Denon AH-D600

  1. Shike
    Fun and engaging
    Written by Shike
    Published Mar 23, 2013
    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.
      gbauder likes this.
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    2. Shike
      Err, part of your response doesn't make sense.  I have all types of music actually, plenty with low frequencies both fast and drawn out.  I also have vocal, acoustic, etc.  This is one of the few cans I've found with good bass that doesn't impact the rest negatively.  The M100 looks close, but seems to lose some treble energy which may dull it out some.
      Personally I stand by my comments - even Axiom did a study on distortion and found bass distortion is near impossible to pick up without absurd amounts (10% till 500hz).  I've never found any distortion or ringing on the D600 to be audible.
      Shike, Sep 5, 2013
    3. zzffnn
      If you can provide full text of that Axiom paper, I may analyze it and tell you where the flaws are. You should also provide another paper showing that certain ringing is not audible?

      When you have a fixed idea in mind, it is oftentimes not difficult to find a few scientific papers to support it.
      Basically, you did not hear specific bass distortion --> you looked for explanation for it -->you found a scientific paper --> great! That must be it. There you go, nobody should that hear that! 

      Not so fast.

      After you receive your PhD and have been in science for enough years, you will realize a few things of scientific papers:
      1) lots of results may not be easily repeated, and you can easily obtain contradictory results under slightly different conditions;
      2) its application is often limited to specific experimental conditions; 
      3) it is often not difficult to find a paper to support the fixed idea that you already have had in mind;
      4) modern science is more about how you tell your story (i.e., validate your idea) than finding that rare absolute truth.

      Take the journal PNAS as an example. Since it has good impact factor, its papers must be impeccable, right? Well, not if you know the back end story. Science aside, if you are a number of NAS or you know some editors, your paper will get into PNAS a lot easier. Does that install confidence in those PNAS papers? Same goes for lots of other scientific journals -- sometimes it depends more on who the authors are, rather than how the scientific content is.

