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Dunu DN-1000

Posted

Pros: Musical and well balanced tonality. One of the best IEM with the most balanced and realistic tonality, for my sonic preferences.

Cons: Requires 3rd party silicone eartips (JVC EP-FX8) to sound best.

Hybrid 3 ways: 2x Balance Armature + 1x 10mm Dynamic driver
http://www.dunu-topsound.com/DN-1000.html

 

 

I was a bit disappointed with DN-1000 when I tried it out of the box. The treble was a bit metallic with the stock silicone eartips. The first few weeks with DN-1000, I used foam eartips, Comply T-500, that smoothen the treble, made the DN-1000 sounds very open and airy, but a bit lacking in bass. Until I did some experiments with more eartips, and found the silicone eartips from my JVC HA-FXD80 give the best sound and tonal balance for my DN-1000. Treble from the foam eartips & bass from the silicone eartips. Best of both worlds. It was a very happy moment, and I was not alone. I was with my friend Leo who is a sound engineer, and for hours we listened to DN-1000 with the JVC HA-FXD80 silicone eartips. We have same conclusion, very good tonal balance on the whole spectrum, without any annoying peaks and dips. Simply, we didn't find anything to fault the combination. From that moment, the JVC FXD80 tips stay on my DN-1000.

 

With the JVC eartips, DN-1000 sounds very balanced, realistic, and most important, very musical and fun sounding. DN-1000 has the realistic type of natural tonal balance, with no emphasize and deemphasize on any region of the frequency, just perfectly smooth and balanced. Good bass, clear mids, smooth and airy high, with good dynamic and lively sounding. Very good detail and transparency without sounding analytical. Truly an excellent all-rounder. With the JVC EP-FX8 eartips, sibilance is very well controlled without sacrificing clarity and transparency. I have no idea how the JVC EP-FX8 eartips do it, maybe there is a little bit of 'smoothening' on the treble, just slightly to remove most sibilance, without sacrificing treble detail. The result is simply amazing. Open, airy, transparent, without sibilance.The JVC EP-FX8 eartips is simply the 'missing secret ingredient' from the DN-1000 package.

 

 

Mids to treble transient is fast, and clarity is crystal clear, but i don't consider it sounds analytical. I guess it is due to the matching dynamic driver with the BA drivers, the dynamic driver seamlessly adds body to the midrange, creating clear and smooth midrange that never sounds dry or analytic. While the JVC EP-FX8 eartips smoothen the treble without reducing transparency and airiness. Balanced, smooth, transparent, and very musical, maybe the best way to describe how DN-1000 sounds with JVC EP-FX8 eartips.

 

Bass level and dynamic is better than DN-2000, better balance with the midrange. Only a few dB better, but since DN-1000 midrange is flatter and more balanced with the rest of the spectrum, not slightly emphasized like DN-2000, bass has better presence and body, and slightly better slam and punch than DN-2000 bass. But bass level is still far from basshead level. FX850 bass level in this case, is closer to basshead level. DN-1000 Bass power and dynamic is good and realistic, and low bass extension is nicely present in realistic level. But overall bass quality is not as good as ATH-CKR9 bass. CKR9 bass has better detail, texture, power and dynamic. I don't mean DN-1000 bass quality is bad, the bass is good. It is just that I ever heard better quality bass from other IEM, which is the ATH-CKR9. So there is still room for improvement for DN-1000 bass, especially on bass tightness and texture.

 

Imaging is impressively spacious and 3 dimensional, almost comparable to the excellent imaging of DN-2000, and sounds slightly more airy and open sounding than DN-2000, maybe due to higher level of treble in comparison to the mids. Instrument separation and placement is clear and focused, although DN-2000 is slightly clearer and more sharply focused. Imaging of the two is like comparing a very good quality consumer grade lens with a professional grade lens. Both are sharp, but the professional lens is slightly sharper. Listening to Chesky binaural recordings, DN-2000 gives slightly more realistic of the 3D imaging than the DN-1000. But DN-1000 imaging is still better than FX850 for binaural recording 3D imaging.

 

Beside the JVC EP-FX8 silicone eartips, Comply T-500 foam eartips is also my next favorite eartips for DN-1000, like on DN-2000. Comply T-500 + the silver adjustment ring gives a more airy sound, while retaining good bass. If you cannot get JVC EP-FX8 silicone eartips, try Comply T-500 + the silver adjustment ring. Another awesome combination for DN-1000.

 

I tried all the ring adjustment, and I prefer no ring for JVC EP-FX8 eartips, and silver ring for Comply T-500. 

 

DN-1000 sounds fun and musical for all the recordings I tried. IMHO, DN-1000 using JVC EP-FX8 eartips has the better 'all-rounder' tonality of the 3. It goes really well with all genres and recordings in my collection, from medieval classical to Baroque, Pop, Jazz, Movie soundtrack, to Dub Colossus, all sounds great and enjoyable! But I didn't try Rock music, because I don't have any. Being the cheapest of the 3, DN-1000 holds it's ground very well to be in the same class with DN-2000 and FX850. But please note, only when using the JVC EP-FX8 eartips. 

 

 

 

 

Tonality: Natural-realistic tonality, good bass, transparent, open sounding, smooth, and very musical. Slightly less refined than DN-2000, especially in level of detail, but can be musically more engaging.
Bass: Natural & realistic, a few dB higher than DN-2000, better bass slam and sounds more realistic. Very good low bass extension. Bass tightness and texture can be improved.
Midrange: Natural, open sounding, and smooth. Not warm and not analytic.
Treble: Clear and transparent, with good treble sparkle and upper treble extension. Might sound a bit metallic with some sibilance when using stock silicone eartips, but not with the JVC EP-FX8 eartips.

Detail: Good level of detail in a natural way, slightly less detailed than DN-2000, but better than FX850.
Imaging: Spacious and 3 dimensional.
Dynamic and Transient: Bass dynamic is good, better than DN-2000, but not as fast as the midrange and treble. Midrange to treble transient is fast and realistic.
Noise isolation: Good.
Comfort: DN-1000 has large diameter nozzle, around 5.8 mm diameter. This large nozzle could be an issue for small ear canals. As for me, DN-1000 is very comfortable.

Build & design: Housing is rather heavy, but very solid. Build quality and design is excellent, looks much better than DN-2000. Smooth bullet shape without any hard edges.

 

My DN-1000 after 6 months of daily usage, looks better than my 1 month old DN-2000.

 

 

Burn-In

I didn’t notice any significant changes before and after 2 days burn-in.

