Before I bought the Denon AH-D7000 my previous headphones were: Sennheiser HD565 (£150), HD25-1 II (£140) & Grado SR80i (£120). These are not really in the same league as the Denon so I was expecting a big improvement, boy did I get one!
The most noticeable instant aspects of the Denon's are the powerful bass and the lack of fatigue from highs when you push the volume up. The latter was rather surreal from my limited experience, there is much more power to the music with these phones anyway but with the volume up it can get crazy quick, probably dangerous too but OMG they're fun!! The detail and clarity while rattling your head to bits with bass is really something to behold! Currently listening to 'Drake-Still Fly' by Butch Clancy (Dubstep)... Wow! *huge smile*.
Also noteworthy for headphones in this range is their ability to be driven from almost any source (volume wise), although I know this can be subjective (try running the Sennheiser HD600/800 from an iPhone I double dare you). I am running the D7000's from my Samsung Galaxy S as I write this and it's pretty good! OK it's at maximum volume but it is loud! Although I do wish I could push it higher it's only because of the lovely sound and not because I should. I also tried them with a Cowon S9. There is a bit more headroom in the volume there but more noteworthy was it's better SQ (sound quality). Cowon have the best SQ of any un-amp'd portable in my opinion, Sony's are close though.
I should mention that although you can power the Denon's from almost anything you probably shouldn't. My main setup has them connected to a Fiio E7+E9 combo DAC/Amp (through a PC) and although it is ok I do get the impression something a bit more refined could push them in a better direction. Maybe one day pair them with something like a Burson HA-160DS which matches the Denon AH-D7000's in price and apparently compliments the sound! If I do manage this I will update this review with my findings.
The sonic characteristics of these headphones suit a variety of music. My favourite genres are: Soundtracks, Metal, Industrial, Rock, Classical, Electronic, Pop, Jazz etc. The Denon's have given me a massive boost for almost everything! It makes bass heavy music hit with such impact it's difficult to go back to anything else! Anything orchestral gets so much more weight on the low end without too much colouration that it has made most of my collection feel much more dynamic and engaging. Jazz is great for the same reason. Perhaps vocals (mids) get the attention at this price point but that's not a huge complaint. Perhaps if you consider the sound characteristics from Grados to be perfect you may not like these headphones for their slightly non-linear response. None of this would stand for much if these headphones were not well controlled and detailed though and they do manage to pull that off. For me the D7000's are about fun, powerful sounds with a good deal of detail. They are not the last word in clarity or sound-stage (perhaps a better amp will fix some of that).
I should probably point out that although the D7000s are closed it's not very well closed. When you are enjoying music (loud listening) people next to you will hear that you are listening to something and they may even hear what it is if the surroundings are quiet but compared to an open pair of headphones there is a big difference. They work fine in my office environment but it's quite a busy & noisy one.
Comfort?... yes! They are really comfy, for long periods too. They do not feel heavy and they clamp your head just hard enough to ensure they don't fall off to easily. For me (and this will be subjective) they are perfect! Build quality is lovely and the wood / Aluminium makes it look and feel expensive. Not quite my style but it's not horrible. The headband and cups are real leather (although some say they are not for some reason, perhaps because they look the same as the AH-D5000 which are pleather rather than leather). The cups also rotate to help get the best fit and isolation, this is a nice touch and it does indeed help, nice one Denon!
If you are considering the Denon's but are concerned that headphones of this price should not be so much about bass... well first I highly recommend trying them out if you can, secondly I would I suggest checking out some of these:
However: Be warned the price shoots up from here and you'll want to be pairing these with a similarly priced DAC/Amp to get the most out of them:
You could say that I settled for the Denon AH-D7000s looking at that list but I am not regretting my decision one bit, I really love the sound characteristics that these phones offer. Although I reserve the right to be tempted by others in the future I see the improvements heavily encroaching on the laws of diminishing returns at that point.
I read a lot before getting these, if you want a lot more info on these and what they compare to I highly recommend checking out the Head-Fi forums.
Being highly satisfied with my SONY MDR-CD 3000 stereo headphones driven by a Graham Slee Solo SRGII headphone amplifier + Graham Slee PSU1-24 power supply I was in doubt, if purchasing a DENON AH-D7000 would really lead to a significant gain in sound reproduction quality.
I finally plucked up my courage and got the DENON AH-D7000 in addition to my SONY-set. It took a load off my mind, when I listened to my favourite music with my new DENON for the very first time. Everything the SONY did very well, the DENON did better to a considerable extent. This outstanding masterpiece of electro-acoustic engineering offers an almost loudspeaker-like wide and deep soundstage, an extremely deep/firm and well-defined bass, a spine-chillingly realistic reproduction of human voices and an almost unsurpassed richness of sonic detail.
