Denon AH-D5000 Headphone Reviews

Manufacturer Denon Model AH-D5000
Headphone Type Closed Circumaural Headband Type Single
Weight (g) 370 Driver Type Dynamic
Enclosure Material Wood Isolation (dB) 12
Impedance (ohms) 25 Cable Length (cm) 300
Frequency Response (Hz) 5 - 45000  
Connector 3.5mm with 6.5mm adaptor Street Price US$479
Buy from Amazon.com  
Average reviewer scores
Bass Extension 8.0 Bass Impact 8.0
Bass Quality 7.0 Mids Quality 7.5
Highs Quality 7.0 Soundstage 6.5
Detail 7.5 Portability 2.5
Isolation 6.0 Comfort 8.0
Durability 8.0 Improvement With Amplification 8.0
Value for Money 6.0    
Overall Score 7.5 Total Reviews 2

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Reviews by our members

Review by Senior Member Skylab on 11 Nov 12  14:43
Individual review
Bass Extension8
Bass Impact9
Bass Quality8
Mids Quality7
Highs Quality7
Detail7
Comfort9
Durability8
Value6

Denon's first high-end headphone in a very long time is a VERY good one.

I bought the D5000’s from Pricejapan.com for $553 shipped via DHL express. I received them within one week of order. Some immediate things I noticed:

1. They are perhaps the most comfortable headphone I have ever worn. I always thought Beyerdynamic headphones were unbeatable in this regard. The Beyers are supremely comfortable, but they clamp a little more, and are a little heavier, than the Denons. Note that I don't find leather "hot" like some people, though, and all my Beyers have leather pads.

2. While these are closed, the seal is not too good, but it isn't sensitive to placement in the ear. The way the earpads are there is really only one way for it to go over the ear, unlike a Beyer or AKG headphone where it surrounds the ear so much that it can be slid back and forth quite a bit, which does effect balance. They do not isolate as well as the 06 DT770's – a notable amount less. They are certainly not going to bother anyone next to you, but they do not block out tons of external sound.

3. They are very light, and they are much smaller in depth than the JVC DX1000 (but about the same diameter).

4. These could NEVER be used un-amped. I know the specs say 25 ohm and 106db sensitivity, but to get the same volume level as an 80 ohm Darth Beyer required 30% more crank from my Meier Opera amp.

5. The cable is not microphonic at all, unlike the JVC DX1000 where the cable transmits quite a bit of noise to the headphone.

6. The driver sits VERY close to the ear, which undoubtedly has a lot to do with why there is a somewhat forward presentation.

7. The wood is very pretty, but not the most beautiful I have ever seen. It's most like Wenge - very dark brown wood with very little red in it. Pics below. The leather earpads and headband are awesome and very supple. Again, easily the most comfortable headphone I have ever worn.

Pictures:

http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i45/rdh_skylab/DSC01293.jpg
http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i45/rdh_skylab/DSC01294.jpg

Sound Quality:

Overall, they sound very, very good. Very open mids, deep, well defined bass, and clear, clean, treble. This is not to say they are the best thing I have ever heard, but they are easily worth $500.

The highs are smooth, and there is quite a bit of treble energy - well extended and nicely detailed. I would not describe it as bright, but it isn’t laid back in the treble, either, though. It suits the overall response well. The treble is also quite transparent, which gives it a very open, natural quality.

Midrange is just slightly on the forward side of neutral, but highly transparent, and not edgy at all. The midrange is very alluring. I normally prefer a more relaxed midrange presentation, but because the Denons have powerful bass, the slightly forward mids do not make them annoying. There is enough bass power to balance the slightly forward midrange, and the transparency of the midrange make it very engaging. There is no glare, harshness or grain.

The D5000s have robust, powerful bass. They are headphones that a bass lover (like me) can really enjoy. The bass is not as strong as the older DT770’s, but on par with the new ones, and a little better in quality. Bass articulation, definition, and attack are very good, and way above average. It does bass very well, since the quantity is plentiful, and the quality of that robust bass is VERY good.

For soundstage...the D5000 has a slightly smaller soundstage than any of my Beyer headphones. It is less wide and less deep. However, image specificity is excellent - maybe a little better than any of my Beyer headphones. So there is a bit of a trade-off there.

I have listened to the Denons on a variety of headphone amps: Meier Audio Opera, Aria, HA-2 II/SE, and Singlepower PPX3, and ASL OTL mk III. I liked the Denons best on the Opera and Singlepower. I like a warm sounding headphone, and on the HA-2 and Aria I wanted just a little more warmth. The PPX3 did the trick for sure, and I swear everything seems to sound its best on the Opera :D .

