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Denon AH-D7100

A Review On: Denon AH-D7100 Music Maniac

Denon AH-D7100 Music Maniac

Rated # 70 in Over-Ear
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Review Details:
Audio Quality
Comfort
Design
Value
Lan647
Posted · 13617 Views · 13 Comments

Pros: Extremely comfortable. Exciting, airy sound. Attractive wooden cups and cable.

Cons: Too much bass! Disappointing build quality. Too similar to D600. Ultimately very overpriced.

I am a quite happy D600 owner. They are not neutral by any means but as a general-purpose headphone the sound suits my needs. Loads of super-deep bass, nice midrange tonality and an open if somewhat troublesome high-end. The best thing is that they are great portable companions, with good fit, good isolation, iPod-made cable and the fact that they are very easy to drive. I think they are worth what I paid for them (bought them on a discount weekend)

When I first held the new Denon flagship D7100 in my hands the first thing that struck me was the lack of luxury feel. I was certain the frame would be made of magnesium, or aluminum. But no, it's the same plastic as the D600 - just painted silver. The wood earcups on the D7100 look really nice though and work great as a contrast to the silver frame and black leather padding. Still, this isn't in any way a build worthy of its predecessor - the beautiful Denon D7000 - or any other similarly priced headphone I know of, including cans like the Ultrasone Edition 8, Audeze LCD-2, Beyerdynamic T1 and the Senn HD 800 (which I also own). 

Luckily, the comfort is every bit as good as the D600 (surprise, since they are identical in construction). With perfect clamping force, supple pads and great weight distribution these hug your ears with the kind of love a mother hugs her child. Being a closed headphone using (fake) leather, they do heat up your ears after long listening sessions, the only thing keeping the score below a perfect 5. 

Sound-wise, these did not make me want to upgrade from my D600s at all. 

The first thing I noticed is that the tonality, soundstaging and especially midrange performance are very, very similar to the D600. The only significant differences I could find are a slightly more present lower treble on the D7100, which gave a bit more air to the sound and made the treble sound a bit more coherent. The D600 by comparison is a bit rough here, with some sharpness to the sound and audible recession.

The other difference was in the bass. 

 

I think the D600 bass is enjoyable and though very powerful, quite well controlled. The main issue is a pretty significant midbass bump that can overpower the mids at times. The D7100 has an *even bigger* bump, which makes the bass sound too thick and way too forward. The bass overpowers the lower mids. 

This is, IMO, not acceptable at this price range. There is simply too much bass, I find the bass of the D600 flatter and still capable of sounding good with acoustic instruments. Otherwise, bass performance is very similar between the two cans. I heard no difference in tightness or extension.

My guess, based on my listen, is that the only thing setting the cans apart is the wooden cups. Other than that, I do think they are identical in every way.

In short, I would call the D7100 more of a sibling to the D600, with some slight differences in the lower treble and mid-bass. They do NOT sound like a definite improvement the way the D7000 sounded compared to the D5000.

As for the D600 vs D7100 I would say the midrange is similar, the D7100 has the better treble and the D600 has the better bass. I actually prefer the D600, I can't live with the excessive bass boost on the 7100. 

Not saying these are bad, they are just not worth even half their price in any way. Considering the D600 exists, I have a tough time recommending these to anyone. 

13 Comments:

Now officially dubbed DREnon. Tsk tsk...
ikr... terrible to hear this >.> and right after the D7000 got retired
Night Crawler: They are still miles beyond anything Beats by Dre has to offer. :)
Maybe so but, the D7000 had a Magic attached to it! An it's a shame that the 7100 has lost that magic. But I'm sure the AH-D600 might be a worth while invest ment :3
Yep, not a huge fan of the D5000 but the D7000 has it's charm thats for sure. They actually remind me of the STAX SR-007 through the midrange, but with the signature of a dynamic (more bite). The 007 is superior in every way (especially openness) but I think they both have a very smooth and laid-back yet enjoyable signature. The D7000 doesn't have the firm grip and extension in the bass of the LCD-2 and the treble sounds slightly bright to me but otherwise I like it.

The D7100 doesn't stand a chance in any way but comfort.
Is there any Burn-in time for these headphones. Personally I am finding the bass to be overpowering and forward. Great review. Which I would have read it before I bought them. My only other headphone is He-500 to compare.
Ok to answer my own question the D7100 has a burn-in time of around 100hrs. I would like to ask the reviewer how much time did he spend with them? For me they have changed a lot since I bought them. I am now at 70hrs. The bass is no longer overpowering in any way. The mid's and high's are detailed. The vocals are awesome. I would say they are now better than my HE500's.
I tried them at two occasions fairly briefly, both times comparing them to my D600.
I defenitly argee with kasimoa! Some headphones needs to be burn-in. D5000 needed 400+ to open the sound afer that totaly different headphones.
For the first time i listen to D7100 in Denons hi-fi shop. They sounded so great. When receved my own pair brand new they sounded just fine but not that good laki this one in the Hi-Fi shop. I new wha i have to do... 12h of music + 12h of frequency loop (20Hz - 20 kHz) + 12h of pink noise and voila! Beautifull sounging headphones. I pretty sure that they will keep chainging thay sound signature but probably not so much like the D5000 did because on thise one burnin-in effect is much faster. They sound fantastic rigt from the iPod Classic 5 generation. I highly recommend this headphones.
burn in = "totally different headphones" yeah right, come back when you can prove it.
 
Always the excuse when someone buys a headphone that is getting critisized, oh you didn't burn it in enough or you need to buy a better set up.
@UNFi not totally different headphones but there are changes and this changes here and there, can make a huge difference for someone in like/dislike category. I have D600 and what can I say when I really heard a huge (not huge but essensial) diffrence after burn-in? I have pretty neutral source and even cable change that how I feel with them. Short cable is better for portable use (less bass and more open highs) and long cable better for home use (more warm, and smoothness). In audio even small diffrence can be a deal.
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