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[Review] Audio Technica FC700 and Denon AH-P372 [With huge photos]

  1. JamesMcProgger

    Audio Technica FC700 and Denon AH-P372


     
    8a1956f6_ATHFC700andDenonP372.jpg
     
    Introduction:
     
    I have had the ATH FC700 since about 4 months ago, and decided to give the Denon AH-P372 a try after reading about them in a thread, mostly because it was 3 am and i was sleepy.
    Right after having both and being so similar in folding mechanism, size, cables, accesories, prices... but so different soundwise, I decided to write about them.
     
    For this I listened to these two for 2 or 4 hours daily each one for two weeks. and wrote down my thought to turn them into a review, so here it is.
     
    Audio Technica FC700:
     
    3130b85f_ATHFC700_4.jpg
     ​
    ec7df6f5_ATHFC700_5.jpg
     
    Most probable the smallest over the head portable from ATH, and a good looking one, specially considering the price.
     
    Specs: 
    Type: Dynamic
    Driver Diameter: 40mm
    Frequency Response: 10 ~ 24,000 Hz
    Sensitivity: 102 dB/mW
    Max. power input: 500 mW
    Impedance: 40 Ohms
    Cable: 0.5 m + 1.0 m extension, DAP end is L-shaped.
    Weight: 130 g
    Connector: 3.5mm mini-stereo staright.
     
    Build and look:
    It is a very small on-ear portable, specially when folded. The headband is the standard metal surrounded by plastic, its thin and flexible enough to be stretched to the point of being totally straight, and same flexibility to the other way too.
     
    The cups are made of plastic and a transparent plastic cover of the sides which shows the colors of the model, this one is black, although such side of the cup look more like dark brown.
     
    The earpads are made of soft vinyl, very soft and nice to the touch, also they and can be removed easily.
    The cord is short, about 0.5 meters from the plug to the cups, hence why they come with an extension of 1.0 meter. overall a decent quality cord and extension.
     
    Albeit the thin headband and all the plastic, is a good built, I wouldn't be afraid to put this on their bag and  trow them around or inside a backpack with other stuff. Is a solid built and also very portable.
     
    Accessories:
    1.0 M extension (decent quality and docile) and a carrying bag, also very good quality soft vinyl, size is enough as to fit the extension and also an iPod nano or, in this case, my Clip+, without any problem.
     
    Comfort:
    Due to the flexibility of the headband and the soft pads the FC700 are very easy to "wear and forget".
    The clamping force is enough to keep them on while walking around, but it inst strong enough to bother my ears. In fact, after a while one can get used to them and "forget" these are on your head. I could easily wear these for many hours.
     
    Sound:
    The ATH FC700 feels like a rather warm sound that gives you a bit of sense of fullness. pretty much a generic sound signature in the price range.
     
    The highs are there in a decent quantity but nothing to call home about, and with fast complex music they tend to feel 'chopped' as if the bass were interrupting the highs every now and then.
    As for the mids, I'd call them slightly recessed but not bad, they actually go well with the high range together, definetely feels a bit Blanketed. Nothing exceptional here.
    Bass is probably the good thing about these, is strong and reaches some deep notes, but again, when some complex music is on, ie: metal, these feels muddy and too loose.
     
    They do OK for calmer music, don't get me wrong, this is a very friendly sound signature,  easy to get used to if you are not looking for clarity or instruments separation, but rather a common sound in this range. but if you are too picky and demanding about every headphone you might have, these might not worth it.
     
    ------------
     
    Denon AH-P372
     
    4723dbed_Denonp372_6.jpg
     ​
    abfa71b6_Denonp372_7.jpg
     
    Smallest Denon around, also a very good looking can. The folding mechanism is similar to the ATH FC700 but an extra hinge in the headband makes the Denon to fold into an even smaller package.
     
    Specs: 
    Type: Dynamic
    Driver Diameter: 38mm
    Frequency Response: 10 ~ 22,000 Hz
    Sensitivity: 100 dB/mW
    Max. power input: 1000 mW
    Impedance: 35 Ohms
    Cable: 0.5 m + 0.8 m extension DAP end is straight plug.
    Weight: 140 g
    Connector: 3.5mm mini-stereo straight.
     
