The benefit of separate components is that you'll get better sound and more features, and it's easier to upgrade in the future. The Denon AVR-1909 is a good example of this, as we felt its sound quality was a cut above the norm, and on top of three HDMI inputs, it offers strong support for older analog video connections as well.
The downside, however, is that it'… Read more
The Denon AH-D5000, Grado Labs GS-1000, and Ultrasone Edition 9 are all over-the-ear "circumaural" headphones, primarily intended for home use, but that didn't stop me from plugging them into my iPod.
With its lightweight magnesium frame, real mahogany wood earcups and oh-so soft leather ear pads, the Denon AH-D5000 is a real charmer. It's the most comfortable headphone I've ever used, and Its microfiber low-mass diaphragms deliver lightning-fast, detailed sound. Audiophile mavens who crave visceral mojo will go ga-ga over the AH-D5000. This headphone makes a lot of bass. It was equally accomplished with music and home theater.
For the home theater trials I checked out The Flight of the Phoenix DVD, and the plane crash scene fully exploited the headphones' dynamic prowess. The AH-D5000's detailed and airy treble kept my attention glued to the onscreen action.
Plugged into a 4GB iPod Nano rock was acceptable, but the Denon lacked conviction over the Nano. The even more expensive AH-D7000 wasn't yet available when I wrote this review, hope to get my hands on it soon.
John Grado's latest and greatest headphone is a break from his past designs. The retro, World War II "cans" look is gone. The GS-1000 is still unmistakably Grado, but with more contemporary styled, hand-crafted mahogany earcups with much larger foam ear pads. The headband is covered in real leather.
As much as I love Grado's sound, I've found previous generations Grado headphones' comfort level was below par. The GS-1000 is a vast improvement; the larger ear pad's pressure is low, and the headphones feel light on my head. … Read more
Looks like Denon has beaten Oppo in launching what could be the world's first player that spins Blu-ray, DVD-Video, DVD-Audio, Super Audio CD, and CD.
The new Denon DVD-A1UD is not only a "true" universal player, it's also fully equipped to unlock the full potential of Blu-ray. It's BD-Live-ready to support Web-based interactive features and decodes high-resolution Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks.
For hardcore enthusiasts with dual displays such as a separate projector and flat-panel TV, the DVD-A1UD's twin HDMI 1.3a terminals are sweet additions, while professional-grade balanced audio output will … Read more
Update (February 12, 2009): Check out our follow-up story, with full reviews of all the products mentioned here.
I receive a lot of e-mail asking why we haven't reviewed many AV receivers in recent months. First off, let me say: mea culpa. Reviews coverage of this category has suffered, mostly because AV receivers are among the most time-consuming products to analyze (because they now need to be examined in detail for their audio and video performance). But enough of the excuses; here's what we're doing to remedy the situation. … Read more
Bose has managed to persuade thousands of people to spend large sums of money on the company's QuietComfort 3 and QuietComfort 2 noise-canceling headphones. That has emboldened companies such as Denon--which can leverage its own highly respected brand--to come up with its own pair of $300 noise-canceling headphones. Alas, Denon doesn't have the marketing prowess that Bose does, so its Quiet Comfort competitors don't have an easy-to-remember name but a somewhat hard-to-remember model number, the AH-NC732.
So, do they measure up to Bose's popular headphones? (Hint: Not quite).
Are high-end A/V receivers, which for the purpose of this blog is any receiver with a MSRP over $1,500, worth it? True, they're loaded with features, stuff like all of the latest surround formats like Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio. But wait a sec--Denon's soon to be released $649 AVR-1909 receiver has them, too. It's got three HDMI inputs and all of the latest Audyssey auto speaker set up and equalization doodads.
Let's take a look at Sony's $1,699 STR-DA5300ES. What does the extra $1,000 buy you? Not so much. … Read more
Denon, the Japanese high-end audio manufacturer that sounds like a yogurt, has been getting bacterial on the earphone market over the last year or so, with the top-end AH-C751 earphones, then the AH-C551s, followed by the entry-level AH-C351s.
These are all in another world to the flagship AH-D5000 headphones we're so fond of here at Crave, but we're excited to bring you an exclusive first look at the new entry-level AH-C252 earphones. Ever wanted earphones from a high-end manufacturer, but didn't want to sell your children into slavery to afford them? You're in luck. … Read more
Doesn't this sound familiar? Denon is selling an "ultra premium" $500 Ethernet cable (the AK-DL1), for the audio sucker, I mean, enthusiast, reminding us all of Pear Audio's $7,250 cable from not long ago. Officially, the AK-DL1 is a Denon Link cable--a proprietary audio connection used between Denon products--but any Cat6 Ethernet cable will do. So why should I drop $500 on a Cat6 cable with "high purity copper?"
You shouldn't. Copper is copper, and like with any digital connection (HDMI or Ethernet), you either have a high-quality connection or you don'… Read more