 

Effect of high output impedance amplifier
Explanation on DN-2000 section.
Similar as DN-2000, on DN-1000, low output impedance will improve clarity and transparency, while high output impedance will reduces the clarity, transparency, and also bass dynamic. Bass is a bit sloppy on high impedance output. Low output impedance of 20 ohms or lower is recommended.

 

 

Gears matching
Generally DN-1000 is not very picky on gears, not like DN-2000, maybe due to its balance and fun sound signature. I would say all the gears mentioned here sound great with DN-1000. Fiio X5 headphone output that sounds lacking in transparency on DN-2000, performs much better on DN-1000. Although still not as transparent as the Fiio E12DIY amp, but I don’t feel the treble is lacking.
Some gears that I found sound especially good with DN-1000 would be Yulong DA8, DACport, Dragonfly, and Fiio E12DIY amplifier with AD8599 Op-Amp + LME49600 buffer. 

 

 

 

Pros:
One of the best sounding IEM from the balanced, realistic, and musical sounding perspective, regardless of the price.
Easy to drive, doesn't require high voltage swing. But low output impedance of 20 ohms or lower is recommended.

Comes with various types of eartips and ring adjustment for flexible sound tuning.
Both straight down and over the ears wearing style.

Good build quality with solid metal housing.

Sounds good out of the box requires no or minimum burn-in.

Soft and flexible cable with no coiling memory effect.

 

Cons:
Bass tightness and texture can be improved.

Large nozzle limits the choices of third party eartips, and might not fit small ear canal.
Stock eartips found to be less than optimum compared with 3rd party silicone eartips, for DN-1000 to sound at its best.
Driver flex, mostly with stock silicone tips, much less, to no driver flex with JVC EP-FX8 eartips.
Relatively small cable for the relatively heavy housing. I hope the small cable will last.
Non-detachable Cable.

 

Suggestion for improvement:

Bass tightness and texture.

To include JVC EP-FX8 kind of eartips and Comply T-500 in the package.
Detachable cable with balanced cable included.

Ring adjustment is too thin and loose. It’s better if the ring is thicker with some grip to the nozzle.

 

 

Specifications:
Type : Hybrid 3 ways
Driver Unit : 1x Knowles Twin Balance Armature + 1x 10mm Dynamic driver
Frequency Response : 16 - 22,000 Hz
Impedance  : 10 ohms
SPL : 98 +/- 2 dB
Plug : L shape 3.5mm 24 Gold plated stereo Mini plug
Cord Length : 1.2m Y shape OFC cable
Detachable Cable : No
Left & Right marking : Clear. Left dot & L/R print on housing.
Weight : 26g
Accessories : 10 sets of silicone eartips, 4 sets of foam eartips, 1 pair of Earhook, 3.5mm Female to 6.5mm Male Adapter, 3.5mm Female to 2-pin Male Adapter, Aluminum alloy box, 4 pairs of metal adjustment ring. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Discussion thread here:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/727286/review-and-comparison-of-dunu-dn-1000-dn-2000-jvc-ha-fx850

Posted

Pros: Amazing Well Balanced Sound, Great Build Quality, Nice Accesories Pack

Cons: Large and heavy housings

Full review here:

 

 

 

Sound:

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).

Posted

Pros: Fun V-shaped sound, bass transients/impact, detailed highs, clear midrange, pinpoint details in wide soundstage

Cons: No removable cable, high sensitivity=noise when plugged into laptop, Cable quality, Midrange is thin sounding

Excellent sound quality. I can't find any fault with these except for the fact they have no removable cables. The DN-1000's put to shame any IEM under $300 currently in the market right now. Highly recommended.

 

Note: If there are really two versions of the Dunu's, I think I got the "China" version of the DN-1000's instead of the international version as the treble is very extended.

Posted

Pros: Bass, Separation, Soundstage, Overall Sound, Accessories

Cons: Cheap Inside Box, Non-detachable Cable

Dunu has been in the audio industry for a while now as an OEM/ODM supplier but only recently have they started making earphones for themselves. A lot of their IEM models are metal and they have quite a reputation on Head-Fi, many reviewers praising their lower end models for their awesome build and their value for money. Anyway, recently Dunu introduced a new model into their product line, the DN-1000, and that is what I will be reviewing today. The DN-1000 is their new flagship and costs just over $200 and is the model above their previous flagship, the DN-19 (Tai-Chi).

 

 

 

It all started when Dunu generously arranged a giveaway on Head-Fi which I entered and luckily, won. So I would like to say a huge thanks to Rocky from Dunu for arranging this. For a long time there have been ongoing debates as to whether BAs or dynamic drivers are better. Personally, I have always preferred BAs because they have more detailed, but I always had a soft spot for dynamic drivers’ bass. Because of this, I am particularly fond of hybrids and the best IEM I have heard is the 1plus2, which also happens to be a hybrid using the TWFK drivers + a dynamic driver like the DN-1000. For this reason, I have been quite intrigued by Dunu’s new offering.

 

**Disclaimer** I won these in a giveaway and this review will be as unbiased as possible. Thanks, of course, to Dunu.

 

 

Unboxing & Accessories

 

 

 


The DN-1000 came in nice box sealed with plastic wrap, which is nice. Tearing the wrap off, you then slide out the inner box which is actually rather hard. The inner black box feels rather cheap but once you open up the box, all is forgotten because you are greeted with the wonderful DN-1000 and the case. Taking the compartment off, there is the rest of the accessories and a few manuals. Overall, the unboxing experience isn’t special in any way, but it certainly isn’t bad.

Surely, the DN-1000 has to have the most accessories that I have ever seem come with an IEM. First, there is the metal TF-10 style case (which is actually my favourite IEM case). Then, there are a ton of tips, the metal rings, the sot pouch, a shirt clip and the ear loops. I actually don’t use any of the tips because I think that the Heir tips are better and sound more spacious. I also prefer the cable without the ear loops. Also, I use the red filters because I feel like those have the most spacious sound and the largest soundstage. Dunu certainly made sure there are enough accessories for everyone!

 

 

 

 

Testing Gear
I feel like you really do need a better source and quite a bit of juice to make the DN-1000s shine. Through a smartphone or an extremely entry level Clip+ they sounded quite lifeless and dull. The iPod Nano + E6 was a step up, but they really started to shine when I tried them on my DX50. The superior clarity, soundstage and separation really started to show. On my Clip+, everything sounded a bit closed in and they really didn’t show the potential of the Dunus at all. Also, on better sources the bass became harder hitting and faster with no bloat whatsoever.
I would recommend at least something like an X3 or RoCoo BA for these. They do not sound good with lesser sources. This review was done using the DX50 with the red/pink rings and “Heir” tips.

