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Denon AH-C300 Urban Raver and AH-C400 Music Maniac Discussion Thread - Page 2

post #16 of 32

hey, I'm afraid I'd be a terrible source of information/opinion on this. What I'd tell you could be vastly different from your tastes and even then I'd take with a grain of salt.  All I can tell you is that overall, bass aside, I heard the mids and highs a lot more clear than my CKS90's. I don't have a lot of IEM experience, but I forgot to mention, prior to finding out about the C300's, I did test Sony's XB90EX right beforehand, and the sound signatures were much clearer than my CKS90's, and comparing the XB90EX to the C300, they have a similar level of crispness to their sound, but the C300's were more 'spacious' in their sound. It really feels like a big room you're sitting in with the C300's.

post #17 of 32

anyone heard the ah-c400 yet?

post #18 of 32

I know I'm late to the party...  But something came in today...  First unboxing type of video I've done.  Let me know how you like it (it's not a conventional unboxing, but does guide you through it :p).


post #19 of 32
Thread Starter 
Interesting video, I liked it. But how do they sound... :-)
post #20 of 32
Originally Posted by dweaver View Post

Interesting video, I liked it. But how do they sound... :-)


That is a terrific question...  You'll have to wait a little longer for that though ;)  I do like them though despite a few caveats :)

post #21 of 32

Very enlightening...

post #22 of 32

I can post some impressions/a review (my first one, so constructive criticism would be appreciated). I'm actually about to put my barely-used pair up for sale here (EDIT: link), since I'm finding I just don't listen to them enough compared to my home set-up (an AH-D7000). Also, I'm a broke student. Sigh.

My listening set-ups were:


  • iPhone 4S w/ Denon Audio App --[LOD]--> iBasso D12 Anaconda: MP3s @ V0 [no equalization]
  • MacBook Pro 6,2 w/ Vox --[USB]--> Centrance DACport: MP3s @ V0, FLAC (16bit/44.1KHz + 24bit/96Khz) [no equalization]



First off, I should say that I have a TINY ear canal, and that I haven't listened to anything through universal IEMs since roughly 2009 -- I purchased the C400s in August of this year. The main reasons I don't listen to these 'phones enough is because I can't fit them into my ears in such a way as to establish their full effect, and that I haven't been listening away from home as often as I thought I would be. I hope to switch to customs in 2013.

The C400s are very sturdily built, both in terms of its earpieces -- with dual armature drivers in a zinc die-cast housing -- and a strong, double layer jacket cable. Included in the box is:

  • Wide selection of ear tips (Silicon, "Double Solid" Silicon, Comply™ Foam TX-100Ms)
  • Protein leather carrying case
  • Gold plated 1/8" - 1/4" jack
  • Detachable karabiner


Some hardware specs:

Weight: 9 grams
Driver Type: Dual Balanced Armature
Impedance: 430 0Hms (power on) @ 1kHz
Sensitivity: 106 dB/mW
Maximum power input: 100mW
Frequency Response: 4~ 20,000 Hz
Misc: In-Line Remote for control of iPod, iPhone

On to some listening tests!



Sirius/Eye In The Sky -- Alan Parson's Project [MBP, DACport, FLAC 24/96 (vinyl source)]


I chose these two tracks because I always recall the beautiful melodic tension between the left and right soundstage in Sirius, and how this tension is resolved by the time Eye In The Sky begins. Introductory bass sweep is pleasingly transparent, paving a slightly raised floor for the incoming, brighter synth leads and lush string section. Bass lovers should look elsewhere -- perhaps to the C300s or other bassy IEMs -- as the goal of the C400s would appear to be towards reference, rather than providing a coloured aural experience. Not to say that the C400s aren't bassy, however! The deep, punchy guitar/cymbal crashes seem to spill, rather than leak over into other parts of the soundstage, giving the listener an idea of the depth of this stage. Highs are pronounced, bass is clean and deep but can seem slightly raised due to these same pronounced highs. Drums are rather "flat" here, i.e. unmodulated or even dampened in terms of bass or reverb, but I get the same effect when I'm listening through AH-D7000s; I'd imagine this is due to the track's production, rather than the phones. The overall effect of these tracks was surprisingly complex, with a 'deep focus' available to the listener at almost all times, allowing all or most layers to shine through. Sometimes this effect is muted or absent, but it doesn't appear to be the fault of the phones. Virtual soundstage width is great -- voices to either side of the soundstage in Eye In The Sky seem perfectly situated -- but attempts at true soundstage width are not always successful. Still, this is probably because I'm so accustomed to over-ears. If you're looking for an escape from muddy-sounding IEMs, these might be a great choice for you.



