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A Review On: Denon AH-D600

Denon AH-D600

Rated # 64 in Over-Ear
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Shike
Posted · 15030 Views · 6 Comments

Pros: Musical bass, high separation for closed can, sparkly treble without fatigue, looks, removable cable, imaging

Cons: High MSRP, bass slant may be too much for some, weight, not suited for small heads.

I went into a local business that had these on display, and after trying them I decided I enjoyed them more than enough to get them . . . assuming I could get them substantially under MSRP which I did.  Let's get started on the good, the bad, and ugly.

 

Good:

 

Very easy to drive, you won't need an absurdly powerful amp to drive these and get the best they offer.  The bass is strong and punchy while avoiding one note syndrome, listening to Red Hot Chili Peppers with these is an absolute joy.  I've found these place emphasis on the bass, but tend to avoid messing up the mid-bass drastically leaving vocals mostly unaffected for music I've played with it.  Of course electronic and metal has also benefited from this.  One would expect the treble to suffer, but it's one of the first cans that I've found with an enjoyable sparkle that is non-fatiguing.  The treble strikes me as more present than my K702s.

 

Build quality seems reasonable.  The cable is removable which is always a good sign.

 

The style is very modern.  It will obviously resemble Beats some, but the leather pad stitching and white accents adds very distinctive flair.

 

Very comfortable, especially for those with large heads.  I have a XXL head according to my hat size, and I'm only a couple notches or so out on each side.

 

Bad:

 

On sound I discussed the bass and treble some.  With how the headphones are tuned it seems to thrown the balance off some.  While separation is good and everything still sounds coherent, the mid-range tends to sound smooth without any emphasis in its own right.  Depending on what you tend to focus on when you listen to music, the bass and treble may come off as merely distracting from the rest.  I feel it captures a more "live" sound for what it's worth - but it's worth watching for.

 

The weight of these cans can take getting used to.  I have a pair of Monitor 10's at this time, and the weight is around that territory.  For a plastic can this comes off as unexpected, but it seems that the weight was increased to help increase reliability all around.

 

Not particularly portable, the size of the cans and the above pretty much shows why.

 

Ugly:

 

Those with small heads likely need not apply.  This can seems to be distinctively made for those with medium to XXL heads.

 

MSRP too high for regular purchase.  The D5K justified its price a bit more due to its reference qualities, as a fun can this justifies about ~60% its asking price.  I'd only purchase this after having experience with real reference cans and knowing exactly what you're looking for and enjoy in a "fun" can.

6 Comments:

I carefully listened to these AH-D600 headphones at my friends's quiet house (my friend owns them). I would have given the D600s a 3-star raing.

These headphones have lots of distortion and ringing to the point that they are unpleasant. For a better pair with good bass at similar price, ATH-M50 or AKG-K267 are much better.

Talking about Styling alone, these look very very ugly. Beats look a lot better.
Regarding fitting of head sizes: I have 2XL head and found it to be uncomfortable. My friend, who has a small size head, likes the fitting/comfort just fine.
Most of the distortion doesn't occur until lower frequencies where audibility of distortion is traditionally so low it's really not funny. As for ringing, maybe - I've never had a problem with "ringing" per-say on any decent headphone I owned. Maybe you're sensitive to something on it like some others? Many in the D600 note they are not fatiguing or unpleasant in the least, favor bass balance some, some say it impacts mids too much while others like me think it transitions gracefully, etc. Very polar cans with a range of thoughts all over.

Personally, while the M50 is okay I've found it less enjoyable then the M40FS which seemed better balanced. Haven't heard the K267 though, but looking at the sheet at innerfidelity I doubt they would be a "fun" phone for me either.

When I heard the D600's I had a very nostalgic feeling that reminded me of listening to a pair of B&W 802D in a really nice listening room.
As for the styling I enjoy the looks actually, and for the head size I'm also a 2XL and found them to be the most comfortable headphone for me yet.
Either way though, see the YMMV, caveat emptor at the bottom

"I'd only purchase this after having experience with real reference cans and knowing exactly what you're looking for and enjoy in a "fun" can."

-- I must ask why you're posting directly to me and not posting your own review though. Considering our past correspondences this strikes me as odd to say the least.
Of course headphones' mileage varies among different end users. That was the reason why I commented on your review. I personally had the exact oposite experience / feeling on most of the items that your mentioned -- I wrote down my comments so others can have a balanced view. Of course, you are entitled to your opinion, and so do I.

I would not review gears that I do not like.

