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Denon Music Maniac - A Review of Non-Aural Qualities - Page 2

post #16 of 22
I own a denon 110, I just broke it and the guys at baybloorradio are trying to fix the headband (btw, i really like the sound but the headband will eventually crack, the same hapenned to a friend and even the demo unit at the store has some cracks already).

I just left the store and had the opportunitty to try and see some new headphones, including the new denons. When I first saw them in the website they looked so-so, but now, seeing them in person I was really amazed, specially by the 600. Please don't compare it to the Beats, the denon 600 look so much better and exhales high quality materials. They're selling the 600 model for $500. I know this is more expensive than the beats, but even comparing the sennheisers at the same price range, again, they look better.

It's also very comfortable, it's not light as a senneheiser 598, but it feels good.

Sound wise, I spent 20 minutes comparing some headphones. I was really impressed by the denon 600 and the Grados, I also enjoyed the akg 550, and didn't fell in love with the sennheisers. Btw, I'm not a sound expert or professional.

So, it's obvious that I really enjoyed the denon 600. After my test drive, I can assure they look amazing, feel amazing and sound even more amazing!
Edited by saulodourado - 8/18/12 at 11:00am
post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 

@saulodourado

 

While I won't contest your visual aesthetic taste preferences, I disagree that there is anything wrong with comparing the Denons to the Beats from a construction perspective.

 

I also disagree with your claim that the Denons are of made of higher quality materials. The Denon site specs them as "molded plastic" & "glass-reinforced plastic." Because they didn't claim specifics, this to me means they are made mostly of polypropylene, which is extremely pedestrian. Not that there is anything wrong with a plain plastic, but the fact they had to reinforce it with fiber-glass means they didn't think through the engineering & construction in the first place. 

 

The Beats are made of polycarbonate--a higher quality plastic, more durable, and with a far nicer natural finish. Polycarbonate is what Apple used for the first 3 itterations of the iPod, and even if it is not officially spec'd, the back half housing of the iPhone 4/s. 

 

You are free to prefer the appearance of the Denons--I, myself, have made an effort in the first portion of my post to call out what I perceived as their strengths. However, they are made of obviously cheaper materials, and generally have less thought put into their product design holistically. 

post #18 of 22

^

even though beats may have better plastic, the denons do feel better

when stretching open beats studios, the plastic on them do creak, while the denons are heavier so they have a weightier more expensive feel

the arms on the denon are thicker, while the beats have a thinner headband

post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 

fuzzyash:

I actually agree with you on the point about the Beats not inspiring mechanical confidence. 

 

 

 

In general though, once again, I don't want people to think I am advertising the Beats or even particularly like them. I chose them as a comparison point for 2 objective reasons:

 

 

1. Price point is lower than the Denons, and the materials & design/engineering construction were more holistically thought out.

 

2. They are an example everyone is familiar with. My target audience is the average consumer, and I want them to understand. This is the same reason I often reference the iPhone on my blog.

post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by schmarrick View Post

@saulodourado

 

While I won't contest your visual aesthetic taste preferences, I disagree that there is anything wrong with comparing the Denons to the Beats from a construction perspective.

 

I also disagree with your claim that the Denons are of made of higher quality materials. The Denon site specs them as "molded plastic" & "glass-reinforced plastic." Because they didn't claim specifics, this to me means they are made mostly of polypropylene, which is extremely pedestrian. Not that there is anything wrong with a plain plastic, but the fact they had to reinforce it with fiber-glass means they didn't think through the engineering & construction in the first place. 

 

The Beats are made of polycarbonate--a higher quality plastic, more durable, and with a far nicer natural finish. Polycarbonate is what Apple used for the first 3 itterations of the iPod, and even if it is not officially spec'd, the back half housing of the iPhone 4/s. 

 

You are free to prefer the appearance of the Denons--I, myself, have made an effort in the first portion of my post to call out what I perceived as their strengths. However, they are made of obviously cheaper materials, and generally have less thought put into their product design holistically. 

 

When I mentioned comparison, I didn't mean it literally. You can compare them, both are headphones, my bad.

 

What I tried to say is, most people, including me, don't understand about polycarbonates, glass-reinforced plastic or what is a polymer is. But, most people agree that the interior of a Mercedes feels more premium than a Honda Civic without having to know the scientific names of the materials used. In that way, I strongly believe that if you show both headphones to a group of people, they won't have any doubts pointing out in less than 0.1 second that the Denons look more premium and durable than the Beats.

 

Regarding your comment: "Not that there is anything wrong with a plain plastic, but the fact they had to reinforce it with fiber-glass means they didn't think through the engineering & construction in the first place. ". 