     
    Build and look:
    When I first got my hand on these all I could thought was "oh my! what a gook looking bastard".
    On further inspection I notice the plastic, is all plastic (except two screws in each hinge), which wouldn't be a problem but it doesn't feel like the good kind of plastic, feels flimsy and cheap, the kind of toasted plastic that breaks. and sometimes I can hear the plastic cracking when i have them on, Although they can be fixed with a combination of earcup positioning and headband adjusting, meaning: adjusting it to a tighter fit. But then it clamps too hard.
     
    The headband is only plastic, the padding is on the top sides of it, which as you will read later is a comfort issue.
    The earpads are soft vinyl and the stuffing is just the right amount. the pads fits tight in the cups, not so ear to remove but not hard to do so either.
    As for the cable, from plug to headphones is extremely thin and its never straight, memory character. 
     
    Accessories:
    Cable extension: The cable isn't much better quality here, it has a lot of memory character and feels flimsy. 0.8 meters, straight plug end.
    Bag: small bag just enough for the P372 themselves and the cable extension, my clip+ fits there but i wouldnt bet an ipod nano will fit. (my zune8 was too tight inside). the bag is made from a light cloth and feels cheap, if I place it between me and the screen, I can see the light trough.
     
     
    Comfort:
    The clamp is strong, presses my ear in a bizarre way, from the bottom part, or the upper if i fix the headband to make it more tight, the padding on the headband is totally  useless, these rest over your head with the middle part of it, which have no padding, my guess is because of the way it folds. Lucky me I have enough hair and it doesn't bothers me... but because of the clamp, I cant stand the AH-P372 for more than one hour on my head, Honestly, and speaking about comfort only, I  feel some sort of relief when taking them off, however the fit has been improving by use, after 2 months is rather better, but still cant stand them for more than one hours.
     
     
    Sound:
    Well, here is where the AH-P372 shines. At first listen I couldn't help notice a prominent mid range with some sort of echoing or reverberation, but as they break in and/or I got used to it, I started noticing the qualities of its sound.
     
    Highs are very clear and, I dare to say, same or more clear than my AKG K240's but lesser in quantity, with some sorts of music. because that is one thing about the AH-P372, they can shine easily with some genres but fail at others.
     
    The one thing different about these is their mid range, specially the mid-highs. it is aggressive and clear, but also very articulate, easy to differentiate the instruments and goes extremely well with some voices, specially the hi-pitched metal-like singers (see the musical references), they also do well in instrumental complex music, that reverberation turns out to be killer for some guitar solos!, also does incredibly with piano and keyboards. sadly they get in the way when listening to calm, simplistic or minimalist tunes, and gives them a rare flavor, this mid range is a hit or miss and will depend entirely of the listener, for me, definitely a hit on some genres.
     
    Now with the bass, most of the main words used to describe the mids would also apply here, clear and articulate, nothing bloated, but not light either, not a dark signature. something that stands up if the punch: strong, tight and sturdy. This goes incredible well with instrumental fast complex music, ie: instrumental metal/progressive metal.
     
    All in all, a sound that grew on me for the best. very nice details and clarity for the price range, with a remarkable mid range that does wonders with my favorite genres. not the most friendly sound though. overall a hit or miss.
    The AH-P372 is very loud, they dont lose clarity at higher volumes and is one of those headphones in which is hard to tell if you are listening at too high volume, until you take them off and get that feeling of "oh man, it was too loud".
     
     
    Comparisons:
     
    In comfort and build quality the FC700 takes the lead easily, specially the because of comfort, the P372's poor padding and strong clamp makes them hard to stand for long periods, nothing that cant be fixed by taking them off every now and then, or being a man and stop whining. Still the FC700 are so comfortable that makes me think "I wish the denons were like this"
     
    About the accessories included... The FC700 have a fancy bag and a decent quality cable extension, the P372 on the other hand, have a bad quality bag and a mediocre cabling, extension included.
     