 

 

 

 

 

Design, Isolation & Cable
The DN-1000 reminds me a bit of the RHA MA750 that I reviewed recently. It has a metal body and a brushed silver Dunu logo. They can be worn both straight down and over the ear, but I prefer wearing them over the ear because that way they are less microphonic and you don’t have to use a shirt clip. Another thing I have to mention is the incredible build quality – it is simply the best I have ever seen on an IEM. I don’t feel nervous about breaking the Dunus like I do with other IEMs since they are all metal. They don’t seem to scratch easily either. However, they are a bit heavy because they do, after all, have a metal enclosure but it doesn’t fall out of my ear or anything so that is not a problem.

The isolation is about average and surprisingly, there was no vent, none that I could find anyway. These are fine for public transport and should be fine on a plane (will get to test that soon) but you can’t really hear the music playing at normal volumes when mowing the lawn. It is probably just ahead the MA750 and the GR07, both vented dynamic driver IEMs. I think these would be something like a 3.5 on ljokerl’s IEM review chart.

The cable is very nice and easy to use. I is soft and has just about no memory effect which is a huge plus for me. The thing about cables with memory effect is that after putting them in a case for a while, you have to straighten them out again which can be a bit annoying. The plug is a 45 degree one and gold plated with nice strain relief. One thing that is a bit concerning is the lack of strain relief on the Y-split and on the part that connects to the housing. It really should be fine though and nobody seems to have had any cable issues. One of the better cables I have seen.

 

 

 

 

Sound Quality
No matter how good the build quality or how good a headphone looks, it really boils down to how good they sound (with the exception of Beats). I’ve heard quite a few IEMs that looks great and has good build quality but sounds pretty bad, but the Dunu certainly isn’t one of those. Just like all of my other reviews, the sound section will be divided into three main sections – the bass, midrange and treble followed by a few others like accuracy, detail, soundstage and imaging. Here we go!

 

 

 

 

Bass
I must admit I really love well done dynamic driver bass and the DN-1000 has definitely done the bass right! As I mentioned in the introduction, I prefer BAs generally, but for bass I like dynamics more and the DN-1000s really reminded me why. It hits hard but it still stays extremely fast, only lagging just behind the UM Miracle, which does not hit nearly as hard. It has about the same impact as the MA750 but it is much faster and has a lot better detail. The sub-bass really does rumble when it is needed, but I have never encountered the sub-bass or mid bass bleeding into the midrange or blocking details. Compared to another hybrid, the $400 Astrotec AX60, the bass isn’t as heavy and I find it a lot cleaner. Personally I prefer the DN-1000’s bass, but the AX-60’s bass has great potential if it was EQed down a bit. Compared to the RDB v1, it is not as good, but the RDB v1 is 3 times the price. Overall, I feel like the bass is probably the highlight of this IEM and I have yet to find an IEM which does bass better than the DN-1000 under $400.

 

Midrange
Here is where the BAs start kicking in and man, are the mids nice! From the 1plus2 and the AX60, which also utilise a dynamic driver and a TWFK, I really expected the mids to be recessed, but to my relief this wasn’t the case at all (I don’t like a too recessed midrange). Never have I ever found them to be recessed or veiled and that is quite a feat that even the Miracles can’t achieve on some occasions. Don’t get me wrong, the mids aren’t forward by any means, but rather they are quite neutral and certainly very natural. I feel like the vocals lean slightly to the thinner side, which happens to be my preference and reminds me of my Miracles. At very high volumes, ones that you probably shouldn’t be listening at anyway, there was very slight vocal sibilance, but it’s no big deal. Vocal clarity is extremely good and you can hear the singer breathe. Instruments have a natural timbre to them and are just behind the vocals. The midrange is absolutely exceptional on the DN-1000 and I love the tonality and positioning of the performers.

 

Treble
On all TWFK based driver IEMs the treble has been rather prominent and on some, a little out of control. A quick search on the internet for the DN-1000’s frequency graph yielded no results, but I can tell you that the DN-1000 has the most subdued treble out of all the TWFK driver IEMs that I have heard. How, this is not to say the treble is rolled off or anything, just that all the TWFK IEMs I have heard are mostly overly bright and the DN-1000 is closer to neutral. I feel like the treble is slightly less bright than my Miracles which are a bit bright, so these are probably just on neutral. Cymbals have very good decay and I haven’t experienced and sibilance yet, which is a huge relief because I was expecting some sibilance at least considering this is a TWFK driver IEM. The treble is still controlled at high volumes and doesn’t hurt your ears like the B2. I really think that the treble is very detailed, but it is quite forgiving of crappy MP3 tracks, much more so than my Miracles or the much more expensive 1plus2 anyway. Overall, I really enjoyed the treble, but I really do long for just that tiny bit of extra sparkle.

 

 

 

Presentation
I have always been a fan of all the hybrids’ way of presenting music to the listener. All of the dynamic + TWFK IEMs I have heard (excluding the disastrous RDB 2v1) have presented music in a rather realistic way.
The soundstage is impressive (more on that later) You really do feel like the music is presented on a stage in front of you, but I can’t help but feel like some songs like “Lose Yourself To Dance” by Daft Punk have parts that feel like they are kind of in your head and not out in front, but that doesn’t bother me at all. Although these are actually quite detailed, these do not overwhelm you for detail. These are great when I just want to chill out and just enjoy the music.

 

Accuracy
There are two ways of perceiving accuracy – one is to see how neutral a headphone is and the other is to see natural and how realistic it sounds.
Straight away, I can tell you that if you are craving a neutral sound signature, these are definitely not for you. The bass is too heavy for it to even be considered neutral, but the midrange and treble are actually quite flat.
As for the latter option, the DN-1000 certainly does strike me as extremely natural and realistic sounding. I feel like drum beats need a slight boost to sound realistic and the DN-1000 does exactly that. Instruments are all very good and rendered realistically; classical music also sounds good. The DN-1000 really does sound good with a wide variety of music, and is not too revealing of badly mastered tracks.

 

Detail
From what you have read on this review, you may be under the impression that the DN-1000 is not detailed, but that it not the case at all. Yes, it doesn’t have the smallest microdetails present in the 1plus2 and my Miracles, but I don’t expect them to. Actually, from memory these seem to be slightly more detailed than the Astrotec AX60 which is almost twice as expensive. It does accomplish quite a feat by being detailed yet not fatiguing at all and not being too revealing of badly mastered tracks. The DN-1000 is very detailed, but just not so much as the top IEMs like the RDB v1. Upon the first listen they didn’t strike me as very detailed, but instead letting the details slowly sink in. It is great for just enjoying the music and not over analysing it like I do sometimes with my Miracles.

