Pros - deep bass, comfortable when you set it up properly, looks good, strong cord
Cons - was pricy
After 2 years of owning it, I can say those are one to stay in my home. I do production on them, I do DJ mixes, I listen to music. Bass is so strong and well defined for electronic house music and jazzy house, I don't listen to other genres so often so I can't tell, but if you want something for house and you're lucky on eBay those are one to consider.
(Copied over from my review on Amazon...) I can definitely say that this product is not all hype. They sound very good but I can't stress enough the importance of BURN-IN! I have about 200 hours on mine and they are still noticeably progressing to this point.
Build quality wise, these are pretty solid. They aren't the most solid on the market or for the money but they should last. They are a mahogany and aluminum build with a sort of pleather for the pads and headband. Some people complain of sweating ears and that may be true however I haven't gotten to the hot part of our fluctuating temperatures here in Pennsylvania so I can't say for sure. They are very comfortable non the less without any real pressure points. The cord is good but VERY long. You may need to tie to a shorter length when traveling with it. It is 99.9999999% Oxygen Free (Doesn't it seem like they all are?) which I don't think means much but hey, it works. The only downside (sort of) of these headphones is that they are relatively heavy (I'm coming from wooden Grado like magnum V4 headphones which are very light - recommended for open headphones) and don't seem to stay in place when you tilt your head.
These things sound as good as they look and will impress anyone who is a fan of bass. People on head-fi often criticize the bass as being "flabby" and "overly booming". (Thus came the markl mod. If you get them and think that they still have too much bass, I would probably recommend it...) So when I got them and put them on, I was expecting a completely overdone bass sorta along the lines of the Sony "Extra Bass" line (Ughh painful. And I like bass!) but to my pleasant surprise, it was nothing of the sort. I think another reviewer here on Amazon put it perfectly that this a luxurious enveloping bass versus a smash your brains out grrr pain to your ears bass. If you couldn't tell, I love the bass on these.
I am no expert on mids and highs, but all I can say is that these are very pleasant headphones but with burn-in of course. I don't feel that anything is too terribly recessed but they definitely aren't as clear as my previous Magnum V4 headphones. (For those of you who know what they are, that is a no brainer)
Portability wise, these headphones are probably the best sounding portables out there. They do benefit from an amplifier (I have a Little Dot 1+ with mallard tubes and it is highly recommended for budget audiophiles) I have an iPhone 4 and 75%-80% volume gets me to a more than ample listening level. I would recommend getting a case for traveling if you are going to use them for that due to the fact that the mahogany will scratch. (You can find a good case on eBay if you search for "HD800 Case") One thing that I worried about before getting them was if the plug would fit into the case I have on my iPhone. The headphone jack hole on my vapor pro case is 5/16 of an inch wide and it just barely fits into it. So measure your case and if the hole is <=5/16 of an inch, you should be good.
Again, this is a thing of beauty and is meant to be treated that way. The cups will scratch but it does seem avoidable. Just be a little careful and you will get an amazing audio device that will serve you well for a good long time!
Pros - Great bass, clear highs, extremely comfortable. Beautiful. Long cord
Cons - Long cord can be a handful when trying to use it with a portable device
I purchased these from a fellow head-fier a week ago, and just got these in today. I got home at 3:30PM eastern time, and it's now 8:30 and apart from grabbing a quick dinner upstairs, these headphones have been glued to my head all day. I'd like to think I can give a fairly good review of what I've experienced so far.
Firstly, ergonomics: These headphones are comfortable as all hell. Coming from a pair of Grado SR80i's, comfort is a huge issue in the forefront of my mind. Whereas the Grados with stock pads would tire me out after maybe an hour of listening, these have nearly no clamping effect, and the pads sit comfortably like a big pillow against the sides of my head. Very comfortable. I notice very little sweating effect, either, which I was really concerned about with the fake leather pads. The long cable that comes with these headphones is both a boon and an issue at times. It's great for sitting down listening to my record player, which is about 5-feet away from my computer desk. Gives me plenty of room to not have to worry about accidentally yanking the plug out or damaging something. However, it also feels like I'm going to be rolling over it with my desk chair sometimes.
