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Denon vs NAD – Detailed Comparison

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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.

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 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 yet reasonably priced.

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) that 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 that 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 the 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 with, 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:

AV Receivers: $200 – $5000

Soundbars: $200 – $800

Speakers: $200 – $700

Headphones: $50 – $700

Amplifiers: $500 – $5000

NAD Cost

Receivers: $20 – $5000

Amplifiers: $50 – $3000

Speakers: $100 – $1500

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.

Asides from the HEOS feature, you can control a Denon device with the Denon remote control app. Although, 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 touch screen 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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