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Over-Ear item created by jacksonchansf, May 31, 2012
Pros - Bassy, deep & wide soundstage, comfortable, come with high quality cables, easy to drive.
Cons - Huge, look ridiculous, not very natural tonality
A great purchase for under 180 pounds, these headphones blow the direct competition away when it comes to almost everything.
They arrive in a nice premium package with a thick, high grade cable for home usage and a smaller one with microphone for portable usage. They are very large and do look a bit incongruous in public, but they are clearly well made from premium materials, sturdy and not too heavy. They are very comfortable, with thick earpads and the weight is evenly distributed towards the sides of the head.
They have a very low impedance so can be powered to uncomfortable volumes even with a portable source, though as ever a powerful amp improves fidelity. The sound of these 50mm driver packing headphones is not particularly natural but is certainly fun.
In terms of frequency response, they are bassy and perhaps a little boomy not to an uncontrolled degree , they rarely distort or gets in the way of the midrange and highs, which are clear, and present if a little on the metallic side. If the bass level seems too much, this can be rectified with gentle equalization. The sound-stage on these is fantastic, almost as good as an open backed headphone, with plenty of width, depth and precision. They are slightly on the "relaxed" side for an audiophile set, in terms of attack and decay but should be fast enough for most genre's of music to come over with purity.
All in all a very worthwhile purchase. It's a shame they are no longer easily available.
Pros - Easy to drive, Tight and controlled bass. Very soft ear pads though can get hot over time. Nice soundstage.
Cons - Tooooo big. Sibilant. Mids are slightly recessed. Very "V" shaped.
So I got this headphones used on Amazon for €170 which I think is a pretty good deal. I mostly listen to alternative metal and rock. ( Korn, Deftones, Radiohead, System of a Down, etc.. )
Screams Premium. Nice box with soft clothing, two cables ( iPod compatible and a 3m long OFC cable ) and a decent carry case.
Looks a bit like the beats from the side. But it is very big and heavy (sorry smallheads). The ear cups are very soft but can get hot after long use.
These headphones are really good at the first listen when directly compared with the HD600s since it has a heavier bass (controlled and tight, which doesn't bleed into the mids)
Spend more time of with these I find that the mids are slightly recessed (lacking in detail).. not really too much but it is simply not comparable to HD600s (of course these are not mid centric phones)
The treble is not too much that it might get fatiguing but it is in the right proportion. It is also sibilant on many recordings I tested.
A very decent soundstage for a closed back. Almost similar to the HD600s.
Though these are 32ohms and can be driven by phones and iPods. I tried to use it on my Marantz HD DAC1 and it sounded a bit better/fuller.
Maybe my ears are tuned to HD600s and so these sound harsh to me both on the bass and treble side. But it does not mean these are bad headphones but I simply think these are not worth the premium price for the new ones. Find good used ones and you wont regret it.
Pros - Bass extends very low and has great clarity, sounstage is wide, comfy phones, quality build, packaging and accessories are excellent.
Cons - Mids are slightly recessed, not very portable but has cable for it, it LOOKS like beats, somewhat heavy, full MSRP
The Denon AH-D600:
First thing you notice when getting the headphone is it's fantastic packaging. From the outer sleeve sleeve to the actual fold box, everything speaks quality from a reputable company. In a world of packaging having as much importance as the actual product, Denon does not disappoint. Opening the package displays the beautifully crafted headphone on a silk bed, something you'd expect Sony to do and something of a throwback to the yesteryears. The cables, adapter, travel bag, and documentation are underneath the bedding and are also as pleasantly packed.
The actual headphones themselves scream quality made. The cups, the leather headband cushion along with the super premium ear pads with white stitching. The feel of the headband might seem similar to one juggernaut headphone company that sells mostly hype and a bass-heavy sound but everything else is a clear step up, by a mile. Putting the headphones on, you feel your ears wrapped by the pads and the comfort of the leather against your skin. You also notice that it isolates the outside world very well and this would be something you can wear in loud surroundings like public transportation, albeit a bit showy for the more reserved but isolation wise it's fantastic. And for those that don't mind showy, you'll separate yourself from the rest with the words clearly marked DENON.
Taking out the cable from the packaging, you notice the custom looking thicker cable made for home use is something most head-fi members will paying upwards of $150-$200 for, if not more. No need spending as much as the headphone to have a nice cable here and really something all headphone companies should catch on. The thinner mobile use cable has the Apple product controls built-in and is shorter in length, perfect for the traveling audiophile!