    Sound-wise is were the P372 can finally catch a breath, and depending of your priorities, even take the lead. I am talking about a  user friendly, common, darkish sound signature of the FC700 against the odd slightly reverberation and clarity of the P372. When I started this comparison some weeks ago, I liked the FC700 better, but as time passed I was appreciating the P372 mid range more and more, I admit the last days I was listening to the FC700 first (as I usually did) and thinking "man, I cant wait to check out this album with the denons". 
     
    Perfect mix for me will be the sound of the P372 with the comfort and accessories/parts of the FC700, also the folding mechanism of the P372 is a plus, here is a shot of them, folded and packed.
     
    acb17d8a_ATHFC700andDenonP372_3.jpg
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    68af1f37_ATHFC700andDenonP372_2.jpg
     ​
    f286b134_ATHFC700andDenonP372_6.jpg
     
     
     
     
    Music references:
    For this pair I selected 2 or 4 albums per day and listen to them twice a day, first time with the FC700 (usually in the morning) and then the same albums with the P372 (afternoon or evening), my selection was the following:
     
    The pineapple Thief - Someone Here is missing
    Pink Floyd - Animals FC700's over P372 in this.
    Nine Inch Nails - Ghosts I-IV Mostly calm and bass driven soundscapes, FC700 would have been fine but it muuded most heavy parts.
    Rush - 2112
    Rush - Moving Pictures this was were i started to like the P372, Geddy's voice has rarely been so pleasant, imo.
    Gong - Expresso II, and here is where the P372 seems to fail, slow calm minimalist music, the mids causes a rare peak that leaves everything else, except the punch, in a second 
    Opeth - Damnation both did well here, but the denons did better.
    Pain of Salvation - BE, Daniel Gildenlow, one of my favorite singers ever, and the FC700 dared to mudd his voice.
    Gazpacho - Firefird
    Gazpacho - Missa Atropos, Gazpacho, calm slow music, definitely FC700's field, although the violin parts sounded superb with the P372.
    Blotted Science - The machinations of dementia P372 field, fast, complex prog metal, the denons tightness and clarity does well here, plus the guitars sound more pleasant than with the FC700, it was rather muddy.  
    Canvas Solaris - Irradiation, same as the above.
    Anathema - We're here because we're here, FC700's are very forgiving at poor quality mp3s or bad recordings.
    Lüger - Lüger FC700's field, the P372 caused some sort of reverberation that gets me "distracted"
     
     
    The End.
     
  2. JamesMcProgger
    Here's some photos, to hopefully make it up fr the lack of words.

     

    ATH FC700

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    b5ba4776_ATHFC700_1.jpg
    8a81cf12_ATHFC700_3.jpg 603ddadb_ATHFC700_cups.jpg
    e9b0933e_ATHFC700_2.jpg  ​
     
     
     

    Denon AH-P372

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    aa0c9dea_Denonp372_1.jpg
    725bd1fe_Denonp372_4.jpg
    500a73c1_Denonp372_cups.jpg
    ebaa05cb_Denonp372_2.jpg
     
      

    Both

     
    0d9bdbe0_ATHFC700andDenonP372_4.jpg   ​
    0e5d32eb_ATHFC700andDenonP372_5.jpg
     
  3. Confispect
    Nice!
     
  4. ljokerl Contributor
    Thanks for the review - sounds like we hear both headphones the same way. I'm a metal listener so the FC700 was far too muddy but for someone who listens to rap or pop or something they should be rather pleasant for what they cost. I have to say that the black P372 looks much better than the white one [​IMG].
     
  5. JamesMcProgger
    extra pictures added.
     
    Quote:

    Thank you sir!
     

    Quote:

    thank you.
    good to know we think the same! [​IMG] ... I wasnt lost heh!
     
    and yes the AH-P372 are some very good looking fella, and it photographs very good too.
     
  6. Confispect
    Great photos I'm considering purchasing some headphones I'm stuck between these and something else though....for starters. 
     
  7. JamesMcProgger


    Quote:


    Thanks
    I think these two are very good option, and both are good, considering the price range. and depending what kind of sound you want. 
    I have the ATH M50 as my main portable and still sometimes i feel like taking the denon out for a quick listen. not so with the fc700 but, that is only a matter of taste.
     

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