Denon AH-D5200 Headphones Lab Report

Lab Report

Fans of the old AH-D5000 [HFN Sep '08], and related Fostex TH610 [HFN Nov '16], may or may not be pleased to hear that the AH-D5200 is not a mere rehash, for while the family connection is clear, there are some obvious points of difference. The first is that the 'D5200 is usefully more sensitive at 1kHz, although not quite as sensitive as Denon's specification suggests. We measured 117.2dB SPL for 1V, averaged for the two capsules, whereas our equivalent figure for the 'D5000 was 113dB, and the quoted 103dB for 1mW equates to 119.2dB for the nominal impedance of 24ohm.


Unequalised responses (L/R, grey/red; average 3rd-octave, black) indicates the 'D5200 lacks the customary boost to low bass and mid/presence


Third-octave freq. resp. (red = Harman corrected; cyan = FF corrected; green = DF corrected)

So, the AH-D5200 rates as a little more sensitive than average, but this is bought through low impedance. Across the audible spectrum we measured a variation of 23.1-25.9ohm, the maximum occurring at a 1.3kHz peak whose significance will shortly become clear. This variation will give rise to a response modification of only 0.29dB with a preamp of 10ohm source impedance, and 0.52dB with 30ohm. It's no coincidence that the mean uncorrected frequency responses [Graph 1, above] also have a feature at 1.3kHz, albeit in this case a notch. The matching impedance hump suggests that this is a resonance, and that's confirmed by a prominent ridge at this frequency in the cumulative spectral decay waterfall (not shown).

Denon says that its 50mm FreeEdge drivers 'cancel out unwanted resonances and distortion in the diaphragm' but the evidence is otherwise. Another high-Q resonance is associated with the small response blip at just over 7kHz, but this will rarely be fully excited by music signals. The corrected responses [Graph 2] show that the AH-D5200 has less perceived output below 500Hz than the AH-D5000 – perhaps in response to criticisms that its tonal balance was too warm – but there's still a sizeable decline in output above 1kHz in the diffuse-field corrected trace, so the AH-D5200 won't be so different in its tonal cast. KH

Sensitivity (SPL at 1kHz for 1Vrms input) 117.2dB
Impedance modulus min/max (20Hz-20kHz) 23.1ohm @ 8.4kHz
25.9ohm @ 1.3kHz
Capsule matching (40Hz-10kHz) ±3.9dB
LF extension (–6dB ref. 200Hz) <20Hz
Distortion 100Hz/1kHz (for 90dB SPL) <0.1% / <0.1%
Weight (headset only) 372g
Price £549
Sound United/D+M Group
Supplied by: D&M Audiovisual Ltd UK
02890 279830