So American -- Portugal. The Man [MBP, DACport, FLAC 16/44 (CD source)]


Again, the brightness of the track shines through immediately, with the bass staying relatively unobtrusive except for the periodic cellos. Other than in the chorus, the drums here sound like they could be lowered just a tad, and this may actually be the fault of the headphones (or my tiny ear canal). Soundstage remains pleasingly wide throughout most of the song, especially in terms of the vocals. Autarky of each instrument (contrast) could be more pronounced, as this track sounded more packaged than Sirius/Eye In The Sky, but never muddy. Some sounds are harder than I would like. Listening to this on my AH-D7000s later made me realize 1. the autarky of each instrument is not the fault of the headphones which presents them, but rather the track itself; on my full-sized headphones the chord progression was even more amalgamated 2. production of this track may have been intentionally rough around the edges for effect.


The Herald -- Comus [MBP, DACport, MP3 16/44 (vinyl source)]


It is always beautiful to hear that acoustic guitar emerging out of the softly wailing electric (or is it actually a theremin?), joined slowly by harp and then high female vocals, with each component coming together to sound almost like a softly bubbling cauldron in mystical woodlands. The content of the track no doubt helps with this effect, but the composition could stand almost on its own, at least when good equipment is involved. A song like The Herald was perfect on the C400s, being composed mostly of natural, clean bass, dynamic, often reverberating mids and clear highs, leading me to believe that acoustic, classical and jazz would be a perfect match. That violin at roughly 6:30 was perfectly placed on the soundstage to compliment the preceding guitar, effortlessly ceding to the even higher flute, which then calls to the lonely right side of the stage at 7:30 like a spinning modern dancer. A near-perfect showcase of the C400s' abilities.



Old Thought -- Nils Frahm [iPhone, iBasso D12, MP3 V0 16/44 (CD source)]

This track was chosen for its beautiful transparency and realism as auditioned earlier on my full-sized AH-D7000, and it replicates this effect (to my shock) as clearly as on the larger headphones. With true bass frequencies only being established around half way through the track, the mids and highs had the opportunity to prove themselves; soft piano, mouth organ (?), and what sounds like a glockenspiel are central in this neoclassical foray, which manages to reveals every touch on its several keyboards, every intake of breath from the talented German composer. The soundstage here is again complex, perhaps the most complex of my tests, with the sound of the room itself being a central protagonist of this gloomy, beautiful track, along with the various instruments. The C400s were able to extend the recording room out into a world of its own, allowing the listener to "see" through the walls despite their sustained integrity throughout the track.
The Facts -- Afta-1 [iPhone, iBasso D12, MP3 V0 16/44 (CD source)]
As a track I already knew to rely more on bass than my other tests, I went into The Facts quite skeptical, but was pleasantly surprised at what I heard. The bass here is expectedly balanced and clear, with greater  focus being placed on the mid and upper aspects of the track, which can result in a harder sound than one might enjoy if played at higher volumes and/or unequalized. However, I gratefully found I could still hear all the intricacies of the sub-bass, despite their comparative lack of presence.

Bright Whites -- Kishi Bashi [iPhone, iBasso D12, MP3 V0 16/44 (CD source)]

Holy ****. After auditioning several songs and realizing how well the C400s presented bright music, I thought the very "bright" Kishi Bashi would be suitable. And it was. The soundstage here greets you like an old friend you've been wanting to see for years showing up out of nowhere on an early summer evening with a grin on his face and two bottles of Dogfish Head. I actually turned on the equalizer briefly for this track, just to see what frequency the bass was registering at, since it was a PERFECT compliment for the rest of the instruments (it was -4dB, rarely dropping below ~64hz). String sections on either end of the soundstage sound like an orchestra of little pixies. Vocals are perfectly placed, first behind, then in gradually front of, the two guitar sections. As usual, the C400s rarely allow anything < 250Hz to become more important than the vocals or other detailed aspects of this track, which tend to shine like a starry sky in a place unaffected by light pollution. Terrible metaphor, that, but a beautiful auditory experience all the same.



Overall, the Denon AH-C400s are a great pair of IEMs, despite their price tag being simply too high with a suggested MSRP of $349.99. Even $299 would have been acceptable for these phones, though $249.99 would have been most appropriate. They provide a great neutral frequency response, with greater attention given towards the mids and highs. I actually fell more in love with them as my audition progressed, which is always a good sign.


