Excellent sound quality
Very good noise canceling
Very good transparency
Good call quality
IPX4 water resistance
No wireless charging
No EQ or control customization
No Bluetooth multipoint
Require frequent fit adjustment
Though late to the true wireless earbuds party, legendary Japanese audio brand Denon has taken the plunge with two new competitively priced models — the $159 AH-C830NCW with active noise cancellation (ANC) and the $99 AH-C630W. We check out the noise-canceling model to see how Denon’s first try at true wireless compares to similarly priced earbuds from the leaders in this space.
It’s pretty clear right from the get-go that Denon is making a play for the folks who like Apple’s AirPods Pro. Placed side by side, the Noise Cancelling Earbuds and AirPods Pro look very similar, especially given that the Denons come in white (you can choose black as well).
There are some subtle differences: Denon’s stems are a bit thicker, and capped in an elegant chrome-finished tip. And instead of Apple’s pinch controls on the stems, Denon uses the more common touch-based style that Apple uses on its first-and second-gen AirPods.
In the box, Denon includes three sizes of silicone eartips to help you get a good seal, and a short USB-C charging cable.
The relatively large charging case has a flat bottom so it can stand on its own, and it features an elegant, angled lid that’s easy to open and close. Unfortunately, getting the earbuds out of the case can be tricky. The super-smooth plastic used on the outer shell makes it difficult to get a good grip, so you must master the technique of using your thumb as a lever to nudge each earbud out of its socket high enough so that you can grip them with your index finger. Unlike the AirPods Pro, the case doesn’t support wireless charging.
Denon says the Noise Cancelling Earbuds are Class 1 Bluetooth devices, which usually means they should get better range than non-Class 1 devices. But I found the range to be about average — 30 to 40 feet indoors and 50 to 60 feet outside. Within these distances, the connection was very stable and latency was never an issue while watching videos.
Android users get Google Fast Pair, which makes the initial connection as easy as flipping open the case lid and tapping the connect button on your phone’s screen.