Denon DNP 2000NE Network Player Review: An All-In-One Product with High-Res Sound

Published On: December 16, 2023
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Denon DNP 2000NE Network Player Review: An All-In-One Product with High-Res Sound

Denon's DNP 2000ne delivers superior sound quality and well-integrated streaming compatibility that makes playing your favorite songs a breeze. Its high-quality build is easy to integrate into any setup, making it an excellent option for anyone looking to add a network player to their setup..

Denon DNP 2000NE Network Player Review: An All-In-One Product with High-Res Sound

By Author: Justin Breckenridge
I am a lifelong Florida resident with a huge passion for tech and sound. My love for music initially drove me to vinyl, which introduced me to the world of speakers and other audio equipment. It is important to me that an audio product not only produces excellent sound quality but also is worth the price.

Denon’s new DNP 2000NE is their first foray into the premium market of network players. This all-in-one product gives users access to everything they need for a strong streaming setup at a reasonable price.

Priced at $1600, the 2000NE delivers superior sound quality and well-integrated streaming compatibility that makes playing your favorite songs a breeze. Its high-quality build is easy to integrate into any setup, making it an excellent option for anyone looking to add a network player to their setup.

High Points

  • Very versatile, functioning not only as a network streamer but also as a DAC and a preamplifier
  • HEOS app integration is well-implemented and makes streaming easy.
  • Detailed audio performance that sounds great.
  • Several input/output options make it easy to integrate into your setup.
  • Decent pricing for a more premium product.
  • The design has a classic, retro look.

Build & Design

The DNP 2000NE’s premium cost is reflected in its build quality. The components are encased by a brushed aluminum shell that comes in three different colors: black, graphite, and silver. The player is supported by four rounded legs, which are padded at the bottom to prevent any scratches to gear or furniture.  

Denon DNP 2000NE Network Player closeup

There are five tactile buttons on the DNP 2000NE’s faceplate. These include a power toggle, a source selector, a return function, a navigation wheel, a play/pause button and a volume attenuator. All are satisfyingly tactile and provide great accuracy and effortless modulation.

There are two input options on the front, a USB and a 6.4mm front-facing headphone jack that makes listening with headphones simple and hassle-free. 

There is also a wide and narrow screen display at the front of the player, which enables navigation and displays visual information while also housing the infrared sensor. 

While it's certainly less fancy than the Uniti Star by Naim, the 2000NE’s is half the price and provides a strikingly comparable experience—controversially, I even preferred the 2000NE.

While the build quality of the DNP 2000NE is undeniable, I find its aesthetic tired and dated, especially when compared to the sleeker and cheaper models like the Cambridge Audio CXN. That said, aesthetics are subjective. If you have a preference for understated designs that blend seamlessly into your space without drawing attention, the DNP 2000NE might just be your ideal match.

The Remote

Denon DNP 2000 Network Player remote

The remote that accompanies the DNP 2000NE is a simple affair, lacking any luxurious embellishments. Despite this, it's surprisingly comprehensive and not just for the network player. 

It can extend its command to compatible Denon amplifiers, which is a neat addition for those who have invested in the Denon ecosystem. I did find the remote to be on the lighter side, which might be misconstrued as flimsiness. 

However, it is functional, and I had no trouble using it to navigate through the player’s features. It does what it needs to, but given the cost of the product, a more substantial remote would have been a nice complement to the DNP 2000NE's premium feel.

Connectivity Options

The DNP 2000NE shines when it comes to connectivity. On the back panel, a comprehensive set of digital inputs includes an HDMI ARC for audio playback from ARC-equipped TVs, and a USB-B port for direct connection to a computer or laptop. 

These features extend the DNP 2000NE's functionality well beyond a traditional network player, offering convenience and enhanced digital sound quality. With these inputs, the DNP 2000NE acts as a superior DAC, ready to handle a variety of digital audio sources.

Denon DNP 2000NE Network Player back ports

Apart from the expected TOSLINK and coaxial inputs, there is the thoughtful inclusion of both fixed and variable analog outputs. You have the flexibility to use the DNP 2000NE as a fixed-level source in a traditional hi-fi setup, or to take advantage of its volume control for direct connection to power amplifiers or active speakers.

Wireless connectivity is robust, with support for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, along with Apple AirPlay 2 for streaming from iOS devices. However, the Bluetooth functionality is limited to the basic SBC codec, which isn't ideal for high-fidelity audio streaming. 

This limitation is somewhat mitigated by the inclusion of AirPlay 2, although Apple's implementation currently caps streaming quality at 256k AAC, which won't satisfy those seeking lossless audio experiences. Nevertheless, for most streaming scenarios, especially within the HEOS ecosystem, these wireless options provide ample quality and convenience.

