The AH-D310 are Denon's cheapest headphones in the AH-D line. Curious, isn't it? Well, they're not the elusive "AH-D1001 on a budget" (or AH-D2000, etc.). But... But. In the class of $50 headphones they're quite worth the money.
Looks like Denon (or rather, Foster) decided to jump into the "Bose Triport" niche and well, that's what the headphones' layout reminds most of. Smallish half-circumaural headphones, they're barely large enough to qualify for the title. Ears fit into the headphones, but they're not fully surrounded by the headphones. They're more like "slip-in sleeves" for ears.
The headphones fold flat; inside the usual Denon one-cup-showoff box they are folded.
Small cups are the headphones' problem. Cups ought to be larger; the diaphragms are 42 mm. So they're more towards power and less towards sweetness. Ideal size for headphones might be 38 mm., balance between power and sweetness. K-240 Sextett/silver K-141 had 38-mm. diaphragms, AH-P372 have 38-mm. diaphragms.
Isolation, well, what do you expect from almost-supra headphones with thin plastic walls? Compared with my own modded Franken-Senno-Panasonic-RP-HTX-7-PMX-100 they barely attenuate external sounds when not playing. The Senno-RP-HTX7, on the other hand, can be used as earmuffs. But they have two layers of isolation placed in the cups by hand (no factory nowadays even bothers with isolation materials for headphones it seems, except Fisher).
Sound is, well, average. Between the usual $50-70 headphones like AKG K-430, K-518, RP-HTX7, etc., these might have the cleanest sound. E. g. the RP-HTX7 drop midrange badly (they're wa-a-ay towards loudness, so much so they "forget" the midrange body altogether), the K-518/K-81 are bass monsters, the PX-200-II don't have the sparkle, etc. Even compared with PX100, the AH-D310 have a brighter and more open soundstage, though they lose a bit in geometrical positioning. But, they do have air, just not as much as the "big sibling" AH-D1001. Senn PX100 are dark by comparison, dark and distant. Whichever air there is, reminds of a dark stilled warm evening in a claustrophobic German forest. AH-D310 are closed, but they have better treble and more space and air.
But of course you don't get the sparkle and large soundstage of AH-D1001. AH-D310 have a smaller, flatter soundstage, with some cheapie plastic/flat colouring to the sound. Midrange could be better. They sound more like supra-aurals than circumaurals. Again, that's what you get from flattened and downsized cups. They don't have the quickest dynamics either (AH-D1001 are better here too), though they're reasonably fast. And of course there's the classic "midrange bleed" problem that all Asian headphones have. That is, they drop low midrange at around 250 Hz by 3 dB or so. Which is nasty for electric guitars and just warmth. They still need some EQ experimenting, but boosting the 250 Hz slider on a player's EQ will fix the "guitar body bleed". AH-D1001 and just about any Asian headphones suffer from the same.
Overall, what you get is comfy slightly-larger-than-supra headphones with an average soundstage, fairly fast dynamics and no fears about squeezing them to death in a bag (the headphones fold flat). Are they worth the money? Well yes, they're more or less in the same league as other $60-70 headphones. But if you've got a few more coins, AH-D1001 (AKA Creative Aurvana Live) are more like it.
AH-D310R is a version with a microphone and a player/phone remote built in (should work with more than just Apple players). The "R" adds a tiny bit in price, but, sometimes you can get the "R" version cheaper than the micless one.
AH-D310 should improve with a recable, but that's a different story.
Photos will come later.
Edited by Seidhepriest - 3/9/12 at 1:21pm