But is this sound experience really worth spending 750 GBP or more? YEEES, it definitely is - even without taking into consideration the highly aesthetical composition of precious materials (magnesium, mahagoni wood and genuine leather).
By the way: When adding a little mechanical vibration with my Velodyne DD-18 subwoofer, I have the perfect illusion of listening to an amplifier/loudspeaker-system worth hundrets of thousands of GBP - my word is bond!!!
Well these turned up today, at the moment i'm running then from my PC's onboard sound until i get the FiiO E7 and E9 combo tomorrow.
The build quality is really good, and they're really comfortable to wear, my only gripe is that they aren't genuine leather, they're synthetic or "Pleather" i think it's termed, for the price i would have expected Velour (sheepskin leather) pads and headband, but that's only a small thing really, i'm going to be getting the custom Velour JMoney pads in the future.
The sound quality is absolutely breathtaking, before hearing these i was used to listening to my music through Sennheiser RS140 Wireless headphones, they pale in comparison and sound really cheap, but i didn't know any better because i'd never heard high quality headphones before, until now! If you close your eyes while listening to a good quality track you can place the sounds in the space around you, think the professionals term it "Soundstage"? well it's got a really good one, all other headphones i've owned it sounds like the sound is coming from within your own head, but not in these, it's like you've been picked up and are sitting there with the band right on stage with all the instruments and speakers around you.
Some people have said the denon phones suffer from recessed mids, but to my untrained ear i can't tell really, everything sounds so good to me, bass is tight and punchy, vocals sound excellent, maybe a little in the background slightly sometimes but i think that's to do with the music rather than the headphones because i've heard alot of songs too where the vocals seem more prominent, the high end is clean, sharp and sparkly but i think that will mellow as they get some hours on them.
All in all i've been blown away by these, best £ i ever spent, i never knew music listening had so much more to offer, i'm hearing details in the music i didn't know were there before, i reccomend to every music lover to get a set of high end headphones at least once in your life, you don't know what you've been missing until you've heard it, my eyes (or ears?) have been opened.
After having owner the Sennheiser HD650 - the king of the hill reference headphones until around 2010 when HD800 was released (which is, incidentally, priced somewhere similar to the Denon AHD7000, but is an open headphone as opposed to these, which are closed) I can safely say that the Denon AHD7000 is miles ahead of the HD650 when it comes to dynamics and perspective. The difference is comparable to the difference between Sennheisers £40-area line and the HD650, so no small thing. As a critical listener I always prefer linear headphones closer to reference and you could argue that the Denons' curve is a little pronounced in the bottom due to being closed - but aside from the feeling of more bass in the closed cups the Denons are excellently linear, never sounding uncomfortable or suppressed in any area of the spectrum. In some ways the Denons almost sound like a natural wood musical instrument, warm and with excellent presence.
The Denons are immensely more dynamic and easy to drive compared to the Sennheisers and have loads more bottom. Especially the increased dynamic and low impedance is worth mentioning: the range almost make the Denons sound like floor speakers. The music really feels alive and detailed in both quiet and loud pieces. It is an improvement across the entire spectrum - I can point to no area where the Denons fall behind, none at all. Absolute high quality hardware.
Initially they were are little hard in the highs but have quickly softened up a lot after around 20 hours use. The finish is excellent and build quality overall seems good, perhaps a little susceptible to greasy fingerprints on the high gloss wood. One could have wished for a slightly heavier hinge for the hangers, but should the misfortune occur that one should break, from the looks of things a replacement is fairly easy to install for one with a bit of fine motor skills and a nice, small screwdriver. Not too worried about that.
If we compare the price of these against the price of the Sennheiser HD650 then yes, the Denons are three times as expensive - but in my opinion much more than three times better. If you love your music and are looking for a way to make it sound even better, closer to the dynamics of upper-range floor speakers and with a truly delicious sound quality - and if you can afford them, these should be on the very top of your wish list. No more sighing and wishing you could pop the record you are listening to onto your home hifi; these sound every bit as nice as a £5,000 amp-and-speaker set (except for room blending and the physical feeling) when combined with a proper high-quality source and DAC.
Needless to say, these deserve to be used with a separate DAC/amp or a very high quality sound card. If you care about quality - and you will care about that if you purchase these Denons - you will know that the source needs to be equally high quality to get the most out of the equipment. I personally use the Denons with a Fiio E10, which works very well. I am however considering upgrading to a perhaps tube-based dedicated headphone amp like one of the Schiit amps. The Fiio does an excellent job for its tiny, tiny size, but I have a feeling these headphones are capable of even better sound than the already excellent quality this combination is currently getting.
These are not available any more. They are brilliant sounding phones and very comfortable. Easy to drive with any source and scale well with more expensive sources or amps. Not really able to compete with the newer Orthos out there but for a dynamic they are up there with the likes of HD650/700. Oh and they look amazing...