NEWS: It's a dock, it's a DAB, it's a digital streamer - and it's Smart, too!

This is the new Denon Smart S-52, an all-in-one self-contained unit combining a DAB/FM radio, a CD/MP3/WMA player, an iPod dock, USB connectivity and wireless network streaming. Selling for £500, it's described as 'the most technically advanced radio on the planet'.

From the top, the S-52 has a concealed dock - it's under a flap when not in use - able to accept all iPods from the third generation on. The functions of a docked 'Pod can be controlled by the system's remote control, and for those of you who acknowledge the existence of other personal players there's both a USB socket and a conventional 3.5mm stereo analogue input on the front panel.

The CD player can handle conventional discs as well as MP3 and WMA files stored on CD-Rs, and the system can also decode AAC, m4a and FLAC files. Meanwhile wireless network capability allows it to stream music from PCs or Macs, as well as accessing over 7000 internet radio stations.

There's also a DAB/FM RDS tuner, and the S-52 also has a flexible alarm system, allowing different time and source selections for weekdays and weekends, with automatic time updating from the internet via Network Time Protocol.

The audio side of things is handled by twin speakers, each with a 7cm long-throw driver backed up with an 8cm passive radiator on the base of the unit, and 20W of power amplification. The audio digital signal processing is in the hands of Analog Devices' Blackfin, while there's also Audyssey equalisation with Dynamic EQ and Bass-XT. If you want even more thump there's a subwoofer preout.

Completing the package is an eco-friendly 0.3W standby consumption, said by Denon to be about 5% of that of the average DAB radio.

And now for the fat juicy close-up...

Technorati Tags: AAC, DAB, DAB radio, FM radio, internet radio, iPod dock, MP3, Denon, wi-fi, WMA

Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.