I've always been a big fan of Denon receivers' sound quality, but now the company's really getting serious about headphones. Yes, it's made headphones for years, including some really nice ones, so I was unprepared for the radical rethinking of Denon's headphone line. I was treated to an advance preview of upcoming Denon, Marantz, and Boston Acoustics products on Tuesday in Mahwah, N.J.
The Denon AH-D7100 full-size, over-the-ear headphones were simply stunning. Supercomfortable, and the sound was seriously transparent. I've reviewed some of the best Denon headphones over the years, but the AH-D7100 was vastly better-sounding. Oh, it's also the most expensive set of Denon headphones ever ($1,200), but the $500 AH-D600s were also terrific, and better than the older, more expensive Denon headphones I've tried. The headphones were "98 percent" finished designs, so production units may be slightly different.
I was shaken and stirred by the Marantz PM-1153 stereo integrated amplifier. The massive 100-watt stereo amp, with its top cover removed, was a sight for sore eyes. The massive power transformer and heat sinks looked like a 1976 Marantz amp, and I mean that as a compliment! The build quality was tremendous!
The Marantz TT-1551 belt-drive turntable was a svelte beauty, but more contemporary in appearance. Marantz, more than most large electronics companies, still caters to the audiophile crowd.