Taking the Easy Road is the Best Road

A Review On: Denon AHD2000 High Performance Over-Ear Headphones

Denon AHD2000 High Performance Over-Ear Headphones

Rated # 94 in Headphones
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Price paid: $220.00
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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).


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.


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