Only a lunatic would try to convince anyone that these headphones aren't noticeably better than their predecessor. Their sound quality is truly beautiful, even more velvety-smooth than ever before. With that explosively deep bass being more controlled, and the rich high-end even more greatly extended, the soundstage created by the D7000s is remarkable to say the least.
We gave Handel's Zadok The Priest some time through the D7000/Woo Audio setup, beside both the D5000s and Sennheiser HD 650s. The beautiful crescendo of strings leading up to the first burst from the choir was warm and rich, bringing a greater sense of presence to the listener than through the D5000s.
Also noteworthy is that through the Sennheisers we heard a choir, whereas through the D7000s we heard individual voices; each vocalist was more identifiable as a person through the Denons -- pinpointing one voice through the D7000s is just that bit easier.
But these are, of course, closed-back headphones. Like their younger brethren, they still deliver an incredibly open sound, but this is where headphones like the HD 650s or AKG K 701s will always triumph.
The D7000s, however, are just as capable with all genres as the D5000s were. The extended treble makes classical recordings even more enjoyable (particularly from SACD), but they're also incredible with electronic music, dance, drum 'n' bass and anything else that's driven by the cataclysmic bass offered by this headphone. The same goes for rock and metal -- the clarity and presence of the mid-range makes powerful instrumentation vibrant and in your face, while retaining essential separation between instruments and each different type of cymbal on the drum kit.
We also really enjoyed Porchrail -- the opening track from Jenny Owen Youngs' Batten The Hatches. A deep double bass plods along underneath acoustic guitars, sweet female vocals and brushes on a loud snare drum. We've never felt more present in the studio, and that double bass has never, not even through the HD 650s, sounded this good. Another example of a genre the D7000s are admirably capable of reproducing.
We just can't love these enough. There isn't a single genre these headphones can't handle, though they truly excel at rock, folk, acoustic, electronic and metal. Their clarity and detail is among the best in the world, and their almost seismic low end will never bore drum 'n' bass fans.
If you can only just afford the D5000s and worry you're missing out, don't worry. The D5000s are still a shockingly detailed headphone, and when we give the D7000s back to Denon and revert to our D5000s, we won't feel like we're missing out on the subtle nuances of our favourite songs.
But if you can afford the extra few hundred and want one of the best headphones in the world, this is it. The D5000s put the icing on the cake, but the D7000s add the artistic decoration to turn that cake into a masterpiece.
Edited by Marian Smith