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Luxury Full-Sized Sealed Headphones with Great Bass, Poorly Designed Cord Edit
by imagic Combined Rating: 4.0
A few months ago, I bought a pair of Monster Inspire headphones—which I found to be tremendous. I let my wife Danya try them on and I could sense a tinge of envy—she appreciates good sound. To...
Pros Cons
  • Full range, detailed, great sense of space. Very deep bass, but always tight. Massive, comfortable earpads. Comes with two cords.
  • Headphone cord rubs against my shoulders if I tilt my head too much.

A few months ago, I bought a pair of Monster Inspire headphones—which I found to be tremendous. I let my wife Danya try them on and I could sense a tinge of envy—she appreciates good sound. To alleviate any potential domestic strife, I needed to have two pairs of premium cans in the house. My solution? I picked up a pair of Denon AH-D600 "Music Maniac" headphones. At first, I was glad I took the plunge, because I found the AH-D600 is quite similar to the Monster Inspire. I also have a pair of AKG K701, and I prefer both the AH-D600 and the Inspire to those cans, even when strictly comparing sound quality. The AH-D600 is decidedly geeky and ridiculous-looking compared to the Inspire, but makes up for it by being so luxurious-feeling. The earpads are the headphone equivalent of a Cadillac driver's seat.

The AH-D600 is a great performer. It's primary attribute is an uncanny ability to make bass sound real—as if there was a subwoofer in the room. While there is a noticeable difference between the Monster and the Denon cans in terms of how music is reproduced, that difference is relatively minimal compared to some other headphones I have sampled lately. The Inspire has a touch more intensity to it while the D600 manages to be a bit more open. There is near total parity in terms of bass, but the AH-D600 manages to make the bass feel real. I think the AH-D600 comes close to sounding perfect. Frankly I'm surprised by how much I enjoy both cans, after a series of disappointments with some Sennheiser and Logitech models (HD-380, UE6000), and a few weeks trying really hard to like the Pioneer HDJ-2000.


If there's a fly in the ointment when it comes to the AH-D600, it's the way the detachable cords connect to the earcups. The AH-D600 comes with two cords—one high-quality "audiophile" cord, and one that includes a microphone. Unfortunately, the plugs on the cords stick out a bit too much, which restricts head movement. On occasion they would poke my shoulder. I think Denon should have designed a cord with shorter plugs, it is an annoying design flaw that spoils an otherwise great product. Check out this photo from Denon, you can see how close the cables are to the model's shoulders. All he has to do is tilt his head up a bit and the cables will poke him. 

Denon's own marketing photo shows how the plugs on the cable are too long


Thanks to my experience with the AH-D600, I'm in a place where the vaunted K701—my reference headphone for almost five years—sounds thin and generally lacking in comparison. If it were not for the sonic excellence of another recent acquisition—Sony's rather amazing MDR-1R—I would have kept the Denon cans. However, the Sonys were good enough to prompt me to get rid of the AH-D600. I still recommend the Denon AH-D600 because it performs so well, and when it comes to tight, deep bass it reigns supreme. I gave the AH-D600 four stars, but only because of the cord—otherwise it is a five-star product.

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General Kenobi 12-21-2013, 08:11 AM

The K701 does sound thin compared to these and there is an absence of emotion in the way the render vocals however I found the D600's to be less enjoyable than their predecessor the D5000. While they did a great job tightening up the sloppy bass of the D5000 and maintaining the warm sonic character the mid range is so recessed it throws off the balance and pulls vocals too far back from the rest of the spectrum. I found them to be fairly enjoyable for some rock music but the recessed mids really bothered me and I ended up returning them. I did appreciate the packaging and urban style making them more portable than the D5000. I also liked that they leaked sound less than the D5000. In this price range I personally think there are better offerings from Grado, Senn, Beyer, AKG, etc. I am a big fan of Denon products and owned the D7000 for a long time which was amazing for music and movies however I feel the missed the mark a bit with this one.

MuaySteve 12-21-2013, 06:10 AM

Great review. I had a chance to audition these last week. Easily one of the most comfy sets I have ever tried on. Unfortunately they are $550 up here in Canada, which seems outright criminal compared to the $268 you can get them for right now in the US.

kbeam418 12-20-2013, 11:30 AM

Excellent review imagic.

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