Last year, Japanese audio specialist Denon celebrated 100 years of making high-quality audio devices. The company has decades of experience in creating top notch audio devices, starting out in 1910 as a manufacturer of gramophones and single-sided discs. Now, Denon specializes in consumer- and professional-grade audio and home cinema equipment, including tuners, Blu-ray players, audio/video receivers, digital audio systems and of course headphones.
Now we take a look at Denon’s mid-range headphones that aims to bridge the gap between higher-end audiophile systems and budget headphones, the AH-D1100.
Denon’s 100th anniversary AH-D1100 is an ultra lightweight, circumaural (full size) set of headphones which claims spectacular and clear audio quality, without the need for spending extortionate amounts of money. I put them to the test to see if these claims were true.
The earpieces of the Denon AH-D1100 headphones are constructed from synthetic leather with foam padding. While this is nothing new, as headphones commonly incorporate the same design attributes, Denon has built a seriously comfortable pair of headphones. You can wear them the whole day without feeling any discomfort. To facilitate a comfortable fit, the headphone’s earcups are suspended, enabling vertical pivot.
The outside of the earcup has a “multi-layer sandwich design that incorporates machined aluminium alloy bonded to a resin compound material that together provide the ultimate combination of lightness and rigidity.”
The earcups of the AH-D1100 will rotate and pivot enough so you can fold them down and to fit them in the included leather pouch. While this is great, one problem some may experience with this is that they don’t fold down to a more portable/compact form. However, if they did the quality and comfort may have been compromised and i’d take that over space saving everyday of the week.
The AH-D1100 has a cord that stretches 3 feet from both right and left headphone, and has a standard 1/8″ headphone jack. If you are going to use them in the recording studio a 1/4-inch adapter and an extension cable has been included, making these headphones versatile right out of the box.
The shorter cable, unfortunately, is hard-wired to the set, so if ever you come across some issues (like you cut or snag the cable), you will have to send the whole headphones in for repair, instead of just swapping the cables out just like on other headphones like the Beats Pro by By Dr. Dre from Monster, or Vmoda Crossfade headphones.
One common complaint that these headphones have is their ‘plasticky’ feel. The company claims that the chassis is made of an aluminum alloy, which is great, but it could be made from plastic, as it feels, looks and smells like it.
Even though it feels that way, one of its positive aspects is the lightweight construction. The Denon AH-D1100 just weighs in at 189 grams, which again makes them extremely comfortable to wear.
The Denon AH-D1100’s performance mirrors its design, as these headphones offer clear, balanced and precise audio. With its closed-back design, the headphones can facilitate enhanced bass production. Its 50 mm drivers, combined with generous enclosure, good seal and the company’s voicing efforts make the AH-D1100 offer some robust bass response. Bass guitars are very percussive and kick drums are resonant and punchy.
The AH-D1100’s mid-range was open and uncongested. Vocal tracks were reproduced with the intimacy and clarity that you can only experience by using high-end headphones. The bass response does not affect the headphone’s mid and high output.
Surprisingly, the AH-D1100 can handle audio at high volumes very well. It has a lot of headroom, meaning that the sound does not easily distort when listening at higher volumes. Although it is not recommended to listen to music at loud volumes, it is good to know that these won’t lose control when you need to crank it up ;-).
Despite their ultra-lightweight construction, the AH-D1100 offers good sound isolation. Even though it does not include noise-cancelling technologies, its earcups do a really great job at blocking sound from the surroundings. It doesn’t let too much sound in and it also does not let too much out, meaning that you can turn the volume up without annoying the person sitting right next to you.
The Denon AH-D1100 is a very light and sturdy pair of headphones that offer a strong, balanced sound. Even though some parts feel plasticky, they are very comfortable and can be used the whole day without any problems. These are great for those who are looking for great sounding headphones without having to pay too much.
Right out of the box, you can use it to listen to your favorite songs from portable media players and move to the recording studio to finish up you tracks with ease. The Denon AH-D1100 is now available for
£110 £97 from Amazon.