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Denon AH-C560R Photo's, First Impressions and Review - Could these be a contender?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

So I received an unusual Sunday surprise from Canada Post today. Being quite anxious to hear my new toys I quickly snapped some photos of the box prior to unpacking and some initial photos of the IEM's. I apologize now that the pictures are not great, as I don't have the best camera in the world. Here is a quick initial impression:

 

Upon unpacking these I was immediately impressed with the softness of the cable and that it appeared to have some thickness to it. I also thought the carrying case was a nice stiff case that could stand the abuse of being in a pocket or purse. I then plugged them into my ears and all I can say is HEAVEN in regards to comfort! These feel so nice in the ear and due to their design they require ZERO manipulation and tricks! For me this is a blessing after constantly messing around with Monster Turbine Pro Coppers, Earsonic SM3, and Radius DDM IEM's. So does this mean they are perfect? For me a resounding YES, but if you prefer a deep insertion IEM you might hate these (they do not come with any double or triple flange tips either, just the typical small, medium, and large single flange, and 1 pair of Comply T400), but shallow insertion lovers rejoice. Microphonics are almost non existent with the IEM hanging down and non-existent if you loop the cable over the ear.

 

So lets get to the initial listening session.

 

I started out using these on my computer with my desktop amp which may have been a bit of a mistake since these are designed for lower amp sources like my iPhone and had a bit of hiss for those first couple of songs. I noticed the bass was a bit too boomy and uncontrolled. But I also noticed treble with cymbals sounding nice and present and the mid-range sounded very clear with a nice richness to it.

 

I then switched to my iPhone and the hissing went away and the bass actually became a bit less prominent. The treble stayed nice and present and the mid-range never changed much as well.

 

The first album I listened to was Blue Rodeo's, "Five Days in July", the songs were nice and easy to listen to with no sibilance but the bass was a bit boomy, they had nice treble detail and it was clear and present. Acoustic instruments also sounded very nice. The sound stage was not as big as I have heard but was reasonably large.

 

I then listened to Loreena McKennitt's "Elemental" and found it was clean and detailed in the upper mids and treble but found the lower mid-range and mid-bass not as detailed as other headphones and IEM's I have had. One song in particular on this album "Lullaby" has an amazing thunder storm sequence at the beginning which is an excellent detail and positioning test, the 560R handled this sequence as good as most of the IEM's I own with maybe the exception of my SM3 but I will wait until I do A/B tested between these, my SM3, Radius DDM, and my D7000. But from memory these handle this test very well and the voice of the actor later in the song is nice and rich like he should have been.

 

Next came Patricia Barber's "The Cole Porter Mix" I listened to "Miss Otis Regrets". The song had plenty of bass and treble but I found it missing mid-range presence like some of my other IEM's from memory.

 

I then switched tracks and fired up AC/DC's "Cold Heated Man", The song had tons of bass presence and nice crisp treble but again was a bit weak in the mid-range. I followed that up with "Let There be Rock" and found the same thing sonically but also focused on the speed of the music and whether the IEM could keep up and found it did as well as the best dynamic based IEM's I have owned and better than all the cheaper ones I have owned, but it could not keep up to the BA based IEM's I own or have owned.

 

I finished off my initial listening session with Supertramp's "Rudy" as this song has the train track sequence at the beginning which again tested detail and positioning which the 560R was very good at and the song also has piano in it which was not bad but lacked a bit of the detail I love in piano music.

 

So without any burn-in these sound vey solid for their price point of $89 which I paid for them. I will now do a full burnin of 80-100hrs and then do a full review with comparison testing between my others IEM's I still own, some reflection from memory of other IEM's and even a bit of comparing between these and their BIG BIG brothers the AH-D7000, so stay tuned.

 

OH right I questioned if these could be contenders, in the Title... I can't say for sure but these are at least going to be a good contender in their price range and they may be able to compete with more expensive bass oriented IEM's with burn-in.

 

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post #2 of 29
Thread Starter 

OK so this headphone has been a trial for me. I bought with high hopes as I was looking for a AH-D7000 equivalent in in an IEM and in this case a $90 IEM, not a small order!