Now the important stuff, sound:
The Denon AH-D600 has a V shaped sound, making it a fun headphone. The bass is absolutely tremendous and well executed. It has great impact, presence, and extends LOW. 20hz on the new Chesky sound bites? No problem and well presented! On the heartbeat bass test the D600 outperforms the HE4 out of the Project Ember and that's saying something. I would say bass quality is of the HE400 if not better (although this comparison is from extended memory).
With the prominent bass, the mids are are untouched albeit being recessed in the V signature. Not to the point where you are missing parts of your music but enough to notice it is a step back in the stage around other instruments. This might not be the go-to headphone for music that is meant to have pronounced vocals but for movies where vocals are very important it works fine and well audible. If a V signature puts you off, read the brief source pairing below that might change your mind. The highs are well extended without sibilance, airy but presented a bit on the thin side. It has great detail and clarity.
Something that strikes me on this headphone is it's great amount of clarity. Coming from a good source of music and chain it really presents above the level of mainstream headphones while having that mainstream sound signature. About the recessed mids, when I plugged this directly into the NFB12 the highs seem more level with the mids and now you have basically a warm phone with excellent bass extension. The highs still extended well but doesn't have that thin sound when coming from a neutral or bright source. It could be the way Denon has tuned this headphone, which is for for Apple devices and their warm signature.
Conclusion. If you like a mainstream headphone, something that has excellent build and sound of an audiophile company but has the popularity and fashion to back it, these are the go to. They're great for anything that calls for good bass. I wouldn't call them bass-head levels as they do the bass gracefully even if it's prominent but for those looking for a flat or something with a more reference bass probably should keep looking elsewhere.
Pros - Clarity, resolution, detail, smoothness, deep bass that is in general tight and well controlled, very easy to power, great quality cable, value.
Cons - Slight bass resonance, slighlty "off" tonality in the mids, highs can be sibilant sometimes, too big and bulky, resulting in loose fit.
When I bought these headphones about 2 months ago, I didn't expect much and I bought them without trying them out. It was an impulse buy to be honest, they were on a considerable discount and I just could not resist it.
Having no previous experience with Denon headphones (what I know about them came from reading the reviews of the old Dx000 series), and looking at the box design, I expected a bass heavy, V-shaped, "modern sounding" headphones designed for modern music, not really an audiophile grade sound. I'm happy to say I was pleasantly surprised.
PACKAGING & ACCESSORIES:
The headphones come in a hard cardboard box, the inside lined with black foam and bronze colored silky cloth. Headphones are well protected inside during transport and there's no risk of damage. It comes with a carrying bag that feels sort of small for the D600's, it's the exact same bag that comes with cheap Denon's from the new D series, I would personally never use it, but I guess it's all right.
The headphones come with two cables, one short, thin, rubbery and cheap feeling cable with an Apple remote on it that probably nobody will ever use, and the other, long, thick, high quality braided cable. It really is a high quality feeling cable, very soft, doesn't tangle at all and it has nice high quality gold plated jacks on the ends, with the 3.5mm stereo jack made out of aluminium. Probably the nicest cable of any headphone I've owned so far.
BUILD & COMFORT:
These headphones are made mostly out of plastic. Apart from the metal inside the headband and the round aluminium plates on the sides of the earcups with Denon written on it, everything is made out of plastics. It's pretty solid, and might fool you to think it's metal at first since it's strangely cold to the touch and has metalic texture to it, but it's plastic. But because of that they're fairly lightweight relative to their huge size. As far as the actual build quality goes, it's good, they feel solid, there's no rattling, no squeaking, headband adjustment mechanism operates smoothly (even though it's a bit too loose when headband is not stretched apart).
Earpads and headband are covered with protein leather which looks and feel real, it's very smooth and soft and has a premium feel to it. Actual pads are made out of memory foam and they're extremelly soft, and the same is true for the headband which never feels like it ran out of padding.
The comfort of these headphones is generally good. I say generally because it does have a few issues. Headband is soft, earpads are soft and very big, the earcup is very deep and has plenty of room in all directions even for my huge ears. There is also no problem with wearing glasses while using the headphones since the earpads are so soft.
The issue with comfort is actually in the size and fit. The headphones are HUGE, they look ridiculous on the head, and even though they're lighter than you'd think, they're still heavier than most full-size headphones. Also, they don't fit well. They're not uncomfortable to wear, but they don't fit like a glove like some other headphones do...like Beyerdynamics for example. The clamping force on the D600's is virtually non-existent, combine that with their weight and size, and they don't feel secture on the head, and that is something that I hate. Not being able to move my head freely because headphones will move as well and ruin the seal / change the sound is not good. These are definetly headphones that you put on your head and sit still in a comfy chair while listening to music.
