Denon’s Music Maniac over-ears are anything but wooden

You don’t have to be a maniac to listen to these, but it helps

I think that design is a resonating success

Hmm. You’re a Tim Vine fan, aren’t you? Denon describes the AH-MM400’s walnut cups as ‘contemporary European design’ and they do kinda look good. These are the biggest – and at £350 the most expensive – in the range and fit over your entire ear. Unless you have unusual ears. Do you have unusual ears?

No, they’re all right. Apart from the one on the left.

Sigh. There are two other models. The AH-MM300 are £300 and a smaller on-ear shape; the AH-MM200 are £200 and a bit smaller again. Neither of them get the fancy wooden backs, but still claim to have decent resonance characteristics thanks to the use of special composite materials.

So they are supposed to sound a bit special, are they?

Oh, aye. The MM in the product code stands for ‘Music Maniac’, and they can be found in the ‘Critical Listening’ section of Denon’s website. There’s 40mm drivers the MM400 that have Denon’s Free Edge tech for allowing the carbon/paper blend diaphragms to move most naturally. One of the press images show the headphones lolling alongside the company’s DA-10 portable DAC. Yes, these are for discerning listeners. There’s even a complementary Denon Audio app with equaliser presets and bass boost and whatnot. Presumably to make them sound even better.

At risk of sounding like a maniacal Brad Pitt, what’s in the box?

Now here’s a nice thought. An inline remote cable is bundled, as you’d expect. But there’s also a straightforward cable for those who appreciate purity of signal path. Plus there’s a pouch and, for those with fancy hi-fi equipment, an updaptor.

What’s an updaptor?

It’s an adaptor that goes up in size. In this case, from a standard 3.5mm minijack to a quarter-inch jack.

Did you just make that up?


Should I also be on the look-out for a ‘downdaptor’?

If you like. Though it's velocidaptors you want to watch out for. Nasty, they are.