The Denon DM hi-fi mini series has been around a long time. In fact, since as long as I can remember…
I believe it was in 2000 when we first saw this kind of mini system from Denon in the guise of the DM30. It won a product of the year award that year from What Hi-Fi? and this set the standard for the mini DM series from Denon. Every few years Denon would bring out a replacement that somehow outperformed its predecessor. It didn’t just update the look or features but the sound seemed to improve with every subsequent model too. Now here we are presented with the DM41, which follows on from the award winning DM40 from 2015. Can it carry on this relentless pursuit of audio perfection from such a small cabinet? Or will this finally be the year that Denon just simply can’t get any more from such an historic product.
The first thing that stands out is how it looks. It’s got more of a retro feel to it and it looks a bit cleaner. Size-wise nothing has changed, but the look of the DM41 is a definite improvement. The USB audio input has gone and been replaced by a Bluetooth button. Denon have added this a model or two late, in my opinion. But welcome to see here!
Around the back you’ll find the same inputs and outputs as on the DM40. Two digital optical inputs, an analogue RCA input and a subwoofer output are all included for a lot of flexibility. There’s also your DAB radio connection so hook that up and the radio is good to go.
But the important question… how does it sound?
The What Hi-Fi? 5 star Dali Zensor 1’s have always been my go to speakers for mini systems, so this will be my speaker of reference. I’ve listened to these with the DM40 and many other mini hi-fi systems, so it will really give me an idea how good this new ’41 is.
Instantly you can hear a difference over the previous version. The trusty CD player spins “Hurt” by Johnny Cash and immediately I’m impressed. His piercing voice echoes through the system magnificently. Every slow guitar pluck produces a majestic response and the whole tracks works superbly. As I listen through various CDs and genres, nothing seems to be too much effort. It’s simply brilliant for such a small box.
Now let’s take the source quality down a notch and stream via Bluetooth. Again I’ll stick with the same Johnny Cash track streamed via Spotify to see what this new addition can do.
Obviously straight away there’s a difference. But not as much as you might think. There’s still a massive sense of enjoyment from it and I could happily listen to this all day. It’s that good. Maybe the delay in adding Bluetooth to the DM series was due to Denon wanting to get it just right. Because that’s what they’ve done here. Adding the Bluetooth flexibility to this already fantastic mini hi-fi really is a win for Denon. It opens up the DM41 to a wider audience and this is surely another product of the year candidate from the Japanese sound wizards.
I almost forgot to mention a few extra features the Denon possesses. There’s a clock and sleep timer function, so this really will do everything. Take all of that aside and judge it just as a mini hi-fi though and I don’t think it can be beaten. Throw in everything else and this really does tick many a box.
Seriously… it sounds fantastic.
I’m not sure I’m getting the point across. It sounds so, so good.
It really is the best DM to date.
Author: Bradley, Plymouth store