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Denon PerL Pro True Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Reviewed Sep 19, 2023 at 11:02 am
Latest change: Writing modified Sep 19, 2023 at 11:02 am
Denon PerL Pro True Wireless Picture
6.8
Neutral Sound
8.0
Commute/Travel
8.3
Sports/Fitness
7.4
Office
5.5
Wireless Gaming
5.3
Wired Gaming
6.2
Phone Calls

The Denon PerL Pro are high-end ANC earbuds designed for audiophiles. These distinctive circular buds come equipped with Masimo Adaptive Acoustic Technology, which creates personalized EQs based on an in-app ear shape test. They support the aptX Lossless codec for streaming high-resolution audio. Otherwise, they come with extra features you might expect from premium Bluetooth buds, like multi-device pairing, virtual surround sound, and a variety of customization options in their app.

Our Verdict

6.8 Neutral Sound

The Denon PerL Pro are alright for neutral sound. Out of the box, they have a well-balanced sound profile suitable for a variety of genres, although voices and instruments sound veiled. However, you can use the app to create a personalized EQ with the Masimo Adaptive Acoustic Technology feature. Subjectively, this results in a more excited sound profile, and if you boost the bass with 'Immersion Mode', they can create a more thumpy sound suitable for genres like EDM. You can also manually adjust the sound with a graphic EQ. They're also designed for music lovers and support various codecs for streaming higher-resolution audio, including aptX Lossless.

Pros
  • Support aptX Lossless for high-resolution audio.
  • Well-built and comfortable.
Cons
  • Default sound lacks detail.
  • Poor passive soundstage.
8.0 Commute/Travel

The Denon PerL Pro are great for commute and travel. They have a sturdy build and a very comfortable fit for most people. Their ANC feature isn't the best at blocking the low rumble of bus and plane engines, but it still does a decent job and is even better at isolating you from background conversations. Their 6.75 hours of battery life won't last through longer flights, but you can charge one or both earbuds in the portable case, which holds three extra charges.

Pros
  • Good noise isolation.
  • Well-built and comfortable.
Cons
  • Circular bud design can press on smaller ears.
8.3 Sports/Fitness

The Denon PerL Pro are great for sports and fitness. They come with a big selection of ear tips and stability fins, and once you get a good fit, they easily stay in place during workouts. They have a small, wireless design, so there's no risk of a cable getting snagged on something. They're also rated IPX4 for resistance to minor water exposure. However, they have a somewhat short battery life, so you'll want to recharge after a long workout.

Pros
  • Very stable fit.
  • Well-built and comfortable.
Cons
  • Circular bud design can press on smaller ears.
7.4 Office

The Denon PerL Pro are decent for office use. They have a comfortable fit for long days, and their ANC feature does a very good job of reducing background chit-chat. They also support multi-device pairing, which is nice if you use both your phone and computer throughout the day. While their 6.75-hour battery life may not last you through an entire workday, they come with a case that holds three extra charges, so you can always pop them into the case if you need more power.

Pros
  • Good noise isolation.
  • Well-built and comfortable.
  • Support multi-device pairing.
Cons
  • Mic struggles to separate your voice from loud ambient sound.
  • Circular bud design can press on smaller ears.
5.5 Wireless Gaming

The Denon PerL Pro aren't suitable for wireless gaming. Since they can only connect via Bluetooth, they don't work with Xbox or PlayStation consoles. They can connect to Bluetooth-enabled PCs but have high latency, so your audio and video will be out of sync.

5.3 Wired Gaming

The Denon PerL Pro can only connect to devices via Bluetooth; you can't use them wired.

6.2 Phone Calls

The Denon PerL Pro are passable for phone calls. The mic makes your voice sound clear but not very full-bodied or natural. It also struggles to separate your voice from loud ambient sound. However, the buds have bone conduction mics that improve their performance with real-life use. They also have a good ANC feature that makes it easier to hear the person you're talking to if you make a call from a busy office. While their onboard controls don't include call answering and ending by default, you can add those functions with the companion app.