 

Separation
First of all, let’s talk about vocal separation. Some of you may know that I use a few of Fun.’s songs to test this and these certainly did very well, significantly better than anything under $200 including the MA750. These did better than my AX7 which I found had very impressive vocal separation. Considering that these are less than $50 more than the AX7, I feel like this is a significantly better value. The DN-1000 passed this with ease.

Regarding instrument separation, it is even a step above vocal separation, which is quite a feat. I hardly ever found these congested and testing them on Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” track, these were only a tiny bit more congested than my Miracles. I will be testing them against the AX60 and perhaps the H-200 soon and I will post my findings on the DN-1000 thread.


Clarity & Transparency
As for clarity, these really surprised me because for some reason I was expecting these to be a bit dark and rather warm. The level of clarity is very good, especially vocals, where you hear just about every minute detail. The bass also has no bloat at all, not muddying things up. Overall, the DN-1000’s clarity is well out of its price range.
Sometimes music can sound like there is a blanket covering your ears, which results in a sort of veiled sound. I am happy to confirm that the DN-1000 doesn’t have that, but its transparency isn’t as good as the more expensive AX60. It’s not bad for its price range though.


Soundstage & Imaging
As mentioned above I am really impressed with the large soundstage. I feel like Dunu have really hit it out of the park with the soundstage, making it very wide with very good depth. Except for the fact that sometimes the music feels in your head (headstage), the soundstage on these is very big, but from memory not as large as the AX60, but I might be wrong.
Another highlight of the DN-1000 is definitely the superb imaging; it is certainly the best that I have heard under $300. On very congested tracks it is not hard to point out where everything is. The imaging is really top notch!

 

 


Summary


I must say that my short journey with the DN-1000 has been one heck of a ride and finally, it is time for me to end this long review. I find that they are a great buy, especially considering that these are the cheapest dynamic + TWFK driver IEM out there right now. They sound great and the bass, soundstage and clarity really does stand out. If you are a basshead who enjoys bass, likes clear mids and neutral, well-extended highs, than these are a great choice. Thanks once again to Dunu. 

Posted

Pros: Overall sound quality, Massive selection of accessories

Cons: Upper midrange is a bit recessed, tip rolling limited

First of all, I would like to thank DUNU for choosing me as the winner of a contest to receive a free pair of DN-1000s. 

 

The DUNU DN-1000 is a part of a relatively new and evolving class of IEMs, known as “hybrid” IEMs because they have not only balanced armatures but also dynamic drivers inside. In most cases, the dynamic driver is assigned to the bass, and the balanced armatures to the mids and treble. The DN-1000s are no different. It’s hard enough to make a good sounding IEM using just a dynamic driver or one balanced armature; adding more drivers (especially dynamics and BAs mixed together) has more of a risk of ruining the sound quality, but has bigger rewards such as better high/low frequency extension and better overall sound quality. From what I can hear, the DN-1000s definitely fall in the latter category.

 

What’s in the box:

The box for the DN-1000s is fairly bland and Engrishey, but the amount of accessories they include in the box is simply staggering. While it does kind of feel like they just threw a bunch of tips in the box without fully testing them to see how they affected the frequency response of the IEM, or if they even fit at all (the foam tips were really tough to get off the IEMs, and I received three medium tips of one type, and only one large tip), you shouldn’t have a problem finding some tips to fit your ears.

 

Build Quality:

The housings on the DN-1000 are some sort of shiny metal. It doesn’t feel like it’s made of any particularly indestructible material, but it also doesn’t feel like wrapped up tin foil either. The housings are relatively large, and do stick out of your ear a bit. I wouldn’t sleep with these in my ears, and I would also advise those with smaller ear canals to try and demo these before purchasing, because the shells can be quite large and obtrusive, especially if the included rings are not used.

There is a complete lack of any sort of rib to help hold the tips on the IEM shells (probably so that the o-ring system could be implemented), which makes the tip rolling for the DN-1000s quite limited. If any other tips are used and you can actually get them on the bore, they will probably fall off. I will also go ahead and say it now, but I think the o-ring system is a good idea in theory, but without them, there is no way these will be comfortable in very many people’s ears. They still aren’t the most comfortable to my ears, but they are tolerable for a few hours.

The cable is the same one I’ve seen on the DUNU DN-23s. It’s not very thick and feels like it may eventually break, but it’s nice and soft and doesn’t retain very much memory. The strain relief on the housings is fairly small, but it looks like it should do its job. The Y-split is nice but has no strain relief on either side. The 3.5mm connector is 45 degrees, and while this isn’t my favorite angle for a headphone connector, it’s implemented fairly well. The strain relief allows the cable to bend a fair bit while also doing its job, so it could theoretically be bent into a 90-degree connector.

 

Isolation:

The isolation is above average for dynamics; I don’t see any major vents letting in a lot of outside noise, but since tip rolling really isn’t an option with the DN-1000s, I wasn’t able to try out Meelectronics tri-flange tips to really push the isolation to the limit. And honestly, with the bi-flange tips included, I thought the DN-1000s didn’t sound as good, so I never bothered seeing how good the isolation was.

 

Sound Quality:

Please note that the following sound quality impressions were taken with the single flange reinforced gray tips and red spacers.

 

Bass:

Most IEMs I’ve heard that use balanced armatures don’t quite deliver enough punch for my tastes. The bass on the DUNU DN-1000s, however, is delivered by the dynamic driver. It’s a bit north of neutral and has fairly good punch, but generally stays in the sub-bass in the form of rumble. The real bass emphasis ends at the lowest notes of a bass guitar, so kick drums and deep bass lines on electronic, and the rest of the bass is fairly tame and controlled. I never heard it overpower or bleed into the midrange, probably because that’s where the balanced armatures kick in. This isn’t the most detailed bass, but it’s very fun and good for on-the-go listening.

 

Midrange:

The midrange is, for the most part, right where it should be. Instruments fairly natural and don’t sound distorted or out of place. Male vocalists sound clean but have the appropriate amount of heft to sound natural. My only complaint would be with the upper midrange and lower treble area, where female vocals are prominent. Like all the other TWFK IEMs I’ve heard, this area sounds a bit soft, and while female vocalists don’t necessarily sound recessed, they are lacking a bit of clarity and texture. This is a very common area to place a dip in the frequency response though. It seems for whatever reason that a lot IEMs put a cut in this area of the frequency response or have a painful spike further up in the treble response. Given the choice, I’d much rather take the dip in this area.