I'm not saying these are uncomfortable headphones, but to me, high comfort doesn't just mean soft earpads, but perfect fit and feel. For example, Beyerdynamic T1's feel like a tailored suit, you put them on, and they feel like they're made for your head, they feel incredibly light even though they're actually heavies than D600's (that's because they have a very low profile, close to the head), very comfy and don't feel like a huge piece of hardware on your head, but like a part of you. That is very important for psychoacoustics as well, and ignored by a lot of people. You'll never really get lost in the sound if the headphones constantly remind you they're on your head.
This is the interesting part. As I said, I expected a V-shaped modern sound, but actually got something completely different.
These headphones are fairly neutral sounding. Yes, they do have a somewhat elevated bass, and yes, the highs are slightly above neutral as well, but they're still within the borders of what can be considered neutral. Since I've used them quite a lot in combination with T1's, and they're sort of similar in some ways, I'm going to compare them in some aspects as well.
The bass extends really deep, it's flat sounding, there's no bumps or dips in the bass response and it's well textured for a closed back headphones. It's slightly elevated relative to the midrange, but only enough to give it some more life. It never feels like it's overwhelming the rest of the sound, and it's well separated from the mids. However, as with almost any closed back headphones, it does suffer from some minor mid-bass resonance. If this was a cheap headphone, you would not notice it, since the rest of the sound would not be clean enough to highlight the problem, but when the mids and highs and as clear as on the D600's, this resonance and slight lack of tightness can sometimes be a minor problem, but in general bass is fairly quick and well behaved and most of the time tight and solid. When playing some really punchy bass at really high volumes, there is some minor distortion to it, but not due to drivers, but due to earcups. It's actually a "boooiiingggg" sound that you can hear after the bass hits, but it's only really present on extreme volumes that nobody is going to listen at.
Mids are very clean and clear sounding. There's just a sense of purity and resolution in the mids that feels great and give a good "you're there" sensation for closed back headphones. They're very vivid and colorful sounding. These are not headphones that nail the tonality, as they can sound slightly nasal and slightly "wrong" in terms of tonality sometimes (out of the box the problem is much more present than after some running in), but in general, the mids are very, very detailed, well textured and transparent enough for the price of the headphones and their closed type. They can feel ever so slightly thin sometimes, but you can't have it all.
Highs are again very slightly elevated, but very clean, fast and sparkly sounding, with none of that metallic tizzy sound, even though they can be very slighlty sibilant with some recordings. Again, not exactly perfectly natural sound in terms of tonality, maybe slightly "enchanced" to make it sound more hi-fi, but it works and the general sense is the same as with the mids. What strikes you first is the amount of clariry and resolution in the sound, and how vivid and engaging the sound is because of it. Detail is also exceptional. In fact, these are the first headphones that I've bought in the last year that actually made me hear things in recordings that I've never heard before, and among all those headphones are T1's as well. I'm not saying the D600's are more detailed than T1's, but their "enhanced clarity" makes it feel that way and microdetail in music pops out more clearly. When I heard those news pops and crackles in the music with D600's, I switched to T1's and could hear it as well, but I had to really focus on it, while with D600's it would just pop out. It's the same as the case of HD650 vs K701. K701's are not more detailed, but you can hear those details more clearly and focus on them more easily. The good thing is, D600's manange to do that in a very musical fashion. They do not sound like analytical headphones at all, they are fun and musical, yet their levels of detail and resolution surpasses a lot of headphones that do sound analytical. DT880's come to mind here as well.
Soundstage and imaging are impressive for closed back headphones. They don't have the depth or the frontal projection of the sound up the levels of the T1's, but the width and height of the soundstage is comparable, if not superior to the T1's in the sense of creating an atmosphere around you. This is really good in movies and you can tell Denon knows what they're doing when it comes to that, having loads of experience when it comes to home theaters. Imaging is great for closed back headphones at this price, superior to something like DT880's or K701's and definitely a good few steps ahead of the DT770 80's and M50's , but clearly behind T1's. When I say clearly I don't mean that D600's are crushed by the T1's, but the imaging is not as good, although it never feels like it's lacking. It's only after I switch to the T1's that I notice a new level of coherence and precision in the placement of various sounds that was not present before. Still, very impressive for closed back headphones at this price.
Because of the slightly elevated highs and a slightly "off" tonality in the mids though, as well slight resonance in the mid-bass sometimes, they lack the coherence and smoothness of really good open-back headphones. They don't have the coherency and don't put all the elements of music together with as much finesse, and they don't separate the sounds quite as good as equally priced open back headphones. They're not as effortless to listen to.
