Pros: Amazing Well Balanced Sound, Great Build Quality, Nice Accesories Pack
Cons: Large and heavy housings
This is the main part of the review, and the most important for every audio gear.
Dunu's house sound usually leans towards to either the warm and smooth, or bassy signatures. Even their single balanced armature based IEMs were more mid-centered with rolled-off highs and lows. Knowing this, I had my worries about the result of the DN-1000 tuning. Why? It's simple. For their first hybrid earphone, Dunu chose one of the best (and of my favorites) Dual BA driver on the market, the TWFK, which is known by its extreme brightness with amazing hyper detail and ultra high speed, but light on the low-end. Add to that a Dunu's dynamic driver, which can be quite bass heavy and slow in speed, and the result could be either a horrible V-shaped sound, too bassy and trebly with recessed mids - if done wrong - , or a beautiful full and well balanced sound, challenging the top-tier products - if done right. Fortunately, I'm glad to say that it's the latter case. The configuration is the same as the older and much pricier AKG K3003 model and the newer Astrotec AX-60, and while I don't know how those two sound, one thing is clear, these new Dunu DN-1000 are a top-tier product, at least among universal IEMs.
The impressions are based on using the clear white stock tips with the blue rings. While the rings mainly help to get a better fit, they also have some effect on the sound, especially in the bass and/or treble positioning. Not a huge difference to dedicate a special section to each ring, but worth mentioning. Personally I opted for the blue ones as they offer a best balanced sound from low to highs.
Bass: The Dynamic driver.
The low end is always full and rich, which is a characteristic strength of Dunu's dynamic drivers. It's a big and surrounding bass that never gets to point of being overwhelming. They compete very well against similar priced (and even pricier) dynamic IEMs in tightness, precision, and overall speed and detail. While they can't match the 'pure' multi-BA drivers in micro detail and ultra speed, they have the more natural feeling and realistic attack and decay that dynamic drivers usually offer. Layering is great and extension is more than enough. Quantity wise, both mid and sub bass are evenly presented, and quality wise they're way far ahead from the previous models, including even the previous flagship, the DN-19 Tai Chi.
My favorite part is that the DN-1000 dynamic driver is not only limited to offer a great and coherent bass response, but also warms up the midrange giving it a fuller and more musical tone.
Mids & Highs: The Balanced Armature Twins, the lovely TWFK.
There's no doubt who is in charge of the midrange and treble here. I've always liked the Knowles TWFK driver’s sound, from the first time I listened to the Brainwavz B2, and later on to the Rock It R-50.
The midrange is very clean and transparent, slightly prominent and perfectly well balanced with the rest of the frequencies. Expectedly, the clarity and detail are at their best. Compared to the cooler mids of the 'pure' TWFK, like the B2, and even the R-50, the DN-1000 mids are slighlty smoother and more liquid. They might sound a tad less aggressive, but have more body with a more silky texture and natural timbre. They sound as effortless and articulated as a TWFK driver can sound, but are much more engaging and realistic.
Vocals are truly impressive with an incredible level of detail that's possible to hear clearly every single word, be it from the main singers or backgrounds. They're fuller and more forward than the R-50 or B2 with a much nicer hint of warmth and sweetness. Even though the detail and air are slighlty ahead of the more vocal focused RE-400, they aren't as beautiful as the Hifiman's silky vocals, and the DN-1000 are also less forgiving and more prone to sibilance because the TWFK brighter nature. At the end of the day it's more a matter of taste as both the DN-1000 and RE-400 are great perfomers when it comes to midrange reproduction.
The treble it's where these dual Knowles BA drivers always shine. Like other TWFK based IEMs they're very bright, crispy and sparkly with plenty of energy and incredible extension. Instrument separation is excellent and they're nicely layered, highly resolving and very airy. As expected, they aren't sibilance free and won't forget to show their more aggressive nature either. Foam tips could help a bit in this regard, though.
Now, changing to the darker and wider bore tips, the sound presentation also changes. Personally, I couldn't get a right fit with the provided stock tips, so I used similar shaped wide bore eartips, like the AudioFly and Auvio tips.
Not surprisingly, the resulting sound is sharper and more lively and energetic, with a very slightly U-shaped response. The bass is deeper and slightly more powerful, but loses some of its warmth. Midrange feels colder and not as thick, being less suited for vocals. Treble is the most affected, being much more similar to the Fischer Audio DBA-02, Brainwavz B2 and Rock-It R-50. It is brighter and more peaky and prone to sibilance. Even so, extension remains the same. It kind of reminds me of the CNT based ATH-CKN70, but fuller and more well-rounded.
Soundstage is very large with excelent sense of space and distance. Not only it has the BA TWFK width and depth, but with the addition of the dynamic driver the sound is much more enveloping and three-dimensional. It's very impressive for a IEM and has that incredible ‘out of the head’ feel on it, not easily found on the in-ear market (especially on the 'sealed' ones).