First impressions of Denon 2012 headphone line

Back at the end of May, Denon announced its latest lineup this fall for the upcoming 2012 headphones, ranging between high-end models for audiophiles or more modest versions for casual users. Today, we caught up with Denon’s presentation of the line to give you a preview of what to expect in the coming weeks.

Shipping next week is the impressive Music Maniac line, Denon’s first tier product. The $1,200 AH-D7100 model is an over the hear headphone that has a 50mm driver and detachable cables for home listening or on-the-go wires for maximum portability. What’s special about these Denon headphones is the shape of the ear piece, which is more rectangular than circular. Denon claims that after a study of ear shapes amongst various consumers, it was best to design an ear cup that follows the long shape of the ear rather than the traditional circle for the best comfort and noise-cancellation ability. The AH-D7100 also has a hand-carved mahogany wood detail, which looks sleek against the matte silver headband. It was also as comfortable to wear as Denon says it would be, and is relatively lightweight for a pair of headphones packing that much power.

Lower models of the Music Maniac line are also available at a more affordable price. The AH-D600, which comes in a classic, all black body is $500 while the in-ear AH-C400 will run for $350. All the models will be compatible with the free Denon Audio App for iOS and Android which allows you to control bass, treble, or equalize any song to custom fit your preference.

For those looking for a lot of bass in their headphones, Denon also offers the Urban Raver headphones in both in-ear and over-the-ear options. Both come with a unique patent-pending feature of volume control built into the ear piece. Simply turn the knob forward or backward on your right ear to lower or increase sound, as well as press the middle to pause or play. In the AH-D400 over-the-ear version, this piece also lights up in the dark while in use, making it targeted for a younger audience who’s looking to be stylish with their audio gears. These are available later this fall.

With the Global Cruiser line, the models are designed to get you moving through the airport or faster paces of life at ease, without losing the tune of your music. On the higher end of the line is the AH-NCW500 headphones which come in a neat carrying case. The earpieces fold sideways so you can pack it flat, and also includes the in-ear volume dial and music control much like the Urban Ravers. These models are made with a sleek, aluminum touch which makes it look more luxurious. If you need to pick up a call during your song, the earphone will also lower your music to alert you of the call, which you can pick up straight from the button on the earpiece. You can even access the use of Siri with the built-in microphone on the earpiece. Denon also includes an accompanying travel app for iOS or Android so you can play music and access the rest of the apps on your phone without needing to go back to the main menu.

Lastly, the Exercise Freak line feature in-ear headphones that sits behind the back of your neck and functions wirelessly via Bluetooth so you can workout without the wires getting in the way of your performance. The earpieces are sweat-proof and has an in-ear built in control to start and pause your music. This line also has its own separate app made for fitness, using your GPS location to track the distance and pace of your run and monitoring your daily food consumption to calculate a healthy lifestyle choices for you while you keep everything in tune.

Expect the Global Cruiser, Urban Raver, and Exercise Freak some time in September.

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