With dual balanced armature drivers providing a bright, vivid presentation that loves a natural source, the C400s try very hard to live up to their series' name, "Music Maniac", and ultimately succeed. Bass response is detailed and very adequate, but if you are a basshead (EDM, dubstep, certain hip-hop genres, etc), these headphones are not recommended. Ideally, you would be listening to indie, acoustic, jazz, classical, or any genre which attends to a > 250Khz response. Noise isolation is superb, almost too good; if you're listening to these in urban areas, be sure to watch out for what's going on around you. Soundstage often transcends good into great, at least for an IEM, especially when tenor and soprano vocals and/or real instruments are involved.

Build Quality & Accessories
Very good build quality; I can't see these headphones being damaged very easily, let alone destroyed. The double layer cable makes it just a little more difficult for knots and coils to appear, which is a nice feature for IEMs. I'll remind the reader that these phones include a black in-line remote for controlling iOS devices. Ear tips are numerous enough to almost guarantee a decent fit, but listener beware: these IEMS will lose their bass if you don't have a decent fit for yourself! I would recommend finding the right tip for your ear before you do any committed listening.

The Denon audio app (Free for Android and iOS) is a surprisingly well-crafted piece of software, as well. The main features are an entirely customizable graphic equalizer and real-time spectrum analyzer, with access to international and local web radio via TuneIn and the ability to create and save custom playlists. I now use Denon's app more often than the standard Music app.

Thanks for reading! Constructive criticism and feedback is welcome.

Edited by DaftMonk - 12/9/12 at 4:30pm
post #23 of 32

i planned to buy denon AHC-260 could yu please tel me is that good for that price??

post #24 of 32

Just guillotined my cable under a rowing machine at the gym... plastic layer got ripped but the metal layer is intact and the cable seems fine!

post #25 of 32

Denon AH-C300 Brief Impressions


I'll start by saying this.  If I had paid full retail price for these, I would have been pretty dissappointed, based on my first impressions.  At £50 though I am quite happy so far.  The earphones are pretty big, though they are fairly light, as are mainly made of plastic.  Cable quality is nice (blows mh1c out of the universe lol).  Ergonomics is a bit of an issue with these - they require some adjusting to match your ear shape or can be used without the wings altogether (albeit less securely).  My very initial (simple lol) out of the box sound impressions:


They have subwoofer like bass.  I think they firmly fit in the "basshead" category of iem's.  It hits hard with slam, can be "boomy" if the track is mastered as such (some hip hop).  If there is a lot of bass/sub bass on the track it will be loud and clear at the forefront - a detailed sounding bass it is though.  Details are there in the mids and highs.  Clarity is pretty good considering the amount of bass present.  These seem faster than the mh1c's in the bass department, but there is more of it (better with metal).  Guitars/strings sound quite nice and realistic (compared to mh1c and ckm500), as do cymbals and keyboards/pianos.  High's are tamed compared to my ckm500's, not as much sibillance.  Soundstage seems quite big (a movie test may help me determine this).  Overall they are quite good.  I may post some more impressions after a break-in period.


Btw, impressions were taken from a Dell PC as sound source.

Edited by Head-Fier - 3/27/13 at 9:14am
post #26 of 32

A fellow basshead has suggested I give these a try.


Can anyone give me a good comparison between the Hippo VB (currently own an love) versus the Denon C300?


It's important to note I use the bassiest plate on the Hippo, to be clear on my expectations of BASS.

post #27 of 32

Do the C300s have a forward and rewind function (for apple)?

post #28 of 32
Originally Posted by toriko759 View Post

Do the C300s have a forward and rewind function (for apple)?



Home of the Liquid Carbon, Liquid Crimson, Liquid Glass, Liquid Gold and
Liquid Lightning headphone amplifiers... and the upcoming Liquid Spark!

post #29 of 32
This is a old thread I know. But I want to give the ah-c400 some well deserved love smily_headphones1.gif absoulutly a great iem. smily_headphones1.gifsmily_headphones1.gifsmily_headphones1.gif
post #30 of 32
Originally Posted by pacman46 View Post

This is a old thread I know. But I want to give the ah-c400 some well deserved love smily_headphones1.gif absoulutly a great iem. smily_headphones1.gifsmily_headphones1.gifsmily_headphones1.gif


I concur.  It's so underrated that it's a diamond in the rough.  Bassheads need not apply, but for anyone that wants mids, mids, mids, detail, detail, detail, I would suggest the C400 without hesitation.

Home of the Liquid Carbon, Liquid Crimson, Liquid Glass, Liquid Gold and
Liquid Lightning headphone amplifiers... and the upcoming Liquid Spark!

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