I'll start out by saying I'm somewhat of a Basshead. These Denon D7000s were my first high end headphone. Some people don't see them as worthy among the other 'flagships', but I think that's completely unfair. They're extremely fun, and more than hold their own amongst the big boys.
This review has been months in the making, so I didn't have any particular test tracks. Here's some of my favorite though...
Netsky - Pirate Bay (Drum N Bass)
Bassnectar - Blast Off (DubStep)
Andrea Bocelli - Con Te Partiro (Opera)
Burial - Archangel (Chill / Downtempo)
16 Bit Lolitas - Nobody Seems to Care (Chill / Downtempo)
Stevie Ray Vaughn - Riviera Paradise (Solo Guitar & Piano)
Jon & Diana Joe Burleson - New Moon Rising (Folk)
Price & Packaging
Now...price on this particular headphone is somewhat of a tough one to nail down. MSRP is $1000 USD, but they can be had sometimes for as low as $750 brand new. The used market is even lower than that. I'm not too sure why the prices are all over with this headphone, but I personally payed $800 for a stock unit from Moon Audo.
Packaging is almost as nice as the headphones themselves. There's no wood box and carrying case like some of the other options, but the box is gorgeous. Plastic shell around the box. The box itself is covered in a brown leather (faux, obviously), the front of which has a slightly padded feel to it. Open it up and the headphones are cradled in a satin-esque cloth, with the cable wrapped in the bottom of the box.
Aesthetics & Build Quality:
The first thing I thought about these headphones when I got them was 'Wow, they look even better in person.' They're absolutely gorgeous. The wood has a great shine to it, and the deep red just makes them ridiculously pleasing aesthetically. Headband is black and lightly padded, and the bars to adjust the headphones solid metal. Aluminum, I'd assume. The first time I took them out of the box, they felt very light, and almost cheap. After handling them for a few months though I can definitely say they are delicate, but NOT cheaply made. Now, on to the cable. I've heard multiple complaints about the cable on the D7000, and I can understand where they're coming from. It gets tangled easily, and is pretty easy to kink from what I can tell. Overall though, it feels nice. The termination is brush aluminum and looks great, and the cable feels good and thick. As long is you take care of it, I see no problems.
Comfort & Isolation:
One of the biggest things I look for in headphones is comfort. I often wear them for 5 to 6 hours at a time, and I'm pretty picky about comfort. Other experiences I've had were the Ultrasone Pro 750s and the AIAIAI TMA-1s. I loved them both, but sold them for different reasons. The Pro 750's headband really hit that spot on my head that just made them so painful after about an hour that I HAD to take a break. The TMA-1 on the other hand were the most comfortable headphone I'd worn to date. For some reason, the unpadded headband and somewhat low clamp force just worked. Onto the D7000 though. It's like putting something made of clouds and kittens on your head. They don't clamp much, which is a plus. The stock pads feel great, albeit a little hot sometimes after extended listening sessions. The headband doesn't have much padding, but because it's fairly wide I hardly even notice is on my head. Bottom line though...these are by far the most comfortable headphones I've ever put on my head. I've demoed the LCD 2, and the HE5LE, and sure they were comfortable...but I don't think the Denons will be beat anytime soon.
Now the D7000 is a closed headphone, so people expect isolation to be better than their open counterparts. While I can guarantee they isolate more than an open headphone, they don't isolate much beyond that. It's pretty easy to head from about 5 feet away if there's sound coming through them when on someone's head. Not the best for night listening, but they'll do for most applications.
And now what you've all been waiting for, the sound. I guess I'll do a typical breakdown for this section detailing things like soundstage, bass, mids, etc. I will start off by saying this though...these are 'fun' headphones. They aren't flat at all, and I like that. I just want great sound when I listen. Overall I'd describe them as warm, but with a nice in your face sound. They work well with almost everything. They may lack the sound that open cans can bring to come genres, but I wouldn't call them a bad pairing with any genre.
