Denon D5000

The D5000 was part of the closed-back line of Foster’s bio-cellulose driver headphones branded and released by Denon 10 years ago : AH-D2000, AH-D5000 and AH-D7000. The D5000 is more semi-open than truely closed, with a mediocre isolation and a 3m long non-removable stock cable.

Comfort is rather good although the headband is a bit stiff and the pleather ear pads can get sweaty quite fast. They are easy to drive, any phone or DAP player will play them loud without any loss. 

○ Release : 2008
○ Current status : Discontinued
○ Type : Over-ear / Closed-back
○ Measured weight : 358g
○ Impedance : 25 Ohms
○ Sensitivity : ~95.8 dB/mW
○ Average used price : $250-400

Denon D5000

Sound Impression

The D5000 is a fun and bassy headphone. Bass is strong with good impact from the upper-bass down to 30-35hz. I might find it missing the very low rumble around 20-30hz but it’s not really dramatic given how well it slams above that frequency.

Midrange is really smooth, definitely with a downward slope. I think the bass to mids transition is not too bad despite the very elevated bass ; it bleeds into the midrange but not so much. Again, mids to treble transition doesn’t seem really harsh to my ears. The area where it might agress the ears is around 7-8 khz, I do hear a moderately forward peak here, as well as another one somewhere around 11 khz.

Though the D5000 sounds bassy and warm, it still manages to get a good sense of clarity, with enough upper-treble and a wider staging than most midfi closed-back headphones I have heard. The Foster driver has some capabilities with good attack and decay. On very bassy tracks though, the bass might overwhelm a bit too much the mids and lacks some tightness and control. The midrange can sound quite recessed at times.

The D5000 has been discontinued for almost 7 years now, and is a bit hard to find in good condition. Very often the pleather headband, ear pads or wood cups are deteriorated. My own D5000 has Beyer DT770 headband on it because stock pleather was in awful condition.

I would recommend checking the Fostex TH-610, TH-X00 or E-mu Teak since they are still in production and in the same ballpark as this Denon. They all share similar drivers and housing. The TH-X00 and E-mu Teak definitely have the edge in tonal balance ,with a more coherent midrange tone. The Denon sound a bit wider because of larger earpads openings.

Beware ; they are apparently two revisions of D2000/5000/7000, 2012 units sounding better than the older ones. The impressions I gave here are based on a 2012 D5000.

Measurements & Resources

Nice measured bass extension. A bit bloomy, and starting to roll-off below 30hz. Midrange doesnt seem lacking looking at the graph, but still sounds a bit recessed. The dip around 2.5 – 5khz is probably the cause. Treble is not the smoothest around 6-11 khz. A bit more elevated than ideal.


  • Federico


    Thx for sharing your knowledge.
    I had a pair of d5000 which I sold and I always regret the decision.

    I’ve a pair of HD650 and would like to get something with close back design and a punchy bass like the d5000.
    Could you tips me some other similar models which not cost more the 300 (used)?
    Denon are not easy to find and Fostex even worse.

    • titanosk

      Honestly, there are not many choices. The closest sounding to the D5000 in a more modern equivalent is the Emu Teak, but its more than 300 used.
      The original D5000 can be sometimes found used in that price range, but condition varies. Otherwise I would get a look at the newer Denons, like the D5200, but the bass might be a bit different

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *