The Denon AH-D600s’ lush, rich tones and plush ear-cushions make you never want to take them off your head. And a £100-plus price-cut only makes them even more attractive.
In-line controls and a smartphone music app are available, but these over-ears are far from ideal for portable use. The ear cups are too huge – comically huge – to be worn confidently in public. Tucked up indoors, though, it’s the detail-laded, rich presentation that wins us over.
We’re particularly besotted with the staggering amount of depth and extension offered in the lower frequencies here. The bassline in Sbtrkt’s Wildfire is satisfyingly deep, and it remains taut here regardless of volume.
It sounds fantastic, and this bass performance is unrivalled compared with similarly priced headphones such as the Sennheiser Momentums (£260).
Elsewhere, the Denon AH-D600s sound wonderfully open and spacious: there’s plenty of room for organised instruments and engaging vocals to breathe. It’s an easygoing approach that has ample subtlety to keep you interested. And they’re effective noise-isolators, too.
The flipside of all this is that, thanks to their mellow rather than analytical sound, the Denons can sound a little too relaxed over time. Their warmth and richness comes at the price of smoothed-out treble, and the D600s can’t quite do really snappy timing, either.
Build and comfort
There’s no arguing with their comfort and build, though. The headband is flexible and sturdy, while the pentagon-shaped ear cushions are soft and incredibly comfortable. They’re large, but enclose your ears fully without applying too much pressure. Your ears won’t get too hot when wearing these for long listening periods.
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The Denon AH-D600s used to cost around £350, and their packaging is indicative of those premium origins. There’s a sense of occasion when you open the black and red box to find the headphones nestled in brown silk inside.
Two cables are included in the box, both with 3.5mm jacks: a 10ft cable (which Denon calls “obsessively long”) for home listening, and a more manageable 1.3m cable with in-line mic and controls to use with smartphones. A 6.3mm adapter and carry-pouch are also supplied.
Denon Audio app (£free, iOS/Android)
Denon has a trick up its sleeve: a free music app that lets you create playlists on the fly and listen to radio stations through the TuneIn internet radio service.
Queuing up tracks from music stored on your iOS or Android smartphone is pretty standard for an app, but the inclusion of TuneIn is a definite bonus.
Browse through local stations or lists of genres to select any radio station that takes your fancy, and you’ll be streaming in no time. The app displays album and song artwork, and it’s a neat and easy-to-use interface that’s not too dissimilar from your smartphone’s own music app.
There are customisable EQ settings available in the app, but you’ll have to pay extra (£1.49) for the feature. We wouldn’t bother, as EQ settings tend to skew the natural balance of the headphones’ sound. And we quite like the Denon AH-D600s as they are.
A clearer, crisper presentation would add so much more attack, and that’s the only aspect stopping these Denon headphones getting five stars.
They face tough competition from the Sennheiser Momentums – which have just won a 2013 Best Buy Award – but we really like the Denons’ richness and comfort in build and sound quality.
MORE: Best headphones 2013