*** Denon AH-D1100***
Type: dynamic type
Impedance: 32 ohm
Largest input: 1,300mW
Playback frequency: 5 - 37,000Hz
Cord/code length: 1.3m OFC litz wire
Plug: diameter 3.5mm gold plated stereo mini-plug
Lets keep this review short and to the point :)
The D1100 is the bass heavy cousin of the famous D1001 ( D1k ) that is well loved around these parts and considered one of the best low budget portable sets available. The new D1100 is not as balanced across the board as the D1k is, meaning it is very bassy and has some harsh sibilant highs, where as the D1k was smooth in all areas.
Lows -The D1100 is a bass heads dream. It has been years since I have heard this much bass in a portable set that is this size. It hits hard and deep, is extremely large sounding and very thick. The low end is always present, meaning even when my EQ settings are toggled to 0 on the low end, the powerful bass is STILL THERE. This can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on the listener. If you are a bass head, this set is for you. If not, I would suggest the D1001 over this is you are eye balling the Denon Brand.
Mids - They seem distant to me, I guess recessed is the word to use. They are not so forward but they are very clear and spacious. Nothing spectacular here, just good and certainly not lacking in a quality sense. I prefer a forward sound, and the D1100 definitely fell short a little in the forwardness of the mids.
Highs - Well, they are pretty harsh and even piercing sometimes a'la Grado. They are extremely tinny and sharp. I could go as far as to call them ugly. They extend really high, more so than most portable sets I have ever listened to. However, for certain genres they perform on a grand scale, more about this in the presentation area.
Presentation- Remember way back when I said the highs perform on a grand scale only in certain genres ? ( lol ) Well, depending on the genre being played, it performs on a extremely great level. The set is somewhat versatile, it is actually not that great for rocking out believe it or not and at least to my ears handles CLASSICAL music better than anything. The highs are tinnish and not sparkled or enjoyable for vocals, there is a lot of hissing on any word with an S in it, however again in instrumental songs with no vocals, the set performs admirably.
Soundstage - The stage on the d1100 is very deep, meaning it has some good layering in Stage Forward, but the overall height and width of the set is average, immersion is also on the low end and does not do a great job in putting you inside of the music so to speak. It is definitely rounded in shape. Sets like the Phiaton MS400 have a much smaller stage, and the M50 has a larger stage, however the D1100 has a noticeably deeper stage than all of them. In fact, its the deepest stage on a small portable set I've ever used.
Final thoughts - This could be the M50 killer in disguise, buy my experience in audio tells me this set will never pick up like the M50 has. I prefer the sound of this set to the phiaton ms400 as well as the M50, I think sound quality is on par with them but the stage and presentation is more enjoyable and full sounding. The m50 stage is bigger, airier and sounds different in terms of coloration, the D1100 is a more colored set but not by too much. Even though the ms400 is my favorite portable set of all time, it suffered from serious staging issues that were found in the D1100....
However...the D1100 has a weird shape in the headband and I am really not at all fond of it. It is very comfortable and the pads are great ( easy detaching pads AND the back side plate...possible woody coming soon? ) but it is literally shaped like a football, Stewie from family guy would love this set. Near the earpads swivel mechanism, there are weird
< > shapes. I have no idea why anyone would design a headband like that, but I am happy it is very comfortable, but not a set I would use outside in fear of looking like a radar dish, the space between your head and the band itself is small, but caused me to not want to take them out. Comes with a tank like extension cord, short stock cable and a nice bag case.
8/10 value and kitten approved