Eating whatever you like is certainly more fun than going on a diet, but there comes a point when you have to stop. When things become restricted by the tightness of your trousers, for example.
And here, it seems, Denon has bought its Envaya Bluetooth speaker a smaller pair of trousers in the form of more compact casework than the original, larger model we tested last year - yet has still managed to cram everything in.
Build and design
The Envaya Mini’s new trousers are rather trendy; it looks slim and sleek in the black and blue of our test version (a white and orange version is also available). The build quality is good, too - it feels robust, like it could survive being dropped from a reasonable height.
The Envaya Mini is splashproof, making it ideal for festivals, parties or sitting by the pool. Playing it in the park, we're getting decent volume at 20 steps – about the distance to the bottom of a decently sized garden.
MORE: Denon Envaya review
More after the break
The original Envaya was praised for having a full and smooth sound, for which we awarded it four stars in September 2014. And, as we ease the Mini in with Patrick Wolf’s Wolf Song, it becomes clear that those strengths remain.
The wind opening is melodic and full, and the warmth of the violin and ukulele suits the magical woodland atmosphere. Wolf’s voice sounds natural, aided by the sound of the room that seems to be brought forward – here, this works well.
For something this size and price, the sound is remarkably smooth and full. It is clearly defined and musical at low levels, and it doesn’t become harsh when you turn up the volume.
For acoustic arrangements such as this, that warmth makes a significant difference to the listening experience – essentially you feel as if you’re listening to a much bigger unit.
Unfortunately, the bass sounds podgy, to the extent that it can smear the other instruments. Too much weight in the bottom end was one of our criticisms of the original model, but the trait is exacerbated in its smaller sibling (hence our eating habits-related introduction).
It removes the venom from The Bronx’s Heart Attack American, and only takes things further the louder you play – which, let's face it, for tracks such as this is usually all the way up. In doing so, it loses the detail and texture that makes the guitar and scream so brutal.
Dynamics are also compressed. Small-scale sounds, such as at the beginning of Wolf Song, are big and bold, but the presentation shrinks as dynamic extremes become too demanding for the unit to handle.
We gauge the Envaya Mini against class-leading rivals, such as the Cambridge Audio Go and UE Roll, which perhaps play a little safer with the size of their sound, and while they might sound leaner, they are notably more capable of handling busy arrangements and expressing dynamics.
You’ll struggle to find anything more of a doddle to use than this Denon for your £100 - or better built, with a smoother sound or so much low end.
It could do with losing a few pounds to squeeze into that smaller shell, but never does it stop being easy to listen to, and the positives are plentiful enough to make this a good buy depending upon your priorities.
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