As for aesthetics: these headphones are sleek. The fake leather headband and pads are sleek and refined, coupled with brushed-metal accents on the headphone band and the great wooden cups. These look like 400 dollars well spent, which I would not be able to say if I had bought the Grado 325i's, for example.
Next, I'd like to talk about what I've experienced so far with sound quality:
So far, I've listened to quite a wide variety of genres in the short time that I've owned these, and I think it's given me a well-rounded opinion of what music they are good for and what music they aren't so great at. I'd like to say up front that I don't feel like any of the music I listened to has sounded "bad" on these headphones. There were a few that did sound like they fit better when listened through the Grado sr80i's that I used as comparison.
The first thing I listened to was Glitch Mob's "Drink the Sea" album on vinyl. Quite to my surprise, the bass I experienced wasn't as overpowering as many people claimed it was on these cans. I found it to be mellow, but present, and very accurate. The highs were also very forward and clear. The highs were as clear as on my Grados. Contrary to what some found, I thought the mids didn't sound "recessed" but more that they sounded that way as a natural effect of creating a "rounder" listening experience. I felt like each sound was represented as it should have been in a natural setting.
Next up was "Rumours" on vinyl, by Fleetwood Mac. I can't begin to say how much this album blew me away on these. You can hear every nuance in Lindsey Buckingham's guitar playing. You can hear every strum and every finger slide, and it comes through so richly and warmly that I just feel like I'm hearing every note for the first time. Stevie Nick's voice sounds amazing and really shows off the treble on these headphones beautifully.
I listened to Prodigy, and found the bass very accurate and very booming. Will have to try some more later.
I read in a review somewhere that these cans aren't good at classical music, but I'm listening to Mozart's Requiem through my hisoundaudio Rocoo P right now and I find the sound to be very rich and detailed. The sound stage is excellent and the bass really enhances everything in a way that the Grados could never accomplish. Hearing the cellos and basses to the bottom of their ranges really enhances the feeling of "being there."
My experience with headphones is limited, and I'm by far no expert on the subject, but I find these headphones to give a very rich experience. The only genre I found them to be just "okay" for was listening to punk. I'll have to give this further investigation, but at first glance I seemed to prefer the Grados for their clarifying effect on punk vocals and the fast-paced attack of everything.
Personally, these were absolutely worth the price. Hopefully others will find this helpful and since they are now discontinued, prices will help bring more into the fold of these excellent headphones.
I purchased the Denon from Amazon in February 2012 for $465 and, of course, the price went down the next week. Regardless, this my first set of higher end headphones and they represent a very good value. After listening to them I can fully appreciate the difference between headphones in the $100-$300 range and the quality you get when paying $400 or more. It is well worth the difference. The analysis of the specific nature of sound reproduction of the D5000 is better stated elsewhere. If you are like me, you may have several headphones. I kept thinking there was a perfect pair of headphones in the $200 range. The message here is invest the money you would have spent on 4 pairs in the $100-$300 range, and buy the Denons. Absolutely wonderful.
Pros - sometimes just fully disappear and comfy too
Cons - little bassheavy on normal recordings
In the first half of 2008 I went to store (the only store in my contry, which just-just received and sold these cans, actually first and at these times just one DENON AH-D5000 in my little country)
I asked for demo with a decent CD player with headphone output ('control' CD-s i bringed with me)
First thought (positive!) was WOW, impressive
Second impress/thought was feeling, that an unfamous and historically overused "loudness" knob/swich on amplifiers must be turned on, so i started to look for it, to swich it off... sure, there was no luck to find any such non-existent switch on standalone CD-Player
But anyway, after few minutes listening i as pretty sure, that cans are "must have". To be sure, i asked these cans for home evaluation/listening... so i paid asked price (after getting decent discount, arguing that these are "first DENON AH D5000 that will be sold in my country") and got them home for three days evaluation. Actually it took only few minutes listening with my home equipment, so i already knew that i will keep them...
