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Denon AH-GC20 Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.3.1
Updated May 02, 2016 at 03:14 pm
Denon AH-GC20 Wireless Picture
Test Methodology v1.3.1
6.8
Mixed Usage
6.0
Neutral Sound
7.4
Commute/Travel
7.0
Sports/Fitness
7.0
Office
5.3
Wireless Gaming
7.0
Wired Gaming
6.4
Phone Call
Type Over-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Yes
Noise Cancelling Yes
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The Denon AHGC20 Globe Cruiser are well-crafted, comfortable headphones with a sturdy, durable design. They block a lot of noise in loud environments like on a plane or train. Unfortunately, they have below average sound quality and leak quite a bit, which might disturb the people around you.

Our Verdict

6.8 Mixed Usage

The Denon AHGC20 are average as everyday heAphones. They have great isolation performance but a subpar sound quality. They do better in uses cases where sound quality isn't as much of a factor.

6.0 Neutral Sound

Not ideal for neutral listening. They have a bass-heavy audio reproduction and a closed-back design that limits their soundstage. This makes them sound too dark and closed for neutral listening.

See our Neutral Sound recommendations
7.4 Commute/Travel

The Denon AHGC20 are above average commuting and traveling headphones. They deliver a strong noise isolation performance that will reduce a significant amount of ambient noise. They're comfortable and have a good durable design.

See our Commute/Travel recommendations
7.0 Sports/Fitness

Average at best for sports. They're wireless and remarkably stable. However, they're a little too bulky for strenuous exercise.

See our Sports/Fitness recommendations
7.0 Office

Decent for office use. The strong noise canceling will block the chatter of a busy office. However, they do leak a bit.

See our Office recommendations
7.0 Wired Gaming
6.4 Phone Call
  • 6.8 Mixed Usage
  • 6.0 Neutral Sound
  • 7.4 Commute/Travel
  • 7.0 Sports/Fitness
  • 7.0 Office
  • 5.3 Wireless Gaming
  • 7.0 Wired Gaming
  • 6.4 Phone Call
Pros
  • Good noise isolation.
  • Sturdy and durable build quality.
  • Comfortable and stable fit.
Cons
  • Boomy, unbalanced audio reproduction.
  • Leaks a lot of sound.
  • Treble delivery varies significantly across users. Sensitive to positioning.
  1. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  2. Update 11/6/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.
  3. Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
  4. Update 9/28/2017: The microphone has been tested with our new methodology, as explained here
  5. Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.

Check Price

Test Results

Design
Design
Style

The AHGC20 have a sleek modern look.They are well designed and have a black color scheme accentuated by the metallic hinges. This gives the headphones a premium appeal that looks great and feels high-end.

8.0
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.63 lbs
Clamping Force
1.15 lbs

The AHGC20 are very comfortable headphones. The ear cups are large enough to fit cozily around most ears and the padding used is thick and soft. The headband does not apply too much pressure to the head and is also sufficiently well-padded. They are not the most lightweight which some may prefer however the weight does not cause any discomfort or fatigue, even during long listening sessions.

6.6
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Great
Feedback Great
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
N/A
Noise Cancelling Control No
Talk-Through
No
Additional Buttons No

Great button layout and control scheme. The AHGC20's buttons deliver good tactile feedback and are efficient and easy to use. They provide; call/music, track skipping, and volume controls. The power button is also the noise cancelling switch.

6.6
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 5.3 C
6.0
Design
Portability
L 5.31 "
W 5.91 "
H 3.35 "
Volume 105.09 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required N/A

The Denon AHGC20 are decently portable headphones. They conveniently fold up into a much smaller format, which does not take too much space in a backpack or handbag. However, they are a little on the larger side for over headphones and will not comfortably fit in pockets or even larger jacket pockets.

7.5
Design
Case
Type Hard case
L 8.66 "
W 8.66 "
H 1.57 "
Volume 112.84 Cu. Inches

Comes with a hard case that will protect the headphones from scratches and falls. The headphones are stored in the case with the earcups laying flat, which takes a little more surface area but slims down the profile of the case to for easy transport.

8.0
Design
Build Quality

Build quality is good. These headphones feel sturdy and durable. The headband has a metal frame to reinforce the build, and the hinges are also mostly metallic, which can withstand a fair amount of physical stress. The ear cups are dense and robust. However, the underside padding for the headband is not made of the same faux leather as the ear cup padding and may wear over time with frequent use.

7.0
Design
Stability

These headphones are moderately stable. They will comfortably maintain their position during casual listening sessions. They're also wireless, so there's less risk of getting your cable hooked by something that will pull the headphones off your head. However, they are not designed for use during sports and will not maintain a stable fit under those conditions. The large ear cups will slip off your ears during high-intensity activities, like running or jumping.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • Denon AHGC20 Globe Cruiser Headphones
  • Carrying case
  • Audio cable
  • Airline adapter
  • 1/8" to 1/4" adapter
  • USB cable
  • Manual

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
5.68 db
Treble Amount
-5.06 db
6.1
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.89 dB