Comparisons:

http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i45/rdh_skylab/DSCN0466.jpg

For obvious reasons, I did some extensive comparisons to the JVC DX1000. These are both excellent headphones. The JVC has the deepest bass I have ever heard from a headphone, and the Denon didn't best it there. The Denon's bass is a little more robust overall, and both have among the very best in terms of bass articulation, definition, and speed for cans with a good amount of bass.

The Denon, to me, has the more natural midrange. It really excels here. The JVC always had just a slight nasal coloration to the midrange that keeps it from being a very top tier can. The Denon has no such coloration. It probably has the most neutral midrange of any headphone I own, right up there with the DT880 and the K701's mids.

The treble is a toss up, and neither is perfect. The JVC lacks the last little bit of extension and air, but the Denon may have just a tiny bit of extra sparkle. This may disappear with even more break in. Both have excellent treble overall, however.

The Denon images better. The soundstage is about the same width and depth, and image specificity is better. But again, both are very good.

The Denons are also more comfortable, although the JVC's are just fine. But I put the Denon's on my 8 year old son's head, and the first thing he said was "these are so comfy"! They really are. It's hard to imagine how a headphone could be more comfortable than the D5000.

I like both of the Japanese woodies a lot, but I'd say that after about a dozen switchovers, it was clear to me that I prefer the Denon. YMMV of course.

I compared the D5000 to the DT880/600, using the ASL MG-Head OTL mkIII. These headphones sound more similar than the D5000 and the Darth Beyers do, or even JVC DX1000's do. The Denons have more bass output, and a slightly more forward midrange than the DT880. The DT880's sound a little smoother, have a slightly more refined treble, and have a better overall soundstage. I slightly prefer the DT880’s treble and midrange, and I prefer the bass of the Denon. But they are very close.

I further compared the D5000 to the DT990. The tonal quality is very different of course. The Denon has slightly forward mids, and the DT990 slightly recessed. This gives the DT990 the feeling of having both more bass and treble, of course. I think that the Denon's mids are just forward of neutral. The DT990's are just recessed of neutral. So they sound pretty different. But anyone who wants a headphone with punchy bass but more forward mids than the DT990 has would do well with the Denon. The articulation of bass on the Denon and DT990 are fairly comparable, with the Denon maybe having a slight edge.

Finally, I also compared to the Headphile Darth Beyers, and the Denons are pretty different sounding. The Denons have excellent bass, but less midbass than the DB's. The Denons have a more neutral midrange, though, and are the more "accurate" headphone overall. They also have more detail. It's very difficult for me to say which I like better. The Denons are the first headphone I have ever had that had a really neutral midrange and detailed treble but still had enough bass for me, and that's why I am pretty enamored with them. I like them for the same reasons I like the 2006 DT990's so much. But the Darth Beyers are so wonderful for a “relaxed listen”, that I still prefer them in some respects. They are essentially different enough that they are not going to appeal to the same person who has a strong preference in tonality. I am sure happy to have both!

So, to sum up, the AH-D5000 is a very high quality headphone with some outstanding qualities, and is a great listen. It will appeal to a large number of music lovers, and is very fairly, even attractively, priced. Well done, Denon!

Review by Senior Member chunkage on 14 Apr 08  07:43
Individual review
Bass Extension8
Bass Impact7
Bass Quality6
Mids Quality8
Highs Quality7
Detail8
Comfort7
Durability8
Value6

Dark mahogany, faux leather, and striking metal accents give the D5000 the look and feel of luxury phones. Out of the box, it's clear that there's an accent on bass - like a layer of bass "padding." They look eerily like the wood JVC HP-DX1000 - even have the same bass-head power.

- Comfort: The pads are very soft, though clamping is relatively firm. There's maybe a bit less space around the ears than you might find in the K701, though the D5000 has a lighter foam. On hot days, it's not quite like a sauna, but you'll want to take a break from your preferred mega-jam.

- Break-in: Over time, there's less of a sense of sonic "distance" - eventually replaced by an easy immediacy. Since it's a relatively bass-rich phone, the differences may be less easy to discern than for, say, the K701 or K1k.

- Sound: The first thing that strikes you is the enveloping bass, the full-range sweetness of the trebles, followed by more of the bass. The bass is never completely tight; while most often pleasing, I found that aggressive EQ was (for the most part) able to handle things. On extended listening, the bass-mids-treble balance is more harmonious, though always softened by an insistent bass layer.

- Mods promise the ability to pare down the bass in favor of a more even sound. Results seem to depend on the listener, though the D5000 is relatively rich with options. If you listen to music primarily off iTunes, you can get the benefits of modding - simply by varying the EQ. At its very best, you'll discover a tonality combined with sonic energy.

Denon AH-D5000