 

Treble:

The treble is similar to the other TWFK-based IEMs I’ve heard and owned, such as the Heir 4A, Ultimeate Ears UE900 and Brainwavz B2. The first two are what I would classify as properly dampened TWFKs, with the latter being an example of an improperly dampened TWFK driver. When there isn’t enough dampening on the TWFK driver, there is a sharp spike in the 8-10k area that is quite painful to me and makes sibilance quite bad on most recordings that have any form of it. However, both the UE900 and 4A are dampened enough to dissipate this spike while retaining enough of an emphasis in this area to sound dynamic and exciting. So where does the DN-1000’s TWFK dampening lie in comparison? To my ears, they use almost exactly the same if not the same filter as the UE900s. While the treble isn’t quite as extended as in the UE900, the rest of the treble area sounds quite similar, which is great for the most part. While it does mean that in comparison to the bass and midrange the treble is a bit softer overall and isn’t the most detailed or clear sounding treble, it still retains enough of the 8-10khz elevation to sound “dynamic” and relatively clean and clear. While it doesn’t have the same detail level as some other IEMs that are brighter overall, it doesn’t lack clarity by any means, and those other brighter IEMs are either painful to listen to for long periods of time, or simply don’t have as much bass.

The only disadvantage to this TWFK treble is that sometimes the 8-10khz peak area can make some tracks sound a bit “steely”, or simply a bit artificial when compared to IEMs that do not have as much emphasis in this area.

 

Soundstage:

To me, the DN-1000s have a fairly decent soundstage. It’s nothing that will blow your mind or make you think you’re listening to speakers, but it’s also better than the lower end IEMs I’ve heard at portraying a sense of space. I generally don’t write very much about soundstage though, since most of the music I listen to doesn’t have very much soundstage, and in-ear headphones have always sounded like in-ears to me…

 

The complimentary forum post can be found here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/700957/dunu-dn-1000-review

 

~More to be added later, including any comparisons anyone wants me to make to anything I own~

Posted

Pros: Sonics, soundstage, bass!, build quality, overall design, value, accessories

Cons: Weight, nozzle design (no lip), cable hardens over time

Introducing Dunu's DN1000 Hybrid (dual BA + single dynamic) IEM

 


I've been lucky enough recently to start reviewing for a few IEM and ear-bud manufacturers.  After reading other comments and reviews on Dunu's latest flagship (the DN-1000 triple driver hybrid), and communicating with Rocky from Dunu, I got my chance to listen to this wonderful product recently. They arrived a little over three weeks ago – and in that time I’ve logged a lot of hours with them (in fact they've been my IEM of choice).  I’ve listed price at  USD $215 (current Amazon price at time of writing) – however this is not what I paid for them (they are a review sample).
 
Disclaimer
I was provided the DN-1000 as a review sample.  I am in no way affiliated with Dunu - and this review is my honest opinion of the DN1000.  I would like to thank Rocky for making this opportunity available.
 
Preamble - 'about me'.   (This is to give any readers a baseline for interpreting the review).
I'm a 46 year old music lover.  I don't say audiophile - just love my music.  Over the last couple of years, I have slowly changed from cheaper listening set-ups to my current mid-fi set-up.  I vary my listening from portable (HSA Studio V3 and iPhone4) to my desk-top's set-up (PC > coax > NFB-12 > LD MKIV > HP).  My main headphones at the time of writing are the Senn HD600, Beyer DT880, and Grado RS1.  Most of my portable listening is done with IEMs - and up till now it has mainly been the Shure SE535 Ltd Ed. or the HSA BA100 IEMs. I have auditioned quite a few entry and mid-tier cans, but have yet to hear/own any real flagships (at current time of writing this review).  A full list of the gear I have owned (past and present is listed in my Head-fi profile). 
 
I have very eclectic music tastes listening to a variety from classical/opera and jazz to grunge and hard-rock.   I listen to a lot of blues, jazz, folk music, classic rock, indie and alternative rock.  I am particularly fond of female vocals.  I tend toward cans that are relatively neutral/balanced - with a slight emphasis on the mid-range.  I am neither a bass nor treble head (you could argue that I do like clarity though).  Current amps = NFB12 and LD MKIV.  I also formerly owned several portable amps - the most notable being an Arrow 4G and GoVibe PortaTube.
 
For the purposes of this review - I used the Dunu DN-1000 straight from the headphone-out socket of both my iPhone 4 and Studio V3.  I did not bother with amping them, as IMO they do not require an amp.  In the three weeks I've had the DN-1000's I have probably already put around 60 hours listening time.  In that time I have noticed no change to the overall sonic presentation (I do not believe in 'night and day' burn-in).  I will allow that the more time I've have spent with these IEM's, the better they continue to sound to me.  Personally I think this is brain burn in - but I will respect others choice if they interpret this as physical burn-in.
 
This is a purely subjective review - my gear, my ears, and my experience.  Please take it all with a grain of salt - especially if it does not match your own experience.
 

THE REVIEW
 
Packaging and Accessories

The DN-1000's arrived in a smart (simple but elegant) retail box - consisting of a outer sleeve over a 'book' style inner case.  The first thing I noticed (which actually impressed me a lot) was that the box was completely shrink sealed.  That shows two things IMO - a high level of care with their product, and complete confidence in their QC (that any pack they do is up to review standard).

Front of the box Rear of the box

 

The packaging is ideal for a retail presentation - an easy to display rectangular retail box - with an 'average' footprint.  I quite like the style of this box – matches the IEMs really – simple, but a lot of thought gone into the design.  The specific sales messages on the box are a general one for the DUNU brand (Delicate, Unique & Utmost), while the specific one for the DN-100 reads simply "Ultimate quality hybrid in-ear earphone". The box also has a list of specifications (multiple languages) on the side, and a list of included accessories on the rear.

Box sides Specifications

 

On opening the inner box, you're presented with the metal carrying case, and the IEMs.  It's not until you explore the rest of the case that you find out how compelte the accessory package is.  I was actually 'blown away' that so much is included with the DN-1000.

Outer sleeve and inner box Book style case showing DN-1000 and carry case 

 

For accessories, included is an excellent rigid metal case (dimensions approx 70x70x30mm).  If you own any of the HiSound Audio products - the case is virtually the same size - but rigid rather than soft.  It is an ideal size for the IEMs - and has room for spare tips etc.  It is large enough to hold the IEMs safely – yet small enough to fit in a front pocket.

Amazing accessories included Hard case, soft pouch and polishing cloth

 

It also comes with a well made soft leather pouch (with draw string).  I'm not sure of the purpose of this (maybe for carrying all the accessories) - but what I have found is that it's a perfect fit for my Studio V3 DAP - so thank you Dunu (solved a problem with how to carry my DAP without scratching it).

Soft case

Perfect with my Studio V

 

In addition there is an airline daptor plug, ear-guides (detachable), a cable clip (if you want to wear them down), a 3.5-6.3mm adaptor plug, a cleaning cloth, and some aluminium spacers for Dunu's nozzle adjustment system (nore on that later).  There is also documentation including a warranty card (English) and instructions on how to use the nozzle adjustment system.