The frequency response consistency of the AHGC20 is mediocre. The bass delivery is quite consistent across our human subjects, most likely due to the ANC system (active noise cancelling) of the checking for the seal and bass amount. The treble delivery, however, is quite inconsistent and sensitive to positioning.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
5.9
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
5.69 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
10 Hz
Low-Bass
8.71 dB
Mid-Bass
6.27 dB
High-Bass
3.1 dB
6.9
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
4.11 dB
Low-Mid
2.71 dB
Mid-Mid
0.6 dB
High-Mid
-5.66 dB
4.3
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
6.66 dB
Low-Treble
-5.02 dB
Mid-Treble
-3.99 dB
High-Treble
-10.44 dB
6.6
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
2.07 db
Dips
2.43 db
8.1
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.41
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.21
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
2.29
Weighted Phase Mismatch
10.88
5.4
Sound
Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
5.64 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
4.01 dB
PRTF Distance
13.11 dB
Openness
2.1
Acoustic Space Excitation
4.7
7.3
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.284
WHD @ 100
0.281
Isolation
7.9
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-22.06 dB
Bass
-14.03 dB
Mid
-16.0 dB
Treble
-36.05 dB

Good isolation. The passive isolation provided by the ear cups is quite good. It starts to kick-in at 300Hz and reaches its peak isolation of -38dB at 4KHz. The active noise cancellation does a decent job in the bass range, achieving an average of 13dB of cancellation.

6.2
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
43.74 dB

Poor leakage. The majority of the leakage is spread between 400Hz and 5Khz which is too wide. The overall level of the leakage is relatively loud too.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
N/A
5.8
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
174.48 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
6.99 dB
HFE
3620.39 Hz
Weighted THD
16.147
Gain
16.28 dB
6.2
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
SpNR
15.01 dB
Active Features
7.6
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
28 hrs
Additional Charges
0
Total Battery Life
28 hrs
Charge Time
2 hrs
Power Saving Feature
No
Audio While Charging
No
Passive Playback
Yes
Charging Port micro-USB

The AHGC20 Globe Cruiser have a generous battery life. They deliver a full day of continuous playback on a single charge but unfortunately, they do not have many features to prolong the battery life. They do not have an auto-off timer, so they will continue draining the battery if you forget to turn them off. They also can't play audio while charging.

6.0
Active Features
App Support
App Name Denon Travel
iOS Yes
Android Yes
macOS N/A
Windows N/A
Equalizer
No
ANC Control
No
Mic Control N/A
Room effects
No
Playback Control
Yes
Button Mapping N/A
Surround Sound N/A

The Denon Travel app is very bare bones and feature lacking. It only provides an in-app player that deliver minimal playback control. It adds some links to other travel apps like Expedia and Kayak, but they're only passive links with no additional integration. This app is not really worth installing, especially that the in-app player adds nothing more to your regular phone player.

Denon AHGC20 Travel Links

Denon AHGC20 Radio

Connectivity
8.1
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
4.0
Multi-Device Pairing
2 Devices
NFC Pairing
No
Line of Sight Range
96 ft
Default Latency
195 ms
aptX Latency
176 ms
aptX(LL) Latency
35 ms
0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A
9.5
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
Yes
USB Audio
No
Detachable Yes
Length 4.46 ft
Connection 1/8" TRS
Wired Latency
0 ms
Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC / PS4 Analog
Audio Only
PC / PS4 Wired USB
No
PC / PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
Audio Only
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Wireless
No
0
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
N/A
USB Input
N/A
Line In
N/A
Line Out
N/A
Optical Input
N/A
RCA Input
N/A
Dock Charging
N/A
Power Supply
N/A

Compared to other headphones

Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018
SEE PRICE
B&H

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II are a much better noise canceling headset than the Denon AHGC20 Globe Cruiser. The Bose have a more comfortable over-ear fit and a better noise cancellation feature that makes them a bit more suitable for travel and commuting than the Denons. The Bose also have a much better sound quality than the AHGC20, which sound poorly balanced, dark, and too bass-heavy. On the upside, the Globe Cruisers have a better build quality than the Bose. They also have a longer battery life and a more premium look and feel.

Sony WH-1000XM2 Wireless
SEE PRICE
Newegg.com

The Sony WH-1000XM2 are a much better and more versatile headphone than the Denon AHGC20. The Sony have a better noise canceling feature that blocks a lot more noise than the Denons. The Sony also sound better out of the box and come with a great companion app that gives them a lot more customization options than the Denons. The AHGC20, on the other hand, are slightly more comfortable than the Sonys thanks to their better padding. They also have a slightly more durable design, although both headphones are well-made and look high-end.

Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 Wireless 2016
SEE PRICE
Newegg.com

The Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 are a better wireless headphone than the Denon AHGC20. The Plantronics have a better battery life, a longer wireless range, easier to use controls, and a much better bass-heavy sound that does not drown vocals and instrumentals like the Denon Globe Cruisers. On the other hand, the Denons have a more premium build quality and a slightly more comfortable over-ear design that some may prefer over the Plantronics. The Denons also have much better noise cancelling performance, so they're a bit better suited for travel and noisy commutes.

Sony WH-H900N/h.ear on 2 Wireless
SEE PRICE
Newegg.com

The Sony WH-H900N are a better headset than the Denon AHGC20 Globe Cruiser. The Sonys have a better-balanced sound quality that caters to a lot more genres than the dark and bass-heavy sound of the Denons. The WH-H900N are also a lot more customizable than the Denons, thanks to their better companion app which gives you a full EQ and noise canceling options, unlike the Denon's companion app. On the other hand, the Globe Cruisers have a more comfortable and premium looking design that some may prefer over that of the Sonys.

Denon AH-GC20 Wireless Price

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