Denon’s 2012 headphone line: Denon outdoes itself with eleven new models

Denon's AH-W7100 headphones

With new headphone product announcements being made on an almost daily basis, it’s become difficult to get too excited as they come across our desk. Not to sound too jaded, folks, but the headphone bandwagon filled up a long time ago.  A recent announcement from Denon, however, managed to kindle some excitement for what 2012 has in store for headphone lovers. During a D&M Holdings (soon to be D+M Group) press conference, Denon executives announced a grand total of eleven new headphone models, besting a prior release of six new models in 2010 which, at the time, was billed as Denon’s re-dedication to the headphone market. 

Denon’s wisely segmented its headphone offerings into four distinct, intuitive categories: Music Maniac (aimed at traditional audiophiles), Urban Raver (aimed at tech-savvy, younger listeners), Globe Cruiser (for the frequent traveler) and Exercise Freak (Sports/Fitness junkies). The new line-up isn’t just about clever nomenclature, though. Denon has integrated some seriously thoughtful and useful features into various models in its new line. For instance, all on-ear and over-ear models will feature pentagonal-shaped memory foam ear pads which Denon claims will seat more securely and comfortably on the ear. We’re also intrigued by Denon’s decision to place all integrated microphones within the headphone hardware itself (near the ear) rather than toe the line with an in-line mic. Mobile device control appears especially clever as Denon is integrating control wheels which will not only adjust volume, answer and end phone calls and change tracks, but will allow access to Siri on the iPhone 4S. Perhaps most importantly, we can expect these headphones will sound great. We’ve shared our enthusiasm for Denon’s excellent sounding headphones in the past –check out our Denon AH-D1100 review, for example– and we expect these new models will come through with more of the same signature sound. 

Each line comes with its own dedicated smartphone apps that allow for custom EQ curves, quick access to playlists and Internet radio, and punch-through access to relevant third-party apps such as MyFitness for exercisers or Kayak for travelers. 

For more information on the new models, release dates and prices, check out our break-down below:

Music Maniac:

Three models fill out the  Music Maniac line, all of which are due August 2012. At $1300, the Artisan, AH-D7100 sit at the top of the line and promise superb sound,  mahogany-graced ear cups, and a display stand to show it all off. Next down the line are the $500 AH-D6000, another over-ear style which should offer audio excellence at a more accessible price. Finally, the $350 AH-C400, which are billed as an audiophile-worthy in-ear offering, will sport dual balanced armature drivers. 

Urban Raver:

denons 2012 headphone line denon outdoes itself with eleven new models headphones  1In the Urban Raver line, we find models similar to those in the audiophile-oriented Music Maniac line, but armed with built-in amplifiers to enable boosted bass and treble curves that tend to appeal to younger listeners. The $500 over-ear AH-D600 works both with and without the 12-hour battery which drives its built-in amplifier. The $350 AH-C400 is the in-ear version for this line. Both sport Denon’s control wheel and integrated microphone.

Globe Cruiser: 

We think these active noise-cancelers look good enough that they should have Bose owners drop-kicking their QC2’s onto the tarmac. The $500 AH-NCW500 are due in September of 2012 and support denons 2012 headphone line denon outdoes itself with eleven new models headphones  10Bluetooth 3.0 and aptX, which promises great audio quality. Plugging in the optional headphone cable disables the wireless functionality  — a smart idea for plane travelers. We see the Denon control wheel here as well, but this model offers dual integrated microphones for supposedly better call and voice clarity on the go. The $180 AH-W200 are an attractively priced in-ear version with all of the same amenities, due a month earlier in August. 

Exercise Freak:

“Freak” seems like a strong term but, hey, you don’t have to like it to see that these sports-oriented headphones have a lot to offer. The $150 AH-W150 are available in a handful of bright colors and feature Bluetooth wireless connectivity, a reflective rear band that keeps the ‘buds secure and your sweaty self safe as well as strategically placed ear cushions for added comfort and improved ventilation (read: less sweaty headphones). These also come with the mini version of the control wheel, access to Siri, and integrated microphone. 

denons 2012 headphone line denon outdoes itself with eleven new models headphones  6
Product Review

Samsung’s Galaxy Buds are a brilliant combination of value and comfort

With six hours of battery life, an extremely comfortable fit, sweatproofing, and a very palatable price tag, Samsung’s Galaxy Buds are putting all other true wireless earbuds on notice.
Home Theater

The best noise-canceling headphones paint your music on a cleaner canvas

Drowning out the sound of babies, jet engines, and the outside world isn't as difficult as it seems. Here are the best noise-canceling headphones, whether you're concerned with style, comfort, or sound.
Home Theater

Wireless headphones are finally awesome, and these are our favorites

With sleek form factors, prime audio quality, and the freedom of untethered listening, there has never been a better time to pick up a pair of wireless headphones. These are the best ones currently available.
Home Theater

Apple may be making noise-canceling headphones safer to use on the streets

Over-the-ear headphones are massively popular, but they block a lot of outside sounds, which increases the risk of accidents. A new Apple invention hints at a way to have great sound, and great safety, and it might be coming soon.
Computing

Great PC speakers don't need to break the bank. These are our favorites

Not sure which PC speakers work best with your computer? Here are the best computer speakers on the market, whether you're working with a tight budget or looking to rattle your workstation with top-of-the-line audio components.
Movies & TV

LeBron James’ Space Jam 2 gets an official release date

LeBron James has brought on Black Panther director Ryan Coogler to produce his upcoming Space Jam sequel, with Terence Nance attached to direct the film. Space Jam 2 is expected to hit theaters in July 2021.
Home Theater

Apple is arming up to redefine TV just like it did the phone

Curious about what Apple's answer to Netflix will be? Us too. So we combed through some patents, and looked at the landscape, to come up with a bold prediction: Apple's streaming service will be way bigger than anyone thinks.
Movies & TV

Battle of the movie ticket sites: How to make sense of the fledgling industry

MoviePass may be the industry leader in subscription-based movie ticket sales, but the company's troubles have opened the door for competitors AMC Stubs A-List, Sinemia, and Cinemark Movie Club. Here's how the services compare.
Home Theater

Bask in the glory of your home theater with these 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray movies

What good is a 4K TV if you don't have the means of pushing it to its limits? Here are our favorite 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays, all of which are nothing short of stunning. It'll make you wonder why you haven't always watched movies this way.
Home Theater

Get the most boom for your buck with the best headphones under $100

Everybody wants a bargain, and this list has a bunch. For those looking for a solid set of headphones without spending a big stack of cash, this list is is your starting point. Check out our picks for the best headphones under $100.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (February 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Deals

Amazon delivers a sale on Sony wireless noise-canceling headphones

Among the most popular noise-canceling wireless headphone brands are Sony, Beats by Dre, Sennheiser, and Bose, but they can all be expensive. Amazon is discounting Sony's WH-CH700N wireless headphones now. Pick up a great pair of…
Home Theater

Sony slowly rolls out its 2019 lineup of enormous TVs, with pricing to match

Like the slowly retreating glacier that is the winter of 2019, new TV prices are beginning to be uncovered. Sony is the latest company to reveal what we'll have to pay, but so far, only one model has shown up.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in February, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to 'Roma'

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.