The DNP 2000NE's versatility in connecting to your home network and various devices makes it an excellent choice for those who value both high-quality sound and a wide array of connectivity options.

Audio Performance

The 2000NE has some pretty high-end features which produce excellent audio quality. It uses Denon’s signature Advanced AL32 Processing Plus in conjunction with its DAC Master Clock design, delivering precision sound without any unwanted jittering or interference. 

The player also comes equipped with a quad digital-to-analog converter configuration, ensuring your streams come through with exceptional clarity. The 2000NE upsamples signals to 32-bit/384kHz, which reconstructs the signal as close as possible to its original signal. 

Overall, from the testing on this product, the 2000NE gives users an excellent audio output that is both detailed and ultra-clear. There is a huge depth of sound present when using the 2000NE. Songs from artists like Julia Holter and FKA Twigs come through with an intricate delicacy, allowing for the many different layers of sound to have room to breathe. 

Julia Holter - Feel You (Official Video)

There is a shocking warmness that colors the personality of the sound. A pulsing glow that adds a coziness to the sound without outweighing the finer details of the music. It is still cool enough and detail-oriented enough to let the full range of sound come through and remain balanced while leaning ever so slightly to the warmer side of things.

The upscaling allows for an incredibly high resolution of sound. Everything comes through crisp and rich. Songs like Ugly and Vengeful by Anna Von Hausswolf feel appropriately epic and cinematic, with Haysswolff’s vocals ringing with vibrant beauty and the complex layered instrumentation sounding dynamic and grand.

I tested the 2000NE with two different setups: one with a subwoofer and speakers and the other with just speakers. In both instances, the music sounded great. Surprisingly, even with only the speakers set up, I found that the 2000NE was able to output some decent depth of bass, even on more bass-reliant tracks like Kendrick Lamar’s Humble. Nothing close to what you get with a subwoofer, but the low-end was much more present on the speakers with the 2000NE added in.

Using the 2000NE with headphones provided A deep and well-balanced experience. While the sound didn't blow my mind, it certainly pleased it. Also, the 2000NE's dual-band Bluetooth means it receives and outputs wireless music, so if you want move around your place listening with headphones, you absolutely can. 

Overall, I was very impressed with the output this product managed to deliver. It's a premium product with a reasonable price tag and brought something special to our setups during testing. 

App and Set Up

The 2000NE was a breeze to set up. It is easy to connect it to any amplifier due to its versatile connective options, and setting up Wi-Fi was very simple. Connecting to your mobile device via Bluetooth is also very streamlined and down with the click of a button. 

Streaming can be done simply through Bluetooth, but it is enhanced through the HEOS app, which is well-integrated into the player. The app elevated the listening experience and made everything sound effortlessly better. You can easily swap between your favorite streaming platforms, such as Spotify, Tidal, etc. 

You also are given a fair amount of control over the player itself, able to adjust volume, remote power, and more. It also supports different voice assistants, such as Siri, Google Assistant, and Alexa.

The 2000NE is widely compatible with most streaming platforms, with a notable exception being Qobuz, which is an audiophile-centric platform that would be nice to have on a higher-end machine like this. Overall, the app was very well-integrated and easy to use. 

Other Features

Denon DNP 2000NE Network Player front view

The DNP 2000NE's offerings extend beyond the basics with its status as a Roon tested device, a nod to its compatibility with the high-end music management platform known for its rich user experience and audio performance. For enthusiasts integrated into the Roon ecosystem, this signifies an assurance of seamless integration and access to Roon's advanced features, enhancing the overall utility of the streamer.

The 2000NE also comes with a built-in library of different radio stations if that's your jam. The library is impressive in its scale, providing listeners with plenty of options to choose from, including different music genres, news, local channels, talk shows, sports, trending, podcasts, and different language options. 

Swapping between these channels was simple on the app and just and just as easy, if a bit tiresome, using the controls on the player itself. Overall, the sound quality from the radio stations was solid. 

Comparison & Conclusion

Denon's passion for dynamic, classic design and the little details is undeniable with the 2000NE.

 I think that the 2000NE can hold its ground against even more premium products, partly thanks to the Ultra AL32 Processing technology and the robust build that supports a wide range of audio formats with finesse. 

I would say that I slightly preferred the 2000NE’s sound profile to the Naim Uniti Star, which is a very high bar considering the Uniti Star’s price and fidelity. The 2000NE also gives you incredible versatility and other high-tech features that make it an easy addition to your setup.

Overall, I think the 2000NE is an excellent bet for those looking to get a network player. It has all the bells and whistles of an excellent player without being too bogged down by the price. It boasts excellent audio quality, easy streaming integration, and flexibility all in one package. I highly recommend the 2000NE. The 2000NE is a clear standout that deserves special recognition. We are thrilled to honor them with our Highly Recommended Award.

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