By Scott Packard
on 8.6.12

The high-end speaker dock pool, already swimming with the likes of the B&W Zeppelin, B&O BeoSound 8, and the Bose SoundDock 10, just got more crowded with Denon’s Cocoon diving in. The Cocoon, available in home or portable models, represents Denon’s late foray into the iDevice market — while they have fielded systems with docks, this is their first stand-alone. Regardless, Denon made the wait worth it; both the styling and the sounds produced are smooth. Reminiscent of Chicago’s Cloud Gate, the dock’s sleek curvaceous monocoque (er, bean) comes in black or white, like an iPhone, and sports an OLED display for song in play, volume, or the time.

Both versions support iOS, Android, and Windows operating systems, as well as AirPlay for audio streaming via Ethernet or wireless connection. With the home version, you get 100 watts from four speakers for $600, and the smaller portable comes with two pushing half that—your consolation being about 5 hours of playing time, a carrying handle, and water-resistance (but not waterproofing, Aquaman) for the $500 price. Either system can be networked to play your music across multiple Cocoons. Get the home model for your own personal chrysalis, or the portable version to burst out of it.

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