      Basically, you should not isolate the result of a single scientific paper and dogmatically consider it a universal truth.  At least that is I think, after receiving my PhD degree and having been in academic science for 12 yrs.
      zzffnn, Sep 13, 2013
    4. Shike
      First a few issues:
      The Axiom study isn't perfect, I'll admit that.  It was a tentative experiment on a subject not well covered and has only had hit and miss documentation over the years.  Feel free to check it out though
      Now, in relation to proving ringing as inaudible: no.  I said I haven't noticed ringing being an issue for me.  Second, it's not up to me to prove a null.  I merely noted the Axiom distortion paper as it pertains to me and may be interesting for others to look at.  If you believe you can hear it I imagine it's not too hard to produce your own samples and emulate the study to see what your own hearing threshold is.  Traditionally it's still understood that distortion at the bass region is less audible, the degree of which varies.  There's also a study from JAES that correlates some from Fielder and Benjamin - a summary of the finding can be found at *shudder* Stereophile here:
      When you include the fact that below 100hz very few harmonics exist that would create substantial issues and the other results from the Fielder and Benjamin study , if true (IF), it is not surprising as to why a few to many may not hear distortion in any significant fashion from the bass region.
      Now, how I found the study.  I was actually reading up on audibility of distortion a long time ago when going over Soundstage reviews and measurements, and measurements of the Magnepan MMG which also have significant bass distortion due to their design that reviewers also tend not to pick up.  I was looking for something to give a general context.  Axiom does have a hat in the game, so I was a bit skeptical.  I saw Tyll's review of the D600 and expected it to be crap looking at the measurements.  I eventually tried them expecting to hate them and, well, I didn't.  Of course there's discussion in the D600 threads about more and more people enjoying them, so some speculation that a change in production may have occurred.  I doubt it, but it would be interesting.
      Once again, this is merely YMMV.  I've seen people choose the D600 over the M100 and vice versa, some complain one's loose and the other has too small of earcups for their ears, one has better soundstage the other is more clear, yadda yadda.  My review just correlates my opinion on them with a large note on not buying till trying a reference set of some degree to get an idea of what is generally considered normal and going from there.  If you would like to share your opinions on the cans, there IS the ability to post a review.  If you don't wish to post a review on this one, I'm sure you can go post about the M100 just as well.  There's no need to make an attempt at antagonizing over this is there, especially when caution on purchase is advised and illustrated it is very much a "taste" can?
      Shike, Sep 14, 2013
  2. Marcosro
    Not a fan of these.
    Written by Marcosro
    Published Mar 12, 2013
    Pros - The packaging...
    Cons - Heavy, Ear pads feel sticky, Too much bass
    I am coming from the ATH-M50s and was looking to move up in the headphone game. At first I was going to move up to the HE-400, but could no longer afford them so I settle for these at a price of $270. I am not a fan when I found my self comparing these with my $30 gaming headphones and not being impressed at all when switching to these. Maybe someone else will be happy with these. 
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    2. xinghui0711
      D600 is one of my favorite portable headphones. Great sound bases on personal taste.
      xinghui0711, Mar 12, 2013
    3. Artcheezzz
      Heh, I own HD650 and i wanted get any good sounding close back and more bass cans.. I paid £180, similar.
      My impressions is similar too Marcosro. Probably Denon was thinking, what people need: Good looking, with new technology, comfortable, portable, easy drive`ble, good sounding with MORE BASS, and close backs. They tried to improve everything what people was complaining about some very good sounding headphones.
      AND pretty much..mmmm... failed. It`s probaly right word. But i believe any BRAND would FAIL if they would try to do same thing.
      I do agree that this headphone is too big and heavy, too loose a bit on small head, and make your ears sweat after longer use.
      But its still have the quick bass, comfortable enough, VERY GOOD isolating headphones. Sounds great overall. But do have some tonality - thanks to close cans and extra bass.
      For 180£ its good choice for a second headphone to listen electronic music.
      Artcheezzz, Mar 12, 2013
    4. buttons252
      I just got these yesterday and I can finally stop searching for the ultimate headphone and just listen to music. i dont travel with them, they are plugged into a sony 5.1 receiver for power. vocals and instruments are clear and detailed and bass is powerful -- they arent a 10 in comfortable and i do sometimes need to let my ears breath, but im really happy with sound quality.
      buttons252, Apr 23, 2013
  3. HideousPride
    A Guilty Pleasure at a Reasonable Price
    Written by HideousPride
    Published Nov 28, 2012
    Pros - Comfort, solid build, not fatiguing, fun!
    Cons - MSRP $$$, Earpads can get heated, weighty - not suitable for portable use as Denon intended
    Bought these used off the FS forums. I had been interested in these since release, but due to negative reviews did not think it was worth pulling the trigger when they sold for $500. At the price I purchased them at, I am quite happy with them. So long as you know what you're getting, I believe the D600 is a headphone that pleases.
    The lower end has a very significant hump that can sound exceptional with certain recordings. I've heard details in the bass on certain songs that I never heard before because it is so audible on the D600s compared to the rest of the frequency range. It also makes you want to groove when you listen to dance-ish songs. You can definitely put these on your to-buy list if you enjoy a good time with a colored sound and a bumped bass. Do not expect strings to sound sweet and rich - midrange/upper mids seem to be somewhat lacking on these headphones. They sound significantly further in the background on recordings than more neutral headphones like the Paradox present violins/violas/etc. Female vocals sound natural but slightly recessed.
    They may not be power hungry, but respond very favorably to amplification. I find that driving them out of the Cowon J3 alone delivers a somewhat lacking sound. Adding a PA2V2 seemed to help tremendously. Classical, orchestral and a capella recordings are not unlistenable, but definitely are not a strength. They are significantly heavier than I had expected them to be from pictures! However, comfort is excellent so long as your ears don't get heated. Denon includes a 3 button cable that is clearly intended for use on the go, but I honestly doubt you'll want to take them outside for a walk. If not because of the heat (sweaty ears are a blechy sitaution!), the weight alone will dissuade all but the most masochistic of headphone fans.
    Probably the most interesting thing is how favorably the average music listener respond to these. I've given them to three coworkers of me, two males (Beats and Klipsch Image One users) who are absolutely bassheads with metal and rap, and a female who enjoys kpop. All three were thoroughly impressed by the D600 when I let them listen to them. Both males expressed an interest in purchasing a pair at the price I paid for them. The female, despite having listened to headphones I've brought to her such as the HD 800, the Paradox, and the LCD-2, believed these to be her favorite pair and the one with the best sound.
    Overall, a reasonable purchase for bass lovers everywhere! If you have a chance to listen to them, do give it a go. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
    1. subfrequenz
      Hi, Thanks for your detailed review. I was wondering about the midrange/vocals...did you find that they opened up a bit after burning in? I do find that the bass (which I love!) and the treble do seem to overpower vocals sometimes, which is a shame as I love the richness these cans produce! I'm more of a V-shaped headphone person although I do want to hear a bit of vocal! 
      subfrequenz, Sep 16, 2013
  4. Lan647
    Denon AH-D600
    Written by Lan647
    Published Sep 11, 2012
    Pros - Extremely comfortable. Clear, engaging presentation. Easy to drive.
    Cons - Lack of coherency. Midbass resonance. Not the best choice for the MSRP. Design is maybe a bit dull?

