Pros: lightweight,nice looking and dynamic
Cons: Isolation could be better
I have been looking at these headphones since I started posting to HeadFi last year. and have always wanted to try them and finally the opportunity came for me to audition the cans and see if they were as good as all the hype that I had been hearing about them. When I first started to listen to the Denon's I really did not like them at all. Out of the box the bass was overpowering, bloated and flabby. They were also very dark. I then proceeded to burn them in for the next 125 hrs using both my Outlaw 2150RR and Matrix M Stage as my primary amps with both the DV6001 and the Onkyo DX7555 CD player on repeat..
Usually when I get a high end piece of equipment my past experiences has always told me if it sounded good out of the box it was usually going to sound better after burn in was completed. With the Denon I thought they really did not sound good before burn in, and never thought I would hear a significant difference after the burn in. Boy was I not only wrong but I was shocked at the difference in sound.
The Matrix M Stage amp and my Marantz DV6001 Universal player was the source used for my audition. I used the Audioquest Black Mamba interconnects with my source and amp. Music listened to ranged from Classical,Jazz,Vocal and Rock. I did not listen to any Metal or other types of music. The Albums I used were mostly well recorded audiophile grade CD's and SACD for my audition.
Initially upon listening to the D7000 before burn in I noticed sibilance presence on female vocals. The transformation after burn in I noticed the sibilance was gone. The bass became very well defined and tight. The soundstage really became focused and very wide for a closed can and 3D, as I noticed the performers were more defined and imaging was spot on, and the bass was no longer bloated. The biggest difference I noticed over both my 701 and the 840 was a refinement. The Denon's projected a very smooth and well balanced presentation in regard to my other cans. I could see the reason they were priced so much higher than the 701.
The midrange on these cans is excellent. I find the slightly recessed mid very much suited to my taste. Having owned many high end speakers these remind me most of my PSB Stratus Gold's They were warm with deep bass into the low twenty's and very defined and balanced with a slightly tipped treble. Hearing and listening to the FIM SACD of Antiphone Blues with pipe organ and solo saxophone, recorded in Spanga Church. the pipe organ was produced unlike I had heard with any other headphone. I could feel the pipe organ petal and feel the power of the instrument. It was a wow moment. To produce the lower register of a pipe organ requires bass to go into low 20's to achieve the proper sound of the instrument and the D7000 reproduced the organ with no problem.
Listening to albums with vocals and live recordings on these headphones is a pleasure. On Sinatra at the Sands it was like I was in the room sitting at a table and listening to my favorite Sinatra performance. I could hear all of Count Basie's orchestra with a very wide soundstage .Listening to Jerry Garcia and David Grisman, I was in the studio listening to two great artist create their masterpiece. Shady Grove. Garcia's playing was a revelation of detail on hearing guitar strings and hearing the inner detail of his acoustic guitar. The presentation was eye opening. Listening to Beyond Missouri Sky with Pat Metheny and Charlie Haden was another wow moment.
I heard the best separation of the two performers that I have heard, and you could hear the guitar strings snapping and the glory of Hadens Acoustic bass, with nice separation between the performers. . I knew it was two distinct performers. Many headphones and speakers do not get this track right. The Denons reproduced this recording without effort. You could really hear the detail in Haden's bass not present with my other headphones
Classical recordings were somewhat more of a mixed bag for me. I enjoyed the power of the bass and detail in general but on large scale orchestra I prefer the 701. On smaller scale recording's the D7000 shines. Violins are produced without etch or grain and cello is aided by the bass. I noticed no etch in tremble on well recorded albums. I would define cymbal reproduction as accurate with no etch.I could clearly hear space in high hat reproduction. Good air and space around instruments and nice depth to the soundstage. In the higher regions of recordings the Denon were no match for the 701. The AKG reproduce triangle and high's better than any other can I own.I do find the AKG701 and the Denon are perfect stablemates. The open cans give me the presentation I desire for classical music. The D7000 gives me the dynamics and power I desire for most other music.
In concluding I have to say I am very impressed with the D7000 I find them very much refined with great detail and bass extension. Very musical and it makes me believe I am listening to a full range speaker with much more intimacy. They are now part of my headphone collection and I am enjoying many hours of pure music magic. Denon produced a winner with this headphone. It is a beautiful and balanced headphone that has really grown on me and I have come to enjoy a great deal.
The matrix M Stage amp is a perfect match with its powerful bass and detail. It really made the D7000 shine. If you enjoy 3D sound with super bass and a very balanced midrange these headphones are a must audition. Be prepared to buy them if you do listen to them. Very nice indeed.