These Denon earbuds deliver high quality audio for only $50. But while they sound great, they suffer in the design department.
They are slightly more “midrangey,” which is more noticeable when listening to things with lots of acoustic guitars and vocals like Caetano Veloso, Neil Young or Sean Hayes. They have crisp (but not overbearing) highs to match, which keeps vocals and percussion sounding lively. Bass is round and even thanks to a good seal, easily obtained by selecting from the variety of included soft rubber tips. There’s a high level of isolation, too — they’ll block out exterior noise almost as well as a pair of in-ear-canal buds.
The buds themselves are light and have a “barely there” feel. But my main issue with the design is the cabling. The cable has a detachable extension, so you can wear them with either a long or short cable. But the extremes are too wide. The short cable is too short, unless you’re stashing your phone in a breast pocket or one of those sport cases that fastens to your arm. Plugging into the extension makes the cable a full foot longer than other earbud cables. That’s far too much cable, and the excess gets in the way. The cable is also very thin, so while cable noise isn’t a problem, constant tangling is. Finally, there’s no mic or remote, so you have to unplug to make calls.
If it’s good audio you’re after, these Denons are a bargain. But if you need more all-around utility, there are better buds.