These are still very smooth sounding headphones, there's no audible harshness, but it's still clear that these are not flagship headphones. Compared to flaghsip headphones such as the T1's that becomes clear after some more focused listening. Even though they're smooth, musical and atmospheric sounding, they're still a step behind the T1's in all those terms. What I'm about to say might make the D600's look bad, but taking them off and putting T1's on feels like a relief on the ears. The sound of the T1's flows in such an effortless manner that it's clear they're superior headphones. Again, technically looking, in terms of resolution, clarity and detail, there's not much between the two, they're pretty even with T1's being ever so slightly ahead, but in terms of their presentation, D600's are behind a step. Still, very good compared to other similar headphones and I don't want this unfair comparison with the T1's to ruin your view of the D600's.
In general, if I were to describe the sound in a few words, it would be: clear, pure, very detailed, very high resolution, spacious. These are the things that I notice first and strike the strongest impression when I put them on, and again, in those categories they hold their own against even the T1's. After some time, slight sibilance in the highs, slight resonance in the bass and sometimes a slight nasal quality of the mids can be noticed in some music when switching between them...but then again, T1's nail the tonality, so almost everything sounds slightly wrong when directly compared to them, so take this with a grain of salt. When you adjust to the D600's after some time, they sound perfectly natural and believable, and have a good atmosphere and "you're there" feel to them.
AMPING: This is a category that might potentially make these headphones winners. The thing is, these headphones are EXTREMELLY easy to run. Literally, plug them into RCA outputs of your DAC trough a RCA-->3,5mm adapter, control the volume digitally from your PC, and they sound as good as they can. Plug them into an iPhone, and they sound amazing. In fact, I prefer the sound of them plugged into an iPhone 4S than when they're used with the Musical Fidelity M1DAC and M1HPAP, which is a close to 2000 dollar combo. They sound tigher and more coherent out of an iPhone, less juice that makes them ever so slighlty leaner on the bass might be the reason.
Of course they can play louder out of an amp, but they go plenty loud without an amp, and they do sound a tiny bit more open and full, but nothing even remotely worth paying close to 2000 dollars for...not even 100, that's how small the difference is. They also play equally good out of high output impedance sources such as integrated amplifier headphone outputs. The high output impedance doesn't seem to bother them at all and there are no noticable changes in sound when plugging them into an Onkyo A-5VL amp, which suggests they have a flat impedance/frequency curve.
This is the thing....that's what makes these headphones cheaper than they actually are, because you're only paying for the headphones, not the headphones and a setup to go with it. As long as you have a smartphone, receiver, integrated amp, a DAC or a decent soundcard, you're at 95% of their potential and not losing out anything major if you don't have a separate headamp.
All in all, very good headphones. Their biggest flaws are size, loose fit, slight nasal quality to the mids, slight resonance in the mid bass when playing really bass heavy music at really high volumes, and slightly "enchanced" highs that can sometimes increase the amount of sibilance and give some listening fatigue (which is in general low) rather than more detail.
One last thing to note is that these are one of the few headphones where I actually noticed a significant change in the sound during running in. First 10 hours are critical.
Pros - Enveloping, rich sound. Not shy on bass, but still tight. Massive, comfortable earpads. Great in-line microphone cable as well as "pure" long cable.
Cons - Much heavier and bulkier than Monster Inspire, MSRP is too high.
I'm in a good place. Three days ago I bought a pair of Monster Inspire headphones, which I find to be tremendous. However I let my wife try them on and I could sense a tinge of envy; I knew that I needed to have two pairs of premium cans in the house. I decided that I could solve that problem by upping the acoustic ante—by buying a pair of Denon AH-D600. I'm glad I took the plunge, because I find the AH-D600 to be equally enjoyable, compared to the inspire. I also have a pair of AKG 701 and I prefer both the D600 and the Inspire to those cans, even when strictly comparing sound quality. The main difference between the two new pairs is that the AH-D600 is decidedly geeky and ridiculous-looking compared to the Inspire.
There is also a difference in how music is reproduced, but that difference is relatively minimal when compared to some other headphones I have sampled lately. The Inspire has a touch more intensity to it while the D600 manages to be a bit more open. There is near total parity in terms of bass. I think the D600 comes close to sounding perfect. Frankly I'm surprised by how much I enjoy both cans, after a series of disappointments with some Sennheiser and Logitech models (HD-380, UE6000), and a few weeks trying really hard to like the Pioneer HDJ-2000.