If your music does not have fast-, hard-and low-hitting bass, you would like hear low frequency distortion. Or maybe you like the perceived "fun" bass amount enhanced by distortion. Same goes with ringing.

To users looking for fun bass and cool styling, IMHO VMODA M-100s are much better than D600s. But don't take my words, please try them yourself, compare and decide.
Err, part of your response doesn't make sense.  I have all types of music actually, plenty with low frequencies both fast and drawn out.  I also have vocal, acoustic, etc.  This is one of the few cans I've found with good bass that doesn't impact the rest negatively.  The M100 looks close, but seems to lose some treble energy which may dull it out some.
 
Personally I stand by my comments - even Axiom did a study on distortion and found bass distortion is near impossible to pick up without absurd amounts (10% till 500hz).  I've never found any distortion or ringing on the D600 to be audible.
If you can provide full text of that Axiom paper, I may analyze it and tell you where the flaws are. You should also provide another paper showing that certain ringing is not audible?

When you have a fixed idea in mind, it is oftentimes not difficult to find a few scientific papers to support it.
Basically, you did not hear specific bass distortion --> you looked for explanation for it -->you found a scientific paper --> great! That must be it. There you go, nobody should that hear that! 

Not so fast.

After you receive your PhD and have been in science for enough years, you will realize a few things of scientific papers:
1) lots of results may not be easily repeated, and you can easily obtain contradictory results under slightly different conditions;
2) its application is often limited to specific experimental conditions; 
3) it is often not difficult to find a paper to support the fixed idea that you already have had in mind;
4) modern science is more about how you tell your story (i.e., validate your idea) than finding that rare absolute truth.

Take the journal PNAS as an example. Since it has good impact factor, its papers must be impeccable, right? Well, not if you know the back end story. Science aside, if you are a number of NAS or you know some editors, your paper will get into PNAS a lot easier. Does that install confidence in those PNAS papers? Same goes for lots of other scientific journals -- sometimes it depends more on who the authors are, rather than how the scientific content is.

Basically, you should not isolate the result of a single scientific paper and dogmatically consider it a universal truth.  At least that is I think, after receiving my PhD degree and having been in academic science for 12 yrs.
First a few issues:
 
The Axiom study isn't perfect, I'll admit that.  It was a tentative experiment on a subject not well covered and has only had hit and miss documentation over the years.  Feel free to check it out though http://www.axiomaudio.com/distortion
 
Now, in relation to proving ringing as inaudible: no.  I said I haven't noticed ringing being an issue for me.  Second, it's not up to me to prove a null.  I merely noted the Axiom distortion paper as it pertains to me and may be interesting for others to look at.  If you believe you can hear it I imagine it's not too hard to produce your own samples and emulate the study to see what your own hearing threshold is.  Traditionally it's still understood that distortion at the bass region is less audible, the degree of which varies.  There's also a study from JAES that correlates some from Fielder and Benjamin - a summary of the finding can be found at *shudder* Stereophile here: http://www.stereophile.com/content/science-subwoofing-page-3
 
When you include the fact that below 100hz very few harmonics exist that would create substantial issues and the other results from the Fielder and Benjamin study , if true (IF), it is not surprising as to why a few to many may not hear distortion in any significant fashion from the bass region.
 
Now, how I found the study.  I was actually reading up on audibility of distortion a long time ago when going over Soundstage reviews and measurements, and measurements of the Magnepan MMG which also have significant bass distortion due to their design that reviewers also tend not to pick up.  I was looking for something to give a general context.  Axiom does have a hat in the game, so I was a bit skeptical.  I saw Tyll's review of the D600 and expected it to be crap looking at the measurements.  I eventually tried them expecting to hate them and, well, I didn't.  Of course there's discussion in the D600 threads about more and more people enjoying them, so some speculation that a change in production may have occurred.  I doubt it, but it would be interesting.
 
Once again, this is merely YMMV.  I've seen people choose the D600 over the M100 and vice versa, some complain one's loose and the other has too small of earcups for their ears, one has better soundstage the other is more clear, yadda yadda.  My review just correlates my opinion on them with a large note on not buying till trying a reference set of some degree to get an idea of what is generally considered normal and going from there.  If you would like to share your opinions on the cans, there IS the ability to post a review.  If you don't wish to post a review on this one, I'm sure you can go post about the M100 just as well.  There's no need to make an attempt at antagonizing over this is there, especially when caution on purchase is advised and illustrated it is very much a "taste" can?
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