Most of positives and non-positives are already discussed widely, so i just put my own nuance here:
sometimes (with some music) those cans just disappear ... so there is 'just sound' and no sound 'reproductive producers'... i would like to say, that sometimes they are not 'just transparent', but fully disappeared (sure it is dependent from recording too).
And i like this!!!
And whats about boringly flat and anemic and bottomless recordings, what they need is exactly DENON AH-D5000 (for anemic recordings with anemic highs i use AKG K701) .
Now, I want to first talk a little about myself. I am not seasoned veteran of Hi-fi. I do not have any experience with multi-thousand dollar listening setups. These are simultaneously the most expensive and greatest headphones I've owned. Of course, their quality is overwhelming to me. Please read this review with the understanding that I might not be "qualified" to accurately or usefully compare these headphones to similarly priced models of other brands.
I come from Sennheiser HD595 headphones. Before that, I used Audio Technica ATH-A700 headphones. These are both excellent choices. Both of these headphones wowed me when I got them. Prior to the ATH-A700s, I had never heard "good" audio, period. I currently run my Denon AH-D5000s through a very modest stereo amplifier hooked up to the line out of an HT Omega Claro Plus+ sound card, playing ASIO-outputted flac stuff. I would venture that this is a very adequate setup for music and media listening, although I am sure it is not directly comparable to the setups that some people have spent $1000+ on (between DAC and amp).
Anyway, modest context of my experience aside, I want to start to discuss the headphone itself, the Denon AH-D5000.
First, we have the package. The box is not special. It is slightly reinforced with an interior plastic frame (so I think the delivery guys and warehouse guys would have to seriously mistreat it in order to damage it), but it is not special. I would have liked a slightly better case, but that is not very important. Removing the equipment from the case is an easy affair that takes only a few seconds - open the box, slide out the plastic frame, untwist some ties, lift out the headphones. It is simple and straight-forward.
The first thing I notice is the weight and appearance. The headphones are very light, but they feel remarkably sturdy. The ATH-A700, with their complicated headband apparatus (you know what I mean) were light, but also seemed a tad flimsy. The Sennheiser HD595 seemed more sturdy than that, but the Denons are in a completely different realm of craftmanship. This is the difference that several hundred dollars can make.
The headband is simple black leather (or fake leather, whatever). The earpads are the same. The frame is said to be magnesium - I suppose this is the reason for the apparent stability. The cups can extend downward from the headband, as most headphones can do. I was impressed, though: the headphones extend downward by the mechanism of notched metal bars - even for headphones this expensive, I was expecting more plastic parts.
Plastic parts are not what this is about. The headphones feel beautiful, and they are beautiful. The first aesthetic element you are likely to notice will be those gleaming, polished mahogany cups. I knew these would look great, but, having never held wooden-cupped headphones before, I was pretty happy just to look at these and enjoy their appearance. These things look exactly how I would imagine "nice" headphones to look - classy, simple, modern, sleek, interesting and shiny. The cord is also nice - I have heard of people complain about the cord before, but I wonder how they are judging it, or to what they are comparing it. The cord is wrapped in a woven-thread/cloth sheath-thing (please forgive my utter lack of articulation), and it is thick and good. It is not a cheap and simple rubber cable you would expect from a $10 set of headphones; it is (at least ostensibly) a very nice cable. It is flexible and the length is acceptable for my purposes.