Pros
  • Good noise isolation.
  • Well-built and comfortable.
  • Customizable controls.
Cons
  • Default sound lacks detail.
  • Mic struggles to separate your voice from loud ambient sound.
  • 6.8 Neutral Sound
  • 8.0 Commute/Travel
  • 8.3 Sports/Fitness
  • 7.4 Office
  • 5.5 Wireless Gaming
  • 5.3 Wired Gaming
  • 6.2 Phone Calls
  1. Updated Sep 19, 2023: Review published.
  2. Updated Sep 11, 2023: Early access published.
  3. Updated Sep 05, 2023: Our testers have started testing this product.
  4. Updated Aug 28, 2023: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  5. Updated Aug 14, 2023: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Denon PerL Pro only come in one color, 'Black'. You can see the label for the unit we tested here.

If you come across another variant or your headphones are different, let us know in the forums, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Headphones

The Denon PerL Pro are high-end earbuds for people prioritizing sound quality. They support the aptX Lossless codec, which lets you stream high-resolution audio via Bluetooth, which is a fairly rare feature even for expensive earbuds. Their custom EQ feature creates audio presets based on a hearing test, which you can adjust with a graphic EQ or 'immersion mode', which changes the amount of bass. You can also completely remap their controls. However, their ANC feature doesn't stand out and can't block as much noise as similarly priced headphones like the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II Truly Wireless or Sony WF-1000XM5 Truly Wireless.

If you're looking for other options, check out the best wireless Bluetooth earbuds, the best noise cancelling earbuds, and the best-sounding wireless earbuds.

Sony WF-1000XM5 Truly Wireless

You may prefer either the Sony WF-1000XM5 Truly Wireless or the Denon PerL Pro True Wireless, depending on what you're planning to use your earbuds for. The Sony are better for commuting and casual use when you're out and about, thanks to their longer battery life and better ANC performance. You can also set their ANC to different modes to suit the situation. They support head gesture controls, which allow you to answer and end calls without using your hands. However, the Denon headphones are a better choice if you're mainly concerned about audio quality. Unlike the Sony, they can stream lossless audio. You can also use their app to create a personalized EQ based on a hearing test.

Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 True Wireless

The Denon PerL Pro True Wireless are better than the Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 True Wireless. Both are premium earbuds designed for sound quality, but the Denon can stream higher-resolution audio with the aptX Lossless codec. They give you more options for customizing the sound profile, including a personalized EQ feature and a graphic EQ. Otherwise, they have a longer battery life and support multi-device pairing. However, the Bowers & Wilkins' case acts as a wireless transmitter, granting them extra versatility since they can receive audio from Xbox and PlayStation consoles. Their noise isolation is also much better.

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) Truly Wireless

The Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) Truly Wireless are a bit better than the Denon PerL Pro True Wireless. The Apple headphones have better noise isolation and a sturdier, sleeker design. They have more robust virtual surround sound features, including personalized head tracking. There are benefits for Apple users, like quick pairing and multi-device pairing with iOS. However, you may still prefer the Denon, depending on what you're looking for. All their features, like multi-device pairing, are available on Android and iOS devices. They also support the aptX Lossless codec, which allows you to stream higher-resolution audio. They're more customizable since you can use the app to create a personalized EQ, adjust it with a graphic EQ, and remap all the controls.

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II Truly Wireless

The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II Truly Wireless and the Denon PerL Pro True Wireless have different strengths. The Bose are much better for commuting, traveling, or if noise isolation is your priority, thanks to their significantly better ANC performance. You can also set their ANC system to different modes to suit the situation. However, the Denon headphones are better if you're looking for the best sound quality from your earbuds. They can stream higher-resolution audio via the aptX Lossless codec and support Spatial Audio, a virtual surround sound feature. You can use their app to create a personalized EQ based on a hearing test.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Type In-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Truly Wireless
Transducer Dynamic

The Denon PerL Pro have a flat, round outside surface and small in-ear tips. The matte flat surfaces have the brand name printed on them.

8.0
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.04 lbs
Clamping Force
0 lbs

They have a very comfortable fit for most. It's helpful that they come with a variety of tip options: there are four sets of differently-sized silicone tips, a pair of foam tips (medium size), and two sets of stability fins to help you get a more secure fit. However, while they have a sleek design, the circular outer surface has a pretty big diameter, so if you have smaller ears, you might find it presses against your outer ear. It can be tough to get a good fit, especially with the foam tips, but they don't cause much fatigue or pain once you do.

7.9
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Great
Feedback Good
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control On/Off
Talk-Through
On/Off
Additional Controls Voice Assistant

Their controls are easy to use and very customizable. The touch-sensitive surfaces on the buds are big and sensitive enough that you only need a light tap to register commands. You can also grab the rim of the circular buds to readjust the fit without accidentally pausing your audio or turning up the volume. There are different audio queues for single, double, and triple taps, and you can activate voice prompts in the companion app.

