Denon has announced a new reference headphone, the AH-D7200 claims to combine uncompromised sound quality, and unparalleled comfort. Almost every element is new; from the FreeEdge nano-fiber drive units to the shaping of the real walnut housings. The ear-cushions are covered with Japanese-developed soft synthetic leather.
At the heart of the AH-D7200 is the 50mm FreeEdge driver diaphragm, made from a nano-fiber material chosen for its rigidity and low mass. This is said to “deliver an accurate pistonic motion without distortion, and is also self-damping to cancel out unwanted resonances within the diaphragm.” It’s mounted in a soft, compliant surround, making it easier for it to move in response to the music signal without flexing or distorting. The ‘motor’ driving this diaphragm uses CCAW (copper coated aluminium wire) to keep the voice-coil as light as possible, plus extremely strong (over one Tesla) neodymium magnets to increase the linearity and the speed of response.
The drive-units are mounted on vibration-reducing engineering resin baffles, fitted into housings made from natural walnut, the dense wood being self-damping and shaped to reduce internal resonances and reflections. Walnut was chosen to give the headphones a warmer, more ‘speaker-like’ sound.
Connection is made with a 7N (99.99999% pure) oxygen-free copper cable, made in Japan to Denon’s specification. It’s terminated with a machine-cut metal plug with a copper trim-ring. 7N copper is also used for the internal wiring of the headphones. A ‘floating jack’ design is used for the connections between the cable and the headphone earcups. This prevents the transmission of mechanical noise from the cable to the ears, while the detachable design means the user can experiment with aftermarket cables if required.
The earcups are suspended on ergonomically curved diecast aluminium hangers, while the headband is finished in sheepskin leather. Within the ear-cushions memory foam allows the best fit to the user’s ears. “It’s all part of a design engineered for maximum enjoyment over long listening sessions, from the light weight (385g excluding cable) to a fit and side-pressure optimised for the widest possible range of head sizes and shapes.” The Denon AH-D7200 will be available in January for $999.