The meat and potatoes of what I love in my music. I listen to mainly EDM, so it's also the thing I need to be perfect in my headphones...and boy does the D7000 deliver. They slam, they rumble, and they'll knock your head off if you put the right song through 'em. I didn't do any fancy number test with them to see how low they go, but I've had no problem hearing more than I ever have with all my music. At first I was a little underwhelmed by the bass and was disappointed, but these headphones are now the reason I believe in burn in. They sounded good, but they didn't seem to have that slam SUPER BASS people promised I'd get. I decided to let them just go awhile went to work that day. I came back and it was there. The bass had cleared up and amped up...I was in heaven. Now that they're completely burned in (well over 300 hours on them), they sound great. I'm always worried when people talk about bass because I love it, but I don't want it bleeding into the rest of the sound either. It hasn't been a problem since about hour 20. The bass is wonderfully big, but very controlled when it needs to be.
This is really the only complaint I have about the D7000. The mids feel ever so slightly recessed depending on the track you're listening to. I didn't notice it at first, but as I listen to more music that I feel I know very well, the mids do seem a little less forward than the rest of the sound. This absolutely works on a lot of music though, and I don't want to blow it out of proportion like I see a lot of people do. The mids are nothing to complain too much about, and they sound very musical overall.
Another reason I now believe in burn in is the way the highs evolved on these headphones. Right out of the box they were honestly a little too harsh for my tastes. They've calmed down quite a bit over the full burn in period, but I don't feel that they've rolled of...just kind of faded into their place. The best way I can think to describe the sound now is very clear with nice 'sparkle'. Highs are a big part of EDM for me as well. It's very important for reproducing synths. I have nothing to complain about here now that they've settled down.
This isn't a section I feel I can write too much about because of my lack of Open headphone experience. I will say this though...they have (by far) the biggest soundstage out of any other closed can I've heard. I think the low clamp force may have a lot to do with this, though. I did have a little time with the HE5LE and the LCD 2 though, and I feel soundstage wise the D7000 could stand toe to toe with the LCD 2 and not come off too shabby. The HE certainly seemed to have the edge out of the 3, though.
Gear (Powering & Scaling):
These headphones are really easy to drive, but seem to be a little bit picky with their higher end pairings. I've run them out of just an iPod, but I feel they need at least a little more power to start to really shine. I bought these headphones when I had just an E7 for a DAC, and E9 for an amp. They sounded great with that pair, and I can only say they've gotten better as I've upgraded. I think that the D7000 likes transparent pairings the most because it already has a fun, warm sound. It doesn't need the DAC or amp to change it. I've had it running on the E9, the Yulong D100, the Cavalli Liquid Fire (short demo), and the Peachtreee Decco2 (also demoed on the Nova, but the Decco2 and Nova share the same insidey bits). My favorite was the D100. The amp section just didn't change the sound and just let them fun sound run wild. Second choice has been the Nova/Decco2 (with tubes OFF). Power is all there, and while it gives the D7000 a little more laid back sound, they still sound amazing. The Liquid Fire was at a meet in Austin, and the D700 weren't fully burned in yet, but they just didn't seem to pair well. Couldn't really put my finger on why, but the other people there preferred the D7000 on the Nova as well.
They're beautiful, they're comfortable, and they sound heavenly for almost every kind of music I've pumped into them. They're also easy to drive, and from what I can tell, only sound better with higher end gear. They're near perfect for me, but still feel a little closed with some types of music like classical. I think it's because of the lack of airiness to them. Anyway, I can't find much of a reason beyond that to not recommend these headphones to almost everyone.
So, how'd you like my first review? Did it to celebrate my Supremus status. Felt a little useless without contributing my experience.
EDIT: Spell checked.
EDIT2: Now that I've reached 4.000+ and learned a lot I'll be updating this review soon.
Edited by MorbidToaster - 11/8/11 at 9:11am