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Denon AHD2000 High Performance Over-Ear Headphones

100% Positive Reviews
Rated #90 in Headphones

Posted

Pros: Spacious, yummy bass, and exacting highs. Enjoyable equally for music, gaming, and movies. Very comfy. Very good price-to-performance.

Cons: Some may find the highs fatiguing, and they can take a bit to get used to. Cable can be a bit much and isn't detachable.

This review is an expansion of my comments in the D2000/5000/7000 thread. I wanted to spend a bit more time with them, and ultimately these have become my daily driver. I've gone through many headphones, and these honestly are among my favourite. I love how they sound like an open set of headphone thanks to the Acoustic Optimizer (you'll see the space between the cups). This is one of the hallmarks of the Denon AH-Dx000 series (and by extension the Fostex TH-x00/600/610/900, E-mu Teak). Not only do you get an incredibly spacious sound, but the advantages of back pressure for the bass range gives this series some low-end punch. The bio-cellulose drivers are quick. not as quick as the planar magnetic but quite close. There is definitely a sonic character to these that I haven't heard elsewhere (well the AH-D600 also had this but I prefer the AH-D2000).

 

 

Here are some comparisons to the HD650, Sony MDR-7520, and Audeze LCD2.

 

shannon_d2000_sml.jpg

 

 

Comparisons to HD650

 

These make my HD650 sound very sleepy. And its easy to see why by looking at the  frequency graphs. In comparison to the HD650, the Denons mid-range around the 1khz level is quite lifted. The reason for this is prior to 1kHz the 650 has an elevated mid-bass and lower mid-range hump, whereas the D2000 is considerably flatter. Also the upper frequencies of the D2000 are more in line with its lower and mid range frequencies. The result is that the D2000 is much sharper sounding. The 650s sounds a bit cloudy - not congested - just darker. 

 

No doubt, the HD650s are much easier on the ears and you just sink into them after a couple minutes of listening. The 650s could be listened to ad infinitum without fatigue. I also may prefer the 650s upper mid-range over the Denon.   The HD650 delivers that velvety-lushness while still retaining some detail which makes it such a classic. Comfort, the 650 still wins.

 

One thing that makes a massive difference for any testing, is listening volume. The D2000 isn't a headphone I'd want to crank up without eq. The HD650, you could crank up. The D2000 can produce listening fatigue centred right in that 512Hz-1khz range at louder volumes. The D2000 is brilliant at a lower/average listening volume, and its there that they sound more realistic. It probably can replace my 650s functionally for what I use them for - movies, gaming, lounging about, direct listening from iPod, piano practise. 

 

Update: 

The D2000s actually replaced my HD650 as my daily driver. The HD650 is an excellent headphone, but I felt that the D2000 beat it out for practicality (easy to drive, closed design brought more privacy) and sonically (the Denon had more tactile bass extending further, and the highs on the Denon brought clarity that was just too blanketed on the 650). I've owned the 650 twice, and feel that I'll be reunited with them at some point again. They are one of my favourite headphones, and even more than the LCD2, make everything easy to listen to. I didn't need two open headphones and between the LCD2 and the 650 I felt I still need to spend time the LCD2. Hoping Sennheiser updates the 650 design in a better build in the future. Perhaps I should be looking at the HD800S. :)

 

Comparisons to Sony MDR-7520

 

Compared to the Sony MDR-7520 the Sony sounds much more closed yet still impressively detailed. Some may find it 'boxy' but for those of us used to listening to studio cans, this is a familiar effect of their signature. The brain acclimates to them pretty quickly, and soon you start listening to the depth of the music even though it doesn't seem as wide as the D2000. It is much less spacious than the Denon, particularly as it isn't doing any 'tricks' with its frequency range. And it shouldn't, as its designed as a proper studio headphone for mixing purposes. The 7520 has very good bass, and is definitely more accented. The D2000 has a bit more sparkle and sizzle, whereas the 7520 is flatter. 

 

Comfort wise, the Denon is a winner here, and that is one of the main reasons I picked it up - I was looking for a more comfy closed can. Its more because of my large ears, otherwise I think the 7520 is actually a very good fit. The Sony is a lot more portable and also has a removable cable. Build-wise the 7520 is more rugged - with magnesium cups and a very simple but sturdy  headband.

 

I'm going to try not to be biased with 'new toy syndrome' and I'll say that the 7520 gives the D2000 some competition. It seems that somehow the Sony is smoother in the upper mid-range. I do feel that the 7520 is more faithful to what is being recorded but the D2000 is more faithful to what is intended on being reproduced

 

However, the 7520 can be largely listened to without fatigue. Those highs aren't nearly as sharp as the D2000. In my review of the 7520 I felt its performance was incredible, even against the HD650 and my LCD2. 

 

Going back to the D2000 from the 7520 instantly opens up the sound. Everything separates and becomes more spacious. Overall, I'd put the D2000 ahead for music enjoyment, and the 7520 has its place as a studio tool or street headphone.

 

Comparisons from memory

 

I used to own a Denon AH-D600 and I don't recall it being as spacious as the D2000. I believe its bass was elevated a bit more, but overall the D2000 sounds a bit more linear, and less artificial in the upper registers. That said the D600 was still a very good and even more comfy. The D600 could also be said to have a friendlier signature. 

 

Logitech Ultimate Ears UE6000 - The UE6000 have much more bass than the D2000 and overall have a dark tilt to their signature. The D2000 have a much more refined sonic presentation. You can listen to classical on the Denons, whereas its mush with the UE6000 (still a good can, just more for pop and bass music).

