4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Beats the Sennheiser HD650 by miles and miles. Sennheisers no longer worthy!,
This review is from: Denon AHD7000 Closed Type Stereo Headphones (Electronics)
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.