Whether your music tastes run to Mahler, Parker, Bowie, or Phoenix, the right set of cans will make the experience more enjoyable. Initial reports suggest that Denon’s recently announced flagship AH-D7100 Artisan headphones are the best over ear offering to date from the lauded audio company — even surpassing the venerable AH-D7000s. Interestingly enough, the Artisan features the same 50mm “free edge” driver used in the AH-D7000, but new nano fiber diaphragms have replaced the previous micro diaphragms to increase driver-rigidity while still keeping mass low. Like all models in the Music Maniac line, the D7100s are also tuned to a flat equalization for true tonal transparency.
Denon’s decision to move to a modern, almost Beats-like design for the crown jewel of their line is bound to polarize the audiophile community, but build quality is certainly top notch. The ear cups are carved from solid mahogany, and while the chassis looks aluminum in the photos, its actually a glass fiber reinforced composite that’s designed to feel solid while minimizing weight.
In a nod to the new status symbol nature of headphones, Denon also includes a 10-foot audio-only cord for home use, as well as a shorter three-foot cable with an inline smartphone compatible three-button remote/mic for taking the cans out in the wild. All of these goodies come at a pretty steep $1,200 — which makes them the most expensive headphone Denon has ever offered. So, while it may bring audial pleasure to your ears, it just might bring the pain to your wallet.
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