 

Beyerdynamic T5p - I really liked that headphone. There again is a headphone that some thought was too bright but I really enjoyed them. Didn't feel they were too bass light either. The fit on the T5p was very good, same with the build. Still, from a price perspective, I picked up the D2000 for a 1/4 of the price, and I really feel they compete sonically with the T5p. Funds permitting, I'd love to try out the DT1770, T5p 2nd edition, and T1 2nd edition. 

 

Some LCD2 comparisons

 

I remember listening to a TH900 at an event and being impressed. Not replace my LCD2 impressed (though close). Now I feel that I have a bit of that magic, of course, for much much less. 

 

The LCD2 are some serious head gear compared to the rest. I've grown accustomed to their fit. But, the D2000s are ultimately easier to deal with. Even though the D2000 cable isn't perfect, it isn't stiff like me early LCD2.1.

Sonically, the LCD2 seem to mix the best from both the 650 and the D2000. They also have the edge on overall clarity. Yeah, they aren't going anywhere. Impressively, I'd say the D2000 is quite close to LCD2 in presentation, with a bit more added presence. The LCD2 have a bit more 'meaty' sound to them. Oh, and with the D2000 soundstage isn't even that much less than the LCD2!  LCD2 on a budget? Honestly, I feel the bio-cellulose drivers compete very well with the planar magnetic drivers of the LCD2. I also find the LCD2 could use a lift in the high-end and the low-end and the D2000 has a presentation that I prefer for most listening. 

 

Put it this way. The D2000 has made me consider parting with LCD2, HD650 (gone), possibly my MDR-7550 in-ears. I'd keep the 7520 for studio reasons and outdoor portability. For open I might get an HD800 to replace the rest. Not quite sure, and when I put on the LCD2 I appreciate them. I'm not going to rush that decision. Either way, the D2000 is getting the majority of my listening time right now. 

 

 

Binaural audio test (using Naturespace app on iOS)

 

Lastly, I tested the D2000 with some binaural recordings of nature. My HD650 has always been the best in this test. The D2000 while not quite as natural and relaxed sounding as the 650 faired well and in some ways better in binaural listening tests. They bring some of the energy on the top-end that the 650 lacked. They are quite realistic, again due in large part to the linearity of the D2000 through most of the frequency range. Would need to test more before declaring a victor but I'm edging towards the HD650 - something sounds more complete.

 

Final verdict

 

 

In a lot of ways, this inexpensive headphone is kind of endgame for me. In many ways this is what I've wanted from a headphone, especially a closed headphone. You can lock the outside sounds of the world away,  be encompassed by your music with all of its details, and admire the overall design. 

 

I guess I'll have to check out the Fostex models and will especially be keeping an ear out for the new Denon AH-D7200. I have a feeling I'd find the D2000 largely give you the performance of many of its siblings without the expense.

Posted

Pros: Bottomless bass extension; extreme comfort

Cons: slightly recessed mids, potential build quality issues

 

The Denon D2000 is a result of a rather short, but extensive search spanning multiple audiophile grade headphones to find my personal ‘perfect sound’ while retaining an extremely high amount of comfort.   My journey into the hi-end headphone market ironically started with a somewhat expensive Turtle Beach headset, and if it weren’t for the extreme discomfort I found with it, I might’ve never entered the market for top dollar cans.  Since the Turtle Beach (DPX21 btw), I’ve owned, auditioned and still keep a number of cans, ranging from Audio Technica’s AD700 and M50, Beyerdynamic’s DT990 and Sennheiser’s 555, 595 and 598.  The AD700 was a direct result of wanting the ultimate in long term comfort after having bad ear aches from the supra-aural fit of the Turtle Beach.  The M50 was the direct result of wanting more bass out of the AD700 for music, and the DT990 was wanting to combine the best of both of those Audio Technica headphones.   Ultimately in the end, still my AD700 remains (my oh my is it ever comfortable), and I’m thinking of selling off Beyer soon, as the Denon seems to have replaced it.

 

Enter the Denon D2000, it is what I would dub the ‘audiophile’s basshead can.’  Even compared to headphones renown for their low end extension like the M50 and some ultrasones I tested, the Denons seem to be bottomless in terms of how low their bass can go, and how effortlessly it can go, it’s quite remarkable.  Before we delve into the sonic signature of the D2000, let’s talk about its fit and finish.

 