 

This for me looks like a conclusion based on a sequence of assumptions. You make it sound like they used plastic, but because it's bad they had to reinforce it, so your conclusion is that they didn't build it carefully. While this can be true, how are you so sure of that? according to Denon website, they use two different materials: Molded Plastic and Glass Fiber Reinforced Mold. So, there is a scenario where they used the stronger material in the parts that needed it, and in this case there's nothing wrong with that. In other words, for me you're saying that a product that uses steel and stainless steel is bad because they had to reinforce the regular steel.

 

As I said before, I don't know about materials, but making a quick google search I found that the Glass Fiber Reinforced Plastic looks like a very good one: http://www.strombergarchitectural.com/materials/gfrp/.

 

But again, you mentioned you chose this products because they're popular, so the best thing to do is to go to a store and try them. Talk to other people on the store, ask their opinions. I'm sure you'll enjoy the Denon 600 ;)

post #21 of 22
Thread Starter 

saulodourado:

 

Thanks for your further inquiry--it was the goal of this post to get people thinking more deeply about quality.

 

As per my comment,

Quote:
"they didn't think through the engineering & construction in the first place"

I will elaborate in greater detail what I mean. 

 

It has to do with the product development cycle, and how the end product is a testament to the decision making of all parties involved in the development process. Allow me to illustrate my thoughts in the form of a simplified scenarios between three of the affected parties:

 


 

The Part That Almost For Sure Happened & The First Mistake:

Businessman: Hey, Designer! I need a design for these new headphones.

Designer: OK, Businessman, I'll do my best! What are my cost & manufacturing constraints?

Businessman: I don't know at this point, so just do your best to make it look nice!

 

Designer: Hey, Bussinessman! Here is the design that our team believes is right for you!

Businessman: Thanks, Designer, I will pass this on to the engineer.

 

-Where **** hits the fan-

 

How Things Might Have Gone Wrong A:

Businessman: Engineer, please make this design work. 

Engineer: Well, if you want to use Plastic B with this wall thickness and only pay X amount, this armature might not work.

Businessman: Too late, I love this design! Make it work somehow.

Engineer: Well I wanted to build in ribs to provide structure, but there isn't enough space inside the armature, and I don't want to mess up the design.

Businessman: Well figure it out, I said I already like it.

Engineer: Ok, well fiber-glass is the only way.

 

 

How Things Might Have Gone Wrong B:

 

Businessman: Engineer, please make this design work. 

Engineer: Ok, here is a cad model ready for production.

Businessman: Ok, I will make the factories go!

 

Businessman: Engineer, we made the prototype, but it's cracking at this junction point.

Engineer: Ok, let me build in ribs to add structure.

Businessman: Too late! We already paid Y amount for the injection-molding tools, and we can't alter them or buy new ones!

Engineer: ...Ok, that is unfortunate, we will have to reinforce the inner walls with fiber-glass. 

Businessman: That works because its a lower upfront investment to pay for this than new molding tools. Our profit margin is still going to be over 300% anyway. 

 

 

How It Might Have Been Handled Ideally:

 

Designer & Engineer had been talking during the design process, & Businessman was clear about his/her overhead cost goals. This way, Designer is cognizant of the cost & manufacturing constraints in the first place to make the best decisions possible for the product.

 

or

 

Designer anticipated the issue of structural integrity based on his/her experience, and designed with reliability as a higher priority than maximizing BMW-style surface treatments.

 


 

 

As you can see, there are many more ways this decision could have been made better or worse. Also, I would like to say that no single party, Designer, Engineer, or Businessman, can be solely responsible for poor decision-making.

 

This is what I mean by my sentiment that the engineering & construction had not been properly considered in the first place. When design comes first in the product development cycle, which is often, the designers must anticipate engineering, manufacturing, and cost constraints and take care to address them in the front-end of this development cycle. The addition of fiber-glass is perceived as an after-thought or a band-aid because ideally, engineering would have built-in ribs to add structure to plastic. So ultimately, adding fiber-glass structure to a plastic part is not the same as welding a stainless-steel beam to a building structure. 

 

Example of structural ribbing is labeled "formed fins" - (http://plasticsengineering.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/figure6.jpg)

 

This kind of communication break down between the involved parties in the development process is similar to what I think happened to the extension mechanism. It was not communicated to the Designer that the particular Extension Mechanism Z was to be used, so decisions that should have gone through Design were instead made through either Engineering or Business. 

 

Lastly, I would not be opposed to trying the 600's. I don't want people to misunderstand this review as an attack on Denon in particular, but rather a reflection of the industry in general. 


Edited by schmarrick - 8/19/12 at 3:00pm
post #22 of 22

Thank you for a professional review and great detail. I own the Denon AHD 2000 and have not even got 10 hours of listing on them.

When time permits, I would  like to own these.

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