Now I'm in a place where the vaunted K701 sounds thin and generally lacking compared to both of my new headsets. Truly a great day.
Pros - Comfort, big soundstage, good bass
Cons - Mediocre midrange, artificial treble
I think that the old D2000 sounds better than these, they are not bad at the current pricing but they do not sound very natural in the treble and also the midrange is a bit lacking, the size of these beasts is impressive and so is the bass and soundstage, I like the big sound of them, just shame that the treble sounds a bit odd.
Pros - Comfort, bass, 2 chords (1 x portable, 1 x desk), balanced (with a good amp)
Cons - Pads does tend to get hot.
I agree w most reviews that these does not warrant the $499 MSRP. (Then rather opt for D5k, D7k).
BUT - at the +-$230 range I got them at (Amazon warehouse) - these are VERY good value for the money.
Pros - Sub-bass, Sparky trebble without fatigue, build quality, extremely comfortable, thin mids
Cons - Lacking mid-bass sometimes, Big for small heads, MSRP
It's really a good pair of closed headphones for 300-400 MSRP..
Pros - Superb bass, unprecedented clarity
Cons - None at the lower price point
I recently purchased the D600's and after a few of weeks of almost non-stop listening to them, can say they are hands down the best headphones I've ever owned.... or heard.
They have the tight, low end bass response coupled with good mids and highs I've been searching for in my ideal headphone. While my AKG 701's may have a wider soundstage, and better instrument separation, they lack the bass response the new Denons deliver.
Its a joy to re-discover the entire lossless music collection. Paired with a Cambridge Audio Dac Magic and Little Dot MK V headphone amplifier, they deliver stunning fidelity. Music you thought you knew, comes alive with unprecedented clarity.
I find they work equally well with all genres, comfortably and effortlessly. They are also the most comfortable pair of headphones I've ever worn. There's nothing bad I can say about them, only wish I had a pair of Denon's earlier as I realise now what I've been missing.
Since purchasing these, I've sold the Sennheiser HD650's which, inspite of silver cable upgrades and endless burn in time, retained the muddy "Sennheiser Veil" that sounds like you're listening to the music in the other room !.
To me these Denon AH D600's sound a bit like my old B&W Nautilus speakers rather than headphones. After a while, the phones "dissapear" and you are immersed in the music itself. I sometimes find myself taking them off to make sure the A/V Amp is actually switched off.
Pros - Musical bass, high separation for closed can, sparkly treble without fatigue, looks, removable cable, imaging
Cons - High MSRP, bass slant may be too much for some, weight, not suited for small heads.
I went into a local business that had these on display, and after trying them I decided I enjoyed them more than enough to get them . . . assuming I could get them substantially under MSRP which I did. Let's get started on the good, the bad, and ugly.
Very easy to drive, you won't need an absurdly powerful amp to drive these and get the best they offer. The bass is strong and punchy while avoiding one note syndrome, listening to Red Hot Chili Peppers with these is an absolute joy. I've found these place emphasis on the bass, but tend to avoid messing up the mid-bass drastically leaving vocals mostly unaffected for music I've played with it. Of course electronic and metal has also benefited from this. One would expect the treble to suffer, but it's one of the first cans that I've found with an enjoyable sparkle that is non-fatiguing. The treble strikes me as more present than my K702s.
Build quality seems reasonable. The cable is removable which is always a good sign.
The style is very modern. It will obviously resemble Beats some, but the leather pad stitching and white accents adds very distinctive flair.
Very comfortable, especially for those with large heads. I have a XXL head according to my hat size, and I'm only a couple notches or so out on each side.
On sound I discussed the bass and treble some. With how the headphones are tuned it seems to thrown the balance off some. While separation is good and everything still sounds coherent, the mid-range tends to sound smooth without any emphasis in its own right. Depending on what you tend to focus on when you listen to music, the bass and treble may come off as merely distracting from the rest. I feel it captures a more "live" sound for what it's worth - but it's worth watching for.
The weight of these cans can take getting used to. I have a pair of Monitor 10's at this time, and the weight is around that territory. For a plastic can this comes off as unexpected, but it seems that the weight was increased to help increase reliability all around.
Not particularly portable, the size of the cans and the above pretty much shows why.
Those with small heads likely need not apply. This can seems to be distinctively made for those with medium to XXL heads.
MSRP too high for regular purchase. The D5K justified its price a bit more due to its reference qualities, as a fun can this justifies about ~60% its asking price. I'd only purchase this after having experience with real reference cans and knowing exactly what you're looking for and enjoy in a "fun" can.