At the time I bought the D2000, I was already quite accustomed to the build quality of other top dollar cans, so there was never a moment of extremely high expectations.  I was afraid of the build quality the Denons would provide because there’s a lot of reports about the infamous screws on their yokes coming loose over time.  At the time of this review, I can’t say I’ve had the D2000 quite long enough to ever experience such a thing, but in the couple months that I’ve had it , I’ve had no issues with loose screws yet.  The thing that impressed me most about the Denons was their presentation, it is extremely elegant and luxurious looking headphone.  If I could compare the D2000 to my Beyerdynamic DT990, I’d say it compares favorably.  Beyerdynamic is famous for the build quality of their headphones: They’re all built in Beyer’s motherland of Germany.  The feel and solidness of the DT990 is superb, the yokes and trim of the DT990 is made of a composite it looks like,  and not a cheaply hollow plastic like you’d find on say—the Beats or Turtle Beach headphones.  Compared to the Beyers, the Denon is more of a top dollar Mercedes Benz, while the Beyers could be marketed as a Lamborghini.  The louvers and yokes of the Beyer make for an iconic and exotic appearance, while the Denons are more reserved and mannered.  The yokes and trim of the Denons are made of magnesium, and are extremely light for their strength.  The backings of the cans themselves feels like another sort of composite, and it’s from my knowledge that they have a metal reinforcement inside (they are matte finished too, which might I add is a very gorgeous look)  The yokes and headband are held together with screws to give it a very sturdy look.  Inside the headband are two polished steel band that double up as adjustment for head size (and might I add the adjustment of the D2000 is silky smooth compared to the Beyers—perhaps one chip in the Beyer’s build quality)  Coming off the Denons and Beyers, even the Audio Technica M50—very famous for its tank-like build—looks like like a cheap plastic toy.  The thing that struck me the most in the D2000’s presentation, however, was the quality of its pleather padding.   When I first touched the pleather padding on the inner cups, I could have sworn I wasn’t touching anything at all.  It felt like I was pressing down on clouds.  The pleather padding is the most supple I’ve ever seen from a headphone, and months later it’s still extremely supple.  The actual fit of the D2000’s pleather earpads is bar-none the best I’ve ever experienced as well.  The pads are uniquely contoured to fit the angel and shape of the ear.  They’re very thin at the front, but extremely gracious and well padded in the back.  The pads are concave in shape, meaning from a vertical view, they are at their thinnest on the very middle of their form, to match the natural curvature of the head.  The openings of the pads are just big enough to allow for a full cicrum-aural fit—something which is a considerably huge bonus for me (something like the M50 is marketed as circumaural, but your ears actually have to go inside the padding, the D2000s are true ‘over ear’)  The pads are also cleverly designed so that your ears hardly ever touch the driver cover too, something which a whole lot of headphones have trouble with for me and my large ears.  The Beyers are known as some of the most comfortable cans on the market, but the Denon D2000 surpasses the DT990 in short term comfort, while just barely losing out on long term comfort.  The Denons make the Beyers’ fit very sloppy feeling. (I know it’s hard to believe since the D2000 is closed and pleather)  With that said, the D2000s don’t really get hot or build up sweat at all because of their fit, so nobody should worry about the sweat issue.   So to sum it up, the build quality and especially the comfort of the D2000 is exceptional.

 

As for the sound of the D2000, let me say it’s pretty close to ideal for what I’ve been looking for.  For the longest time I’ve been looking for the perfect balance between the M50 and AD700—the D2000 delivers.  The DT990 was extremely close in that regards, but ultimately I ran away wanting more from the low, low end (50hz and under)  The DT990 is a great headphone, and is perhaps the most dynamic I’ve ever heard.  Compared to the DT990, the D2000 definitely extends way lower, has the same amount of detail and timbre accuracy, but loses out a tiny bit on crispness—which isn’t entirely a bad thing because almost everything out there loses out on the crispness department compared to a Beyer.  Compared to the M50, the D2000 is an upgrade in every sense possible.  The bass isn’t quite as bloated, extends lower, and definitely has more visceral impact to it (maybe because of its 50mm driver and added tightness to the bass).  Songs with super low bass like James Blake’s Limit to your Love and Trentemoller’s Evil Dub sound extremely powerful on the D2000, while headphones like the M50 and even the Studio Beats (yes I couldn’t help but compare with my friend’s) sound very weak in comparison.  The kick drum and bass guitar in Rage Against the Machine’s Take the Power Back are well defined—the kick drum giving lots of impact while the bass guitar sounding controlled and deep.   Some people might fear the Bass of the D2000 is such that it drowns out the mids, but that isn’t the case.  The bass is effortless, as in it extends super deep and with plenty of impact when it’s called for, but is always well controlled and light when called for, so bass guitars won’t sound like subwoofers, or kick drums won’t sound like a monotone 40hz tone.

 

The mids of the D2000 are very smooth and sweet.  They are very timbre accurate—matching the Beyer and easily surpassing the Studio beats and M50 in this aspect, and surprisingly ‘airy’ and separated for being in a closed headphone.  They are every bit as resolving as a Sennheiser, but also more recessed and laid back in the sound signature compared to the Sennheiser.  Yes, the mids are recessed, but still are very robust.  Someone coming off a Sennheiser might notice it and might not like it, but for anybody else, they probably wouldn’t notice a difference.  Although not as crisp in their mids as the Beyer DT990, the Denon’s mids are crystalline compared to the Studio Beats and M50s.  The vocals and instruments in Radiohead’s No Surprises and the Tourist are beautifully rendered.  Each string instrument in Mumford & Son’s Little Lion Man is gorgeously separated and dynamic sounding, giving the song a new life to a couple of friends I’ve had try the song out with on the Denons.  To quote them, it was ‘a whole new song.’  The soundstaging and instrument separation presented in the Denon is more along the lines of an open headphone, and it surprised me very much how much the D2000 could give these sonic qualities for being enclosed.  The ‘airy’ sound makes cans like the Studio Beats and M50 sound like tinny apple earbuds in comparison.

 

I won’t get into the highs too much other than to say they’re very sparkly and not too powerful, but at times they can cause for a bit of sibilance in less than ideally recorded/mastered songs, but it’s something that effects nearly every headphone, unless it’s a Sennheiser with a treble veil to help minimize sibilance.  The highs are a bit more harsh than the DT990, but the DT990’s highs are amazingly bright, which a lot of people don’t like.  I’d rate the highs of the D2000 around the same strength as the M50, but less strident.

 

So all in all, nobody can really go wrong with this headphone, even your typical Basshead who’s after a pair of Beats for only that midbass thump would enjoy these, and the audiophile who wants to hear every bit of detail a song has to offer could enjoy these too.  They’re not very portable and actually don’t seal very well for being close (and really want an amp to boot, but nothing overly robust like what a Beyer would require), but are easily the most enjoyable pair of headphones I’ve ever listened to so far.  They do everything close to perfect for their price, and often they can be found used-like new for only around 200usd.  They are an incredible steal, and something I’d never hesitate to recommend to any person on the market, no matter their musical taste—they are a superb headphone worthy of anyone’s ears. 

Posted

Pros: Nice hard-hitting bass, the kind that'd make anyone smile. It scales with better amps/dacs

Cons: Finding the right amp is stab in the dark.

