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Gear Review: Denon Urban Raver AH-C100

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by Jayden Leggett, Editor

Forget everything you think you know about in-ear headphones. The Denon Urban Raver AH-C100 proves that over-ear headphones aren’t the only audio devices capable of creating amazing sound.

Upon first using these headphones, I must admit to feeling slightly apprehensive towards the idea of shoving something small and round all the way inside my ears. Thankfully, the cushioned ear buds (of which several pairs are included inside the box) proved to be more comfortable than I first anticipated, and it soon became clear to me why the Denon Urban Raver AH-C100 is designed this way: to provide the listener with the appropriate level of sound isolation whilst maximizing the level of quality that an in-ear headphone can produce.

The sound quality that I experienced was incredibly good, with a full range of high and low end sounds being reproduced. Treble junkies like myself will love listening to punk and metal on these things, even when the volume is cranked to the max, as not once did I experience any sound distortion on high volume (though high-pitched sounds are incredibly sharp). Every sound component of my music remained crisp and clear, and due the impeccable sound clarity I was finally able to learn the lyrics to some of my favorite songs that I previously could not understand. Pleasantly surprised indeed, was I.

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While the box design boasts “Bass Performance” as one of its main features, people looking for a killer bone-rumbling bass sound may have to look elsewhere. Don’t get me wrong, the Denon Urban Raver AH-C100 definitely also delivers on the bass front, with nice thumping bass coming through when listening to hip hop and techno, however the bass is definitely not the dominant feature for this device. Which didn’t trouble me at all, as I found the overall sound mix to be perfectly balanced: not too much treble, not too much bass, this porridge was just right.

In addition to music, the Urban Raver AH-C100 was also perfectly suited to playing games and watching movies. Games are particularly enjoyable, especially when playing ones that feature stereo sound designs. Nothing beats playing Injustice: Gods Among Us Mobile and hearing an electrical attack beginning from the left side of the screen and launching over to the right, with the sound following suit by moving from your left ear to your right ear. It was also during my play time with this game that I was able to further appreciate the low end rumbles that the Urban Raver AH-C100 could reproduce, as even very faint sound effects were now audible to me, when previously I had no idea they even existed.

Another thing that I also enjoyed about this headphone was how well designed it is. As stated on the packaging, the Denon Urban Raver AH-C100 is “Made for iPod, iPhone and iPad”, but they could have added “iMac” to their description as well. The control bar (featuring three buttons that perform a variety of functions including volume, play, pause, skip and so on) is located at chest height on the left ear bud lead, perfectly designed for making quick adjustments. I was very impressed with how well I was able to navigate my iPad, my old iPod Nano and even my iMac by just using the buttons on the headphones. Music enthusiasts even have the option of downloading the Denon Club Application to customize EQ curves, listen to internet radio and even access song lyrics. Pretty cool features.

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In terms of the Urban Raver AH-C100’s flaws, there isn’t really much I could complain about, except perhaps for the rumbling I could hear in between songs, as a result of my movements causing noise vibrations to carry through the audio leads. That being said, when the music was playing, I couldn’t hear this rumbling at all, so in the grand scheme of things, was this really an issue? Of course not!

For those of you looking for an ultra-portable in-ear headphone, or a cheaper alternative to an over-ear set without a noticeable sacrifice of sound quality, the Denon Urban Raver AH-C100 should definitely suit all of your audio needs. Just be careful when wearing it around traffic, OK?

Rating: ★★★★½

ComicsOnline gives the Denon Urban Raver AH-C100 4.5 out of 5 hardcore punk riffs.

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About Jayden Leggett

Audio visual multimedia extraordinaire (at least in his own mind), Aussie Dave dragged Jayden into this glorious den of geek pop culture, and it's gonna take more than what you can offer to drag him away. Unless you bribe him with Ninja Turtles related merchandise... then all bets are off.

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