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MP3 Players

Hands-on with Denon's AH-C700 sound-isolating earphones

Denon's new AH-C700 high-end in-ear 'phones promise tuned bass, great comfort and accurate musical reproduction. Do they impress for £139?

Sorry Cravians, this isn't so much a 'hands-on' as it is 'ears-on'. We've snagged a set of Denon's new AH-C700 earphones. They look like silicon-tipped silver bullets, and mark Japanese audio specialist Denon's entry to the high-end earphone market. The company's experience is with professional-grade audio systems, so we had every faith its headphones would impress. At £139, they're competing with Shure's SE310s -- a pair we particularly enjoyed.

So the burning question here is what do they sound like? As we expected, they sound excellent. The C700s are aggressive with the high-end frequencies, however. Get the 'phones fitted properly in your ears though, and the warmth and power of the bass is superb.

You might find that the slightly overpowering cleanliness of higher frequencies subtracts from the overall feel, but this may only be an issue with recordings heavy on higher frequencies, such as more intense metal, which frequently features loud cymbals, snare drums and guitars.

Some of the best performances the Denons gave were with bass-heavy dance tracks and less instrumentally complicated rock. They give a clean, accurate reproduction with most genres though. They're comfy 'phones too -- the soft silicon tips provide a comfortable fit and sound-isolation is excellent. Kiss a sweet goodbye to that vexatious ambient background noise.

The AH-C700s are on sale now for around £139. -Nate Lanxon