 

So the question is did it achieve my goal and is it a worthy $90 contender? To answer my first question I can say it's not my D7000 but it does a VERY good job of coming close and is worth trying for anyone looking for an IEM to match up with their D7000. In fact I would say it is a better match in that regard than the AH-D1100 or even the beautifully crafted but overly bassy AH-A100 as it has none of the cavernous qualities of either of those headphones. As to my second question, I believe this is easily worth it's price tag as I find myself liking it more than my SM3 and my Radius DDM's more often than not. I won't say it's better than either one as they both have aspects that are technically better than the 560R but on an overall scale I think the 560R offers a more balanced (but slightly less detailed) sound than either.

 

I believe my impressions covered all the comfort and accessory type of questions except I will say the cables are a bit more unwieldy that I originally thought and they stiffen up something fierce in cold climates like where I live in Canada. They also look a bit dangly for those worried about appearance.

 

Also as I mentioned in my earlier posts these went through a very ugly valley where the bass seemed to go away as they burned in and I can say they never went back to their initial punchiness either but did recover for the most part. This IEM definitely needs to be burned in or people will get frustrated with the lack of bass as they break in. It took at least 50hrs before I started to like these after the initial first 10hrs of burn-in! If you don't believe in burn-in or want to let these to break in "naturally" expect to be underwhelmed for the first month or two, or as I suspect most will simply think these are no good and give up on them before they reach their potential.

 

So after the break in, how do these sound?

 

Bass - The bass reaches very low but lacks a big punch that many may be looking for. In my case I find about 10% of my music doesn't sound as nice as I would like. But anyone with an amp can take heart as the bass is much improved when given more juice than what comes from a typical portable source like my iPhone. The bass also is not as textured as the Radius DDM but is still better than my SM3 both in depth and substance. This is one area I wish these were a bit more like my D7000 but still find them satisfactory for most of my music.

  • Depth 4.5/5
  • Punchiness 3/5
  • Texture and Detail 4/5

 

Mid-Range - The mid-range is ever so slightly recessed but mainly only in comparison to the bass and treble. If I made a EQ graph I would say these are a classic V shaped signature with the center of the V ever so slightly dipping below 0. But the mid0range otherwise is very clean and unimpeded by the rest of the signature (in other words the bass doesn't bleed into the mid-range). In fact some might find the mid-range almost a bit dry compared to other warm sounding IEM's like the Radius DDM. I do find myself liking the mid-range though which is interesting since the SM3 are mid-range kings. If I compare the 560R to the SM3 the SM3 is better in almost every way in this area in that they are more forward and more detailed. But strangely I find myself enjoying the 560R unless I do direct A/B tests.

  • Detail 4/5
  • Position 4/5
  • Vitality/Emotion 4/5

 

Treble - This is the best aspect of this IEM in my opinion. They manage to have a lot more sparkle than both the SM3 (by a large margin) and the DDM (by not quite as much margin). They have a very pleasing sounding cymbal reproduction in my opinion while never coming across as sibilant. But in comparison to my beloved D7000 I do find them a tad short of the highs I prefer, just enough to make them lose some vitality.

  • Detail 4.5/5
  • Sparkle 4/5
  • Cymbal Reproduction 4.5/5

 

Sound Stage - These have an above average sound stage in my opinion but it is smaller than the DDM (and IE8 from memory) and not so centered and yet expansive as the SM3. But I find most of my music benefits fro their sound stage as it is neither cavernous like I find the DDM to often be and more concert like than what I often find with the SM3.

  • Width 4/5
  • Depth 3.5/5
  • Height 3.5/5

 

Detail - The detail of this IEM is better other mid-fi IEM's I have tried but it is also a laid back type of IEM in the same breath. But it does not achieve the same level of detail as the top IEM's either. But it does offer enough detail to be engrossing and interesting to listen to.

  • 3.75/5

 

Musical cohesiveness - In this area I believe the 560R is very good as it does not have any glaring issues in its presentation such as a major hole or being excessive in the sonic spectrum. It also is not messy or inaccurate and fast enough to keep up with all of the genres I listen to aside from very fast guitar pieces from bands like AC/DC and even on those sounds very nice. In comparison to my current line up I find the SM3 to be recessed in both the bass and treble and the DDM while being better in the bass department to be lacking in the treble area. Based on memory I also would say the 560R is more well rounded than the Monster Turbine Professional Copper as it does not have some of the hot spots of that IEM and is better in the area of treble than the IE8 as well.

