Denon Cocoon Stream DSD-501 review

Best wireless speaker £150-£300, Awards 2013. Out of this Cocoon has emerged a great wireless speaker – it’s up there with the best at this price Tested at £250

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Best wireless speaker £150-£300, Awards 2013. Out of this Cocoon has emerged a great wireless speaker – it’s up there with the best at this price


  • +

    Refined, rhythmic and full-bodied sound

  • +

    Wireless music streaming

  • +

    Apple and Android compatible

  • +

    Control app works well


  • -

    Plain looks

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

Denon’s first Cocoon didn’t contain any butterflies, but it did sprout a pop-out 30-pin iPod dock.

This new version ditches the physical connection: now you get wireless music streaming courtesy of Apple AirPlay and a simpler front panel. And still no butterflies.

MORE: Awards 2013

Denon Cocoon DSD-501

Denon Cocoon DSD-501

Sound quality

It isn’t just a pretty fascia, either. The Cocoon Stream sounds excellent. Play Jay-Z’s BBC and that all-important bass part has plenty of weight, but crucially this doesn’t cloud the speaker’s judgement higher up the range. Percussion sounds sharp and precise too, and the Denon gives the vocal plenty of warmth and body.

Denon Cocoon DSD-501

Denon Cocoon DSD-501

It’s a similar case when streaming internet radio. The system searches relatively quickly and a quick blast of one of the many rock radio stations on offer shows that the Stream DSD-501 can mosh with the best of them without sounding hard or brittle.

Where a wireless speaker such as the JBL OnBeat Rumble sounds more frivolous and fancy-free, the Denon comes with a more measured, finessed approach to music.


There’s only one wired connection: a USB socket on the back panel for playing back from and charging an Apple device. Android users only get the charging feature.

Denon Cocoon DSD-501

Denon Cocoon DSD-501

Connecting the Cocoon to your network is as simple as plugging an Apple portable into the USB port, pressing the NETLINK button on the back of the unit, and typing in your network password to share it with the speaker.

Control app

There’s a basic remote control in the box, but we prefer the nicely presented Denon Cocoon app (available free for iOS and Android) for controlling the system. We tried the app on an iPhone and an HTC One with good results.

Its playback controls are neatly arranged, and the app can also be used to search and stream internet radio stations through the speaker (you can save three as preset favourites).

It can also be used to seek out and play tunes from any NAS (Networked Attached Storage) device on your network. If your Android device has a DLNA media player app, you can use it to stream to the Cocoon across your network.


We like the fact that Denon hasn’t strayed too far from its original design with the Cocoon Stream. It’s a great-sounding speaker that’s easy to set up and use – we think it would be a great replacement for an ageing system.

MORE: Wireless speaker reviews

Follow on Twitter

Join on Facebook

Find us on Google+

What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

Read more about how we test