Adaptors clip and earguide

Warranty and Frequency Chart

 

The DN-1000 also comes with a plethora of different sized tips including dual flanges, single flange (reinforced interior), and also some foam tips similar to Complys (not quite as soft).

All-in-all, the accessories included are highly impressive, and I have not seen a better set of accessories with any of my own IEMs - except maybe the SE535 which is double the price of the DN-1000.

Range of included tips

Foam tips, silicones and dual flanges


Technical Specifications
(From Dunu)

Type : Triple driver hybrid (dual TWFK balanced armature plus a single dynamic driver), Inner Ear Monitor (IEM)
Impedance : 10 Ohms
Sensitivity : 98dB +/-2dB
Frequency response : 16hz-22 khz
Noise attenuation : 26dB
Weight : 26g
Jack / cable : 3.5mm angled standard gold-plated jack, 120 cm cable


Build / Fit / Comfort / Isolation

The DN-1000 is pretty much built like a tank.  I checked with Rocky, and the shell is an aluminium alloy.  It's approx 1cm in diameter and 1 cm in length, with a further 0.7cm for the nozzle.  The IEMs are relatively heavy (at 26g), but so far I haven't found the weight obtrusive in any way.  Each nozzle has an inbuilt filter.  On the rear exterior of each shell is Dunu's logo.  L&R markings are quite small - and IMO could have been more prominent / easier to identify.  I solved this via the use of the differnt coloured comply tips (red and blue) - but it's something I think a lot of manufacturers could improve.  You don't see the markings when they're in your ears - so why not make them easier to read?

Extremely solid build

Inbuilt filter

 

The cable is a very smooth PVC outer, and appears extremely well put together.  I can't see this breaking any time soon - and it's pretty much tangle free to boot.  There is a short cable relief at the shells, and also at the 3.5mm right angled plug.  I checked with Rocky on the cable materials - and he not only confirmed the PVC, but also that they had gone out of their way to use material that is considered 'green', or 'eco-friendly'.

Cable is fantastic with low microphonics 3.5mm plug

 

The splitter is quite rigid, and also appears to be made out of an alloy.  One of the great things about the splitter is that there is enough weight in it to keep the cable pulling down slightly.  The other thing I love about this splitter is that the top half of it detaches to become the chin slider.  The design is simple, very elegant, and works incredibly well.  The other fantastic (to me anyway) design element in the cable is the inclusion of an 'on-cable' cinch (or rubber cable tidy).  This is a really simple mechanism that is unobtrusive - but means that whenever it's time to store the IEMs, the cable is always tidily looped.  For me (being slightly OCD), I simply LOVE this inclusion.  So simple - yet so practical.   

Design winners - Y splitter & slider And cable cinch (love this)

 

July 2014 - I've updated this section for a comment on the cable.  Mine has noticeably stiffened over time.  I don't know if this is due to sweat on the cable, or exposure to sunlight, or another cause. What I do know is that this is concerning for the overall longetivity of the IEM - especially when I'm not the only one who has noticed this (see H20's comments elsewhere on Head-Fi).  So far it hasn't detracted from the sound, or even the usability - buut buyers should be aware of a potential issue - especially considering the cable is not replaceable.  I have adjusted overall score accordingly.

 

Before we go into fit, I'll briefly touch on the inclusion of the coloured rings (or spacers).  The DN-1000 is designed to allow you to fit one of three different sized spacers (or fourth option - use none at all) - that then allow the tips to be closer or further away from the body of the IEM.  Changing this theoretically affects the frequency response, and also the insertion depth.

Nozzle rings / spacers

Different colours, different spacers

 

I tried different settings and different tips - and whilst I like the idea (it definitely has tweaking options for the enthusiasts here), I do wonder how effective it is.  I tried all of the different rings, eventually settling on the reds - but to be honest I found that any change in frequency response (for me) was marginal and I doubt I could tell anything in a proper blind test.  It's also likely that the few mm change between rings would be nullified by the actual change in fit each time you use them (ie I guarantee that my insertion depth with the same red rings will be different almost every time I use them).

Instruction card and spacers

Fitting the spacers

 

Anyway - nice idea - but leads to the one design issue I have with the DN-1000.  By allowing for the change of rings, they can't acccomodate a lip on the nozzle.  Because of this - anyone trying for a really good seal / deep insertion with some of the tips may very well find themselves removing the DN-1000 from your ears, and finding the tips still in your ears.  This doesn't happen for me with the comply foams (they stick on the DN-1000 pretty well), but I found that with the dual flanges, I often had to go fishing (in my ears) for the missing tips.  Didn't happen often - but enough to be annoying.  If I was to have my choice between tip stability and tweakability with the rings, the rings would be discarded.  Others may have different ideas.

Smooth nozzle- no retaining lip Foam tips actually fit solidly

 

Anyway - onto fit.  I have one canal slightly different to the other one (my right is very slightly smaller) - so I tend to find that single silicon flanges don't fit overly well.  However Dunu included a single flange design that I haven't seen before, and I'd pick some people will love this.  It has circular reinforcing fins, and keeps the tip shape resonably firm (nice design).  The included dual flanges allowed me the best overall fit - but unfortunately I had issues with keeping them intact with the DN-1000 on removal from my ears.  The included foam tips are almost a perfect fit, easy to insert, and I never have an issue with them coming loose.  The only downside is that they don't completely isolate (seal may not be 100% perfect) - but I find they sound wonderful sonically.  I did try some monster gel-tips and also super-tips.  The gel-tips were a disaster, but the super-tips actually fit really well - and I may try them for my next long-haul flight.  In the meantime the foam tips are very comfortable and my tip of choice.

 

Reinforced silicone tips My set-up of choice

 

Once the DN-1000 are correctly inserted, I find them (despite the weight) to be extremely comfortable, and have no issues with even long listening sessions.  They sit flush enough with my ears that I can easily lie down with them still in place - and I think I'd have no issues sleeping with the DN-1000 still intact.  They are designed in such a way that they can be worn cable down, or cable over ear.  My preference has always been over ear, and it fits snugly without the need for the included guides.  I did try the guides, but found them a little unwieldy.  they may appeal to some though - and it's nice to have the option.  Cable microphonics were very low (pretty much non-existent) with the cable worn over ear.  There was some cable noise worn down - included shirt clip may help reduce this.  One point to note here - I got very little bone induction noise when walking while wearing these.  Not sure if it's the tips I'm using and the slightly less isolation compared to my Shures - but it definitely makes exercise (walking/jogging especially) a lot more enjoyable.

