to share his knowledge and experiences as it relates to home theaters and home audio electronics. My email: [email protected]  Connect on Pinterest and Linkedin