On the left earbud:

  • Single tap: Enable or disable 'Social Mode' (a transparency mode that lets you hear your surroundings) without pausing audio.
  • Double tap: Activate voice assistant
  • Triple tap: None by default
  • Double tap and hold: Lowers the volume

On the right earbud:

  • Single tap: Play/pause audio.
  • Double tap: Skip to the next track.
  • Triple tap: Skip to the previous track.
  • Double tap and hold: Raises the volume.

The companion app can remap any of the commands. You can choose to add these functions that aren't included in the default control scheme:

  • Enable/disable 'Social Mode' and pause audio
  • Play/pause music and answer/hang up calls
  • Enable/disable 'Immersion' (bass adjustment)
  • Increase the 'Immersion'
  • Decrease the 'Immersion'
  • Enable/disable spatial audio.

9.4
Design
Portability
L 1.4" (3.6 cm)
W 1.2" (3.1 cm)
H 1.1" (2.7 cm)
Volume 1.84 in³ (30.10 cm³)
Transmitter Required No

The Denon PerL Pro are small, light, and portable, like most truly wireless earbuds. The circular buds are a little bigger than some, but they can still fit easily in purses and pockets.

7.5
Design
Case
Type Hard case
L 2.9" (7.3 cm)
W 1.4" (3.5 cm)
H 1.1" (2.9 cm)
Volume 4.52 in³ (74.10 cm³)

They come with a portable charging case. Its matte finish attracts fingerprints a bit, and the lid feels somewhat flimsy, but the case itself is sturdy and portable. The buds' large outer surfaces can make getting them out of the case a bit annoying.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

The Denon PerL Pro feel quite sturdy, without any cheap-feeling parts. The silicone ear tips don't feel flimsy but may tear or rip with extended use. The foam tips are less durable and will likely degrade faster and need replacing every six months or so, but that's normal for the material. The case's hinge doesn't feel very solid either, and it might loosen or break with a lot of use or if you drop the case. The buds are rated IPX4 for resistance against minor water exposure, so they have protection against light rain and being splashed with water.

8.0
Design
Stability

They have great stability. Once you get a good fit with the ear tips and stability fins, they won't move or fall out during workouts, even if you move your head around a lot. However, you might have to try different combinations of tips and fins before you get the right fit.

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

  • Denon PerL Pro True Wireless
  • Charging case
  • USB-A to USB-C charging cable
  • 4x silicone tips
  • 1x foam tips
  • 2x stability fins

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
0.46 dB
Treble Amount
-1.72 dB

The Denon PerL Pro have a well-balanced default sound profile. They don't produce a rumbly, punchy bass response, and instruments and vocals sound veiled. However, their more neutral mid-range response helps instruments to sound present and clear in the mix.

Turning the ANC feature off changes their sound profile. It's most noticeable in the low and mid-bass ranges, where they reproduce less rumble and punch with ANC off. You can see a graph of the frequency response with ANC off here.

You can manually tweak the sound with a 5-band EQ in the app or with the 'Immersion' setting, which allows you to turn the bass amount up or down with a slider or the onboard touch controls.

Using their companion app, you can create a personalized EQ with their Masimo Adaptive Acoustic Technology feature, which is meant to customize their sound to your ears. Unlike the Sony WF-1000XM5 Truly Wireless' 'Find Your Equalizer' feature, which has you choose between different tones to evaluate your preferences, it creates a customized EQ without any user input, although the test still involves a series of tones played through the buds. In subjective tests, this feature boosted the bass and treble, resulting in a more excited sound with more thump and warmth in the bass range and brighter instruments. With the bass adjustment feature ('Immersion Mode') turned up, they create a fairly bass-heavy sound well-suited for genres like EDM and rap, but voices and instruments sound nudged to the back of the mix. However, since these results are subjective and the sound profile is adjusted based on your ear shape, you may have a different experience.

7.9
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.42 dB

The Denon PerL Pro have very good frequency response consistency. Their sound varies somewhat depending on the fit, positioning, and seal of the buds. Certain positions result in more thump and rumble in the low-bass and sharper sibilant sounds. However, if you adjust the buds each time you wear them, you can get a consistent sound.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
8.5
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.09 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
16.82 Hz
Low-Bass
-1.88 dB
Mid-Bass
-2.29 dB
High-Bass
-2.62 dB

They have excellent bass accuracy. The range is slightly underemphasized, so the bass doesn't overwhelm instruments and voices in the mid-range, but it's also consistent, so your audio still has rumble and punch. They reproduce less high-bass, which slightly hurts the warmth and fullness of instruments.