Plenty of times we try to cut corners and enter the realm only the rich or lucky get into. No one takes the easy road, the results are usually frivolous and shallow ... except in this case! You see, for the low price of these headphones, you finally get a taste of true audio extravagance.

The Denon AH-D2000s are some of the most refined headphones I've ever come across that don't cost an arm and a leg. There's something about the sound and build that just screams quality. It doesn't matter what you're playing either. It can easily be enjoyable playing hip-hop and electronic as it is playing rock and jazz.

I'm kind of a late bloomer when it comes to these headphones. I only heard about them recently and I wish I would've known about them before. I'm playing song after song on my playlist and rediscovering music as I haven't heard before. It could be the lead singer taking a deep breath before singing a verse or even the hum of bass guitar as the bassist gets ready to play, these headphones can be chalked up as a revealing delight. Now, I don't want you to think this is an analytical or neutral sounding set of headphones. You'll hear unheard details, but then you'll be thrown into the nice impact of the bass making it more of a musical (or fun) sound.

Now the design is one of my favorites. Aesthetically it draws my friends like moths sittings amongst my collection. They feel comfy on your head and the construction is sturdy and solid. It sits on my head nicely while the cushions rest perfectly around your ears (and my ears are big!).

Amping these things are a bit touchy, and by that I mean you may not get the "full picture" if you don't use a proper amp. I purchased a nice, yet inexpensive, headphone amp and they sound great. But I was a bit disappointed that they didn't run well straight out of the headphone input of my iPod and laptop. They ran a bit better from my audio video receiver but it lacked all those nice details and bass my headphone amp provided. The good news is you don't have to spend a lot to get good sound. It just has to be better than your average headphone output, that's all. Most portable amps or small desktop amps should be sufficient. If you want recommendations, email me.

When all is said and done, I can't seem to take these off my head. I rarely use my powered speakers anymore (I can't buy a subwoofer because of the neighbors) and my other headphones are starting to collect dust. 

The only real drawback I can think of to these headphones is some people might not like the sparkly highs mixed with the thumping bass. It might seem like too much of a contrast with not enough midrange in between, but to me it's sweet gravy and needs to be heard before judging. These headphones are meant to be fun and engaging rather than neutral and analytical.

Another minor complaint is I feel the headphone wire could've been a bit better. It's stiff and prone to tangling. But even with these small drawbacks, I wouldn't hesitate pulling out the old plastic for a pair. It's not just me either, they have a nice following among audio enthusiasts. Buy a nice amp and perhaps check out the aftermarket support for them (I replaced the stock pads with beefier pads).
 

UPDATE:

Now that I'm on my 2nd year of owning them, I figured it's time to talk about why I have hard time finding a replacement.

 

Here we go:

 

A) Comfort:  With the J$ pads, it feels like two comfy pillows placed right on ears.

 

B) Bass: Love the Bass on these.  With most systems it gave me that nice low bass and no distortion.

 

C) Highs are unbelievable.  The amount detail these drivers push out is to say the least fantastic.  

 

D) Lightweight.   

 

 

Take the lightweight, comfortable ear pads, and good bass and fantastic highs.  Yes, the mids are recessed a bit but the right amp and pad replacement can help on that a bit.

 

I now run these cans through a  DACmini Dac/Mini combo.  While the bass isn't as prominent as it used to be with my old hybrid amp, it is now presented as it was intended.  If it's heavy in a song, It'll be heavy in the song, vice versa.  Just as it was intended.  The decay is wonderful and natural.  I know the amp has played a big part in why it turned out way it is, but it just going to show how much these headphones scale with better equipment.

 

I'll go ahead a futuristic proclamation:

 

The D #000 line will be regarded as a classic headphone and if it get's a new model, it'll still be sought out afterwards.  If they discontinue it without new models, people will start buying then on eBay until Denon decides to bring it back.

 

 

If you haven't figured it out yet, go buy a pair of these headphones.  Get a good Dac/Amp  Tubes=warm and bassy, but lack of micro details.  Solid state = less bass, analytical, transparent (bass, piano, etc. sound as they are supposed to sound.

 

The end.

Posted

Pros: Superb sonic capabilities, comfort, build quality

Cons: without an eq, they are too imbalanced

I have owned these cans for a few months I am reviewing them in the context of them being a 200-300 can.  so im not comparing them to HD800's or Beyer T1 b/c they are not in that league and are not expected to be.

 

I am an ametuer reviewer, so please keep that in mind

 

I should be clear when i say  actually like these cans, because much of my review may sound to the contrary

 

In brief - these cans are laid back and smoothe. quite imbalanced without an EQ but capable of great things with a little patience and an EQ

 

In fact i will say that for the money these are some of the better cans you can get  Sure there are lots of other cans in the $200-$300 price range that sound just as good, but at that point it comes down to preference, and we'll visit that later

 

The major issue with these cans is that they require an eq.  Without one, i am not exaggerating when i say they are hard to listen to.

 

I play a sine wave through all my headphones to find where they are imbalanced and eq appropriately.  These took some serious work to flatten, but it was worth it!

 

they have huge frequency imbalances , which seems to be a universal experience with these cans.

 

Here is how I have to eq these cans to get them to sound "flat" across all frequencies

capturetr.png

 

Imagine all those valleys as peaks, and vice versa, and you can see how they would scream in your ears without an eq

 

The reason i am so fond of these cans is that they are CAPABLE of sounding great.

 

Thats really what seperates average phones from audiophile quality.  Sure each phone has its peaks and valleys, but the best ones are capable of handling much more than their stock sound whereas cheap cans or buds simply cant produce no matter what you throw at them

 

So for the sake of the rest of the review, lets assume we have properly flattened the sound.

since you will probably use them at home anyway.

