The new AH-D1100 from Denon, Japan is one of those headphones you will find at a concert hall or a...

Denon AH-D1100

Average User Rating:
3.61905/5,
  • The new AH-D1100 from Denon, Japan is one of those headphones you will find at a concert hall or a recording studio. Featuring the hybrid resign and aluminum housing to reduce the vibration. The newly developed Acoustic Optimizer adjusts sound pressure balance on both sides of the diaphragm. This pressure balance improves dynamics, bass and low to mid frequency ranges for stunning clarity and detail. The overall headband and earpad designs are structured to stay comfortable. Accessories include a standard plug, 3.5m extension cord, and a carrying pouch.

Recent User Reviews

  1. rjm003
    3.5/5,
    "Good headphone for casual listening."
    Pros - Light, comfortable, clear and full sound.
    Cons - Relatively delicate build, over-emphasized bass response.
    Not every headphone is reference-class, and I don't expect reference-class performance from a product like the AH-D1100 which is priced and designed for casual listening. There are a different set of concerns, and I'll try to judge the D1100 accordingly.
     
    Denon has cleared the baseline here:
     
    1. the jack is designed with a recessed flange so it plugs into in all but the most overbuilt smartphone case.
    2. the headphones are light and comfortable to wear
    3. they look good
    4. the closed back design offers good isolation
    5. the headphones are easy to drive and sound good without needing a dedicated headphone amplifier
    6. the overall sound is clear and and full-sounding, without excessive coloration
     
    There are downsides however,
     
    1. the oval earcups press a bit too firmly into your neck under the ear, reducing overall comfort
    2. the neodynium drivers suffer from the microphonics typical of the material
    3. there is an excessive mid-band boost around 80-100 Hz 
     
    It's a shame about the bass boost. I'm not against the idea of a bit of a lift on this class of headphone, but it is overdone here to the point of being distracting.
     
    Final word about price. Retail in Japan as of this writing is 6500 yen, new, and I picked up a set used for about $40. For $75 or so I'd say they are nicely made headphones. At double that price the relatively flimsy build would come in for more serious critique. I understand and appreciate that Denon were going for rigidity and lightness here, but they feel cheap nonetheless.
  2. DropTheBrass
    2.5/5,
    "Two problems: head size often wrong, too bass-heavy"
    Pros - Very comfortable once head size is manually fixed + decent soundscape once bass is calmed down with the right EQ
    Cons - Head size is seriously off on (some?) models + way too bass-heavy without EQ
    Got this headphone from a friend after he got himself a more "comfortable" one (only 3 months after this Denon).
     
    Trying it for 10 minutes was enough to understand the problem: the headband is way too curved, pushing the earpads extremely hard on the head. My skull isn't really above average and it was starting to give me some headache. So I brought it on my workshop table.
     
    Note: The headache and hinges breaking-off issues only showing among certain users, I suspect Denon had production issues on certain factories or during a specific period, during which incorrect anthropometric data was used to calibrate the headband, or incorrect calibration was done, and it resulted in wrongly sized headbands, putting much more strain on the users and the plastic hinges.
     
    Since there is no way to know if a model got the right size, unless you get to test it yourself for 10-15 min continuous use, I do not recommend buying one without the ability to return it without any additional charge.
     
    A) Fixing the hardware
     
    Step 1: the plastic hinges holding the pads both already had cracks on multiple points, and would completely break soon. Put some glue there and tried to reinforce the structure with leftovers found around, but that's just delaying the inevitable.
     
