When we say Denon’s four new headphones are ear pleasing, it’s because they are. Whilst we wouldn’t think of buying a new set of phones that didn’t have a natural sound quality, we wouldn’t go within cooee of any pair that didn’t sit comfortably on our ears. And neither should you.
The four newbie ‘phones are the $599 AH-MM400, the $449 AH-MM300, the $329 AH-MM200 and the $599 wireless noise cancelling AH-GC20.
The price of this model tells you it’s a premium grade Denon headphone fully built for reference quality sound. An over-ear model, our sample fitted snugly over our ears insulating what we were hearing from the hubbub of noise outside.
Build quality and lavished on the MM400s is substantial ranging from the luxurious walnut ear cups to the 40mm carbon/paper composite ear speaker diaphragms that also feature Free Edge Technology, oxygen free cable and expensive Neodymium magnets. Free Edge technology removes the need for any traditional diaphragm suspension and yields an extended frequency response all the way to 40 kHz.
The AH-MM400s come supplied with a storage pouch and weigh 310 grams. Sensitivity is 96 dB/mW and frequency response 10-40,000 Hz.
If your budget can’t stretch all the way to a pair of MM400s but you don’t want to compromise on sound or comfort, consider a pair of $449 MM300s.
Yes, you don’t get walnut ear cups but you do get a pair of beautifully engineered fiber reinforced ellipsoid ear cups. You also get a sound that’s close to the quality of the dearer models but you lose none of the comfort.
Like the more expensive MM400s, the MM300 carries 40mm carbon paper composite diaphragms, are equipped with Free Edge technology and they user oxygen free copper cables to carry the signal from your source to the ear cups.
The cable, by the way, is detachable and also has a built in remote and microphone. Handy for use with any smartphone particularly when you’re on the move.4
The MM300 weigh just 195 grams and have a sensitivity of 96 dB/mW that suits a huge range of smart devices. Frequency response is 10-40,0000- Hz.
Clearly a long listening session revealed the AH-MM200 is a lot of headphone for the money. At $329, the MM200’s ruler flat frequency response makes them a bit of a bargain.
The MM200s fold away nicely and neatly into their supplied carrying pouch. This makes it easy to slip them into a bag, satchel or coat pocket.
Like the dearer models, the MM200s feature two detachable oxygen free copper cables and one has built in microphone and a remote to operate volume levels, choose tracks and smartphone control. The MM200s use 300mm triple layer diaphragms powered by Neodymium magnets to generate sound.
Comfortable on the ear thanks to the use of fiber reinforced ellipsoid ear cups, the mm20s weigh 130 grams, have a sensitivity of 99 dB.mW and a frequency response of 10-25,000 Hz.
We couldn’t wait to take the $599 AH-GC20 wireless noise-cancelling phone for a spin. So we used this overhead model with a wide range of music where it performed like a pedigree model should. We heard scads of detail, beautifully balanced frequency response and as natural a tonal quality as you would wish for.
The GC20 was wonderfully comfortable and kept out the ambient noise. Denon says it keep out 99 per cent of all ambient noise. Nice if you live near an airport, train line or a busy street.
More importantly it would be a boon using it on public transport or on your next flight to enjoy the music stored on your smartphone or tablet, wirelessly.
It’s also feature studded and is equipped with Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) and Bluetooth 4.0 Dual Mode wireless technology. Also handy is the inclusion of cVc, clear voice capture circuitry which along with aptX low Latency wireless audio coding makes audio quality and phone calls as clear as crystal. The GC-20 is also dandy to use with the Denon Travel application for handy finger grip control over a huge range of functions. The app is available in iOS and Android versions.
Each GH-20 is bundled with a carry case, airline cable adapter, detachable cable and USB MicroB charging cable.
Denon Is Receiving You Loud And Clear
With Denon’s illustrious history as a premium audio-video brand, it’s no surprise its $1799 DRA-100 Full Digital Network Receiver is something a little special.
It leads the l long feature count with Bluetooth an d Wireless connectivity both a must have for consumers who desire to stream albums and tracks stored on a NAS drive, using their home network. Or they can simply listen to thousands of online radio stations and also tap into music using Spotify Connect.
Point is, the DRA-100 has all the wireless streaming options covered as well as supporting a huge range of file formats. These include FLAC and AIFF with 24-bit/92 kHz hi-res tracks, WIMA, WAV, AAC and MP3. DSD 2.8 and 5.6Mhz are also on its list.
There’s also NFC pairing and a USB port on the fascia to handle music from iDevices. The DRA-100 uses Denon’s hi-fi remote up for android and iOS smart devices that can then operate its many features. Power on tap is 70-watts for two channels. Add to this heady mix of features a discrete headphone amplifier and a sub-woofer pre-out connection.
For more info: www.denon.com.au