 

 

BASS: 8.5/10 bass to me is almost purely a preference game.  No two people like their bass the same, and no two will call a "flatly" eq'd sound the same when it comes to how the bass "should" sound.

 

these cans are commonly known for their more than ample bass.  it should be made clear though, that quantity and quality are two different categories.  in this case, these cans have some of both.  though the bass is not totally clean, as it does get  slightly muddy at times, the bottom line for me is this -   Yes these cans have a bit more bass than some people prefer, but the great thing is you can simply eq some of it out and you lose nothing.  The sound quality only improves. and for those, like myself who occasionally like to rattle their eyes, its there when you need it.   The frequency extension is really good.  i can hear 20hz on the hi-fi heartbeat track no problem.  I have tried other cans that didnt have ample volume at frequencies below 50hz like these have, and i missed it sorely.

 

Mids 9/10 - I feel the mids on these cans is about laid back, and im pretty sure most people agree.  This means that the mids are sort of in the background compared to the rest of the frequencies. I like this though and i feel they just sound great, no matter what i throw at them.  I especially like how they sound with jazzy, vocal, or acoustic tracks. 

 

Highs 9/10

Again, when eq'd properly, do very well.  Everything is in its place and nothing gets mushy or tinny.

However, without an eq.. well... ouch! 

 

Soundstage: 9/10  this one is tough for me to describe.  I remeber upgrading from some sennheiser hd555's and being blown at the difference in how expanded and immersed i felt with the D2000 in comparison.  thats the best i can do

 

Build...10/10 this one is easy.. these things are SOLID.  Very well built from cup to headband cord and everything in between.  The cord is a bit unruly though.  While i do believe it could stop a bullet ;-) it is too stiff. 

 

Comfort: 10/10 another easy one, very comfy.  i often forget to take them off and wear them for hours with absolutely no discomfort.... really.

 

Fit: 8/10 they dont fit very tight, again this seems to be a universal sentiment, but for me this did not cause an issue except that they offer very little isolation.   If isolation is important, these cans are not for you.  I should also note that i have a small head.

 

Overall Sound: 10/10 I feel these cans have a way of adapting to my musical needs.  I listen to a very wide range of music from metal to jazz to acoustic to hip hop with pounding bass, to classical to eastern, to meditation music.   I dont feel they really fall short in any category, though they do better with smoothe laid back music than they do with hard precise or powerful music. They are just a great all around listening experience in their class.

 

Portability.  none. Not meant for portability.   These cans are not a good option for portability.  The cord is too long and too thick, they dont isolate, they are pretty bulky and if you turn your head too fast they will probably fall off.

 

I would highly recommend these cans for someone who is just stepping into their audiophile shoes, and beyond.    If you are willing to put in a little work and break out the EQ you will be very happy

 

to summarize again.  a pretty capable laid back smoothe sounding headphone with ample bass, nice sound stage, and a generally Fun and Forgiving sound signature.  Use and EQ and you wont be dissapointed. 

 

If you are anti EQ however, i just cant recommend these cans - they will not be a pleasant experience

 

without an eq i could not listen to these cans for more than 10 minutes.. it just hurt..  with a flat eq, i felt like i could keep them on forever...

Posted

Pros: Excellent Sound, Awesome Build Quality, Fun

Cons: Hard to improve upon

I have been looking for a headphone that mates well with my Grace m903 which tends to sound a tad bright. My HD-650's just did not cut it. I tried a pile of expensive headphones and the only one that I thought sounded amazing was a pair of LCD-2's. Being outside of my price range I searched for something as close to that sound as possible. After listening to many headphones I settled on the AH-D2000 for two main reasons:

 

1.) An employee at headroom has two pairs of them. One for work and one for home.

 

2.) The AH-D2000 sounded as close to the LCD-2 as any other headphone.

 

Once I received them and plugged them into my m903 I realized what a synergy they created.

 

Build: Amazing, light, and high-quality ear pads

 

Bass: One of the best bass ranges I have heard period. Better than HD-650, HD-800, ATH-M50, as well as T5 and T1.

 

Mids: Excellent and well balanced. Nothing was missing or out of place

 

Highs: Not bright at all and the cymbals as well as bells are amazing

 

Cord: As Dave Rat noticed when he received his pair: "one of the best headphone cords I have ever seen" and I certainly agree. The cord is braided and thick enough to survive wear and tear, but not too thick to hinder its manipulation and placement.

 

Impedance: 25 Ohm so every amp out there can drive them whether that are constant current or constant voltage. This is a very flat impedance vs frequency so no region of the audible spectrum is dampened. This is the primary problem with the HD-650.

 

Sensitivity: 106dB which allows you to listen at moderate levels and not feel as though you have to turn up your amp just to get the sound you want.

Posted

Pros: extended, powerful bass, very present sub bass, natural vocals, relatively neutral mids, affordable price on the used market, solid metal connector

Cons: possibly harsh in the treble, bass not as tight, lost detail in the low-end, hard to find the perfect amp, cable a little big, weak isolation

If you ever came across the term ‘biodynamic’, you’ve probably heard of the famous Denon AH D-X000 series.

Driven by Foster drivers, they are known for their extended low-end and dynamic bass reproduction.

Unfortunately the X000 was discontinued in the end of 2012. That didn’t end the era of bio-cellulose diaphragms in headphones though.

Next to new models from Fostex, E-MU and several other brands, there is still a healthy used-market for the older D2000, 5000 and 7000.

While the D5k is a step up and the D7k even more expensive and rarer, the D2000 is not only very affordable, it’s also available in near mint conditions.

I paid 200€ / $220 for my used pair on ebay.

