Sitting somewhere between the cheap tat handed out with smartphones and £200+ beasts from the likes of Sennheiser, Denon's AH-C360 will hit a sweet spot for many digital music fans. They offer a sizeable step up from most bundled headphones, but buying them won't break the bank. Indeed, shop around online and you can find these phones for £25 or so. It's a bargain price for all but committed audiophiles, who will desire better audio fidelity.
Lightweight to the point that wearing them is like walking into a spider's web, the plastic Denon AH-C360 are none-the-less robust. We dragged them around for a week or two in our ears, in the bottom of a bag and - at one point - trailing along the floor behind us on a station platform. There's nary a mark on them.
The cable length is a point of some contention, however. Out of the box the gossamer-thin wire stretches a mere 77cm from 3.5mm jack to ears (of any size). If this sounds like enough, it isn't. Unless you are devoid of neck to the point that Sandi Toksvig pokes fun at you, or you choose to carry your iPhone tucked into your shirt collar, you'll be uncomfortable. But look, what's this? Tucked away in the case is a further 86cm of wire in the form of an extension cable. Now you have comfortably enough space between device and head. (In fact - and this is a moan rather than a fair criticism - the combined 1.6m cable is probably too long, if such a thing is possible.)
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Still, the extension cable offers a certain amount of flexibility of setup, and we like the fact that unlike the earphone's jack, the extension's connector enters your device at a right angle. In our experience this means your headphones will last longer, especially in heavy rotation on a daily commute. There are no on-wire controls, but you do get a handy clip with which to attach your headphones to your tie or shirt, and pretend you are presenting the news on TV.
In our tests the Denon AH-C360's ear buds fitted comfortably in our lugs. As is the norm you get a variety of rubber end pieces to fit a variety of ear sizes. If you're okay with in-ear headphones, you'll be okay with the Denon AH-C360.
Sound quality is good. Not outstanding, by any means, but more than adequate at this price point, and considerably better than cheap or free phones. There's plenty of tone and warm treble when listening to digital reproductions of the likes of PJ Harvey and Van Morrison, and a healthy dose of bass when kicking out young persons' music from Chase & Status. (Coldplay sounded like whiny bed wetters, so the sound is accurate, too.)
Happily, we can report that noise leakage is kept to a minimum, so even though the Denon AH-C360 are not noise-cancelling, you can bang up the volume without worrying about fellow travellers. Even at low volume, their in-ear status means you are not unneccessarily disturbed by extraneous noise.