    Step 2: fixing the headband.
    - 2 screws to separate each pads from the hinges (the grey plastic part)
    - 4 screws to separate each hinges (the grey plastic part) from the headband (the metal curved band)
    - 2 screws to separate each jagged black plastic (used to keep the size adjustments in place) from the curved metal band (the 2 screws are situated on the 2 dark blocks on the headband)
    - took out the central cushion from the headband
    - went to the kitchen with a pair of pliers and kitchen gloves. Fired up the small gas stove, slowly heated up the metal, using the two pliers I slowly but steadily started bending it out (step by step, no rush!), to increase the spacing (evenly, to keep it symmetrical).
    - after increasing the spacing by around ~35% (so ending with ~135% of the original spacing), turned off the stove and let the metal cool down while I cleaned up everything.
    - once fully cool, mounted back the cushion, size adjustment jagged plastic thingies (4 screws in total), hinges (8 screws in total), pads (4 screws in total)
    - tried it: it now fits perfectly, no more headache, doesn't fall off at all during rapid movements either, the plastic hinges seem to no longer suffer from excessive tension.
     
    Been using this fixed hardware for 6 months now, it's one of the most comfortable headphone I had the chance of testing :)
     
    One problem remains: the grey plastic hinges were very severely weakened during the first 3 months of use by my friend, and a vital part later broke off completely, requiring complicated gluing work (two-component epoxy mix for the solid base, cyanoacrylate to then glue the two parts) every 2 months. I'm currently trying to made a CAD version of a modified hinge (to 3D print it) to make such repairs much more easy, but lacking any formal training I'm quite struggling with it.
     
    B) Fixing the bass-heavyness
     
    Simply gathered some graph data on the D1100 using various reviews, then fine-tuned some software EQ configuration (mostly using one general-purpose, one for bass-rich music). I'm quite novice on this, so if you have a better method or knowledge, feel free to comment :)
     
    General-purpose one:
    - 31 Hz: -2.0 dB
    - 62 Hz: -4.8 dB
    - 125 Hz: -4.1 dB
    - 250 Hz: -4.8 dB
    - 500 Hz: 0 dB
    - 1k Hz: 0 dB
    - 2k Hz: +1.1 dB
    - 4k Hz: +0.4 dB
    - 8k Hz: 0 dB
    - 16k Hz:  0 dB
     
    Final words: once I fixed the hardware, then fine-tuned the sound with a software EQ, I gotta say it's a rather pleasant experience.
     
    Accuracy is decent (you can quite distinguish each sound separately, 3/5), depth is comfortable (music tracks display a great range, 3.5/5), there isn't noticeable blur or sever distortion even at higher volume, so I never felt like I was missing out on a better experience. They're not the *best* sounding headphones ever, but they might be a good contender at their price range.
    Cheesedoodle likes this.
  3. Raider0001
    4.5/5,
    "Excellent"
    Pros - Great sound quality at low price
    Cons - bass is somewhat boosted
    Hi,
    This is my first review so i hope u like it.
     
    Soundstage: it is very good, clean instrument separation with some space to spare, just nice to turn on Dolby Headphone mode. I have heard a better soundstage in an open-ear design but this one doesn't include other sources of noises like kitchen or a phone or a dog barking etc.
     
    The sound quality: at beginning i was wondering why the bass is so punchy and overpowered-like, this is fixable by tweaking the EQ so i set 60hz -8dB, 120hz -9dB and 250hz -6dB - oh man how they output 30hz now, just pure heavy bass clean vibrating powahhh (Azedia - Thunder & Lightning, makes extraordinary bass so its not like empty BOom, more like deep vibrating WwWwWw) but for my imagination they do uncover themselves on my ears - not on the stage of the sound because of that bass. Middle range is a bit recessed but i like it like that, because of singers voices most of the time they sing directly in to your ear and not like on actual concert hall. About high frequency - yes there is a lot of that i didn't test myself but i think i couldn't get any higher pitch with more expensive pairs so there is precision and quality and you do hear difference between youtube and FLAC. Xonar DX sound card can drive them just fine but it cannot destroy them - i wasn't able to hit the hard wall even after tweaking 30hz to the max at maximum volume.
     
    Build quality: plastics just look awfully cheap but with a bit of good 3d engineering - hope they wont break after a while (fingers crossed). Wearing comfort is fine not super ultra fine but good enough to not drive me any pain.
     
    So my conclusion is - if u can get them at 73$ or less brand new just do, it is a steal, but be careful and save in mind these might be fragile.

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