 

 

Design:

 

The chassis, mainly made out of metal, doesn’t only feel sturdy and solid, it also looks like it can last. Hinges are strong, head adjustment stays in place and clicks satisfyingly.

Not like the more expensive models, which are equipped with wood cups, the D2000 was only produced with plastic cups.

Despite being made in china, the plastics used on this model are very solid, thick and have a satin finish, which some (including me) prefer over the shiny wood cups of the D5k and 7k.

 

 

Comfort:

 

 

The angled earpads are made out of some sort of synthetic leather. They offer a relatively big enough opening for larger ears. The foam isn’t too stiff but offers no memorization either.

 

While the clamp is rather weak, the headband isn’t too noticeable and distracting, despite having not that much padding. At least for my head, the D2000 offers a pretty comfortable fit.

A little bit more space between the pads and driver would be a nice feature for my ears though.

 

 

Sound:

 

Coming to the hardest and most important section, i’m very impressed by the D2000s sound.

It delivers what people love about biodynamic headphones, which is its excellent extension in the low-end and the “bottomless” subbass.

I would describe the bass as slamming and powerful, but i wouldn’t call this headphone bass heavy. While the bass goes deep and down to the bottom of hearable frequencies, it isn’t as tight and controlled as its more expensive siblings.

In the low-end, detail faints but is far from a point where i would call it “farting”.

 

Comparing this straight to an HD600 (driven by Valhalla 2), the overall detail and clarity just doesn’t seem to be the D2000s strongest part. Although in the same comparison, the Denon shows where it shines the most, which surprisingly isn’t the bass.

 

Offering pretty natural vocals and instruments from the lower midrange up to beginning of female vocals, while providing a very satisfying bass, just wasn’t what i expected from this kind of headphone.

On albums like ‘Metallica - Metallica’, the recessed upper mids and treble certainly get absorbed by the strong guitars which push themselves in the foreground and the emphasized bass drum. Snare drum and hi-hat sound accurate and don’t really fall behind the bassier instruments. Even in the lowest frequencies, the guitars character is still recognizable.

 

Now to a little more disappointing part, which isn’t the treble as such, just the fact that it can (but doesn’t have to) get a little harsh in certain frequencies on certain songs.

The treble isn’t forward enough to call the D2000 fatiguing or unpleasant on longer runs.

Depending on what you listen to, the higher treble can get a little disturbing on higher volumes.

 

If the problem can be solved by wood cups, which might be able to catch such loose frequencies, is to be experimented. Somebody is working on that and i should be able to test that myself soon.

A perfect transition to a different problem of this biodynamic headphone, which might be another reason for the harshness.

Despite or maybe because of the low impedance of 25 Ohm, it is pretty hard to find a (near) perfect amp combination. I tested the D2000 with my two very different amps.

First of the Schiit Magni 2, suited for the low impedance, but because of its brightness, enhancing the harshness in the D2000s treble.

The second amp is the Schiit Valhalla 2, calming the treble a bit, but definitely not suited for low impedance headphones, even on the low-gain setting.

Can a warmer amp change the Denons characteristic enough to recess the treble a tiny bit?

I can’t answer that myself, but i hope to be able to test it with a potential amp purchase in the future.

 

 

Summary:

 

With a used price within the 200-280$ range, the D2000 offers an unbeatable value in search of an over-ear, closed pair of headphones. Not only with its striking bass extension and bottomless sub bass, but also with a balanced sound signature throughout the bass and midrange until ending in slightly recessed upper mids and a non fatiguing or disturbing treble.

Up in the treble lays one of the only problems of this Denon which is a slight harshness in certain frequencies in certain conditions.

Still, this isn’t enough to make it unpleasant on longer listening sessions. Neither is the very good comfort, which is granted by the pretty low clamping force and relatively light feeling of the just slightly padded headband.

Although i’m not in possession of a very fitting amplifier at this moment, i can highly suggest to keep your eyes open on a well priced D2000.

Posted

Pros: Sub-bass, Good Soundstage, Sounds good un-amped, Fun With EDM, Price/Perf Ratio.

Cons: Long cord, Stock pads aren't great, Sharp treble, Leakage

For the low price point that these now sell at, it's hard to find a much better choice. Its sub bass is powerful and it adds a very fun bottom end to EDM music. Good sub bass is hard to find in a headphone, but the D2000 excels in this area.

 

In addition, they present music in a large but natural soundstage.

 

They are detailed and perform well un-amped! If you do not have a separate DAC/AMP unit, these still sound good. I enjoy playing them straight out of my macbook, with itunes or watching youtube with them, although I own equipment I can use to make them better.

 

One nice upgrade is the Alpha pads, they bring comfort to a maximum, improve the soundstage, and overall just work very well with the D2000.

 

A few cons. The cord is rather long and annoying. The highs are can be harsh at louder volumes.

 

If you listen at low-medium levels, they should not become too problematic unless you are particularly sensitive to treble.

 

Again, my review probably doesn't add much to the available reviews, but I have to say these are nice headphones for the price.

Posted

Pros: Fantastic sound, Mature aesthetic design, Versatile, Solid build quality, Ideal compromise between open and sealed traits, Modding potential

Cons: Uncomfortable and slightly unwieldy feeling, Isolation is lacking for sealed headphone, Discontinued / Price gauging, Requires care to avoid damage

A sadly rare classic

 

The Denon D2/5/7000 line of headphones are quite legendary. Many considering them to be some of, if not the, best full sized sealed headphones to be produced. Their discontinuing was, understandably, much mourned with many feeling that there were few truly great sealed headphone options available. I was quite happy with my HFI-2400, but was after the next level in my desktop headphones. I was lucky enough to stumble across some D2000s in the trade forum for $300, and in good as new condition (and in my own country!). I grabbed them and eagerly awaited my arrival of this well renowned headgear.

