One minute review

It's almost as if Denon decided to wait for the true wireless headphone market to reach critical mass before entering the fray. It's a bold strategy… but it's worth it.

The AH-C830NCWs, however, have enough sonic flair to stand out from the (huge) crowd, even if they sound like another pair of sporty AirPods rivals. Not only is the level of build and finish up to the standard everyone has come to expect from Denon, but the sound - balanced, balanced, punchy and detailed - is judged extremely well. There aren't many competitors that can match Denon's first wireless headphones in terms of audio performance.

"Great sound" is the be all and end all of what makes the AH-C830NCW competitive. There's no control app here, and therefore no ability to fiddle with EQ levels, change noise cancellation intensity, update firmware, or anything else. There is no voice command. And it's safe to say that touch controls have limited functionality. Listeners who like full control of their headphones will be hampered here.

un primer plano de los verdaderos auriculares inalámbricos denon ah-c830nwc

(Image credit: LaComparacion)

Denon AH-C830NWC price and release date

  • Available now
  • €159 / €139 / AU$259

The Denon AH-C830NCWs are currently on sale for $159 / £139 / AU$259 and launched in November 2021.

Because these are the true wireless earbuds we're talking about, it almost goes without saying that you're spoiled for choice for that kind of money. A quick look at our list of the best true wireless earphones of 2022 reveals models from Sony, Cambridge Audio, Sennheiser, Lypertek, Beats and Apple waiting to send you off with a very similar sum.

denon true wireless earphones in their charging case

(Image credit: LaComparacion)

Design and features

  • Available in gloss black or gloss white
  • Some significant gaps in the specifications
  • Decent battery life

How about your true wireless earbuds? With a stick hanging down? In a choice of gloss white or gloss black finishes? With an extremely short list of control options? Read on – the Denon AH-C830NCW might just be the button you've been looking for.

As with almost all products bearing the "Denon" brand, you can take the build quality and level of finish for granted. They're well-made headphones, built to last, as long as the slick, glossy finish doesn't leave you breathless when you take them out of their charging case, anyway. At 5,3g each, they're fairly light and the combination of a clean ergonomic design and a selection of different sized silicone tips means they fit well and stay comfortable.

Denon has even managed to bring a bit of individuality to the "stem" design: it ends at an angle and has a contrasting silver cap.

There's touch control functionality built into each earbud, but not that much, mind you. 'Play/pause', 'skip forward/back', turn on/off/ambient noise cancellation' and 'answer/end call' are your thing - there's no option to adjust the volume or call a voice assistant, like Denon headphones do not have voice commands. And while we're discussing things the AH-C830NCW doesn't have, we can also add a control app (and later an equalizer or active noise cancellation setting) to the list.

Active noise cancellation is aided by a few microphones in each earcup, while call quality is handled by three more. Wireless connectivity is via Bluetooth 5 and codec support extends to SBC and AAC, meaning there's no Hi-Res Audio support. Sound is delivered to your ears via two oval (11mm x 10mm) full-range dynamic speakers.

Battery life is respectable, but just over five hours from the earbuds (with noise cancellation on) or six (with the feature off); there are another four full charges in the case. The case itself needs to be charged via USB-C, as there's no support for wireless charging.

denon ah-c830nwc charging case

(Image credit: LaComparacion)

audio performance

  • Convincing and naturalistic sound.
  • Quite effective noise cancellation
  • dynamic and organized

Since there's no option here to tweak the EQ settings, the pressure is on Denon to get the sound right; Fortunately, we think the company has done very well in creating a natural, full and consistent tonal listening.

There's a very nice ease, a kind of inherent correctness, in the way these headphones present music of all kinds. From Animal Collective's My Girls to Warren Zevon's Piano Fighter and Stravinsky/New York Philharmonic/Zubin Mehta's The Rite of Spring, Denon headphones are always believable and sound right.

They shape low-frequency sounds well, without letting them drag on tempos or squash rhythmic expression, and deliver convincing texture with high levels of detail as they do so. They also give the vocalist proper expression, projecting the midrange and allowing him to breathe. At the top end, they play fractionally safe in the sense that they never get close to harsh, but there's still enough sparkle to let the treble attack. And at all times, the amount of detail available makes the most of each recording.

The AH-C830NCW also expresses dynamic variations well (large changes as well as minor harmonic variations), and does a very good job with soundstages as well. Arranging a symphony orchestra rationally isn't that easy, even for the most expensive headphones, but there's no doubt everyone's sitting down when the Denon assholes describe it.

Active noise cancellation is a slightly more mixed success. The AH-C830NCW does a professional job, but you don't have to spend much more on a pair of headphones that can block out ambient sounds more solidly. If you're expecting Bose-like background noise, you'll be a bit disappointed.

Should I buy the Denon AH-C830NWC?

denon ah-c830nwc true wireless earphones in black

(Image credit: LaComparacion)

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