When plugging the headphones into my receiver, I of course had to attach the 1/4 plug over top the "default" 1/8 plug. This mechanism is also very smooth and pleasing, both to use and to look at. Shiny and delicate threads allow the adapter to snugly and perfectly screw into place on the edge of the plug, finally coming into its position as if it were a natural extension of the cable. My other headphones had adapters, sure, but they were not this nice. They were all simple - pop it into place, listen for a slight click and it's in. I'm not sure how much the screw-mechanism helps the sound of the headphones (it probably does not), but it definitely smells of quality.
As far as sound goes (perhaps the most important thing about headphones, right?) I am not sure I am up to the task of describing it. I read other reviews of the AH-D5000 before listening to the phones myself (indeed, before even purchasing them), and I know a few of the things they say and tend to agree with some of those things.
First, the mids. Everyone talks about the mids, mentioning that they seem recessed. I will agree that the mids feel a bit "distant." The bass is very "up front" and the highs are also very apparent, but the mids feel like they are slightly further away. I do not think this is a bad thing. I don't know if it is a good thing, but I do know that it is an interesting sound and I suppose the fact that the mids feel a little further away helps the overall sound to be more distinct, with separated and easily distinguishable parts. Everything is very distinguishable, and every sound has a place. Again, I feel the need to apologize for my woefully inadequate articulation on these points. What I want to say is that every sound I hear, I can easily single out and hear on its own, unblemished by the other sounds. I suspect that the "distant" middle range of sounds helps create this effect.
Next, the bass is incredible. I would call myself a basshead, as I listen to a variety of electronic music that even includes some dubstep (well-known genre for uncanny amounts of bass). For Trance, Drum & Bass, and Dubstep (and a few other subgenres of electronic) these headphones are absolutely wonderful. The specifications say that these phones do 5Hz all the way up to 45000Hz -- I am definitely getting the low end of my Armin Van Buuren and such on these cans. I do not think it is "flabby," -- when I think of "flabby" bass, I think of people with car stereo systems with the bass-boost on, and the dashboard is vibrating and the bass is shaking things so much that it produces a sound resembling flatulence. I do not feel this effect in the Denon AH-D5000s. Amplification might affect this - I do not know. In any case, I feel that the bass is great. There is certainly a lot of bass (far more than my other headphones), and the bass sounds more controlled, tight and clean than the subwoofer I have for my speaker system (although that is admittedly mid-fi and I'm sure there are FAR better subwoofers out there than what I have). In short, the lows are great here.
The highs, then, are the last specific thing I can discuss about the sound. Piano music sounds exceptionally crisp and clear. I have heard people in other reviews discuss sibilance, and harsh sounds that come from the bright highs of these headphones. I know that my cheapest earbuds I use for my Zune that I bring to work produce all kinds of horrifying hissing, staticy and vulgar, grating noises when the high notes are hit by singers and guitars and the like. I even get vague bits of this sometimes (very rarely) with my HD595s. I am just not experiencing this at all with the Denons, though. Highs feel smooth. I mean, they are not jarring, they are not ear-piercing, nothing unpleasant like that. They sound clear and beautiful.
Speaking of awful noises, I suppose I can also discuss "listener fatigue." I had no such thing with the Audio Technicas, but I would experience some fatigue with the Sennheisers. After a few hours of listening, my ears would feel hot and uncomfortable, pressured and unpleasant. If I were to pause the music at that point and listen to silence, I would hear a minor ringing. I don't think this was the fault of the Sennheisers (but perhaps it was the fault of the particular combination of Sennheiser + my stereo). Now, the Denons do not give this effect to me at all. I feel like I could leave these in for hours and hours and hours and not mind at all.
