Denon vs NAD – Detailed Comparison

Norvan Martin
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Denon and Nad are two renowned and well-respected brands in the audio industry and produce high-quality speakers, soundbars, headphones, and subwoofers.
In this article, we will cover a general overview of both brands, looking specifically at the 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.

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

Denon and NAD Comparison Table

CriteriaDenonNAD
Brand ReputationWell-established brand known for audio and home theater products.Respected for high-fidelity audio equipment, especially amplifiers.
Sound QualityEmphasizes clear and dynamic sound reproduction.Known for delivering detailed and accurate audio with a focus on musicality.
Build Quality/DesignCombines durable construction with modern and sleek designs.Builds robust and minimalist designs, prioritizing functionality.
Product RangeOffers a wide range of audio and home theater products.Specializes in high-end audio components, including amplifiers and receivers.
PricingVaried pricing with options for different budgets.Falls in the mid to high-end price range, reflecting the audio quality and features.
FeaturesIncludes advanced features such as wireless connectivity and voice control.Focuses on delivering audiophile-grade performance with high-quality components.

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 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.

NAD Quick History

New Acoustic Dimension (NAD) is an electronics firm founded by Dr. Martin L. Borish in London, England, in 1972. Dr. Borish was an electrical engineer with a Ph.D. in physics.

nad audio logo

NAD 3020 is the most famous product manufactured by the brand in the 1970s. The company was acquired in 1991 by AudioNord, a Danish firm, and later sold to the Lenbrook Group of Pickering, Ontario, Canada, in 1999. Today, NAD produces affordable AV receivers, amplifiers, and speakers.

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.

NAD Sound Quality

Over the years, NAD has gained a strong name as a high-fidelity audio brand by producing breakthrough amplifier designs that are reasonably priced.

nad integrated amplifier

Indeed, NAD is a high-fidelity audio brand committed to simplicity, innovation, value, and performance. Some people argue that their devices are ‘neutral’ sounding.

As an example, the DirectDigital technology reduces domain conversions in the signal path and contributes to a pure and vivid sound. HybridDigital technology, on the other hand, blends analog and digital sources to create a platform for smooth, harmonious delivery of quality sound.

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.

NAD Features

The key features of NAD products include:

  • Low harmonic and intermodulation distortion
  • Modular Design Construction (MDC) helps prevent untimely obsolescence
  • “Simple is better” design philosophy
  • NAD PowerDrive technology

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.

NAD Build Quality

NAD receivers are built with elegant all-alloy casework. The internal construction is intricate with rigid panels and magnetic iso-point feet offering rock-circuit for the multi-layer circuit boards. In addition, the Modular Design Construction chassis is “future-proof” and allows for easy and affordable upgrades.

NAD speakers are built to last, while the amps tend to have poor build quality and tend to have common faults.

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.

NAD Ease Of Use

NAD products are built with simplicity in mind, making them very easy to set up and operate. They easily connect to Wi-Fi from the Google Home app, and they come with headphone jacks and USB ports for easy connection to external devices. They also connect to BluOS.

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:

NAD Cost

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.

NAD Space Requirements

Speakers, amps, and receivers are built with a compact design. They require very little space for pavement and will not crowd your living room or basement.

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.

NAD Remote Controls

Although NAD now makes some receivers with touchscreen displays to make them easier to control, they still make remote controls to make this reality more practical. The remote controls come with receivers, amps, and subwoofers but can still be purchased separately if you lose your factory remote or when it is ruined. Remotes cost between 20 dollars and 50 dollars.

Connectivity Options

NAD Connectivity Options

Speakers

  • Single-ended RCA
  • 12 V trigger input
  • USB
  • RCA
  • Bluetooth

Receivers

  • Bluetooth
  • RCA
  • USB
  • Wi-Fi
  • Balanced XLR auto-sensing inputs

Amps

  • Speaker level inputs
  • RCA

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.

NAD Power Range

  • Receivers: up to 1000-watt peak
  • Speakers: up to 250 watts RMS
  • Amps: up to 1000 watts continuous mono

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.

NAD Frequency Response

  • Speakers: 20 Hz and 20,000 Hz
  • Receivers: 20 Hz to 20kHz
  • Amps: 20 Hz to 20 kHz

Conclusion

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.  On the other hand, NAD is committed to simplicity, innovation, performance, and value. With highly flexible outputs, NAD offers a balanced connection to powered speakers and amplifiers. Besides, it produces high-fidelity audio at very affordable prices.

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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