Review: Denon AH-C820 Headphones
A few years ago Polk sent me a pair of Nue Voe earbuds for review (see Headphones Roundup: Polk Nue Voe, Phiaton MS 100 BA, and TunePhonik iZX5at iPhoneLife). They included retentivity foam ear inserts for improved noise isolation. They became my earbuds of option for short flights because they were the merely ones that worked well at keeping the noises of the engines at bay. On longer flights with more carry-ons I usually include my Bose Quiet Condolement over the ear headphones with active noise cancelation. Packing the bulky Bose headphones, yet, oftentimes brought me dorsum to Polk set for convenience and practicality—they were small, light and didn’t crave batteries. Unfortunately, on a recent trip the volume command switch fell apart and the Polk headphones stopped working.
I reached out to the PR team at Sound United, the company that owns Polk, Marantz, Boston Acoustics and others, and they sent a replacement review unit, the Denon AH-C820 dual driver in-ear headphones. A quick look alee: These volition now be my become-to headphones for travel.
- Solid Structure
- Big sound
- Comfortable to wear
In-app purchase required to enable sound tuning in the optional app.
Although the $199 AH-C820s arrived in a standard retail box, there was nix standard well-nigh the earbuds under the cardboard packaging. The AH-C820s proved far from just replacements for the Polk Nue Voe.
Quality starts with the connector and the wire. The gilt-plated connector fits snuggly in iPhone, Android and other standard 3.5mm sound jacks. The cable is thick and sturdy and incorporates what Denon calls a “Radial Cascade Damper system” to reduce cable-transmitted vibration noise. My only wiring question mark comes from neck detangler slider that seems more afterthought than a functional improver. Between the included case and the cable design, the AH-C820 wires don’t mostly tangle fifty-fifty when wadded into a pocket.
[note title=”Tradeoffs: Wired versus Wireless” align=”right” width=”350″]The real tradeoff with headsets similar the AH-C820s comes in sound versus freedom of movement. No Bluetooth headset volition sound as good as these earbuds, and they won’t run out of juice while y’all’re running—but they also make you lot carry your device effectually with you lot to listen, and they bring wires that can go tangled up in your chores.[/note]
The cables pb up to a pair of die-cast aluminum and resin buds that feature “Acoustic Optimizer” ports on the front and rear to help equalize air pressure.
The reason for air force per unit area equalization? Center to the AH-C20s design sit a pair of xi.5 Double Air Compression Drivers™ aligned in a row. These drivers move more air than unmarried implementations. The design allows them to punch out powerful bass with less baloney. The patented Denon design uses individual wires from the plug to each driver, which too increases the purity of the connexion and the sound.
To double-downwards on the sound quality Denon includes memory cream Comply TX500 ear-tips to help with sound isolation.
The earbuds fit vertically, somewhat similar the Apple tree AirPods, with the cable descending which makes them more comfortable and less likely to interfere with activities beyond listening.
To round out the package, Denon includes a silicon wrap case for protecting the headphones during travel. A fix of silicone ear inserts offering alternatives to the retention cream inserts. They also placed a small plastic clip to attach the wiring to your clothing—it’due south likely the only office of the Denon ensemble you won’t care nigh—and you will probably lose it anyway.
Like other earbuds and headphones, I tested the AH-C820s confronting the Audio Tests at audiocheck.internet with the following results.
|Product||Low Frequency||Treble Extension||Dynamic Range||Wiring||Binaural Test|
|Denon AH-C820||ten Hz||14 Khz||-84 db||Articulate Left/Right||Very skilful. Could hear the sound vibrations in the virtual air.|
The depression Treble Extension may consequence from my old ears and not those of the earbuds. The test points out this possibility in its description.
I listened to a variety of music, from ambient nature sounds to Dido’s “White Flag,” to Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song,” from Benjamin Britten’s
Brandenburg Concertosto Mile’due south Davis on
Bluish. If you listen intently, you can almost hear the audio-visual runway nether the overproduction on the Beatle’s “Long and Winding Route.”
The playback was spectacular beyond the spectrum. Crisp highs with a bass that delivered like I installed a subwoofer in my head.
Equally I increased volume I apace realized that the earbuds could handle audio that my ears could non. They will make y’all consider using book-limiting if yous don’t already use it.
Needs for improvement
AH-C820s don’t include a volume control, simply after the volume failure on the Nue Voes the wisdom of design simplification reinforced itself—fewer moving parts, fewer failures.
Denon as well shipped an app for their headphone and earbud enthusiasts. The Denon Audio Application for iOS and Android helps owners tune their personal audio profiles. The app contains an alternative interface to the iTunes of Play library, along with integrated admission to TuneIn Cyberspace Radio. Depending on your listening preferences, an alternative app may seem superfluous. Unfortunately, the ane special benefit of the app, the personal tuning, requires an in-app purchase, and that’s why the app falls into the “needs improvement section.” People who buy $199 headphones should not demand to drop some other $ane.99 to optimize their mobile listening feel. I go the price for non-Denon owners, but the AH-C820 should receive an app upgrade lawmaking in the box.
With the AH-C820s Denon created a solid set of wired earbuds that deliver an outstanding aural experience. The loud and proud comes housed in superior materials that should last for a long time. They should prove a worthy companion for travel or for just sitting on a couch on a Sun afternoon blissing out to your favorite tunes.
This product was provided for review purposes.
All images courtesy Denon.