 

Hands on

Right off the bat, it's quite clear that these are for headphone lovers. They're stupendously elegant and so mature in their design, it's such a breath of fresh air in comparison to the shouty aesthetic design of so many consumer headphones. These things really are super handsome. They're clean, neat, understated and dripping with class and maturity. They're like a 35 year old businessman amongst a gang of 16 year old skaters; you can't help but take it more seriously than the competition. 

 

Not only does the visual presentation of the headphone lend itself to a feeling of quality, but so do the materials and quality of construction. The metal (I'm unsure as to whether it's aluminium or magnesium) of the cup ring, yolk and gimbles are thick, sturdy and cold to the touch, with a really attractive sparkly chrome finish. The cups themselves are plastic, but sturdy and of good quality, once again with a very good finish. The earpads and headband are wrapped in a high quality pleather (probably the nicest faux leather I've yet encountered) which is very soft to the touch. The cable is an especially nice surprise. It's 3 metres long, and sleeved all the way to the metal jack (with chrome finish) which terminates in a 3.5mm jack with a screw on 6.35mm adaptor. The cable is fixed dual entry, and has a sturdy but elegant little Denon branded splitter. 

 

I love the build and looks of this headphone. It's premium class all the way. 

 

Performance

 

This is where things get very impressive. In short, these are the best performing headphones I've yet owned (which makes sense, they're also the most expensive) but they blow away the open back and similarly costing (RRP) HFI 2400. They're just fantastic. 

 

The bass performance is the D2000's call to fame, and I must say it is pretty damn good, but it's not perfect. The bass levels on on the warm side of neutral, but not dramatically so. I wouldn't call these basshead headphones, or even bassy; just mildly warm. Bass reach is excellent and sounds quite flat to a very low level before rolling off right at the bottom. Quality wise it's very good, but a little flawed. It's very controlled, and actually has somewhat of a polite placement. It's not uncommon for warm and bassy headphones to place the bass right on your lap or in your face. The Denons place them far more naturally in the mix, they play ball equally with the rest of the spectrum. I think this is beneficial, however those wanting high levels of bass prominence and ultimate authority will note this and may find it takes away from the bass experience they are after. The bass is well textured and detailed, however it does have a somewhat loose sound to it. I don't want to overstate it, and it's not what most people would think of when they think of loose bass. In the grand scheme of things (compared to more commonly seen consumer phones) it's actually tight, but I think compared to most audiophile grade cans, it just lacks a slight bit of tautness or focus. It's hard to explain. Nonetheless, the bass response is very, very good and actually quite natural sounding. 

 

The midrange was actually the first thing that struck me about the Denons, coming from the HFI2400. The very first thing that made me go wow was that the mids were noticeably clearer, more forward and more focused than on the Ultrasone. It genuinely made the HFI2400 sound quite recessed and muddled by comparison. The Denon is one of those headphones where you're not forced to choose between great bass and great midrange, you are receiving both. Maybe this will make me somewhat outspoken on these headphones, but I've seen people describe the Denons midrange as being recessed, but honestly I just don't hear it. The resolution and clarity, and just the sense of coherency, are very pleasing to my ears. I really take pleasure in that you can have a phat bassline pumping away whilst maintaining this level of midrange performance. Hell to the yes! Good resolution and detail, with no lack of presence to my ears earns a big thumbs up from me.

 

The treble is similarly well behaved, thankfully. Treble is where things seem to most easily go wrong with headphones in the sound department for me, but luckily that is not the case here. The Denon is known for having a slight tendency to be a tiny tad on the bright side, and I would agree with that. That said, I have absolutely no issues with the treble being too bright, piercing, sibilant or fatiguing. It's just fine! This was the one area where I did notice that the Denon lost out a little bit compared to the HFI2400. Being a sealed headphone (or you could debate it was 'semi-sealed' in the Denon's case) the treble to didn't have quite the sparkly, airy and extra extended properties that are more typically found with open headphones, the HFI2400 being one of those. However, the treble was still of very high quality, and it's far more even than the stupidly uneven treble of the HFI2400, which really is a roller-coaster affair in the treble. Despite the quality being that 15% less than the typical open treble performance at this price range, it's not at all a slouch with it's crystal clear, extended response. It's the best treble I've heard from a closed headphone. 

 

Imaging and soundstage is another area where I would give the edge to the Ultrasone, but once again, not by as much as you might expect. It's pretty amazing that they sound as they do. They're spacious beyond my expectations, with impressive depth. They do suffer from the brickwall effect, but that's quite forgiveable seeing as they give the illusion of space as well as they do. This certainly qualifies them as being more than competent for film watching or gaming. All things together, the Denon is a fantastic sounding headphone. 

 

Comfort and other ergo-niggles

 

This is where the Denons flaws really come out of the woodwork, unfortunately. 

 

There's a number of problems with the Denons for me that make them lacking in the comfort department. Coming from the HFI2400, I had become a big big fan of Velour earpads. I just love the way the feel on my skin, and from a comfort and cleanliness perspective they are infinitely superior to (p)leather in my mind. Coming back to the pleather earpads of the Denon reminded me how gross pleather gets and how little it breathes. Your ears are far more prone to getting hot in long sessions, and the material gets oily and gross. A little maintenance goes a long way though, so if you keep the pads clean it's not so bad. This is the least of the Denon's problems, though.

 

The Denons are heavy, noticeably moreso than previous headphones I've owned. They're listed as being 350g, 60g moreso than my previous most heavy owned headphone of mine, the HFI2400 (which I didn't find to be heavy feeling at all). They're also the largest headphones I've owned. This combination of size and weight doesn't necessarily spell disaster in the comfort department, however I find that the Denons have a pretty low clamp force. Having something large and heavy that doesn't clamp onto your head with sufficient force leads it to feeling quite unwieldy and insecure. I just don't quite like the way it feels, I really miss how comparatively light, compact and secure the Ultrasone felt. The real issue, however, is because the weight is not supported very much by any clamp force it means the headband (and subsequently, your cranium) has to take the bulk of the weight. 

