Sitting comfortably at the tipping point between white bundled earbud hell and audio perfection, the Denon AH-C252 would be a good choice for cash-strapped music lovers. Build quality is reasonable without being exceptional. Pay any more than this, and you'd balk at the idea of headphones comprising almost entirely plastic.

But the black Denon AH-C252s are discreet and lightweight and, despite a flimsy-feeling cord, they stood up well to the rigours of testing. The 3.5mm jack is, of course, gold plated.

You get the requisite selection of silicon tips to make sure the Denons sit comfortably in your lugs and block out extraneous noise.

The earpieces themselves are a peculiar shape, the speakers bending forward into your ear, pointing toward your eyes. Once fitted correctly, they were difficult to dislodge even during a strenuous gym session.

For the technologists out there, the Denon AH-C252s can handle up to 100mW and sport 11.5mm neodymium-backed drive units.

Frequency response ranges from 20Hz to 23kHz, with sensitivity of 100dB/mW and 16 ohm impedance. In real terms this equates to volume. A big, fat noise with plenty of middle and a healthy bass sound.

This is not high-end audio equipment but, unless you require über accurate treble reproduction the Denon AH-C252s will suffice. And if you're using a digital audio player you're out of luck there anyway. Rockers and rappers in particular will love that throbbing bass.

Denon AH-C252


If you’re hunting for audio accuracy and ‘look at me’ chic, you need to cast your eyes elsewhere. But bargain-hunting iPod users looking to upgrade from bundled earbuds could do worse. A lot worse. With decent audio quality at a reasonable price, it’s difficult to argue against the Denon AH-C252.