 

I found myself enjoying the ability to listen to music for hours on end without fatigue but also still find the music interesting and alive. Something I found difficult to do with my SM3 and DDM except for a few genres those IEM's excelled at. Overall I found that the 560R also worked with pretty much all of my music unless the recordings themselves had issues.

 

I hope a few more people give this IEM a try as I feel it is being overlooked by the Head-fi community.


Edited by dweaver - 2/4/11 at 4:00pm
post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 
Ok after 1 night of burn-in the bass has lost impact. So I am not sure what the final signature is going to be like. In light of this I will not make any recommendations on this IEM until a full 100 hours of burn-in is done and I have a chance to do a full A/B set of tests against my current IEM's. Hopefully my initial post has not inspired anyone to buy these yet. Stay tuned for further information.
post #4 of 29

Interesting impressions @dweaver, keep us posted normal_smile%20.gif

post #5 of 29

I am currently using the headset that came with my iPhone and I am really getting tired of them.

 

I want to find a better replacement, but I also want to keep the functionality of the headset button.

 

Does the headset button on these behave just like the stock headset?  Pause/play, double press for skip song, press to answer phone, etc?

 

Thanks.

post #6 of 29
Thread Starter 
Yes it does and my wife says I sound OK through the microphone as well. If your coming from stock buds these will a major upgrade for you in pretty much every way possible. My big discussion and concerns partially need to be looked at from the perspective of my others headphones and IEM's which are mostly in another league cost and for the most part sound wise.

In comparison to other IEM's with a mic and such these are priced about where they should be, if you like a V shaped sound signature these would be a nice choice in your case.
post #7 of 29
Thread Starter 

Review now posted. I know this IEM is not the Darling of the Ball but I hope my review will help bring this to a few more people attention.

post #8 of 29
Great impressions. Thanks for taking the time!
post #9 of 29

Great read !

Thanks for the impressions dweaver, sounds a lot like the 710's.

Saying that, the bass is outstanding on the 710's - clarity is for sure there.

More so, the bass was bloated and messy at first, and the mids and highs were a little irritating.

Now that they have had around 30+hrs on them, they sound MUCH better, with bass being prolonged and not rolled off or messy + the clarity is amazing :)

 

Thanks for the read, it is  REAL shame that you don't have the 710/700/751's to compare it with :(!

post #10 of 29
Thread Starter 

Thanks Totally Dubbed I wish had the 710 to compare as well but just can't justify buying them just to review. If anyone has the 710 and would like to do a swap and compare I am up for an exchange but otherwise I just can't swing buying the 710 at the moment. But from the way you describe the 710 I do suspect they would be a lot closer to the D7000 than these are as the bass on these is a bit rolled off, if so I would have pretty much the perfect compliment to my D7000.

post #11 of 29

of course you don't have to buy them :D!

I just hope someone will let you demo them :)

 

Glad you are enjoying them!

post #12 of 29
Thread Starter 

LOL thanks Totally Dubbed, I know I don't have to buy them I just WANT TO!! DOH This hobby and curiosity are such a killer. But yes I do enjoy the sound of the 560R. Reading Joker's review of the 710, I suspect these may have a more similar bass to the 710 than not.

post #13 of 29

well being a fellow D7000 owner I just went to buy these last night (got them for $42 new).  Sounded terrible the first time I put them on so I let them just play some music for about 3 hours before I try them again.  Was worth it as the harsh highs got better.  So far I'm only one day in on them and maybe a few hours at most and it's settling in nicely.  Is it a D7000?  NO!  Is it definitely better than the Creative EP630 I have...absolutely.  I'm not overly picky being I'm just using these to workout with and they were an upgrade in every way and being able to control the iPhone MP3 player while leaving it in your pocket and take a phone call over them is a nice added bonus.  Thanks for the recommendation. :)

post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 

Glad your liking them :-). I will be trying the SE215 hopefully this week. If they sound better I will post something to that effect in the thread here. One thing though is the sound does improve as they get more use, so I think you will like them more as time goes on. They will never be as good as your D7000 but they do get pretty darn good. For the price you paid they are well worth while and better than most of the stuff sold at Best Buy.

post #15 of 29

Hey I bought them at Best Buy!  LOL.  Thanks to a bunch of reward points I got them well under $100 after taxes.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dweaver View Post

 For the price you paid they are well worth while and better than most of the stuff sold at Best Buy.



 

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