8.3
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.25 dB
Low-Mid
-0.12 dB
Mid-Mid
-1.85 dB
High-Mid
-2.76 dB

They have great mid accuracy. The low-mid response is very neutral, so the low harmonics of instruments are present and clear. The rest of the range is slightly underemphasized, so instruments and vocals are nudged towards the back of the mix and somewhat weak.

5.7
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
6.16 dB
Low-Treble
-6.4 dB
Mid-Treble
-2.2 dB
High-Treble
-6.48 dB

They have sub-par treble accuracy. The low-treble response is very underemphasized, so the upper harmonics of vocals and instruments sound veiled and lack detail. Sibilants like cymbals also sound dull instead of bright.

7.7
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.33 dB
Dips
1.61 dB

The Denon PerL Pro have good peaks and dips performance. The earbuds control their sound profile fairly well, but there are some major deviations. A big dip in the low treble range hurts the detail of instruments and vocals. The high treble is uneven, so sibilants are alternately dull or piercing. There are smaller peaks in the mid-range: a peak in the low mid clutters instruments and a smaller peak in the high mid adds harshness.

8.7
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.18
Weighted Phase Mismatch
2.38
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
1.2
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.23

They have excellent imaging, which is an indication of the brand's quality control and ergonomics. However, we have yet to test many other Denon products, and imaging varies from unit to unit and product to product, so you may have a different experience. The group delay falls below the audibility threshold for the entire range, resulting in tight bass and transparent treble reproduction. The left and right drivers are well-matched in frequency and amplitude response, but a mismatch in phase response shifts the soundstage to the right side. This mismatch in the mid-range gives voices more presence in the right driver and makes them sound slightly hushed on the left. This can be perceived with real-life content but isn't very noticeable unless you're listening for it.

0.7
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
N/A
PRTF Distance
N/A
Openness
2.2
Acoustic Space Excitation
1.0

They have a bad passive soundstage, which is normal for in-ear headphones. Because their sound doesn't interact with your outer ear, audio seems to come from inside your head instead of speakers in the room around you.

4.1
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
On/Off
Speaker Modeling
On/Off
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
Spatial Audio

They support Spatial Audio, a virtual surround sound feature meant to create a more immersive, 3D soundstage.

7.6
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.326
WHD @ 100
0.136

They have a good weighted harmonic distortion performance. There's some slight distortion in the low and mid-treble ranges; even then, it's not very noticeable with real-life content. The rest of the frequency response falls within good limits, producing clean audio.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
450214
Power
On
Connection
Bluetooth 5.2
Codec
aptX Adaptive, 24-bit, 48Khz
EQ
Off
ANC
On
Tip/Pad
Foam (medium)
Microphone
Integrated

These are the settings used to test the Denon PerL Pro True Wireless. Our results are only valid in this configuration.

Isolation
7.8
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-21.62 dB
Noise Cancelling Yes
Bass
-13.24 dB
Mid
-22.35 dB
Treble
-30.2 dB

They have good noise isolation. Their adaptive ANC system is meant to adjust the feature's performance depending on your environment, but you can't set it to different levels or modes. The ANC does a very good job of blocking out mid-range ambient sound, like voices, so they work well if you want to reduce distractions when you're working at the office or at home. While it does a decent job of reducing bass-range noise like rumbling engines, it doesn't perform as well as other premium buds like the Sony WF-1000XM5 Truly Wireless or the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II Truly Wireless. These headphones aren't ideal if you need earbuds that reduce as much noise as possible during your commute or traveling.

9.1
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
26.53 dB

They have a fantastic leakage performance. Audio leakage is concentrated in the mid-treble range, so it sounds thin and is low overall. Your music won't disturb people nearby even if you have the volume cranked up.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
Yes
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No
Mic Yes
6.0
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
578.47 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
5.83 dB
HFE
4,496.01 Hz
Weighted THD
0.14
Gain
24.46 dB

These earbuds use bone conduction mics to improve call quality, and our dummy head can't measure sound transmitted that way. The inconsistent frequency response also indicates that the mic may be using an automatic compensation algorithm, which can also cause the mic to sound better than the results show. As a result, they have a better recording quality than the score suggests. Your voice is clear but lacks body and doesn't sound completely natural.

