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Denon AH-D7000

September 21, 2009 By Steve Guttenberg



The Denon AH-D7000 looks and feels like the Rolls Royce of headphones, withexquisite build quality and old-world craftsmanship.

The earcups’ gloss-lacquered, real mahogany wood looks magnificent, but it isn’t just for show. The wood is the same type used to craft fine guitars—and its internal carving enhances the headphone's tonal balance.

 

Denon AH-D7000

 

The super-soft leather ear cushions and headband cover are as luxurious as I've seen, and the headphone's lightweight magnesium frame and ball-bearing-mounted adjustable headband leave no doubt: the AH-D7000 was designed to satisfy persnickety Japanese audiophiles.

The Denon AH-D7000 has 50-mm drivers with neodymium magnets. Frequency response is a claimed 5 to 45,000 Hz, with a sensitivity of 108 dB/mW.The AH-D7000 is a beauty; most top-tier models look somewhat drab by comparison.

Engineering highlights include the large-diameter, 50-mm Microfiber diaphragms that provide extended frequency response, and the cloth-covered 10-foot-long cable that features reference grade 7 Nines – 99.99999 percent oxygen-free copper wiring.

Even the cable's 6.3-mm plug housing is a brilliantly finished work of art. And the headphone's sumptuously padded storage case is something you'll want to proudly display!

Comfort levels are high. I wore these 370-gram headphones for hours on end without a lick of fatigue.

The sound is rich and warm. The AH-D7000 will appeal to audiophiles who prefer analog warmth over digital cool, or the sound of vacuum tube over solid-state amplifiers.

Acoustic music—classical, jazz and pop—all sounded glorious. Simon & Garfunkel's Live From New York City, 1967 CD pulled me back through time. I've listened to those two voices my whole life, but they never sounded more humanly present than they did through the AH-D7000.

The closed-back design seals out ambient noise, which effectively makes it easier to pick out subtle details in the sound.

Bass was another strength. The AH-D7000's low-end plumbs deeper than any headphone I've had the pleasure of testing. The solid bass frequencies were so strong that at times I had to check to see if my subwoofer was turned on. That happened when I checked out Los Lobos' Kiko CD. The bass drum's pulse had tremendous impact.

Denon AH-D7000

The AH-D7000's low-end weight and oomph were also big pluses for movies like King Kong. When the big ape bursts out of his theater at his New York City premiere, the carnage was truly visceral. Kong tosses cars and street trolleys around like toys, and his grunts came through with a vengeance. The sound felt remarkably open and spacious, qualities that are especially important for home theater–oriented headphones.

Downside: On some recordings the headphone's abundant bass may be too much of a good thing and detract from the AH-D7000's lovely midrange and delicate treble. That's my call, you may feel the bass balance is just right.

This article is part of our larger High End Headphones article. 

 

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