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Last week I commented off-handedly that the D7100 was starting to grow on me. I feel I should elaborate a bit on this, especially as I've been using them for another week thanks to their owner's generosity.
In my view, these headphones don't lend themselves to "the audiophile experience." In that respect they're somewhat counterintuitive when approached from that paradigm: they function best not plugged into an external amp, but rather straight from one's source such as a MacBook Pro or DAP. They reward a certain inattention. I've been getting the most out of them by using them as a pseudo-portable of sorts, taking them in to work to listen to in my office or using them for movie watching when I'm at home. My opinion of their sound in general is largely unchanged: still too much bass, too much bellow, too much of an assault on the senses with certain material and more routine, prolonged listening. For those sudden cravings of aural stimulation however, I'm finding they lend themselves to such a task provided one is in the right mood. They occupy the same niche in this hobby as the Edition 9.
Their form factor has grown on me as well. I'm still not drawn to them as one is drawn to a beautiful object by any means, however their design has a certain satisfying lunacy to it. It doesn't quite work, but in that sense it works. There's a definite expressiveness and purity of form to be found in its contours, as if one were looking at a concept sketch rendered on a whiteboard, pulled into the third dimension and actualized. As such, a cursory glance in their direction as they rest on my bed's top sheet carries with it a certain familiarity now; it's as though the "hamburger 'phones" have become something of an iconic signifier. They're like Denon's logo.
Having them in-hand, their sturdiness is more readily ascertainable. I most definitely prefer their cable system---with its forgetful jacketing and detachable connectors that click in place with satisfying tactile feedback--- to the former Denon's fixed, twisty nightmare-fodder.
For better or worse, I don't really see the D7100 as an audiophile headphone so much as an upscale expression of the celebrity headphone. While it lacks the obvious endorsement, it nevertheless carries with it that certain appeal to a particular "lifestyle," part of a new breed of products I've been seeing with increasing regularity: a certain middle ground between these formerly disparate realms of consumerism.
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Come on... come on MF... you can say it.... just say it... I LIKE THE D7100s!!!!!!!!