Today’s headphone market is saturated with flashy, urban inspired, street-style offerings typified by exotic materials, outrageous colors and celebrity endorsements. It’s easy to understand then how one might end up overlooking Denon’s latest submission, the AH-D1100. This unassuming set circum-aural headphone may look plain at first glance, but closer inspection reveals that there is nothing “vanilla” about them at all. Designed to perform, built to last and priced to sell, the AH-D1100 offer a remarkably comfortable listening experience that does Denon’s legacy of excellence justice.
The AH-D1100’s are attractively packaged in a simple, high-gauge plastic box that allows the onlooker to see just enough of the headphones to know what they are getting into. Inside the box, we found a soft storage pouch, an extension cable and a 1/8” to ¼” adapter to allow the headphones to be connected to home stereo or studio equipment. The AH-D1100’s feel light for their size and a quick check of the box confirms that they weigh in at just 6.7 oz. without their cable.
With the D1100’s, Denon has opted to employ a “less is more” approach to aesthetic design. Only Denon’s name appears printed on the outside of the otherwise flat black ear-cup. The headband and ear-cup suspension are comprised of a silver, semi-gloss, super lightweight plastic that serves to accent the flat-black ear-cups.
Features and Design
The AH-D1100’s utilize a fairly large, 50mm driver that is angled back, just slightly, toward the ear from within the ear-cup. The inside of the ear-cup is moderately padded and lined with an ultra soft leather-like material. The outside of the ear-cup is comprised of a machined aluminum alloy bonded to a resin compound that assists in acoustical dampening and sound isolation. To facilitate a comfortable fit, the ear-cups are suspended to allow some generous vertical pivot. Adding to the D1100’s comfort-quotient is the amply padded headband that echoes the use of compliant foam and faux leather found on the ear-cups.
The D1100’s cord stretches a modest 3 feet from both the left and right headphone and is terminated with a standard 1/8” jack. For use at home or in the recording studio, Denon has included an extension cable and ¼” adapter, making the D1100’s versatile right out of the box.
The D1100’s ear-cups will pivot and rotate enough to fold down flat and fit in the provided soft, pleather pouch. However, they don’t really fold down to a more compact form so travelers will want to leave enough space in their bag to tuck the D1100’s away.