Home Icon
Denon-AH-NC800-01

Denon AH-NC800

By Thomas Bartlett | 2:10 pm 03/08/2011

Denon’s AH-NC800 headphones are active noise cancelling models. They come with two lengths of cord and a two pin adaptor for older-fashioned aircraft sound systems. They use one AAA battery for power (good for 40 hours, says Denon), and come with a nice carry case.

Their over-ear design actually provides considerable noise isolation absent the active circuit. The pressure from the softly-padded headband is gentle, but firm enough to keep the headphones in place despite a sharp shake of the head. The padding against the area of the head around the ears is equally gentle.

Oversimplifying a little, active noise cancelling headphones work by using microphones to measure the ambient noise, then inverting the wave of that noise and feeding it into the signal. The inverted wave destructively interferes with the noise, cancelling it out. Clever and simple.

The problem is that the electronics behind this can produce noise itself. These headphones didn’t suffer from that at all: switched on, but with no signal playing, they were utterly quiet.

The power switch has three positions: off, on and ‘Restorer’. This last is supposed to improve the sound of compressed music (like MP3). Of course, like all such things, it merely manipulates it without restoring anything. It seemed to boost the treble, reducing the accuracy of the sound.

The ‘off’ position was interesting in that, unlike some noise-cancelling headphones, they still worked. Even if your battery runs down you can still have sound!
I preferred the sound in this mode a little over that with the noise cancellation operating.

You couldn’t use it in this mode some MP3 players because the sensitivity was significantly lower, so the volume levels would be too low, but for high quality home use, I’d suggest you try this mode.

Not that the noise reduction mode produced poor sound. It was wide in frequency coverage and reasonably well balanced.

 

Price (RRP)

$499

Pros & Cons

Product Pros

Very good sound quality; Noise reduction feature; Very comfortable to wear; Can be used in passive mode;

Product Cons

No 6.5mm plug adaptor provided;

Ratings

Overall

Features

Value for money

Performance

Ease of Use

Latest reviews

  • AppMonday: SongPop 2

    There’s something about trivia that’s just tremendous fun, and if you happen to mix that with music, it works so well. “SongPop 2” takes those two things and makes…
  • Review: Sony Xperia E4

    We’ve seen good phones out of Sony in the past couple of years, but generally in the flagship field, so what sort of handset does Sony produce when it…
  • Quite the bargain: TCL’s 55 inch curved 4K TV reviewed

    At $2,199 for an ultra high definition, curved, 55 inch TV, there’s value for money in what TCL brings to the table.
  • Review: Jawbone Up 3

    Jawbone's Up 3 certainly took some time to arrive, but the delayed fitness gadget is finally here, packing in more sensors than most activity bracelets and the ability to…
  • AppMonday: Moleskine Timepage

    The calendar on your phone might look good and may appear clean, but if you’re after a colour heavy design focused calendar, legendary journal maker Moleskine may have the…
  • Simply the best: LG’s 4K OLED TV reviewed

    Can LG's 55 inch 4K OLED TV be called the summit of the TV making craft? It just might, it just might.
  • Review: Motorola Moto E (2015)

    Motorola’s take on the entry-level phone has always been priced competitively, but this year, Moto has upped the price just a smidgeon and added support for 4G. Is this…
  • AppMonday: Rain Parrot (iOS, Apple Watch)

    You can always rely on Murphy’s Law if you ever decide to take your umbrella out to find that it doesn’t rain, forcing you to carry the thing around…
  • Amazon's best Kindle yet: the Kindle Voyage reviewed

    Can an eBook reader be premium? That’s the question Amazon is attempting to answer with the Voyage, an ultra-slim take on the concept that changed the way many of…
  • Review: Harman/Kardon Esquire Mini

    When you need better sound, you can always rely on a portable speaker, but Harman/Kardon’s Esquire Mini doesn’t just provide a decent sound, it packs in a useful battery,…

“How do you stop yourself from being caught out by these scam artists?”

Read More

Tell us…

Which smartwatch are you interested in buying?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

“There’s certainly no doubt that you can find a bargain, but like always, you get what you pay for.”

Read More