Comfort, technical brilliance and a stylish aesthetic: the Denon AH-D5200 is a closed-back hi-fi headphone with real finesse in the sound department. Or at least that’s what the marketing message makes out. In this test, we’ll see whether the sales speak holds up to reality.
Design, Accessories and Assembly
The shape and colour of the AH-D5200 are both elegant choices. The appearance of these Denon headphones definitely has a timeless character. It comes with an exchangeable cable and several accessories, including a 6.35 mm adapter and a carry bag with drawstring fastening. The over-ear headphones are based on a closed design and immediately impress with the choice of materials used in their construction. The most striking of features is definitely the zebra wood earpieces. This material is a type of wood with a grain visually reminiscent of a zebra stripe pattern. The manufacturer, however, does not explicitly specify the exact type of wood used. What is certain though, is that it’s not the same walnut wood used in the construction of the larger Denon model, the AH-D7200. If it were, the manufacturer would almost certainly have made a point to highlight this fact.
Another difference from its big brother, the AH-D7200, is that the material used for the ear pads and headband padding is imitation leather, rather than genuine sheepskin leather. Because of its soft surface, I’m assuming this is high-quality protein leather. Ear pads made of this material are usually incredibly durable and soft to the touch. The earpieces of the AH-D5200 are made of die-cast aluminium. Inside the headband, polished steel braces are used. The entire design of this Denon model seems to longevity in mind. Only a few small setbacks taint an otherwise flawless design. These include small visible seams in the die-cast elements, which can also be felt at the lower end of the headband. However, we can forgive Denon on that minor point.
Interior Tech, Functionality and Handling
Dynamically driven 50 mm drivers operate the AH-D5200. Their free-floating bearings (Denon refers to these as the “Free Edge” version) are designed to ensure that sound is crystal-clear in delivery and not impaired by distortion. The drivers provide an immense audio transmission range from 5 to 40,000 Hz. Its low impedance makes the AH-D5200 a candidate for use with mobile devices beyond hi-fi use.
The enclosed cable has a total length of 3 metres, which is certainly acceptable for hi-fi use. Both ends of it splice are plugged into the earpieces on either side. This eliminates the need to run the cable over the headband. The fabric-covered copper cable increases the overall weight of the headphones by 70 grams to 445 grams. The headphones are also equipped with copper cable. This weight is well balanced by the soft headband padding and medium contact pressure. What’s more, the memory foam of the ergonomic ear cushions will ensure audio enthusiasts who use the AH-D5200 for long periods won’t find them uncomfortable. Another highlight is the size adjustment function of the headband. It also offers a memory function, meaning you don’t need to adjust the headband every time you put it on. The joints with which the earpieces can be adjusted don’t impede wearing comfort, while the vertical tilting of the headband can also be rotated horizontally. All in all, this leads to a very pleasant wearing experience with the AH-D5200.
Sound and Application
Denon advertise the AH-D5200 by saying its sound reproduction brings the acoustic liveliness of a concert hall to your ears, with every detail able to be heard. This corresponds well to my first impression of the headphones. I was particularly impressed by the high-frequency reproduction of these headphones. Even more brilliant than the Denon AH-D1200, its reproduction seems even more open. The sound always remains silky with treble.
However, the headphones also deliver rich and powerful signals in the bass range. In EDM productions, however, the basses have to be reduced here and there as they would otherwise become too prominent. In the sub-bass range, the headphones show that they are not brought to their knees by the typical Roland TR-808 sounds used in urban music and rap productions. The AH-D5200 really shines with music genres with natural sounds, such as soul, funk and jazz. This is where these Denon headphones can really play to their strengths.
Similar to its little brother, the AH-D5200’s mids are also extremely transparent and rich in detail. However, due to the contouring of its frequency response, it is also less suitable for rock and metal productions. Guitar sounds move into the foreground far too much for my listening taste, which affects the overall perception of vocals and speech intelligibility. Apart from this point, the headphones inspire with a great dynamic, an impressive transient reproduction and a wide stereo field. All these aspects are especially important when it comes to listening to classical music.
With the AH-D5200, Denon has succeeded in creating a hi-fi headphone that offers everything a music lover might hope for at this purchase price level, especially when it comes to premier materials, high wearing comfort and incredibly detailed sound. In my opinion, this makes it stand out from the competition. The headphones promise and deliver listening pleasure at a high level. These headphones deliver sound that is just as sophisticated and impressive as the outward appearance of the AH-D5200. However, those who prefer listening to rock and metal might want to spend some time trialling these headphones first before making an investment. Elsewhere, however, these headphones shine. I highly recommend the Denon AH-5200 to all those looking for transparent, silky sound and who are willing to dig a little deeper into their pockets for a superior pair of headphones that don’t skimp on comfort and boast a timeless design.
- Ear couplingOver-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Frequency response (headphones)5 - 40.000 Hz
- Impedance23,25 ohms
- Sound pressure level (SPL)99,73 dB
- Pressure averaged from big and small head593 g
- Weight with cable445 g
- Weight without cable376 g
- Cable length300 cm
What's in the box
- 6.35mm stereo jack
- Carrying pouch