 

As far as isolation goes - these are 'OK'.  They aren't as good as the Shures - but I think this is very much tip dependent, and as stated earlier, it's pretty hard for me to have an extremely isolating tip with the current nozzle design.  I have several long-haul flights in Feb next year - so it will be interesting to see how they go.  Anyway - isolation is listed by Dunu at 26dB - which should be good at eliminating most ambient noise - or at least mitigating it.

 
So what do these suckers sound like ……… ?

 
SOUND QUALITY
The following is what I hear from the DN-1000.  YMMV – and probably will – as my tastes are likely different to yours (read the preamble I gave earlier for a baseline).


Detail
For this I’m using both Steely Dan’s “Hey Nineteen” and Dire Strait’s “Sultans of Swing” as there is a lot of micro detail in both tracks, and the recording quality for both is excellent.
 
The Dn-1000 displays good detail with a nice (if polite) crispness, and enough balance so that detail is present without having the treble highlighted.  The DN-1000 actually sound pretty natural, and even swuitching to my 535 Ltd Eds, I'm realising that the Dunu's have similar clarity and detail - with the Shures having a more mid-centric presentation, whereas the DN-1000 are a little warmer (and bassier).  The one thing I noticed in switching between the 535 and DN-1000 was that the Dunu's may have very slightly more treble roll off in the upper registers.  Cymbals are still fully present – but they are more apparent with the Shures.  I have no complaints about the DN-1000 though.  The overall presentation of detail for this IEM is very enjoyable, and the dual TWFK drivers are really showing what they can do.

 

Sound-stage & Imaging

For this I use a binaural recording – Amber Rubarth “Sessions From The 17th Ward” - “Tundra”.  I use this because it’s a pretty simple way to get comparative data on sound-stage.  I also use some recorded live performances (including tracks from Joe Bonamassa’s “An Acoustic Evening at the Vienna Opera House”).
 
IMO it’s usually difficult to get a reasonable stage size from an inner ear monitor.  The stage is usually quite small / close – with an average impression of space.  Not so with the DN-1000.  These are surprisingly spacious for an IEM with the stage projecting very slightly outside my head.  Comparatively, my Shures and the HSA BA100 definitely have a smaller more intimate stage with the track “Tundra”.  The DN-1000 shows good separation and the imaging seems pretty accurate and precise.  Switching to Bonamassa – and the DN-1000 again really excels with this exceptional live blues album.  The acoustics of the Vienna Opera Hall are well represented and there is a real perception of not only space and size - but depth as well.  Although I am close to the stage - I'm not 'on it'.  What I do like is how engaging the Dunu's are - I can't help tapping my feet and nodding my head - and that's the sort of presentation a live performance should be giving me.
 

Highs/Mids
Rather than referencing tracks – I’m going to give general impressions – as I’ve tried to listen to as many varied genres as I can.
 
The DN-1000 actually has a very articulate top end with just enough sparkle to make it interesting.  There is definitely a crispness to them – but it is not overdone, and with my music, has never bordered on sibilance.  I'm finding the top end has excellent clarity - but it's not spot-lit like some IEMs, and it blends nicely with both upper and lower mids.  Cymbals are heard – but aren't glaring.  If I had to describe it,  I’d say the treble is very smooth but very clear at the same time.  Treble heads and extreme detail freaks will probably not be completely satisfied, but for those who like a rich organic sound without any lack of clarity – these should definitely be considered.  For my personal preference (and I usually prefer a little more clarity and shimmer) – I'm finding these actually close to perfect (must be the overall balance).
 
The mid-range is how I like it – nicely balanced with the rest of the spectrum – yet relatively full and rich.  The mids are not overly forward.  Vocals are wonderfully clear – and acoustic guitar has a nice crunch to it. Timbre is rich and very well presented   Both male and female vocals are realistic - if maybe a touch on the warm/rich side.  The more I use the DN-1000 the more I really like them, even to the point that I rarely use my Shures any more.  Seether's acoustic album “One Cold Night” sounded particularly good with the Dunus.  The guitar sounds the way it’s supposed to with good bite – without being showy.  I'm a mid-range junkie, and normally I'd prefer a slighly forward mid-range - with the vocals being the focus - but I'm surprised with every different album I try how well balanced these are through the mids and highs.  I remember (when I owned it) - I had a Brainwavz B2 dual TWFK which had marvelously tuned BA drivers - utterly engaging and captivating.  These are similar - but without the upper register glare of the B2 - and I guess that's where we need to talk about one of the strengths of this IEM - the bass from the dynamic driver ......
 

Bass (specifically)
The DN-1000 was again a surprise to me.  I was expecting these to have some good bass - but was wondering if it would somehow overshadow the midrange.  The bass is definitely there, and oh so much fun - but I'm not experiencing bass bleed.  The balance on these is incredible.  The bass is very full, hits reasonably hard - but does have a longer decay than my SE535 (which are quite linear - but also really well defined). The bass on the DN-1000 is a bit slower than on the Shures  - but there is much more impact, and they seem to extend reasonably low.  To my ears, it does seem to have very slightly elevated mid-bass (but so far not loose or flabby).  Because the bass is probably slightly elevated over the rest of the spectrum, these do have the tendency to sound a little warm - but they're unlike anything I've heard before, and I find myself struggling to desrcibe what I'm hearing.  They're warm but not dark.  They're relatively balanced - but at the same time very slightly bassy.  They're incredibly well defined, and the mid-range is never recessed - so I wouldn't call them V shaped either.  They simply have an earthy, organic, rich grunt to them which really resonates with my audio preferences.  
 
As a final test I tried Lorde’s new release “Royals” (16 yo NZ girl on the rise internationally) – mainly because the bass absolutely reaches low and has quite a bit of power.  It handled the bass very well – good quality and quantity - just a slight boominess.
 

Power Requirements
The DN-1000 is easily powered out of my iPhone4, and on most tracks I am around 50% on the volume slider.  With the StudioV3 - the volume is around 9 or 10.  Comparatively - my Shures need slightly less power. The Studio V3 does have a class A amp - but it's hard to say if my preference for the Studio over the iPhone4 is the extra power at play, or if it is simply that the Studio V3 sounds better.  Anyway - I digress.  You're not going to need exrternal amplification with the DN-1000 unless you have a very weak source, or if it has a high output impedance.
 

What About Response To EQ?
IMO - the DN-1000 don't need tweaking.  But it's always nice to see what they are capable of if you do decide to apply EQ.  So I fired up the iPhone with the Equaliser app, and gave them a little tweak in the upper mids and highs and a reduction in bass – and they responded extremely well.  I quickly turned the EQ offf though - IMO Dunu has the default tuning pretty well right already.