5.2
Microphone
Noise Handling
SpNR
26.13 dB
Noise Gate
Always On
Speech + Pink Noise Handling
5.0
Speech + Pink Noise Audio Sample
Speech + Subway Noise Handling
5.5
Speech + Subway Noise Audio Sample

The mic has sub-par noise handling. In moderately noisy areas, your voice sounds muffled, and background noise is audible. Louder environments, like a busy street or subway station, can completely drown out your voice.

However, the earbuds' bone conduction mics and any automatic compensation algorithm they're using mean their noise handling performance is better than what the score reflects.

Active Features
7.3
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
6.75 hrs
Additional Charges
3.0
Total Battery Life
27 hrs
Charge Time
1.3 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
Auto-Off Timer and Standby Mode
Audio While Charging
Yes
Passive Playback
No
Charging Port USB-C

They have a decent battery performance. The manufacturer advertises an eight-hour continuous battery life, and we measured a bit less, at just under seven hours. However, they recharge quickly, and the case holds about three additional charges. You can use one earbud while the other charges in the case. They're also equipped with an auto-off timer and standby mode to help conserve power when they're not in use.

7.5
Active Features
App Support
App Name Denon Headphones
iOS Yes
Android Yes
macOS No
Windows No
Equalizer
Graphic
ANC Control
On/Off
Mic Control No
Room Effects
Yes
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping Yes
Surround Support
Yes

The Denon Headphones app offers a good variety of features and customization options. You can access the Masimo Adaptive Acoustic Technology feature, which customizes the sound profile to your ears with a fit test and by playing a series of tones to check your ear shape. This creates a custom EQ and 'profile' for your ears. You can store up to three profiles in the app.

The app also includes a 5-band graphic EQ called 'ProEQ' and an 'Immersion' slider, which lets you adjust the bass amount. You can use these features to adjust a personalized Masimo EQ or the default sound profile.

You can also activate or deactivate several features: spatial audio, 'Social mode' (a transparency mode that lets in ambient sound so you can hear your surroundings), battery saver mode, and high gain mode, which the manufacturer says increases the earbuds' volume by 6db. The app also allows you to remap all of the controls on either earbud. You can see a video of the app in action here.

Connectivity
8.1
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
5.3
Multi-Device Pairing
2 Devices
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
233.92 ft (71.30 m)
PC Latency (SBC)
359 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
233 ms
PC Latency (aptX HD)
363 ms
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
78 ms
iOS Latency
22 ms
Android Latency
75 ms

The Denon PerL Pro have great Bluetooth connectivity. They support multi-device pairing so you can stay connected with your phone and computer simultaneously. You can also select the 'Audio Takeover' option in the app so that when you press play on a paired device, that audio automatically plays through the earbuds.

They have low latency with iOS and Android devices, so your audio stays in sync when you're watching a video on your phone. They have much higher latency with PCs, which will cause syncing issues if you're watching a movie on your computer. Still, they also support the aptX-LL codec, which significantly lowers their latency with PCs.

They support the aptX Lossless codec for streaming higher resolution, lossless audio. However, we don't have a Bluetooth transmitter to test their latency using that codec, so we don't know how much latency they have using aptX Lossless. The aptX and aptX HD codecs also let you stream higher-quality audio than the default SBC codec, and they have high latency with those codecs. That's not an issue for music, but your audio and video will be out of sync if you want to watch a movie.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A
0
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
No
USB Audio
No
Detachable No
Length N/A
Connection
No Wired Option
Analog/USB Audio Latency
N/A

You can't use the Denon PerL Pro earbuds wired. They come with a USB-A to USB-C cable for charging the case.

Connectivity
PC Compatibility
Analog
No
Wired USB
No
Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
PlayStation Compatibility
PS4 Analog
No
PS4 Wired USB
No
PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
PS5 Analog
No
PS5 Wired USB
No
PS5 Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
Xbox Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
No
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
No
Xbox Series X|S Analog
No
Xbox Series X|S Wired USB
No
Xbox Series X|S Non-BT Wireless
No
2.2
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
Charging Case
USB Input
No
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
Yes
Power Supply
USB-C

The Denon PerL Pro have a portable charging case that stores about three additional charges. It has one USB-C input for the charging cable and supports wireless charging.