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Denon AH-D2000 Headphones review




  • Recommended by TR

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Denon AH-D2000 Headphones
  • Denon AH-D2000 Headphones
  • Denon AH-D2000 Headphones
  • Denon AH-D2000 Headphones
  • Denon AH-D2000 Headphones
  • Denon AH-D2000 Headphones


Our Score:


Sometimes it seems that ear canal headphones are taking over the world. Almost every pair of upgrade headphones on the market seems to be of the noise isolation variety and even some MP3 manufacturers are beginning to include them with their players. Whatever happened to quality earbuds? They seem to be rapidly going the way of the dodo. And how about over-the-head cans?

They might seem old-fashioned and esoteric, but don't write them off just yet. The simple fact is that traditional headphones are the best way of enjoying your tunes at home - and better still they can produce incredibly good quality music for the money. I've owned a pair of Grado's SR325i's for some time now, and they're perfect for a bit of late night headbanging when the kids are asleep, or for chilling out to a spot of classical without having to turn the volume down so low you can't hear the quiet bits. And for a mere £280 they sound far better than any pair of speakers you could buy for the money.

This is precisely the market that Denon's AH-D2000's are aimed at. They're expensive - at £250 this is not a purchase to be made lightly - but they are every bit the quality audio component. They're simply beautifully constructed: luxuriously soft leather padding is wrapped around the headband; the ear pads are made from the same soft padding and leather, with stitching a Saville Row tailor would be proud of; and the earcups, though large, are not as heavy as they might be thanks to a lightweight magnesium subframe. Put these on your head and you really feel cosseted - it's like the audio equivalent of travelling in first class, driving a very expensive car or eating out at a Michelin three star restaurant.

Though they don't fold flat for storage, the rest of the design smacks of similarly careful attention to detail. The hinges on the earcups, for instance, are solid metal and they extend from the headband with a satisfyingly smooth clicking action. The cable running from each ear is wrapped in a tightly-woven cloth jacket and there's a generous three metres of it, too - so you can sit a fair distance away from your stereo without having the wires tug at your ears when you move. At the end of this cable is yet another luxurious touch - a hefty-feeling 3.5mm stereo jack made from solid, cold metal. A nice touch - most high-end headphones such as this have the larger 1/4in (6.35mm) type that must then be converted back to 3.5mm for listening to portable players

Mikko Lahti

September 21, 2008, 4:44 am

Great review,

But.. "Worryingly, when I cranked the volume up during the louder choral passages, the AH-D2000s started to break up," > doesn't sound like something you should even mention, or do without any mention of proper burn-in, we're talking about true hifi cans here afterall.

Also, I would like to know what kind of setup you used to run these cans, because that really does affect the listening experience, otherwise the review, while good, still sounds a bit one-dimensional (I do know that the basic consumer doesn't need to know such details, but this isn't really the most basic consumer product is it?). cheers


September 21, 2008, 9:56 am

you know, some guy at a train station asked if he could swap these headphones for my grado sr80's a while ago...

i should have said yes

Mikko Lahti

September 21, 2008, 2:19 pm

Whoa 'ilovethemonkeyhead', why would somebody do such a swap? You really should have said yes :P


September 21, 2008, 6:29 pm

I got mine 2 weeks ago and I haven't noticed any break-up when playing them, which means they must be cranked up uncomfortably loud in order to expose this flaw. Only done about 24 hours worth of burn-in but it already sounds amazing. I've been using a pair of Sennheiser HD600 for the past 8 years and these Denons are the closest I have come to matching them. I would say that the HD600 still has the edge, it just sounds a little bit more natural and airy. The Denon's have a VERY smooth sound, and stonking bass. The bass is just a little bit on the excessive side, but it's great for rock music. Recently I've also owned a pair of Audio-Technica ATH-AD900 but the Denon wins easily.

Mikko, I've used the Denons straight out of my Sony mp3 player and they sound great. They're very low impedance so go loud enough easily. For more serious listening I have a Meier portable headphone amp connected to the line-out dock of an iPod (bypassing the iPod's onboard amp). The amp adds body and impact to the sound, and opens up the upper frequencies a little more. These 'phones have been discussed quite extensively on Head-Fi's forums: http://www.head-fi.org/foru...

By the way, I paid 200 pounds for mine at http://www.petertyson.co.uk/


September 22, 2008, 2:00 am


nice site - i'm currently eyeing the grado sr325i's - i love my grado sr80's, and do every activity with them. they're suprisingly comfortable, in my opinion, as they just seem to rest on my head (especially if my hair's grown a little), plus i remain sweat free. and the open endedness seems to make them feel lighter, most of the time i can forget they're there and believe i have a stereo system next to me. in fact, if i might find a few flaws, i don'y like the plastic construction, especially when i paid 𧴦 at richer sounds for them (high, but i got to try out a whole range of phones, too), and one cup has always appeared a little louder than the other.


September 22, 2008, 10:32 pm

I used to own a pair of Grado SR225i. The sound was too treble-rich for my taste, it got tiring very quickly. I really hated the construction too, and I found the ear-pads very uncomfortable. I haven't heard any other models of Grado so I don't know if the 225i represents the Grado house sound. I've heard many good things about the 325i, but my experience with the 225i has put me off Grado for good. A friend of mine is now using the 225i and he's very happy with them.


September 23, 2008, 1:56 pm

I've bought one a few days ago (for about 140 pounds) and altough I wouldn't rate the build quality and the cable that good, with a good amp+dac it really does sound wonderful, I just love it. And the review should have mentioned that there is a certain amount of sound leakage from medium volume. Overall (for that price) I think it is mightily good.


September 23, 2008, 8:31 pm

Where did you get one for 140 pounds??? That's a fantastic price!


September 23, 2008, 10:54 pm

yogi-comp (ebay, price includes shipping)


June 23, 2015, 12:05 pm

just dug mine out. man they rock. excellent bass.

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