Pros Streams radio stations from around the world; Streams music from your PC
Cons Price; Poor setup and operation instructions; Poor AM HD Radio reception; Unit runs hot, even when off
Summary This table top radio does it all: AM/FM/XM, HD Radio, PC Streaming, CD player, iPod and USB docking and best of all: Internet radio.
The Denon S-52 is slightly larger -- and much heavier -- than a Bose Wave Radio.
I bought the S-52 to easily listen to radio stations from across the country and around the world streaming programs on the Internet. I could do this on a computer, of course, but the convenience of a table top radio, with all those stations available at the push of a button, is hard to beat.
The S-52 requires a connection to your home network (wired or wireless). The unit will search for an available network..and after you enter any required encryption keys..you can immediately begin searching for streaming radio stations. No PC is required for this feature.
Perhaps it's because it's such a new product, but the manual for the S-52 fails miserably in describing how to stream music from your PC or how to troubleshoot any connection problems. PC streaming did not work for me the first time...until I turned on Network Sharing on my Windows Vista computer. Now all the music stored on my PC is displayed and played wirelessly on the table top unit anywhere within range of my wireless network.
The instructions vaguely mention two different websites where programs downloaded to your PC can help program and push media to the S-52.
For me, getting these two services to work was not easy. It's still a work in progress, with absolutely no help from the manual or the websites.
Another downside to the S-52 is HD Radio function. I can receive FM HD Radio just fine, but switching between stations or switching between HD and regular FM is not an easy task. Again, the lousy manual offers no help.
From my location in downtown Dallas, I could not receive any AM HD Radio stations, even with the included antenna (regular AM was OK).
There's a little door on the top of the S-52 that hides an iPod dock. You can control an iPod with the S-52 remote or directly from the iPod.
The unit's built-in CD player can play hours of MP3's.
The S-52 has a USB connector on the front. You can plug in a thumb drive loaded with MP3's and the unit will play them complete with ID tags.
The S-52 is one hot radio, in more ways than one. It runs hot even when it's turned off. This is one radio you do not want to put in an enclosed cabinet.
But it's a radio you'll love having around to enjoy streaming music from your PC...or from anywhere in the world.
Pros I found the Denon S-52 easy and straight forward to set-up and use.
The sound is 1st class, in a class on its own - TOP OF THE CLASS.
The unit is packed with many great and helpful functions.
This is a must for anyone serious about Radio.
Cons Secondhand buyers must get www.Radiodenon.com portal Userid/password to enhance Internet Radio listening.
The Denon S-52 does not support Real Media streaming format (RAM).
Do not loose the remote or wifi aerial - very expensive to replace.
Summary Please be aware of two considerations when buying a Denon S-52.
This applies when buying a second-hand Denon S-52.
Make sure your Denon S-52 purchase comes with the Userid/e-Mail and password that was that was allocated on the Denon Radio Web page to access Internet Radio.
Let me explain why??
The Denon S-52 Internet Radio function makes use of the Denon Radio Web page to access Radio stations. This access is achieved by the unique mac address of your Denon S-52. Details of this can be found in the Owner?s Manual on page 15.
When you first go onto the Denon Radio Web page to set up your Internet Radio on your Denon S-52, you will be asked to supply the unique mac address of your Denon S-52. A userid/e-Mail and password will then be created based on this unique mac address of your Denon S-52 unit.
This Userid/eMail allows to you manage, maintain and update your Internet Radio preferences for your Denon S-52. This also enhances your listening experience and helps make navigation easier through tens of thousands of Radio Stations on the Internet.
Examples of key functions you will not be able to do without this Userid/e-Mail:
1) no access to new Internet Radio stations you identify
2) no access to new Podcasts you identify
3) no use of the Add Station function
4) no use of the Favourite function.
Having this Userid/e-Mail and password will make your listening experience so much better.
The Denon S-52 does not support Real Media streaming format (RAM).
This means most of the UK BBC Internet radio broadcasts cannot be received on this unit as they only use Real Media streaming format (RAM).
This is documented in the General Help section on the Denon Radio WEB page as follows:
Why are some stations (such as the BBC) not available?
Certain stations, like the BBC, broadcast in a format that the DENON Products do not support. The DENON Products play MP3 stations only, of which there are many available. However, it does not play stations that are in RealMedia or Windows Media format. AVP-A1HD,AVR-5308,AVC-A1HD,AVR-4308,AVR-3808,AVC-3808,S-302,S-52,S-32,ASD-3W and ASD-3N support Windows Media format.
BBC stations that cannot be received on the Denon S-52 Internet Radio function.
