Reviewed on May 02, 2016

Denon AH-GC20 Wireless HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.3
6.7
Mixed Usage
6.0
Neutral Listening
7.3
Commute/Travel
6.9
Sports/Fitness
7.0
Office
5.2
Wireless Gaming
6.8
Wired Gaming
6.3
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.

Test Results
Design 7.4
Isolation 7.4
Microphone 6.0
Active Features 7.5
Connectivity 7.0
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 11/6/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.
  2. Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
  3. Update 9/28/2017: The microphone has been tested with our new methodology, as explained here
  4. Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.

Check Price

7.4

Design

The Denon AHGC20 are well-designed headphones that feel sturdy and durable. The large ear cups are well padded and comfortable. The headband does not exert too much pressure on your head, and the control scheme provided is efficient and easy to use. They're not stable enough to use during sports but will comfortably maintain their position during casual listening sessions.

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 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 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 Canceling 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 Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference : 5.3 C
6.0 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 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 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 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.

Headshots 1
Headshots 2
Top

Sound

Sound Profile
Neutral
:
3.4
Bass-Heavy
:
9.5
Warm
:
8.6
Bright
:
3.0
6.6 Peaks/Dips
Peaks
:
2.07 db
Dips
:
2.43 db
6.1 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.

8.1 Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
:
0.41
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
:
0.21
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
:
2.29
Weighted Phase Mismatch
:
10.88
5.4 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
:
4.3
7.3 Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
:
0.284
WHD @ 100
:
0.281
7.4

Isolation

The AHGC20 isolate listeners well in loud environments. The active noise cancellation is efficient and can easily cancel the ambient noise of a daily commute. Unfortunately, they leak a lot of sound at higher volumes and would be distracting to people around you on a bus and certainly in an office.

7.9 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 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.

6.0

Microphone

Integrated
:
Yes
In-line
:
No
Boom
:
No
Detachable Boom
:
N/A
5.8 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 Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
:
15.01 dB
7.5

Active Features

The Globe Cruiser have an above average battery life which doesn't take too long to recharge. They also a great wireless range and latency performance, supporting both aptX and aptX(LL). Unfortunately, they lack an efficient app as the one provided only give you basic playback controls. This also means they do not have an auto timer or other power saving features, which is slightly disappointing.

7.6 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 App Support
App Name : Denon Travel
iOS : Yes
Android : Yes
Mac OS : 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

7.0

Connectivity

8.1 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 Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line of Sight Range
:
N/A
Non-BT Latency
:
N/A
9.5 Wired
Analog Audio
:
Yes
USB Audio
:
No
Detachable : Yes
Length : 4.46 ft
Connection : 1/8" TRS
Wired Latency
:
0 ms
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC / PS4 Analog
:
Audio Only
PC / PS4 Wired USB
:
No
PC / PS4 Non-BT Wireless
:
No
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox Analog
:
Audio Only
Xbox Wired USB
:
No
Xbox Wireless
:
No
0 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

In the box

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

Compared to other Headphones

Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

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
Amazon.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.

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

Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 Wireless 2016
SEE PRICE
Amazon.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.

6.7 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 Listening

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.

7.3 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.

6.9 Sports/Fitness

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

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.

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