Review: Denon AH-D5200

Fabulous closed headphones from Denon

Denon AH-D5200 is among the very best closed in its class.

denon_ahd5200 spread
Karakter
We think
Super nice and detailed sound image with lots of timbres. Nice workmanship and nice comfort.
The treble reproduction could have been a little more fine-grained.
Specifications
  • Type: Closed, over the ear
  • Principle: Dynamic
  • Collapsible: No.
  • Microphone / remote control: No / no
  • Cable: Detachable 3 m, 3.5 mm (6.3 mm adapter)
  • Elements: 40 mm
  • Impedance / sensitivity: 24 ohms / 103 dB
  • Frequency response: 5-40,000 Hz
  • Weight: 385 grams (without cable)
  • Color: Brown with watches in wenge wood
  • Web: hifiklubben.com
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The Denon AH-D5200 is a real premium headphone from Denon, and there is nothing wrong with the construction that looks cheap or awkward. The earbuds’ semi-rotatable aluminum bracket is of the “wishbone” type, beautifully made. The thick and soft ear pads have lovely comfort. The earrings in dark wengé wood ooze quality. The headband and ear pads are upholstered in artificial leather, but it is beautifully done.

The supplied cable is solid and covered with a braided sock of fabric to prevent it from twisting. The copper wire is “four nines” oxygen-free copper (99.99%) as opposed to the 99.99999% (Seven Nines) in the top model. The cable ends in a stereo minijack, but it comes with a 6.3 m adapter for full-grown headphone outputs.

AH-D5200 in use

The wearing comfort is excellent! And with the luxurious look, you feel like you are sitting with something really expensive on your head. The sensitivity is not bad, this can be used with the mobile. But it will only be just loud enough, so if you want to push a little properly, you need a headphone amplifier. However, with the undersigned’s iPhone, it works much better than with the Fostex T60RP.

The AH-D5200 is “only” the second most expensive model from Denon, but it is difficult to hear where it has been saved, because the music comes out in an excellent way.

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Sure, the AH-D5200 is gorgeous, with watches in wengé wood. Photo: Denon

Ramón Vargas on Una furtiva lagrima from The Opera Gala – Live from Baden-Baden has more impact in the middle register than with Fostex. It is impressively liberating, as he makes his way through the orchestra’s soundscape. The Pizzicato picking on the violins together with the harp in the middle of the airy soundscape sounds both clear and open. When Vargas pulls in too full jugs, it gnaws a little more in the ear than with Fostex, perhaps due to a slightly higher distortion. But then it also does not matter that it sounds a bit raw, and the dynamics here are nothing but impressive from a pair of closed bells.

Aggressive cello

Another example is Ragnhild Hemsing and Tor Espen Aspaass’ Northern Timbre and the movement Sonata no. 3 in C minor, op. 45: III. Allegro animated. It sounds very nice, clear and open. And lively! Again, the cello gets a little harsh when it plays at its most aggressive. But it is in a different class than what Neumann NDH 20 controls with, because with Denon it makes the music more energetic.

Electronic pop also works very well. The snare drum edge beat on Ariana Grande’s Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored slams properly.

It is also good with bumps in the bass. We are not in a class with the Sony MDR-Z7M2 in terms of fullness and heat, because it is a quite different bass we are talking about here. The bass in the AH-D5200 is both linear, sonorous – and lightning fast! Therefore, one can be led to believe that it is slim, but the truth is that every note in the bass emerges, without it being lubricated thickly and the frequencies sliding inside each other. This is very good.

Conclusion

The Denon AH-D5200 is a pair of very elaborate headphones. Not only do they look great, they also play with a sound that is truly worthy of the price tag.

The sound is tight and dynamic, with lots of energy. Both in the bass and on the top floors. Vocals and instruments come out with the greatest obviousness. It sounds really good, although it can sometimes harden a little at the top.

Colleague John Hvidlykke went so far as to talk about goosebumps when he tested them two years ago. I can go a long way to agree, and here Denon has made a real opponent to my favorites in closed headphones in this price range, Beyerdynamic DT 1770 Pro.

The overall package of the AH-D5200 is excellent. Nothing less.

Denon AH-D5200 measured with miniDSP EARS and REW. Compensated for what miniDSP thinks is subjectively linear.
Here we suspect that it is the measuring equipment that incorrectly indicates attenuation between 3.5-5 kHz, as the upper midrange is not experienced as receding. The abrupt mountain peak up to 8.5 kHz, on the other hand, is reliable. Otherwise, the Denon watches have a pretty nice frequency curve, with audible energy all the way up to 15 kHz whereupon it takes a sharp drop.
We appreciate the regular bass reproduction. Although there are headphones with even more energy below 30 Hz.

Also in this test

Hifiman Sundara

Test winner in open class

Hifiman Sundara is not only the best buy in this class, you also get the best sound.

Perfectly balanced sound with potent bass and buckets of details. Super-defined sound image with almost complete qualities.
The size and weight can be inhibiting.

Audeze LCD-1

High-end headphones for your smartphone

Audeze LCD-1: There is no better sound for portable use in this price range.

Compact, light and perfect for mobile. Glass clear and neutral sound, with live bass reproduction.
The bass rolls off early and the soundscape is not as fine-meshed and refined as the reference.

Neumann NDH 20

Non-engaging first attempt

Legendary microphone manufacturer fails to grab us with its first headphone model.

Appealing appearance, great aluminum finish and decent comfort. Seems to be a comfortable load on amplifiers, does not change sound very much from amplifier to amplifier.
The sound is dark, with too little detail at the top. It also sounds too sharp for our liking.

Sennheiser HD 660S

Classic in renewed costume

Sennheiser's best in the 600 series is the safe choice in this class.

Silky smooth sound rich in details, beautiful vocal reproduction and warm, full sound.
Limited sound pressure and deep bass.

Fostex T60RP

The music unfolds

Whether it is because they are semi-open is not known, but the Fostex T60RP has cleaner sound than most closed in the class.

Great resolution, rich bass and large room. Very musical presentation.
Very heavy duty! Forget about using these with your mobile. Slightly reclining treble. Looks like industrial hearing protection…

Beyerdynamic Amiron Home

The most sensible choice

The Beyerdynamic Amiron Home is an exceptionally successful all-round headphone.

Detailed, warm and open sound image with very potent bass. Excellent wearing comfort and high quality.
Requires a serious amplifier. May sound a little too soft for someone's taste.

Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro

Sharp analyst

The studio qualities are the strengths and weaknesses of Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro, must be tested before purchase.

Super resolved and analytical. Steel control in the bass, very open and detailed sound, and excellent wearing comfort.
The analytical grade gives sharper, and less listening-friendly sound.

Sony MDR-Z7M2

The entertainment is saved

Sony has improved its premium model Z7 with technology from the flagship Z1R. The result is even more striking.

Extremely comfortable ear pads. Great quality feeling, a lot of metal. Hefty bass, very entertaining listening.
Dynamics could have been more outspoken, and the bass faster. Takes some focus from the overtones and air in the music.

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