With the Denon AH-D92000, the Japanese manufacturer offers a circumaural reference headphone model that’s catered toward the hi-fi slice of the market. A real standout, these beauties showcase the upper tier of Denon’s headphone portfolio. With fine wood earpieces, premium leather padding and stunning sound credentials, these promise an exceptional listening experience. Now, we’ll see if all the promise translates to something special in our practical test.
The Denon AH-D9200 is a closed, ear-enclosing hi-fi headphone model that comes packaged in a large, elaborately designed storage case. From first impressions alone, it’s clear these aren’t intended to be just another pair of headphones, even from this premium manufacturer. Two interchangeable cables of different lengths are included, along with a cleaning cloth and plug-in adapter.
Material, Design and Processing
There’s no question that the D9200’s earpieces, made from genuine wood, make an incredible first impression. Instead of the so-called zebra wood used with the D5200 or walnut wood as with the D7200, Denon instead use Japanese bamboo here. It’s light in colour and interspersed with a fine, delicate grain. According to the manufacturer, the choice of materials not only look great, but serve to minimise unwanted resonances and produce a warmer, more lively sound. That being said, the choice of wood really does make these headphones an elegant eye-catcher, with a simple shape and clear, unadorned accents also serving to produce a truly premier bit of kit that’s ergonomic, down to the last detail.
Once held in the hands, the ear and headband padding of the D9200 once again impresses as you feel the suppleness of the sheepskin leather and meticulous stitched seams. In case of the leather used for the headband, quilted seams add a further layer of luxury. This detail also means that the leather covering stays in shape and provides a level of ventilation to boot. In addition to the beautiful bamboo elements, the earpieces are constructed from die-cast aluminium, with polished steel components at the connection to the headband itself. This premium choice of materials continues on in the interior. The drivers have been constructed with a nanofibre material that’s intended to deliver a particularly detailed sound reproduction.
Technical Specs and Stats
The earpieces of the D9200 contain 50mm drivers with FreeEdge technology (as patented by Denon) as standard. This free-floating bearing technology means that annoying resonances are minimised, while image fidelity is enhanced. In addition, exceptionally strong magnets made of special neodymium, iron and boron alloy have been utilised. This innovative alloy is intended to provide a lower overall level of distortion.
A replaceable fabric sheath encases the OFC cables, while silver-plating adds corrosion protection to the list of impressive technical specs. The 3-metre long cable with large jack plug is intended for use with Hi-Fi systems, while the second cable can be used easily with portable media devices thanks to its shorter length. There’s also the option of separate, direct connection to the right and left earpieces, which will eliminate obtrusive cable interference.
The transmission range of these headphones, according to Denon, spans from 5 Hz up to a dizzying 56 kHz. Compared to the D5200 model, the D9200 provides an additional 16 kHz in treble alone. Its impedance of around 23 Ohm also makes it a good choice for low-powered headphone pre-amps, such as smartphone devices, iPads or media players. The maximum sound pressure level measured by us during this test read 96 dB SPL.
The D9200’s replaceable ear cushions are attached to the earpieces themselves, rather than being plugged in. This allows the pads to be turned, even after they’ve been fitted. On the one hand, this offers an advantage in terms of individual adjustment. On the other, it can lead to unwanted slipping and a poorer fit. Thanks to their memory foam filling however, these ear cushions will adapt well to the ear and head. The headband mechanism has a rasterised adjustment, with a so-called memory function that will hold the last size selected. The earpieces themselves can be rotated and swivelled, contributing to an overall excellent fit and user-friendly form.
The medium contact pressure of the headband further serves to produce a good, comfortable fit that feels secure on. What’s more, the D9200 weighs only 468 grams including cable, largely down to lightweight materials like bamboo and aluminium being used in its construction. This further enhances overall comfort levels. In practice, the 3-metre hi-fi cable offers sufficient flex and room to roam, while the shorter 1.35 metre cable is designed for use on the go. There’s no unnecessary complexity when it comes to plugging cables in place, with simple mini jack plugs being the order of the day. Again, Denon show how simple can be sophisticated.
The D9200 definition when it comes to trebles is unobtrusive, making for a sound that’s wide and open. This is helped further by a super-high reproduction. There’s an added depth and dimension here. At the same time, an extended frequency range in the higher frequencies allows a more nuanced audio signal to emerge. It’s more silky than aggressive, warmer rather than cold.
The D9200 is able to handle basses incredibly well and without fuss. The resulting sound is extremely rounded and well integrated into the other frequency ranges. These Denon headphones reproduce sub-basses beautifully. Even at high volumes with bass boost, there’s no distortion to spoil your audio enjoyment.
The D9200 presents differentiated mids in the range between warm-sounding highs and enticing basses. The result, when combined, is a truly three-dimensional sound that, partnered with immense treble reserves, allows for a stunning stereo impression and amazing depth. Signal resolution is of the highest quality, thanks in particular to the mid and treble ranges. Depending on the source audio, elements like female vocals may stand out slightly with a slight hiss, but it’s nothing of real note. With regards to playback dynamics, the transient reproduction of the D2900 bowled me over. Drivers perform quickly and precisely, producing a more consistently powerful sound.
In short, these headphones never stray close to sounding pretentious in their delivery. However, those expecting something special when listening for the first time won’t be disappointed. The smoother sound impression the D9200 deliver ensures a beautifully balanced frequency response, with no sign of distracting resonances in the bass range you might experience with other headphones. They also make a good impression with weaker pre-amps thanks to a lower Ohm level, with volume delivery that should certainly satisfy. However, sound dampening and external noise cancellation don’t quite hit the high notes that other headphones in this class can. That being said, both score way above average.
The D9200 should please fans of various music genres when used as hi-fi headphones. The sub bass is well suited to EDM and urban styles, while the mids ensure rock and metal enjoy a silky edge. The detailed imaging of the highs will breathe new life into jazz and classical productions, with a velvety finish running throughout all frequency ranges you’ll definitely relish.
The Denon AH-D9200 is a reference class over-hear headphone model that performs like a champion, with all the levels of restraint required for the most discerning of applications. The elegance of the exterior is complemented by stunning sound credentials, while high-quality materials like sheepskin leather and real wood convince with a robust build that exudes top-tier luxury. The headphones themselves are convincingly put together, with that handmade workmanship really shining through. Handling and wearing comfort of the D9200 is extremely pleasant, making these a go-to for long listening sessions.
Anyone who has enjoyed the sound of the smaller sibling of these headphones from Denon’s D series will find the D9200 the benchmark of listening pleasure with a silky sound. High-quality, unobtrusive detailing across all frequencies is the order of the day here. As such, these are suitable for enjoying all manner of musical genres, with the D9200 making a good impression on both powerful and weaker headphone pre-amps. Only when it comes to sound insulation do these headphones fail to score top marks, but they still deliver more than adequately in this respect.
The most important feature of the Denon D9200 is its beautifully understated sound. Offering an exceptional listening experience, it doesn’t scream and show off at high volumes, but instead delivers a more cultivated, considered sound.
- Ear couplingOver-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Frequency response (headphones)5 - 56.000 Hz
- Impedance23,1 ohms
- Sound pressure level (SPL)96,31 dB
- Pressure averaged from big and small head537,5 g
- Weight with cable468 g
- Weight without cable373 g
- Cable length300 cm
What's in the box
- 6.35 mm stereo jack
- Interchangeable cable: 135 cm
- Travel case