Gear: Denon Music Maniac AH-C250
When it comes to headphones I seem to run through a new pair every six months. With summer on its way it’s time to put aside my heavy over the ear variety and switch to some lighter weight ones for my multi-media needs. Thankfully Denon has me covered.
Finding a good set of headphones is not an easy thing to do. Besides the obvious problems of fit and lifestyle, most of the time we are all looking for a different experience out of our headset. For some music should be rich in bass for hip hop, others want clear and precise high end for classical or acoustic. Whatever your musical taste, modern headphone are usually used for more than just music. Most of us will be looking to connect their headphones to their tablet of smartphone and in doing so are probably looking to be used for movies, games, YouTube, music… The list goes on. Finding a pair of headphone that works well for all of these tasks is difficult to do, however the Denon Music Maniac AH-C250 may be the answer you are looking for as an all around set of headphones, if you can stomach the price tag.
As someone who has never been a fan of ear buds the AH-C250’s are surprisingly comfortable. The headphones come with about ten different replaceable rubber tips ranging from big to small and giving you the choice of soft molding buds or a solid rubber tip for those that don’t the feeling of headphone deep in their ear drums. Personally I advise the soft tips as they are not only incredibly comfortable but also add a very decent level of noise cancellation. The design is well thought out, the ear buds are ergonomically set up to use the base of your ear to balance the ear buds which helps deter them from wriggling out while you are walking. The cord is made from thick rubber to stop wear and tear, however this means the cord does not sit comfortably and can often curl up and need straightening but it has mainly been an annoyance while using the iPad. The iPhone/iPad remote is a good size with simple and well positioned buttons and a decent microphone as well, and the whole kit fits nicely into the little pouch provided which, like the rest of the set is well made and durable.
Interestingly these headphones do have their limits. The high and mid-range deliver wonderful and impressive sound making them perfect for those with a tendency to listen to music like classical or jazz. Once the headphone are sitting snugly in your ear the phones deliver impressive clarity and on acoustic tracks I was stunned at how much more I could hear of each instrument. As a sad counter point, the set has not been designed to deal large amounts of bass. Even with some equalizer tweaking, the AH-C250’s suffer badly from distortion at higher volumes and it is clear that this is not a set of phones for the Hip-hop or R’N’B lover. This being said, a small amount of low end adjustment on your equalizer will combat most of this problem. But this is not its strong point.
As someone who spends a lot of time tripping around, movies and TV is quite often an important my week and there is always two or three new films at the ready for times where I am forced to wait somewhere for someone or something. The AH-C250’s are perfect for this. The focus on high and mid frequencies combats one of my biggest problems with mobile film watching. Thanks to its balancing the headphones deliver on the most important parts of a film, dialog. Watching media through several different devices I noticed a huge improvement on speech and soundtrack sections of films, plus the bass reduction makes action films more of a balanced viewing experience, bringing explosions in line with the film instead of drowning out all other sound.
Surprisingly, this was one of my favourite uses for the headphones, the combination of the noise cancellation and unique sound distribution made it perfect for video games. Sound like gunfire are loud but measured leaving plenty of room for the rest of your experience. I used these headphones while playing Killzone: Mercenary on PS Vita and they were a perfect companion for portable gaming, the decent quality rubber tips helps block out the outside world and its attention to sound quality offers an amazing amount of immersion to any game you are playing. By not leaning entirely on its lower sound tones, the set gives full and enriched game play and pushes the fun to a whole new level.
Overall the Denon Music Maniac AH-C250 have thrown together a punchy little package with the headphone set. The price may be an issue of some people, the quality is definitely up to scratch. Even with some bass limitations, the flexibility of its uses outweighs the small gripes I have. If you are looking to invest in some durable headphone to use across all of your digital devices, this headset is well worth your money.