When the D-M35 is in the DAB band, the display is clear, easily accessible and readable. By pressing the Time/Display button on the remote when a station is selected, you cycle through the information display. The stereo defaults to Data Label Segment (DLS), which means you have scrolling artist, song name and station promotional material flitting over the display panel. It moves across the screen at a good speed, and is legible. Other available information includes station name, programme type, ensemble name, frequency, signal quality, audio information (bit rate), and date and time. You can also turn off the display when it's on Standby, in order to save power, by pressing the Menu/Set button. The default setting shows the clock on Standby.
You need to use some kind of external recording device (either analogue or digital) if you want to record from the radio. This is made easier by the host of connections on the back.
There is an intuitive timer, which is very useful indeed. A simple set of menus lets you first choose what type of timer you would like to use: Everyday or Once. It's this kind of simplicity brought to a potentially complicated procedure that makes this machine such a joy to use. Once you have chosen the function you wish to use the timer with (eg CD, tuner), you can then be more specific (eg DAB, FM, AM, or programme the tracks on the CD). After this, just set the clock using the Menu/Set and Channel +/- buttons, turn the timer on, and you're away. The whole process is intuitive and quick.
Setting the sleep timer is also easy, but only possible from the remote. You can fall asleep listening to music and wake up to whatever you choose, and you don't have to turn the radio off again.
The Denon D-M35 sounds absolutely fantastic. This is due to improvements made to the circuitry inside, including audiophile grade capacitors in the amplifier, and an improved power supply. The speakers are little works of art -- the cabinets heavy, the woofers and tweeters inverted to improve dispersion. With the dust guards off, the speakers look and sound stunning. It's even possible to hook the system up to a subwoofer.
The imaging is very clear, and the bass and treble response is fantastic. The amp kicks out 22 Watts per channel, and as this micro component system is so well built, that's more than adequate. When testing the volume range we almost deafened ourselves and got complaints from all of our immediate neighbours (and some less immediate ones). CDs give a fuller, richer sound, but DAB is also impressively crystalline.
There are also adequate equaliser options -- both the bass and the treble can be turned up and down by 10 decibels, which is useful for getting the optimum sound. Our only slight complaint is that there is no gradation when turning the bass and treble up -- it's increments of one decibel or nothing.
Edited by Mary Lojkine
Additional editing by Nick Hide