 

This wouldn't be too big of a deal with a light headphone, but since this one is a little on the heavy side, it would need a really superbly comfortable headband to pull this off. Unfortunately, it lacks this very important feature. The headband is desperately under-padded considering the physical properties of this headphone. It's actually very frustrating, I don't know what they were thinking when designing this. It smells to me of cost saving, stingy accountants messing with good design. The headband simply isn't up to scratch, seemingly to favour sleek minimalism over actual ergonomics, and in correspondence with the weight and lack of clamp; the Denons just don't live up to all day desktop comfort requirements. I wouldn't go so far to say they're an uncomfortable headphone, but a hotspot will form on my head well within a couple of hours and make itself quite known. The comfort is lacking enough for my uses that I'm selling them because of it.

 

The other ergonomic problem I have with the Denon is in relation to durability. I personally haven't have any problems, and I wouldn't expect to since I baby the things that I own (especially my audio gear). To make things clear, I'm not saying that the Denons are poorly built, they're actually very well built. I'm of the opinion that durability absolutely 100% requires good build quality, but good build quality does not 100% guarantee good durability. The Denons seem to have good build quality for the sake of luxurious finishings and quality, not for the sake of being rugged and durable with ability to withstand hard knocks. I have a bit of problem with this. Whilst I appreciate the quality of it all, I feel like I have to constantly worry about them. I prefer having something that I can throw around a little bit more and not need to worry about scratching it up or it breaking a joint if I accidentally drop it. 

 

Conclusion

 

I feel like I'm starting to repeat myself here, but this is yet another headphone that I really love but the lack of comfort breaks the deal. The build quality is very nice, the sound is excellent, the aesthetics are great but I simply can't enjoy them enough if I can't wear them for extended periods whilst being free from discomfort. I am well aware that these headphones have a very high reputation for being comfortable, so if you find them that way, they are a damn good choice. I've recently sold mine and have a Beyerdynamic DT880 600 Ohm on the way in the mail, which should be better for me with the comfort (velourpads, lighter weight, higher clamp force and better padded headband) as well as far better durability. I hope I like it's sound!

 

If you can hunt a used D2000 down these days you could be in for a real treat. 

Posted

Pros: Sound quality, fun, comfort, easily mod'able

Cons: isolation

I like it so much. Sold once but bought a 2nd times few weeks later.

Very capable headphones, easily mod'able to perform even better.

Full sound with very good bass response, slightly recesses mids and good highs. Good soundstage for a closed headphones but light isolation.

Very comfortable, well built (never had issue)

Will never sell it (discontinued)

Buy it while you can!

Posted

Pros: Price and sound

Cons: cord tends to tangle

 I used this phones unmodified for about a month and then put Lawton cups and replacement sheepskin pads on them.  I like them better than the Denon 5000 (wooden cups) and the ATH W5000.  Unmodified they were good but modified, I think they are hard to beat.  The Lawton cups are very tough. My don't have any blemishes despite being dropped on the carpeted floor many times. The Denon D5000 do not sound as good to me and are easily scratched.  The ATH W5000 is my most expensive phone and while they are refined, the wood is hard to care for and they are large. Also the wing system of the ATH 5000 (and the other ATH phones that use this system) is very fragile. 

 

The only thing I would disagree about is the cord.  I find that mine tend to twist.  I still have the plastic cups but hate to replace the wood just for a comparison.  But I do think the 2000's are good phones.

 

I did just check the price for these phones on Amazon and can't believe how much they are selling for now.  I guess that is because they are now out of production?????

 

Denon AHD2000 High Performance Over-Ear Headphones
By:
Description:

The superior headphone housing used in the AH-D2000 to produce high quality sound is made of materials yielding exceptional acoustic characteristics ensuring faithful reproduction of the original sound. Compound metal is used to increase density, making the sound more stable and clear. Microfiber material has been used to form the diaphragm so that it faithfully reproduces the sonic details and delicate reverberations that occur in concert halls. The size of Microfiber is approx. 1/100 of natural cellulose used in ordinary diaphragms, and its density increases transmission rates. Optimum acoustic characteristics are achieved by adjusting the sound pressure balance in front of and behind the diaphragm with the Acoustic Optimizer design. To provide a sonically clean performance, a balance of low to mid range frequencies is critical and dynamic clear bass is a must; the Acoustic Optimizer delivers both. High-quality cables made with 7N-OFC copper of equal lengths for the L/R channels are used to maintain optimum sound quality. A cloth mesh jacket is employed for cable protection and durability, and it is terminated with an aluminum covered connector plug for strength and performance. A light-weight magnesium frame has been used so that listeners can enjoy maximum comfort during extended listening sessions.

Details:
DetailValue
BindingElectronics
BrandDenon
ColorSilver
EAN0000817575074
Feature50mm neodymium driver
Height10.55 inches
Length4.96 inches
Weight1.46 pounds
Width8.9 inches
LabelDenon
List Price$349.00
ManufacturerDenon
Material TypeMetal
Material Type Set ElementMetal
ModelAHD2000
MPNAHD2000
Package Quantity1
Product GroupCE
Product Type NameHEADPHONES
PublisherDenon
StudioDenon
TitleDenon AHD2000 High Performance Over-Ear Headphones
UPC081757507462
Is Autographed0
Is Memorabilia0
Legal DisclaimerWarranty does not cover misuse of product.
Release Date2007-02-10
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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