Music sounds wonderful. As I've already mentioned, electronic music absolutely shines. I also listen to some alt-rock like the Cardigans, Boa, the Cranberries - and they sound great, too. The bright quality of these headphones is fabulous for the guitars and keyboards of such a band. The singers all sound so defined, too. While on the topic of singers, Sarah Brightman and Loreena McKennit both sound fantastic, and back to rock-related things, I've found these headphones perfectly useful for enjoying Pink Floyd, King Crimson and the like. Also, these headphones can resolve all of the chaos going on in some pretty intense death metal like Cryptopsy's None So Vile. The layers and instruments are far more distinguishable here than they were on other phones. Some classical music that I occasionally enjoy also sounds pretty great, but I am not enough of an avid, active listener of classical to feel like I can say much about it, other than that I think it sounds great on the Denons, just like the other stuff does. In short, I like all of my music on these more than I liked it on my other headphones - but I have to repeat, electronic music REALLY shines on the Denons, even moreso than anything else. Stuff like Bassnectar (with a huge variety of sound), sounds just unbelievable. Who says the bass is overpowering?
Well, that's about all I can say. I might add an update when I feel these have more completely burned in, but that probably will not be necessary. I'm sure they'll still sound great. I know it's the writing of a pretty inexperienced Head-Fier, and I could stand to hear a lot more headphones so that I can better compare them to each other - but this is it for now. I like these a lot, and I hope you can see where I am coming from and why I like them as much as I do. I suggest these to everyone, but primarily I suggest them to anyone who favors electronic music. I feel that this type of music is the strong point of the headphone here.
I bought the D5000’s from Pricejapan.com for $553 shipped via DHL express. I received them within one week of order. Some immediate things I noticed:
1.They are perhaps the most comfortable headphone I have ever worn. I always thought Beyerdynamic headphones were unbeatable in this regard. The Beyers are supremely comfortable, but they clamp a little more, and are a little heavier, than the Denons. Note that I don't find leather "hot" like some people, though, and all my Beyers have leather pads.
2.While these are closed, the seal is not too good, but it isn't sensitive to placement in the ear. The way the earpads are there is really only one way for it to go over the ear, unlike a Beyer or AKG headphone where it surrounds the ear so much that it can be slid back and forth quite a bit, which does effect balance. They do not isolate as well as the 06 DT770's – a notable amount less. They are certainly not going to bother anyone next to you, but they do not block out tons of external sound.
3.They are very light, and they are much smaller in depth than the JVC DX1000 (but about the same diameter).
4.These don't do well un-amped. I know the specs say 25 ohm and 106db sensitivity, but to get the same volume level as an 80 ohm Darth Beyer required 30% more crank from my Meier Opera.
5.The cable is not microphonic at all, unlike the JVC DX1000 where the cable transmits quite a bit of noise to the headphone.
6.The driver sits VERY close to the ear, which undoubtedly has a lot to do with why there is a somewhat forward presentation.
7.The wood is very pretty, but not the most beautiful I have ever seen. It's most like Wenge - very dark brown wood with very little red in it. Pics below. The leather earpads and headband are awesome and very supple. Again, easily the most comfortable headphone I have ever worn.
Overall, they sound very, very good. Very open mids, deep, well defined bass, and clear, clean, treble. This is not to say they are the best thing I have ever heard, but they are easily worth $500.
The highs are smooth, and there is quite a bit of treble energy - well extended and nicely detailed. I would not describe it as bright, but it isn’t laid back in the treble, either, though. It suits the overall response well. The treble is also quite transparent, which gives it a very open, natural quality.
Midrange is just slightly on the forward side of neutral, but highly transparent, and not edgy at all. The midrange is very alluring. I normally prefer a more relaxed midrange presentation, but because the Denons have powerful bass, the slightly forward mids do not make them annoying. There is enough bass power to balance the slightly forward midrange, and the transparency of the midrange make it very engaging. There is no glare, harshness or grain.
The D5000s have robust, powerful bass. They are headphones that a bass lover (like me) can really enjoy. The bass is not as strong as the older DT770’s, but on par with the new ones, and a little better in quality. Bass articulation, definition, and attack are very good, and way above average. It does bass very well, since the quantity is plentiful, and the quality of that robust bass is VERY good.
