Denon AH-MM300 - A wolf in sheep's clothing

We mainly know Denon from (bluetooth) speakers and hi-fi sets, but now and then the company brings headphones to the market. This time there are even three. I tested the AH-MM300, the middle of the bunch.

Denon AH-MM300

Price:

€299,-

Colour:

Black

Type:

on-ear

Impedance:

32Ω

Sensitivity:

96 dB/mW

Maximum entrance:

1,000 mW

Frequencies:

10Hz-40KHz

Weight:

195 grams

9 Score 90
  • Pros
  • Beautiful sound
  • Elegant appearance
  • Little ambient noise
  • Cable works well with iPhone
  • Negatives
  • Looks a bit odd on the head
  • Price[/plusminus]

What immediately stands out when you take the headphones out of the box is the sleek design. It is beautifully finished with a ceramic coating. The on-ear earcups are relatively small and have a matte black color. Sufficient space has been made available on the outside for the Denon logo on both the left and right. Also read: The best headphones of 2014.

Nice and firm

The headband is also black and has a comfortable soft cushion on the bottom, while the top is made of leather. A strange choice from Denon is the angle at which the ear cups are attached to the headband. As a result, especially if the headphones are made a bit bigger, there is a lot of empty space between your head and the headband.

The AH-MM300 can be adjusted about five centimeters on both sides. That's fine for most users, but those with a slightly larger head may have a hard time putting the earcups fully on their ears. Even on the largest setting, the AH-MM300 still feels nice and sturdy. This is because fiberglass has been incorporated into the housing, making the headphones both light (only 195 grams) and strong.

Apple gadgets

The headphones come with two copper cables. One is purely a cable, the other has a sound adjustment knob and a built-in microphone, so you can easily take a phone call. It is also useful that a 3.5 mm plug is included, so that you can connect the headphones to an audio system. You also get a handy storage bag, which, however, will protect more against dust than against real impacts. For long, bumpy journeys, you can always pack the AH-MM300 in the box.

With the AH-MM300 you get two cables, a 3.5mm plug and a handy storage bag.

Especially for owners of an Apple device, Denon has added some nice extra features. The inline volume rocker works well with iOS, so you can always control the volume no matter which app you're using. Hold down the pause button, and Siri will pop around the corner to help you with a question in between. For example, you can look up information about the artist you are currently listening to, without having to take out your phone. Some of these options also work on Android, but they're mainly built-in for iOS.

True to nature

The AH-MM300 is equipped with Denon's special 40mm drivers. Denon's patented Free Edge technology means there is little to no distortion, and you'll notice it. Whether it's classical music, rock or just speech, the AH-MM300 knows how to convey everything faithfully.

There is no active noise control, but it is not necessary either. The fit and Free Edge technology mean you can go to a busy place with peace of mind. In a shopping street on a Saturday afternoon, the ambient noise sounded like I was walking in a bubble, while it was almost inaudible when a song was playing. Sitting in the newsroom with the headphones on was even a bit awkward, because I had no idea what was going on around me - but that's exactly the intention at other times (and it's quite nice sometimes).

The harder the better

A lot can be expected from the sound quality for a pair of headphones of 300 euros, especially if there are no gadgets such as bluetooth and active noise cancellation. The AH-MM300 succeeds in this with flying colors. The sound is sharp and both high and low tones are reproduced well.

Thanks to the technical gadgets, a beautiful sound comes out of the headphones.

This makes the AH-MM300 a real wolf in sheep's clothing. The on-ear earcups make everything sound a bit tame and a little oppressive at low volumes, but that's the calm before the storm. Turn the volume knob up tight, and the AH-MM300 loses all its uncertainty. The highs sound even clearer, but it is mainly the bass that speaks for itself. With your eyes closed, the right song and a little imagination, it seems as if you are standing right next to the speakers in a full hall.

Conclusion

The Denon AH-MM300 can rightly be called high-end headphones. The sound reproduction is formidable, especially at higher volumes, where cheaper headphones usually fail. It also looks elegant, although the empty space where the ear cups attach to the headband is unnecessary, making it look a bit strange on your head. The build quality is good and it feels sturdy. However, the price is a bit on the high side, especially when you consider that no wireless Bluetooth connection is possible. If you don't mind a cable (especially useful for the iPhone) and you're in the position to shell out $300 for a pair of headphones, the AH-MM300 is definitely one of the first things you should look at.

Recent Posts