 

Quick Comparisons - SE535 LE & BA100
For this I'm going to simply use two of my favourite tracks - "Trains" by Porcupine Tree and also Pearl Jam's "Elderly Woman Behind The Counter" - not because they're reference or anything - but more because I simply love these two tracks.  These three IEMs are in very different price brackets - but all have strengths and all are highly rated by me.

 

My listening trial set-up

The comparison

 

HiSound Audio's BA-100 = well balanced, vocals slightly forward, very clear, they almost sound a little tinny/nasally (lacking in body) after using the DN-1000.  Very comfortable and lightweight though - and the more you listen to them, the better they sound.


Shure SE535 Ltd Ed = again well balanced, but with much clearer and more upfront vocals.  Very full, very clear, sublime really.  These do vocals incredibly well.  Bass is balanced and textured but sometimes just doesn't have the impact I'd like.


Dunu DN-1000 = very clear, mids not as foward, almost more balanced than the Shures - definitely not as bright, yet still very clear.  Vocals are great, almost as good as the Shures, bass is better.

 

By track:
Trains : SE535 >= DN-1000 > BA-100
EWBTHC : DN1000 >= SE535 > BA-100


SUMMARY

I'd never had the pleasure of hearing a  hybrid before so I didn't really know what to expect.  it took me a while to get the fit right, but eventually with the complies I've found something that is a good mix of fit and sonics.  As far as build and design goes, the DN-1000 would be one of the most well designed total packages I've encountered - with the one exception of the nozzle (see above).  Apart from that I can't really fault them.

 

Sonically these are incredible for their price.  Well balanced but with an earthy, catchy and exciting low end that just keeps my toes tapping. The slightly wider sound-stage (than normally expected on an IEM) actually pairs really well with some of my genres, and listening to Von Karajam and the Beliner Philharmonic's 1963 rendition of Beethoven's 9 Symphonies with them (paired with the Studio V3) was a captivating experience.  Yet it's rock and indie that really ticked the boxes for me.  I'd imagine they might have a little difficulty with really fast paced music - but as I seldom listen to anything too fast paced, it's a non-issue for me.

 

I would have no hesitation recommending these IEMs to family and friends – and I guess that says a lot for how highly I regard them.  These just really tick all my boxes. 
 
They probably won’t dethrone my 535’s – as I think I'll need the 535's greater isolation on my long haul flights - but if my 535's broke tomorrow, and I was left with the DN-1000, I don't think I'd be looking for another IEM.  Indeed, over time (if they can isolate "well enough") I'd probably sell the Shures before I sold these - and that should be praise enough.  Incredible value at around the USD 200 mark.  I wish I'd found something like this years ago.

 

Congrats Rocky and Dunu / TopSound - these are a winner.

  
Recommendations to Dunu
Here is a very short list of what I’d change if I could.  Hopefully this may be helpful to you Rocky.
 
Dn-1000:

  • Fix the nozzle - it needs a lip, even if it means ditching the rings.
  • Include a larger set of the complies - it was the only tip for me that was missing.
  • A detachable cable would be nice if you do another version of these - it might encourage more people to try them - especially for a flagship.  Personally I find the cable brilliant - but it may attract others, and these need to be tried (over pricier models) - they really are THAT good.
  • Research into cable sheath material.  Needs to be looked at due to hardening issues.
  • More prominent L/R markings for some of us in the older generation - so I don't have to squint :)

 
Once again Rocky – thanks for the opportunity to try these.  They are incredibly good - and to my ears, play at the same level as much more expensive models.

Posted

Pros: Awesome. Bass is thunderously capable. Highs are highly refined.

Cons: Its not a high isolator, bass isnt very neutral, mids could do with more air.

DUNU DN-1000 Quick Review

 

Full review at http://www.head-fi.org/t/686568/dunu-dn-1000-review

 

Thanks to DUNU for the sample.

 

Brief:  Taking names and kicking arse!

 

Price:  £125 so that’s about US$200

 

Specification:  Type: Dynamic (10mm) Balanced Armature, SPL:98+-2dB, Impedance 10 ohms, Frequency Response: 16Hz – 22KHz, Noise Attenuation: 26dB, Weight: 26g, Plug Size: 3.5mm, Cord Length: 1.2m.

 

Accessories:  Metal case, leathery baggy, 6.25 to 3.5mm adapter, aeroplane adapter, shirt clip, 3 types of acoustic rings, 4 of each type, 4 pairs of Comply tips, 3 pairs of clear silicon tips, 1 pair of bi flange tips, 3 pairs of thin grey silicon tips, a pair of ear guides and last of all a cleaning cloth.  Assuming you don’t count the chin slider and the attached cable tie.

 

Build Quality:  Excellent.  They are metal, weighty and frankly Dunu have probably the best build quality of any of the Chinese IEM makers.

 

Isolation:  Reasonably good, better than most dynamics ever are but not so great in comparison to most BA things.  Tolerable for the odd flight but not for a daily Tube commute.  Of course more than enough to get you run over.

 

Comfort/Fit:  Very good.  They are a bit heavy but wearing over the ear solves that otherwise, a shove in ear and done.  There are plenty of tips to assist in the matter.

 

Aesthetics:  A touch on the blingy, the silver is rather gleaming but silver is certainly much more tasteful than gold is.  Note they are more silver than the gunmetal they seem to look in photos but I think these may come in Gunmetal also.

 

Sound:  Awesome.  The bass is a little dominant but the quality is superb.  Deep, oh so deep, dark and rich.  The mid’s are a touch reticent but the detail is very good and the clearly cut through any amount of music.  The highs are superbly refined for a BA driver.  Maybe a little relaxed for some but they do a fantastic smooth and natural decay.  They don’t have the sharp edge many others do around this price, which some love of course.  It lends to an overall slightly dark feeling to the DN-1000 but the dynamics are spectacular.  Throw on something lively and they are astonishingly vivacious party machines.  Vigour and authority in the lows is epic but they never drown out the rest of the spectrum.  It’s a cacophony of aural drama!  Loving these little things!!!  Sure if you want slow and sombre they will do as you command and do it very well too.  The only downer I’d say is these aren’t very open or airy but that hardly a damming statement is it.  Of course these aren’t the most sonically neutral IEM in the world either.

 

Value:  Awesome.  These should be a real worry for the GR07 as you get a cracking bundle and they sound so kick ass.

 

Pro’s:   Awesome.  Bass is thunderously capable. Highs are highly refined.

 

Con’s:  Its not a high isolator, bass isnt very neutral, mids could do with more air.

Dunu DN-1000
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Dunu's dynamic / BA hybrid IEM

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