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Denon AH-MM400 (2016)
Plantronics BackBeat 500
See Top Ranked On-Ear Headphones

Denon AH-MM400 (2016) vs Plantronics BackBeat 500

Analysis:

The Denon AH-MM400 (2016) makes for a good, if unremarkable, On-Ear Headphone for people with a $360 budget.

The Plantronics BackBeat 500, however, is merely mediocre at its $31 asking price, when compared to similarly priced products, and won't satisfy the needs of most people.

In either case, we suggest that you first take a look at some other options at the $360 and $40 price points before committing to one of these - it's likely that you'll be able to find some better alternatives.

If you're still interested in learning more about the Denon AH-MM400 (2016) and Plantronics BackBeat 500, however, we wrote a summary of what we could find about them:

The Denon AH-MM400 (2016) was loved by reviewers at Wirecutter (NYTimes), a highly trusted source that performs reliable in-depth testing. It did great in its "The Best Everyday Audiophile Headphones" roundup where it was named its "Top Pick", which, in itself, makes it a product worth considering.

As for the Plantronics BackBeat 500, it was really well-received by reviewers at SoundGuys, a reliable source that's known for conducting its own, high-quality, in-depth testing. It performed great in its "Best Headphones For Back To School 2017" roundup and was named its "Best Comfort", which, on its own, makes it a product that warrants a closer look.

When we thoroughly analyzed their review scores, we learned that all of the sources that tested both On-Ear Headphones, including TrustedReviews and Techradar, preferred the Denon AH-MM400 (2016) over the Plantronics BackBeat 500.

We also took a look at which sources they managed to impress the most. The Denon AH-MM400 (2016) was liked best by Head-fi, which gave it a score of 9.7, while the Plantronics BackBeat 500 got its highest, 8, score from PCmag.

Lastly, we averaged out all of their review ratings and observed that the Denon AH-MM400 (2016), with its 8.7 average, performed considerably better than most On-Ear Headphones - the mean score for the product category being 7.4 out of 10 - while the Plantronics BackBeat 500 managed an average of 7.3.

There's one caveat here - it might not be entirely justifiable to do a direct Denon AH-MM400 (2016) vs. Plantronics BackBeat 500 review average comparison since they aren't priced the same and more expensive products tend to get higher review scores from some sources.

Comparison of expert ratings
Highly Recommended
Recommended
Mentioned
Not Mentioned
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
CNET
SoundGuys
PCmag
TechSpot
TrustedReviews
Techradar
Head-fi
Tech Advisor
Pocket-lint
Tech. Specs Comparison
Denon AH-MM400 (2016)
$399
Plantronics BackBeat 500
$31
Noise-cancelling
No
No
Wireless
No
Yes
Higher than average expert review score
7.5
Overall Avg. for On-Ear Headphones
8.7
Avg. Review Score
Score
Has average expert review score
7.5
Overall Avg. for On-Ear Headphones
7.3
Avg. Review Score
Score
Recommended by trusted experts
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The Best Everyday Audiophile Headphones” 
Last updated: 12 Mar 2020
Recommended by trusted experts
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Comfort
in “Best Headphones For Back To School 2017” 
Last updated: 22 Aug 2017

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