    Picked these up for a special price after listening in store and liking what I heard very much. A clear, clean sound with a really fun bass response. A very different sound compared to my HD 800 and I liked the idea of a headphone that made you tap your feet.

    First of all the Denon D600 is an extremely comfortable headphone. The pressure on the head is spot-on for a closed can and the well shaped, memory-foam earpads feel wonderful. Only a slight headband pressure and heat issues usually present with closed headphones keep them under a solid 5 on that one.

    This is a fast, clear sounding headphone. They sound open and airy for a closed can, which I feel is their main accomplishment. The bass is very powerful and very well extended. It's not extremely tight though, compared to better (and some cheaper) headphones. It has a wobbling nature too it, which I think is because of a resonance in the upper bass. The bass - midrange transition sounds natural though (usually), unlike the flagship D7100.

    The treble is a bit uneven. The lower treble is a bit recessed and the higher up they are a bit bright and sparkling. The treble doesn't sound muddy, closed in or piercing - which i absolutely hate. These seem to be tuned to moden music genres with what I hear as a U-shaped response.

    It's a fun, vivid sound, but I can sometimes feel the midrange is slightly low in level compared to the somewhat bright treble and earth-shattering low end. Deep vocals easily get to bassy and the sound is just not as coherent as the D2/5/7k. They do sound cleaner than the D2k and D5k, but they are not very accurate.

    Compared to a cheaper headphone, the Sennheiser Momentum (my current reference portable), the D600 midrange sounds thin and grainy in comparison. The midrange is also definitely thinner sounding than that of the D5000 and D7000.

    This is a headphone for electronic music. While the bass is pretty well integrated into the midrange for a bass-heavy can (which I definitely think these are) and the speed and clarity of the sound are great, I do think you can get better for less money. $500 feels too much. Luckily, I paid significantly less than that, but I still feel my Momentum outperforms it in every way except for soundstage openness.

    If anything these are fabulous movie watching cans thanks to the excellent comfort and deep, rumbling bass. If only the midrange could've been richer, the bass tighter and the treble a bit more balanced hey would make a great mid-range audiophile headphone as well, as I do think the clarity and speed are there. But as they are, I would rank them as a headphone for just rocking out, rather than for analytical listening. If you like your music slammin' without having to deal with a muddiness, they may be for you.

    Oh and about the design? I'm not sure. They are not ugly headphones by any means but it's just impossible not to think of Beats or the Ludacris headphones hen you see the chassis, or the red storage box. On the plus side they feel solid (if somewhat plasticy) and look like they could take a fair amount of beating. I'm more and more liking the color-scheme and they do look cool on your head, even though they stick out a bit more than I would prefer.

    The choice between a short, non-microphonic cable with remote and a longer, sturdier one for home use is a nice thing as well.

    These do not need an amp, you can use them with a high-quality mobile source like the iPad or iPhone and not feel you're missing anything.