BBC Radio Berkshire
BBC Radio Bristol
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire
BBC Radio Cornwall
BBC Radio Cumbria
BBC Radio Derby
BBC Radio Devon
BBC Radio Gloucestershire
BBC Radio Guernsey
BBC Radio Humberside
BBC Radio Jersey
BBC Radio Kent
BBC Radio Lancashire
BBC Radio Leeds
BBC Radio Leicester
BBC Radio Lincolnshire
BBC Radio Manchester
BBC Radio Merseyside
BBC Radio Newcastle
BBC Radio Norfolk
BBC Radio Northampton
BBC Radio Nottingham
BBC Radio Oxford
BBC Radio Sheffield
BBC Radio Shropshire
BBC Radio Solent
BBC Somerset Sound
BBC Radio Stoke
BBC Radio Suffolk
BBC Radio Swindon
BBC Three Counties Radio
BBC Radio Wiltshire
BBC Radio York
BBC WM Coventry/Warks
BBC Radio Cymru
BBC Radio Foyle
BBC Radio Scotland
BBC Radio nan Gaidheal
BBC Radio Ulster
BBC Radio Wales
Pros It plays music via the net, the air (analog & digital HD), USB, media servers, iPOD, and XM (with additional hardware) - and YES it really works
Cons If you own any newer DENON products, you know how minimalist the interface and manuals are - this is definitely NOT a PLUG & PLAY unit. The price is steep as well.
Summary It should ship with a "BANG HEAD HERE" sticker for you to place on the hard surface of your choosing. Setting up the WiFi on a secure network takes a great deal of patience - especially if you have a 32 character key (which cannot contain a space as one of the characters). For those who use MAC filtering on your wireless access point, SURPRISE! - the MAC address is nowhere to be found printed on the outside of the unit or in any documentation - you need to get into the network setup menu to see it - before you are actually ready to set up the unit. The reward is, once set up, it works. If you want to switch between the wired and wireless connection, you need to plug in (or unplug) the Ethernet, get into the network setup menu, go to the details, scroll to connection, and hit enter - typical DENON intuitiveness at work.
The build quality is very good to excellent as one would expect for the price and the brand. It is HEAVY - 21 pounds, and runs a bit warm. The remote is functional and typical DENON - no numbers on the thing.
The documentation is better than most DENON manuals I have needed to look at in the past - notice I said look at - not understand. You need to be patient and read through the entire manual BEFORE you try to set this unit up. The good thing is you should be able to read it in less than 10 minutes.
The sound quality seems to vary greatly depending on the input signal. Be advised - there are NO TONE OR EQUALIZER SETTINGS TO PLAY WITH. The Audyssey Dynamic Equalization controls it all. The best sound I got was from an Internet Radio feed (from Europe) and WOW did it sound great! I could have sworn there were speakers in the back of the room. Other sources range from "WOW" to "HOW did that sound so bad?" Based on the fact the unit was able to WOW me with some feeds tells me it has the capability as long as the content has the dynamic range.
Once connected to the Internet, the firmware can be updated via a menu selection and there is one out there to be had. It takes almost 20 minutes to download and execute - the only noticeable changes were in the menu behavior although I am certain there was more in the update than that.
The unit exposes itself on your network via UPnP and if you click on its icon, a web page launches on port 8080. It has only the words "PRESENTATION PAGE" on it. It would be a godsend for the WiFi configuration if DENON would create a Web interface to configure and even control the S-52 (something similar "but better" than the 4306 interface would be great). Perhaps there is already something there that is not documented and I just haven't found the proper port.
All-in-all - DENON has built a unit that is ahead of the competition in features and sound quality. The price is a touch too steep for this to become a mainstream consumer product, but the S-52 definitely sets the functionality and quality bars higher than they have ever been before. It won't be long before the same functionality is available in a lower quality package from numerous vendors.
Pros Relatively good audio.
Cons Need to purchase $60 of hardware from ((XM)) radio to function. Does not work with Mac OSX therefore no PC radio, no internet radio, no upgr. Terrible manual. Customer Service wait times 40-60 minutes
Summary At $700 plus tax this radio is virtually worthless. You need to buy a subwoofer to realize adequate base. You need to buy an ((XM)) Radio mini-tuner at $70 plus shipping to receive ((XM)) Radio. Will not function with Mac OSX, therefore, no PC radio, no internet radio, no firmware upgrades, etc. In short this is a $700 AM/FM/HD radio with an iPod dock and a CD player. Denon "Customer Service", in my three attempts, had a MINIMUM wait time of 40+ minutes. Denon did not respond to my email in 24 the hour promised time period, or at all, for that matter. The manuals are terribly written and woefully inadequate. The "FAQ's" on their web site hve answers to questions that are not asked. Not worth more than $200 in my opinion. I will return this product