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Extremely comfortable, but you'll need an amp

If you’re a fan of the retro audio equipment look, then you’ll probably love the wood paneling of the Denon AH-D5000s. These were definitely geared towards the retro aficionados. Additionally, the cable of the Denon AH-D5000s is a 9.8 foot, hilariously durable ordeal. Wrapped in a cloth weave, and ending in a threaded 1/8th inch plug, this cable is a monster capped off by a metal-ensconced plug, complete with threaded 1/4th inch adapter. This is a rather large plug, and it is rather heavy. Still, that mostly means that it’s incredibly durable, and made of the right stuff.

If you’re a fan of the retro audio equipment look, then you’ll probably love the wood paneling of the Denon AH-D5000s.

When you first put the Denon AH-D5000 on, you’ll notice that after you make your adjustments for your skull, the Denon AH-D5000s are incredibly comfortable, and the ear pads are very soft. The weight is distributed well, and there shouldn’t be any issues with pinching or clamping force. Over a period of 6 hours, there really wasn’t much of a change in fit, aside from a little heat from our own heads.

Impressive audio quality.

The frequency response of the Denon AH-D5000 is mostly flat, and only boosts certain frequencies that are relatively commonly boosted by high-end headphones. You shouldn’t notice any frequency being overly louder than others, though if you are younger than 25, you’ll probably notice cymbals a little bit more than you normally would, or even some of those really really high notes that you’d hear in some techno or even dubstep songs.

These are not good cans to block out the rest of the world.

These are not good cans to block out the rest of the world, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Chances are good that you’ll be using them in an environment that isn’t very loud to begin with, as they are pretty much chained to a computer or other home equipment. Still, you will be able to hear what goes on around you, so do your best to minimize outside noise. Similarly, these headphones leak a lot of sound, so be sure to either listen at a reasonable volume, or barring that, listen when you know that you won’t bother someone else in the room with you.

Premium price, premium performance.

Overall, the Denon AH-D5000s are fairly impressive for closed-back cans, and really, for a pricetag of $669, they should be, right? You’d be surprised. There are more and more headphones out there that are $400+ that are seriously lacking in the quality department, spurred on by disposable income and slick marketing. You should always be critical of anyone who says a certain pair of headphones are “the best.” That’s probably why you are reading this review, though.

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The Denon AH-D5000s are quite good if you’re looking for a pair of headphones that stay by the computer or at home. Not only do they have great sound performance and a very impressively low distortion measure, but they are extremely comfortable and blend in well with hardwood interior design.

Keep in mind, though, that these cans do NOT go outside, or with you into the world, unless you’re transporting them to a friend’s place or other safe area. They’re not built for portable listening, and really, do you want to jeopardize such an expensive investment? Take care of these, no matter how durable the cable looks.

If you’re looking for headphones that you can easily equalize or if you’re looking for something that will work well with audio content of all kinds, the Denon AH-D5000s are a great, if pricy, pickup.

Don't want to take our word for it? Good. Here comes the science behind the AH-D5000s' stellar performance.

Now this is something we like to see.

With a maximum of 5dB variance away from the mean output level, the s have a very even frequency response that should make just about every note sound like it's at the same volume, or only slightly different than others. There is a sort of dropoff at about 12kHz, but you shouldn't notice any notes disappearing in that range, as it's mostly harmonic frequencies and a short range of cymbal "shimmer."

Some of the lowest distortion we've ever measured.

There really isn’t a problem with distortion, as the Denon AH-D5000s have a level of distortion that ranks among the least we’ve ever seen in headphones, period. Though you are unlikely to be able to hear a measure of total harmonic distortion (THD) under 2%, it's still great knowing that whatever comes out of those cans is about as accurate as could be.

Meet the tester

Chris Thomas

Chris Thomas

Staff Writer, Imaging


A seasoned writer and professional photographer, Chris reviews cameras, headphones, smartphones, laptops, and lenses. Educated in Political Science and Linguistics, Chris can often be found building a robot army, snowboarding, or getting ink.

See all of Chris Thomas's reviews

Checking our work.

We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.

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