  5. kenji458
    Loving my D600s
    Written by kenji458
    Published Aug 15, 2012
    Pros - Fun, Musical to listen. Smooth and detailed. Very comfy and non-fatigue headphones.
    Cons - Bass maybe boosted a tad too much. Ears get hot in hot weather (~33°C)
    Here's my D600 out-of-box impressions.
    Received only yesterday and paired with the ODAC/O2 as my laptop rig, the bass is the first thing that captures your attention. In some songs, like David Guetta's, the D600 would deliver great and deep bass, slightly more than HFi2400 even, IMO. However, the bass is always nicely controlled and tight, not intruding into the mids. The D600s have both ample quantity and quality bass, maybe boosted in the midbass IMO; but not overly emphasised.
    The mids are fine and smooth, but sometimes they lack a bit a bit of volume especially if you have listened to mid-centric headphones; but overall are still smooth. Prefer the mids of my srh1840 in that relation.
    Treble is clear and detailed, non-sibilant and non-fatigue. 
    Soundstage is deep and good separation. The Imaging is quite similar to that of HFi 2400s are known for IMO.
    IMO the D600s are fun, fast attacking and falls into the musical headphones category. The Denons not do sound grainy at all and are detailed and smooth. It shines the most at pop, rock, rnb, electronic IMO.
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    2. sneaglebob
      So I should stick with my beats pro? these look just as nice but I really want to know if it might work out for me if I pair it with a good bass boost amp.
      sneaglebob, Aug 17, 2012
    3. agistrilink
      I have a Beats Pro with Fiio E11 (& Cowon Z2). Last weekend, I was asked to "warm-up" a d7100 for a better bass-response, so I had a good impression on the bass of these new Denons. Being used to the massive bass of the Pro, the Denon did not disappointed me at all. I've put the base level on the Fiio e11 on 2 and the gain setting on high. The end result is a set-up that in my opinion clearly beats the Pro. However, after a couple of days I promised myself to truly and directly compare the Denon with the Pro, and after all, it was not worth the investment (and the d7100 *is* an investment). Therefore, the d600 seems to be just right to have a upgraded hi-fi set-up in comparison with the Pros. Still don't like the look though...
      agistrilink, Aug 17, 2012
    4. sneaglebob
      @sgistrilink It may not be worth it but was it truly MUCH better than the pros?
      sneaglebob, Sep 5, 2012
  6. wynton5364
    Denon AH-D600
    Written by wynton5364
    Published Aug 2, 2012
    Pros - extremly good comfort and isolation, clean clear sound, dynamic, very punchy, easy to dirve
    Cons - slightly sterile, bass is accentuated in a certain area
    Personal Feels:
    Look and Build:
    Though different from D5000's classical design, the modern look is actually quite good. The headband along with the outer shell is very low-profile kind of black color. With some bright parts it is not overly dull. The somewhat white inner ear cup and logo look pretty good to me. The sewing on headband and earpads are very neat. Plather parts are nice, hope they will last. Fabric-covered cord and carrying bag feel very good and solid.
    Comfort and Isolation:
    Insanely comfortable. Really and easily the best I ever tried. Room inside ear cups are pretty large. My ears very slightly touch the walls inside but never the drivers. There is only very minor pressure on my head. With the headband adjusted to the right length I don't feel any weight of the headphone. The ear cups can only be adjusted slightly but they provides 360-degree articulation. They move around in any directions. I can very easily find the perfect-fit position.  Earpads are so soft. They also provide great comfort. If I have to pick a drawback, the earpads probably have too much friction on my skin. Isolation is very good, far beyond my expectation. There's a typhoon outside my window right now,but I can hear almost nothing with the headphone on my head. Even with the window open and the pouring rain, I can hear my music clearly. It seems that the high frequency noise is mostly blocked outside. Really the comfort and isolation are off-the-chart good.
    D600 is energetic and fun to listen to, yet non-fatiguing.Basically balanced sound.  I do feel the bass is somewhat accentuated in one area, though it says on the box 'tuned to a flat EQ.' That makes bass drum and string bass stand out and emphasized in a way. That emphatic bass part is really excessive to my ears and prevents it from being completely coherent, but that may be a personal taste matter. Bass does sound good on some tracks. Rest of the spectrum is very clean and clear sounding. It's slightly cold and fast sounding. Vocals are fine but not particularly inviting. I would like a heftier mid-forward sound and slight warm-tilt. D600 is slightly sterile to me.(HE-500 is my choice and my main phone) Separation is good along with good imaging and location. Soundstage is not like very wide and deep. But I think it is pretty coherent with a good shape and moderate sense of space. Dynamic is good. With accentuated bass D600 is very punchy. D600 is doing a good job here.
    Comes with in-line three-button control,carrying bag and Denon Audio app you can download for your Apple devices and android devices, it is obviously made for you  to take out. And it works very fine with my Sony Erricsson mobile phone. However the size of the headphone is actually pretty big, I wouldn't wear it on the go. Taking it from places to places should be fine. The design is not as fragile as D2000, which I owned, but still is not tank-like robust. Some care could be needed. Given the performance and new type of sound, you should audition it whenever you can. 
    Thanks for viewing
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    2. wynton5364
      wynton5364, Jan 18, 2013
    3. sfgiants2010
      Can you wear these while walking or laying down? Or would they fall/slide off your head?
      sfgiants2010, Jan 29, 2013
    4. Bob2000
      Nice review! Which are best regarding sound, sony mdr1r, momentum, ath m50s or these? trying to decide which to buy. I listen to all kinds of music from metal to classical and watch movies.
      Bob2000, Jul 14, 2013