For soundstage...the D5000 has a slightly smaller soundstage than any of my Beyer headphones. It is less wide and less deep. However, image specificity is excellent - maybe a little better than any of my Beyer headphones. So there is a bit of a trade-off there.
I have listened to the Denons on a variety of headphone amps: Meier Audio Opera, Aria, HA-2 II/SE, and Singlepower PPX3, and ASL OTL mk III. I liked the Denons best on the Opera and Singlepower. I like a warm sounding headphone, and on the HA-2 and Aria I wanted just a little more warmth. The PPX3 did the trick for sure, and I swear everything seems to sound its best on the Opera .
For obvious reasons, I did some extensive comparisons to the JVC DX1000. These are both excellent headphones. The JVC has the deepest bass I have ever heard from a headphone, and the Denon didn't best it there. The Denon's bass is a little more robust overall, and both have among the very best in terms of bass articulation, definition, and speed for cans with a good amount of bass.
The Denon, to me, has the more natural midrange. It really excels here. The JVC always had just a slight nasal coloration to the midrange that keeps it from being a very top tier can. The Denon has no such coloration. It probably has the most neutral midrange of any headphone I own, right up there with the DT880 and the K701's mids.
The treble is a toss up, and neither is perfect. The JVC lacks the last little bit of extension and air, but the Denon may have just a tiny bit of extra sparkle. This may disappear with even more break in. Both have excellent treble overall, however.
The Denon images better. The soundstage is about the same width and depth, and image specificity is better. But again, both are very good.
The Denons are also more comfortable, although the JVC's are just fine. But I put the Denon's on my 8 year old son's head, and the first thing he said was "these are so comfy"! They really are. It's hard to imagine how a headphone could be more comfortable than the D5000.
I like both of the Japanese woodies a lot, and initially I thought I liked the D5000 better. However, over time, I changed my mind about the JVC's mids, and the Denon's imaging. The DX1000's mids are a slight bit unique, but in the end they have an incredibly musical presentation. And the JVC's imaging is more holographic than the D5000. In the end, I ended up preferring the DX1000, so much that I eventually sold the D5000 (which I then replaced with the D7000!).
I compared the D5000 to the DT880/600, using the ASL MG-Head OTL mkIII. These headphones sound more similar than the D5000 and the Darth Beyers do, or even JVC DX1000's do. The Denons have more bass output, and a slightly more forward midrange than the DT880. The DT880's sound a little smoother, have a slightly more refined treble, and have a better overall soundstage. I slightly prefer the DT880’s treble and midrange, and I prefer the bass of the Denon. But they are very close.
I further compared the D5000 to the DT990. The tonal quality is very different of course. The Denon has slightly forward mids, and the DT990 slightly recessed. This gives the DT990 the feeling of having both more bass and treble, of course. I think that the Denon's mids are just forward of neutral. The DT990's are just recessed of neutral. So they sound pretty different. But anyone who wants a headphone with punchy bass but more forward mids than the DT990 has would do well with the Denon. The articulation of bass on the Denon and DT990 are fairly comparable, with the Denon maybe having a slight edge.
Finally, I also compared to the Headphile Darth Beyers, and the Denons are pretty different sounding. The Denons have excellent bass, but less midbass than the DB's. The Denons have a more neutral midrange, though, and are the more "accurate" headphone overall. They also have more detail. It's very difficult for me to say which I like better. The Denons are the first headphone I have ever had that had a really neutral midrange and detailed treble but still had enough bass for me, and that's why I am pretty enamored with them. I like them for the same reasons I like the 2006 DT990's so much. But the Denons ate the far superior headphone. While the Darth Beyers are wonderful for a “relaxed listen”, that I still prefer them in some respects, the D5000 are better across the board.
So, to sum up, the AH-D5000 is a very high quality headphone with some outstanding qualities, and is a great listen. It will appeal to a large number of music lovers, and is very fairly, even attractively, priced. Well done, Denon!